100+ Tips and Ideas To Increase Sales For Your Small Business
As a small business owner, your growth and success are dependent on closing sales. This is irrespective of whether you run a brick-and-mortar enterprise in a small town or you provide digital services online.
The ‘slow but sure’ idiom is a piece of wisdom from the ancients. But as an upcoming entrepreneur, you don’t have the luxury of time. The competition in any market niche is becoming stiffer and stiffer every day. So waiting for customers to recognize and buy your products may only prove detrimental to your business despite your product or service quality.
“What then should I do to boost my sales?” I know you ask. Here are the 100+ tips and ideas that will help you leverage your sales for both current customers and prospects.
1. Identify Your Customer
A clear definition of your customer is one of the biggest strides toward blossoming sales results.
The following questions can help you to identify your target client. Who is most likely to purchase your product immediately? How much do they earn? Are they literate or illiterate? What are their ages and gender?
A customer avatar will help develop specific marketing tools!
2. Precisely define the problem
If you can distinctly identify the problems your customers have and develop solutions, you will be shocked at how much they are willing to pay. And the converse is also true.
Notably, digging out the problems may be tricky in cases where they are not obvious but it is even worse if the customer perceives the problem as non-existent. The latter will cause them not to buy your product that is intended to be an answer to their need.
3. Outline The Benefits
Every product or service you provide must have a substantial value attached to it. People do not necessarily buy a product because it looks good but they buy the benefits. Consequently, the sales you make will largely depend on how well you can point out the product or service benefits to your clients.
4. Enhance Your Competitive Advantage
Most probably you are not the only vendor selling that product or offering services. So why should your customers buy from you and not your competitor?
If you can provide benefits or advantages that your customers will not receive if they choose to buy the product from somewhere else, be ready for a sales burst. An advantage can be as simple as better customer care or as important as product quality.
5. Group Your Customers
It is a tragedy when you treat both regular and seasonal clients the same. There must be a clear-cut difference between the value you place on your everyday customer and any other buyer. Otherwise, customer loyalty will be unheard-of vocabulary in your business.
Something as simple as a warm greeting mentioning the name of your client is what may keep them coming back. You can also offer discounts to your regulars.
6. Come Up with A Reward Program for Your Customers
While customer reward programs are primarily associated with large and established businesses, it is not a forbidden practice for small enterprises. For your small business, it may entail budget-friendly things like offering limited discounts or gift cards to your regular customers on special occasions such as their birthdays and anniversary.
With the appropriate execution, such programs enhance customer loyalty which is key in increasing sales.
7. Inside Scoop for Your Clients
Are you having a promotion, clearance sale, or an organized event coming up? Let your repeat customers be the first to know. Explore any available channel to let this message reach them using either mail, call, or even social media platforms.
This informs your clients of your goodwill and who knows whether they will come back with friends who will also keep the cycle moving!
8. Have a good grasp of the basics
The basics of a business such as answering a call or sending emails should be at your fingertips. Always start by introducing your company, the one speaking and asking how you can help whenever you answer a phone. For emails, remember to include the business name and logo if available.
Remain polite in your tone no matter the attitude of the one on the end.
9. Set The Right Price for Your Product
Research on your competitors’ current pricing can help you determine a fair charge rate for your good or service. If you are going to sell a product at a higher cost, then this must be justified by unmatched premium quality to ensure customer satisfaction.
If customers are satisfied with your product quality and price, they are more likely to buy from you.
10. Try cold calling
As a small business owner with a new product, the real hurdle is in getting attention for your product in the flooded market. And the only way out may be cold calling which is often an uphill task.
Whether you do it over the phone, by email, or in person, it is a good way of developing prospects’ interest in that particular item. Sooner or later, they will be buyers.
11. Acquire the Necessary Negotiation Skills
The likelihood of success in selling your products at a fixed price like Amazon is low for a small business. It implies that frequently, customers would put up a bargain depending on their needs.
For you to settle on a favorable price for both parties, called a ‘win-win’ situation, you need proper negotiation techniques.
Some of the features of a good negotiator that will help increase sales include patience, the ability to pick out the buyer’s specific needs, and overall well-preparedness.
12. Give Free Samples
Before prospects decide on buying your product, they would like to receive the assurance that what they are about to spend on is worthwhile. That is why if you can afford free samples, distribute them randomly to your ideal customers for a tryout.
Great content will get the customers excited and expectant of the real deal which translates to better sales performance.
13. Research your potential competitors
A thorough analysis of your competitors including the quality of products they offer and their general performance helps you to identify their strengths and weaknesses.
Based on your findings, you can develop new techniques and ways of outdoing them. Outperforming your competitors pushes your sales to another level.
14. Focus on innovation and produce unique products
How do customers feel after purchasing your product or receiving your services? If a buyer can’t be fully satisfied with your product or does not see the difference between you and another seller, it is quite unlikely that they will come back.
With an innovative approach, you can produce unique and premium quality products or services that will make customers prefer your business to others.
15. Develop a culture of value in your business
Developing a value culture in your small enterprise will attract new prospects and also retain existing customers. The result is a broader customer base and more sales.
You can cultivate value by training your staff and also trading in genuine products with good value.
16. Employ a good customer service approach
Whenever a client needs attention from your business, they should get it without much struggle. Whether they are lodging a complaint or making an inquiry, they should be treated in a way that makes them feel appreciated and important to the existence of the business
17. Build authentic customer relations
The best prospects for your business are the existing customers. With a mind of boosting sales, you should therefore focus on retaining repeat clients and keeping them satisfied.
Strong customer relationships built on trust, genuineness, and respect will go a long way in retaining any customer who purchases your product or service.
18. Carry out promotions regularly
Promotion is one of the most effective ways of unveiling your product or services. Discounts, for instance, give the prospects an avenue to try your products and possibly become customers. Promotions also encourage customer consistency.
19. Prove your product’s credibility
Customers will feel more comfortable purchasing from you when they have proof of the credibility of your product or service. Advertisements and user testimonials are some of the ways to prove your credibility and win more clients.
20. Provide a customer feedback platform
Asking for customer feedback and implementing their views whenever necessary is key in increasing client satisfaction. You can also seek to help in more specific ways by providing tailor-made solutions if possible.
As this bolsters your customer relationship, it also gives you an avenue of expanding your business and being more relevant in the lives of your clients. The result will be a shoot-up in sales.
21. Study the behavior of repeat buyers
Having in-depth knowledge of how customers interact with your product saves you the pain of losing clients. If you discover that a majority prefer your product because of a particular feature, maximize this strength by making it even better. Also, check out for aspects they don’t like then do an upgrade.
22. Partner with other industry players
Did you know other businesses can be the source of your growth? Now consider it. At the very least, connection with other industry players will generate referrals for your business. You can also make partnership deals to provide unique packages that will attract more customers for both parties.
This is more effective when you team up with businesses in different niches within the same industry.
23. Create unique packages or bundles
If you are providing more than one service or product, you can bundle up the items into a unique package. This enables the customer to get rid of those things in the To-do list in a simple manner without as much as they would on individual products.
24. Appreciate your customers by sending them ‘Thank You cards
Demonstrating to your esteemed customers that you value them can be done in a way as simple as sending a ‘Thank You card after a given period of consistency in buying. With such a personal touch, the customers will find it easier for another and another purchase.
25. Find footing in a local newspaper
With unique services or products, you can easily find your way into the local newspaper. Just write a press release about the innovation or get in touch with a local journalist to ask if they would be interested in capturing it. Such exposure will greatly pay in terms of sales.
26. Develop a mini version
One of the ways of encouraging customers to purchase your product or use your service especially if it is new is by offering mini versions that cost less. A client will find it easy to part with a few tens of dollars or less compared to hundreds of dollars. If the quality is top-notch you will end up building long-lasting customer relationships that bring more sales.
27. Design unique business cards
Walking with your business to any place you visit is good. But it is more effective if the card design stands out. Anybody you hand a card will have it imprinted in their minds. The excellence you show in business card designing and printing can make people trust you more and consider hiring you. If you can’t do it perfectly by yourself, hire a professional.
28. Carry your business cards always
Don’t carry your business cards only when going for planned events or entrepreneur summits, walk with them always. Anyone you meet is a potential customer. Ensure the card contains all the important details such as name, address, and contact without forgetting the website or social media accounts.
29. Offer a limited product warranty
Whether it is a money-back or replacement guarantee, customers feel more comfortable purchasing from a store that provides a warranty as it is one of the assurances of quality. Though it may pose challenges, guarantee your products or services whenever necessary.
30. Open a Twitter business account
Among the social media platforms, Twitter is one of the most business-friendly. It allows you to give your brand a personal touch while establishing a wide online network. Just learn the basics of Twitter communication and push for your business to be on the safe side though.
31. Come up with Twitter lists
If you want to get the attention of influencers on Twitter, making a list is the way to go. They may list in return and this may act as the beginning of a long-lasting business relationship. In doing so, you put your brand name before great people.
32. Carry out blog adverts
If you want a quick rise in sales, utilizing the already-established blogs can be helpful. Determine the blogs your prospects are likely to visit and get in touch with the blog owner. For a small fee, you can get space for advertising your product or service on their site and boost your sales.
33. Adopt a blog writing style that encourages linking
Your blog should give as many as possible to interact with your business indirectly. If your posts naturally encourage readers to link them, more people will recommend your write-ups leading to increased web traffic and consequently more sales.
34. Maximize your email signature
Go beyond the norm by including your company slogan, social media account, and web links in your email signature to enable the readers to access any information they may need more easily.
35. Have the right answerphone message
Customers who are not aware of your opening hours are likely to call outside the office hours. But that should not make them helpless at all. With an appropriate answerphone message, you can politely redirect the caller to other avenues such as the company website for help.
36. Sponsor a competition locally
Frequently there are local competitions that run all year round. If you spot one that grows talent and encourages innovation in your field of specialty, consider sponsoring it. This way you advertise your brand putting it in the limelight of a wider market.
37. Get an editorial space in exchange for a small fee
If you can’t fully sponsor a competition but you can afford to offer something, give it away in exchange for a favor. For instance, magazines or newspapers can offer you free editorial space as a payback for your gift. Such an opportunity will give your business the exposure necessary to boost sales.
38. Make an e-brochure and upload it to your website
Brochures allow you to advertise yourself in depth and stir up prospects to consider your products or services. But the cost of designing and printing is high. So as a way of cutting expenses, create an e-version brochure, and avail it on your website for download.
39. Give away freebies
Freebies however small they may be can make a client happier and encourage the next sale. For example, if you added a sweet to every delivery made, you could end up retaining more clients and even attracting new ones.
40. Give expert advice on local papers
Newspapers and magazines always have a column or page dedicated to expert opinions. As an entrepreneur, you can get in touch with a local paper and offer to write for them. When this is published your name goes to the public creating a ripple effect for your business.
41. Come up with a business referral program.
Associates and suppliers you work with form a very good referral system. Leveraging this by creating a program that rewards any referral is healthy for your business growth. The reward can be discounting their next project by a particular amount or even offering a shopping voucher.
42. Make your website more interactive
Despite the quality of the content you put up on your site, customers will be frustrated if they can’t find a communication avenue that allows their needs to be met. Therefore, adding features such as ‘live chat’ and instant messaging options to your site make it more interactive increasing customer engagement and thus more sales.
43. Do mobile advertising
Besides your car carrying you around, it can perform another task that will put your business in focus: mobile advertising. Design a creative sticker and have it on the car. As you move around, let the message reach more. Captivating things like promotion codes can make the mobile adverts even more effective.
44. Participate in charity actions
Depending on what you deal in, give your products or services to an ongoing charity auction. Such platforms allow you to make new networks and meet potential clients thereby improving your business profile.
45. Teach others depending on your expertise
Enlightening others through workshops or talks is one of the best ways of giving back to the community. As you impact others’ lives through such sessions, they may turn into your customers for life.
46. Do guest blogging
Perform online research and pick out the communities that attract great traffic. Make an offer to contribute to such platforms by writing articles. As you optimize your web SEO this way, you also reach a wider audience for your product or service.
47. Comment on relevant blogs as frequently as possible.
Writing well-thought comments on a blog can be the tool that drives people to your website weeks later. Even in commenting, stand out!
48 Make the most of forums within your business niche
Irrespective of your field, there are several forums that you can join even at a small fee and start contributing. As you focus on helping people, you are likely to attract more new customers. Remember to include web links and slogans to forum signatures.
49. Optimize your SEO
SEO optimization allows users to find your business online whenever they perform a search. For better results, you can hire an expert to get who will help your site rank higher leading to more engagement with prospects.
50. Create a Facebook business page
Facebook is another social media platform you can utilize to expand your business walls and increase sales. However, it is more consumer-focused. Subsequently, your posts need to be quite interesting with no aspect of spamming or self-broadcast. Otherwise, you might lose followers.
Facebook allows you to boost your posts with a focus on reaching particular groups of people.
51. Advertise on Facebook
Facebook advertising enables you to reach a specific audience. You can select the demographic factors such as location, age, and gender of those you want to reach. With Facebook advertising metrics, one can also monitor performance and know what exactly works and what does not to help you plan appropriately for next time.
52. Create a blog
Many businesses utilize blogs as an extension of their digital marketing strategy to optimize SEO and incorporate every possible keyword. But this is not the only role of a blog in boosting sales, you can also take advantage of the platform and show forth your expertise. Consistent quality content will build trust with the audience who can easily turn into customers.
53. Consider hosting webinars regularly
Webinars are a great way of showing off your expertise while interacting with a wider audience. Converting the viewers into paying clients using such a platform is quite easy as they already have proof of your ability to deliver.
54. Employ a brand personality approach on social media platforms
A company or brand logo provides credibility to a brand to some extent. But on social media, people always want to engage an individual and not the brand per se. Therefore, instead of shouting about your business constantly by uploading business photos only, take some still photos of the real you and post them. This way you add personality to your accounts keeping it real.
55. Never forget to include an ‘About’ section on your website
Before clients make up their minds to hire you, they want to ascertain who they are dealing with. Describing your experience, skills, and business values, among other things helps build trust with prospects.
56. Fill the gaps in the market
Research and find out the gaps in the market that could benefit from your business. If you can modify your product or service to meet the need, take the challenge, and let people’s problems be solved. You will stand out this way and attract more customers.
57. Attend specific networking events
Pick specific networking events that you deem could be helpful to your business and register to attend. Always carry a good number of business cards and be ready to learn when going to such meetings.
58. Learn to nurture leads
Did you meet someone at the conference who promised to make an order? Follow that lead and perform all that you can to turn it into a sale. Don’t fear to call or email individuals.
59. Impact other individuals or businesses with your expertise
The experience you have gathered along the way is enough to help another business succeed. Publishing articles on your website as a giveaway of your expertise can create more connections for your business.
60. Enroll in award competitions
Winning trophies and displaying them in your office or website further increases your credibility. Besides, it gives your enterprise significant publicity for free. So why not enter as many awards as possible?
61. Establish yourself as a credible expert spokesperson in your niche
Expert opinion is key in adding authenticity to any content. As an established expert spokesperson, journalists will need your input before they publish content related to your industry.
But the journalists may not come to seek you from the word go, so pick up the phone and reach out to the local TV or radio nation and newspaper. Inform them of your expertise and your availability.
62. Give ceremony awards sponsorship a try
Sponsoring an awards ceremony is often quite expensive that’s why it is frequently carried out by large companies. But your enterprise does not need to be worth millions of dollars for you to undertake this exercise. There are affordable award ceremonies that even your small business can manage. So go out there and seek for those budget-friendly ceremonies within your niche and sponsor one. The results are worth your investment.
63. Offer additional free tools
Offer free tools that can be used by both customers and non-customers without putting the business at risk. For instance, if you provide SEO services, you can create an analytics tool and put it on your website for free use by anyone. Such offers attract more traffic that can be turned into leads and finally sales.
64. Do not be distracted by competition
Awareness of your competitor’s strategies is important in keeping the business ahead of the rest. But going to the extreme of copying their schemes to equal them can be the cause of your downfall. Not everything they do is right. Keep track and focus on innovative ways to outdo the competitors.
65. Keep up with technology and acquire a QR code for your business
With the outburst of smartphone use, QR which stands for Quick Response code has become the talk of the day. Individuals only need to scan the code with their mobile devices to gain access to your website. Place the code on all your marketing leaflets and let customers have a view of the business within seconds. The less time a customer spends trying to reach you, the higher the chances of closing a sale.
66. Seek the help of influencers
In almost every field, there are powerful people that command a great following. Getting in touch with such people to help you promote your product can be quite rewarding. Offer to give them free samples and they will take your service out to the market. If you can find an influential blogger, for instance, ask them to do a review for your product and publish it.
67. Tag influencers in your blogs or social media posts
Whether a company or an individual, mentioning names in blog posts and social media comments pays if it is positive. The influencer can mention you on their site or post as a return favor and put your business in the limelight. Backlinking articles can attract traffic to your site.
68. Come up with a business newsletter
Creating e-newsletters regularly and distributing them to your existing customers helps keep the clients updated and encourages more purchases without many expenses. The newsletter should contain updates on offers, new arrivals, something interesting related to business, and many more. Only send the newsletters following consent either directly or indirectly.
69. Publish a free ebook
A free e-book with valuable content will get viral shortly after the launch. And what could be a better digital marketing strategy? You get together unique tips and tricks you have acquired throughout your business career and release it to the public for free. It is almost guaranteed that individuals will find your book useful and continue spreading the message. In a short while, you will be the talk of the web.
70. Put a ‘Call to Action on your website
Prompts that encourage page visitors to take action increase the chance of making a sale online as opposed to when a client has to keep scrolling pages to get direction.
71. Redesign your website
Having a static web design may be the reason you lose every lead. If your website is no longer delivering as expected, consider using a new dynamic design that will give a perfect first impression and help nurture leads into sales.
72. Make your 404 page as funny as possible
404 pages can be quite annoying but creating one with funny content changes the whole story. Page visitors will be talking about it and sharing it widely. It finally goes viral and your content receives a bigger audience which can be nurtured into sales.
73. Invest in paid search
When every aspect of the business including your website is new, some marketing strategies like SEO optimization may not be effective. Giving Paid Search avenues such as Google AdWords a try may result in a sales boost. Notably, such undertakings are always quite costly making them non-sustainable long-term wise.
74. Create high-quality multimedia content
Currently, most individuals prefer listening to videos as they are more engaging and less time-consuming compared to reading written content. So why not keep it short and captivating with ‘how to’ videos showing your team and offices?
With such real content, you gain more trust, and the likelihood of being considered increases.
75. Go to conferences and seminars
Despite the business niche, there is always a chunk of events going on that you can plug into. Make it a habit of going to conferences, talks, and seminars that can steer your enterprise to the next level regularly. And on such occasions, always be armed with a ton of business cards.
76. Publish on controversial topics in the industry
Dare to take the risk and write on those issues that may seem controversial in your niche giving your opinions. It is the best way to spark reactions from various sectors and before you know it, people will be flocking to your site for more. Such traffic can be targeted for conversion.
77. Get on the podcast bandwagon
The initial investment cost of starting a podcast cannot be compared to the results you will obtain. So buy a good microphone together with a sound editor kit and you will be good to go. Publish and promote your recordings on the relevant platforms.
78. Link up all your social media accounts and website
Links to your social media pages and accounts should be embedded in your website and vice versa. This makes it easier for web page visitors to follow you on social media with a single click. Including these links on other marketing materials, such as business cards is also important.
79. Support charity work
Participating in charitable activities is a way of giving back to society. But doing unique things such as donating wheelchairs to the disabled can attract the media attention too and your efforts may be paid by more people hiring you or buying your products.
80. Print and distribute calendars.
This is a good strategy to implement especially at the beginning of the year. Design a calendar with your company name and the products or services you offer then send it to the existing customers. When they pin it up in their homes or businesses, it is your company being advertised!
81. Explore traditional mailing method
Do you remember how the traditional mail system works? You could return from work, open the door, and find a letter waiting for you. Though it may seem outdated, it is not obsolete. Beginning a mail-drop campaign in which you send postcards to your known customers or slide marketing leaflets under the doors can help make a good name and increase sales.
82. Send a Clear Sales Message
As you let prospects know about your new product, the sales message should be precise and accurate. Have one or two major benefits of the product in your advert headline. If the product has various advantages for different groups, you need to create several sales messages with each group in mind.
Communicate how exactly the product will help the buyer.
83. Take advantage of the community boards
A more affordable way of advertising your business is using the common community corkboards. Once you receive permission, pin the posters or fliers and let them invite customers to your desk.
84 Make good use of family and friends in marketing
Let your family members and friends be your first brand ambassadors. You can give them business cards to distribute on your behalf or print them t-shirts which eases their work in taking your business out there.
85. Create a campaign geared to make a change within your industry
If a practice or anything is bothering you in your field, it is not too late to lobby for change. Launch an awareness campaign enlightening people on how best to handle the matter. Offering help from your own business, involving the local media, or calling for a press release are some of the ways to get your stand known. If the campaign is purely out of goodwill, it is highly likely to spark an interest in you and your business creating room for more customers.
86. Purchase marketing lists from reputable companies
Several companies sell lists of prospects that you can target with electronic media campaigns. Consider such an option and reach more people. Who knows if the whole list can turn into paying customers?
87. Consider branded uniforms
Branded t-shirts, caps, or wristbands are some of the ways to self-advertise a business. Include company name, and essential contact information without compromising the looks. Wear them yourself or get staff to put them on too.
88. Advertise on established e-magazines
Most companies that send e-magazines or newsletters to their subscribers have advertising opportunities. If the subscribers are potential customers, utilize this targeted marketing strategy to attract new clients.
89. Plan for a networking event
If you struggle to find a relevant networking group that you can join, there is no harm in initiating the campaign. It gives you the added advantage of planning it according to your desire. Others have tried it and yes, it works!
90. Focus on improving your online reputation
Public relations in the digital world relies on how well one can monitor and improve their reputation. Follow comments on the various platforms about your business and make clarifications where necessary. This way, you ensure no misleading information is propagated and remains in the good books of your followers.
91. Promote environmental conservation
With the visible effects of global warming, the concern of every individual is how to make the Earth a better planet. And going green despite your niche will create a mark for your business in the hearts of many. Participating in environmental conservation projects will demonstrate to many that you’re responsible enough to engage in corporate social duties.
92. Book space at a show
Do you have something worth displaying at a show? Focus not on the cost and book a stand now. Attracting individuals from all walks of life, such events are rare marketing opportunities that can introduce your business to the market with a bang.
Only ensure everything is top-rate from decoration to communication and preparedness
93. Represent your brand at all times
You are the image of your brand and anytime you are out, be conscious of this fact. Anything you do will be treated as it is the brand that did it. So keep your company values.
How To Increase Sales Using Google My Business Listing
Optimized GMB profile will make customers choose your business over competitors and if you want to boost your sales starting now, here is how to go about it:
94. Create a Google Business Account
As a free listing, your business will appear in local search results thereby broadening your audience and encouraging engagement. The bottom line is the increased chances of closing a sale.
95. Fill out every GMB section
Google says that businesses with 100 percent complete profiles on GMB have twice the chance of making a sale compared to those with the only name, address, and website sections filled. The more complete your profile is, the higher the search results ranking which translates to a higher chance of increasing sales.
96. Encourage users to do reviews on Google
Every time you close a sale via Google My Business, ask the customer to spare a few minutes and post a review. Prospects are more likely to rely on what other customers said before deciding to purchase a product. Positive Google reviews plus higher star rating increases prospects’ confidence and trust in your business and finally sales.
97. Ask and answer questions in the Q&A section of GMB
Anyone can ask or answer questions about a business via the Q&A section of GMB. The likelihood of providing misleading information is high. To avoid such instances, preemptively ask and give precise answers about your own business. When you eliminate uncertainties, you increase the probability of making sales.
98. Regularly upload videos and photos to your listing
Visuals are attention grabbers and the first impressions any business can have online. They determine whether a person will consider your business or not. So take your time and create unique visual content for your GMB listing to give the customers a feel of what you can deliver. You can also include pictures taken by your customers.
99. Enable messaging
The messaging button on Google My Business is a function that conveniently allows your profile viewers to reach you on your smartphone. This enhances customer engagement leading to higher sales.
100. Select the right primary and secondary categories for your business.
The majority ( 84%) of Google searches are discovery searches which depend on GMB category description for local results. Being specific in your business category, therefore, enhances your chances of being found out and receiving more customers.
101. Add posts to your profile regularly
Google My Business allows you to make posts as you would on social media platforms. You can add events, offers, promotions, or new products to your profile thereby improving your performance on search queries.
102. Provide on-point contact information
Ensure the business name and address you provide on your profile are identical to the one you use in your physical store and all through the web. If you use “Limited” on your website, don’t interchange it with “Ltd” on the GMB profile. Google checks on consistency to assess business credibility and rank your profile.