The definition of a small business is connoted on the basis of the capital involved, ROI, and/or the number of employees of a particular firm. The figures pertaining to these three criteria differ from one country to another. In India, any enterprise is termed as small if it employs between 10-49 people. Moreover, its total investment should be less than 100 crores, and turnover less than 500 crores. However, one thing that is common in all countries in regards to their small businesses is that these business outfits are as important and large enterprises in creating employment and contributing to the country's GDP. Every day new companies open, provide jobs, and drive the local economy.
There are two types of mindset that comes into play when an individual decides to start a business. One is when someone is driven by passion and the other when no other avenue of occupation has worked so far and starting a small business venture seems to be the only way to sustain life and family responsibilities. No matter what your reason is, starting and sustaining a small business is not a cakewalk.
It is significant for small business owners to learn about the government schemes, the rights, and privileges that he/she is entitled to. They can apply for government support and preferential taxation, depending on the industry. The number of employees is the most widely used measure to classify a business as small.
An increase in sales is crucial to the growth and success of any small business. Boosting online sales, implementing touch-less transactions, and introducing local deliveries are some of the ways to beat the competition. In this article, we will share with you some tips on how to increase sales for your small business.
Talk to the customer
When you talk to your potential customer, you should ask questions in such a way as if they have already bought your product or service. For example, instead of asking, whether the buyer is going to buy, you should ask, how are they going to pay. Or, ask them how they intend to use the product.
Turn objection to an opportunity
Most customers want a perfect combination of great quality, low prices, and exceptional service, all combined. You should learn to turn the objection of a buyer into an opportunity. Because, an objection means that a potential customer is engaged, and is actually considering your business proposal. Overcoming objections is one of the keys to successfully close a sale. You should highlight your strengths and articulate what makes you better than your competitors.
What motivates your customers?
Invest time to learn what motivates your buyers. Take the time to know their concerns and needs and have a customer-first approach.
You should invest time to better educate your customers and, in the process, make your sales pitch. People buy primarily because they have a need. So, if you understand the buyer’s needs and solve that need, you will have a much better chance of successfully converting the sale.
Connect with your customers digitally
Small businesses need to have a strong digital plan and stay close to customers and increasing online sales must be their primary goal.
Here we will tell you about some actionable techniques on how to grow sales:
- Use Ad Extensions: Ad extensions are available in both AdWords and Bing, which allows you to make your ads bigger with more places to click. This increases your ad’s click-through rate. This makes it easier and faster for customers to find exactly what they want.
In AdWords, you can use ad customisers to display a countdown on a limited-time sale or a seasonal offer. This will create a sense of urgency and persuade prospective buyers to buy from you right now.
- Show off customer testimonials in social media: Satisfied customers are more influential than even the best-written ad copy; so, encourage your satisfied customers to provide you with testimonials. Make sure that you include good reviews of your brand from buyers on your Facebook or any other social media page.
Similarly, the inclusion of trust signals like, any professional accreditation, can be an excellent way to increase online sales. It creates a more favourable perception of your brand in the mind of the buyer, and clear any doubts or hesitations.
- Use data about existing customers: One of the best ways to increase online sales is to target lookalike audiences on Facebook. They are those users on Facebook who share behaviours and characteristics with the customers who are on your database. You have to upload your data on Facebook which then cross-references its data to create matches based on your criteria.
- Call to action: Every page on your website should have a call to action (CTA) button. This will direct the visitor to your site to do something-contact you for more information or set up a discovery call. The target is to convert visitors into customers. Make sure that your CTA stands out, and the instructions are clear. An effective CTA can increase your sales, by bringing in lots of prospects.
- Email marketing touchpoints: Email marketing is an effective way to lead prospects to purchase your product or service. It involves collecting a potential buyer’s email with their permission and staying in touch with them. This can involve sending messages, newsletters, or other correspondence by automated emails. You can notify them of new products, or special discounts and sales promotions. Staying in touch will keep you at the top of the prospect’s mind when they will be looking to buy.
Focus on existing buyers
You should try to increase sales with current customers because they are your best bet to increase sales. They should be the focus of your marketing and sales efforts because they already use your products or services. These old customers trust you enough to have purchased from you; so, if you provide them high-quality service, they will be more likely to purchase from you again.
Conduct research on your current customer behaviour to find out how he uses your products or services. For example, your product might have a lot of features, but your buyer might be using only one or two of those. They might also be facing problems in implementing other parts. Through this insight, you can tailor them to your customer’s needs, albeit for a higher price.
Request customer feedback
Always ask for feedback from clients especially on what your offerings lack. Is there any specific problem that you could help them with?
Let us take an example of how to grow small business sales through this method. Suppose a business prints promotional brochures that customers mail out. A client might want to streamline the process, and could be interested in having the envelopes printed with the address, and to be mailed directly to his clients. So here is an opportunity for the printing company to provide a broader range of services and become even more essential to its current customer.
Address safety concerns
Small businesses should put in place new protocols that they are keeping all customers and employees safe. Let your customers know about these measures like extra cleaning or social distancing procedures.
Analyse your competitors
You should learn about competitors, research new techniques, and think of ways to out-perform them. If you exploit their weaknesses and play on your strengths, there is a chance to boost your sales.
Run sales and marketing promotions
Running promotions for customers is a great way to reward them for their business and loyalty. It should be run regularly, such as monthly or quarterly. Scheduling your promotions like this will make your regular buyers look forward to each one, and grow your sales.
Offer a money-back guarantee
Often one of the most important reasons for a consumer’s decision not to buy something is the desire to avoid a potential loss. So, overcome this risk aversion from the outset by offering a solid money-back guarantee.
How to grow a business?
The sales team in a small business is the best resource for growing the customer base and increasing sales. You can only grow organically if you can generate new business. Here are some practical tips to help your business grow:
Understand your customer’s needs
Know your customer’s needs and develop products or services that meet those needs. You can get insights into your customer’s mind by encouraging him to provide you with feedback, and by personalising your services.
Ensure great customer service
If you offer great service, your customers will remember you, and also refer more people.
Invest in networks
Attend networking events to build your networks. Remember, it is not what you know that matters, but who you know. Networking leads to customer referrals through word-of-mouth.
Host events to build relationships, and also to know your customers better. You can invite some of your valued customers along with their friends.
Build brand awareness
Giving back to your local community is a great way to build brand awareness. It can be participating in a community event or sponsorship. It will certainly raise your business profile.
Starting a small business is not about ideas, but making those ideas happen. A small business relies on increasing its sales to drive revenue and support a healthy cash flow. We sincerely hope that some of the awesome ways to boost sales that we have described above will certainly help you!