Four Web Tip Breakout Ideas for Small Businesses
Many small businesses reach a plateau much as humans reach a mid-life crisis. This is primarily due to limited new business ideas, which in itself is due to limited expansion and marketing funds. The proprietors are busy working hard to sustain the business doing what they have always done because it has worked so far, but this approach often means the business acquires and retains a certain customer base and sales volume and then “hits a wall”.
Small business, must constantly adapt to changing market conditions, new business tools, and new sales opportunities to continue to grow and prosper. As a small business owner, you must have one eye on routine operational tasks and one eye scanning the horizon for new opportunities. Here are five Web Tip ideas on how to help your small business break out of the comfortable routine that has developed over time.
Web Tip No. 1 – Use the Internet and your Website to Drive Sales
Make sure your website represents you. If you are reading this article, you are no doubt aware that that the internet has more to offer than videos of silly people doing silly things.
Many small businesses limit their sales reach and distribution to on-site, over-the-counter sales, but e-Commerce can enhance your market reach, customer base and sales volume. Rather than the just the standard brick-and-mortar sales front, consider also selling from an e-Commerce website. Make your customers aware of new services and allow them to order or book online. Retail stores can even accept orders for cash pick up in the store or deliver products to customers that cannot get to your store. A car repair firm can book oil changes online or sell tires; a dentist can expose clients to new services. The list is endless.
Web Tip No. 2 – Add Complementary Products and Services
A great way to increase sales and bring new customers to your sales base is adding new complementary products and services. A great beginning for this process is by re-access your business. For example, if you sell house siding, ask yourself, are you in the siding business or the exterior building materials business? The result may be that you redefine your business and add gutters and downspouts, roofing and other coverings to your product line. This line of thinking can apply to small business as diverse as a retail t-shirt shop to a dental office to a car repair shop or an accounting service. Carry out this process every two years.
Web Tip No. 3 – Find Out What Your Customers Want
If you have a website, you have an instant polling station available to you. Because you have existing customers, you can put a questionnaire online asking your customers what service or products they think you should provide or carry. This can be particularly important for seasonal trend decisions. Corporations pay many thousands of dollars to buy “data mining information” from companied that specialise in polling people and selling the results.
An easy way to build a list of new products or services is to ask your customers what else they might buy from you if your business sold it. A few friendly conversations with customers and staff will likely get you more information than thousands of dollars spent on professional customer surveys. Be sure to ask how much they would want to buy and how often to get a sense of whether the demand would be great enough to warrant the additional costs of building up this area of your business.
If you have a website, you can get this advice direct from your existing customers.
Web Tip No. 4 – Align Your Products and Services with Popular Values and Trends
You may be able to align your company brand, products and services with local festivals, sports teams, known tourism sites, etc., to piggyback on their advertising, promotions and branding. Your business may also benefit from an association with popular commonly held themes such as an environmentally oriented program. This type of branding can enhance the reputation and credibility of your firm in your region and increase your sales. Initiate this process on your website in a blog.
There are many ways to position a small business for a breakout to the next level of sales growth and profitability. It takes owner interest, awareness and creativity. It also tends to be the fun part of the business as well as its best chance for continued growth and success. In the business world, the only constant is change. I hope Make it happen!