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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

6 Ways To Increase Sales When Running A Small Business

Every business, no matter how successful, will at some point ask themselves the question, "How do we increase sales?". It's fundamental to business, and vital to understand. Depending on the industry, companies might have different answers to this question, however there are a few core principles that will always work no matter what kind of business you're in.

1. Cut Prices

This might seem counter-intuitive, but increasing sales often requires cutting prices. A lot of times, the reason you are not getting the business is because your prices are too high, or your competitors have undercut you. Lowering price strategically, and measuring the results, can open your eyes to where you might be overpriced in the marketplace. You don't necessarily have to lower price across the board, or even lower your stated price. You can do this through discount codes and coupons. Everyone likes a deal.

2. Offer Extras

Just as everyone likes a deal, everyone likes something extra. Every time I go to my local donut shop, they always though in a donut or two that I didn't order. Nice! Find something that doesn't cost you a lot to give away, and throw it in. Even more than a deal, everyone likes something for free.

3. Integrate

Does it make sense to use your product in conjunction with someone else's product? Do your customers routinely do this? If so, make it extremely easy for them. As much as you can, tie your products in with the broader marketplace. If you make something easy for your customers, they will love you, and send others to you.

4. Raise Prices

Yes, I know I just said lower prices, but raising them is also a valid strategy. Find out what products your customers compare to your competitors. Keep those prices low. Then, raise prices slowly on everything else. You have to be careful when doing this, as there is certainly a point of diminishing returns, but it could be the sales boost you've been looking for.

5. Tap New Markets

Does your product or service have some use beyond your traditional market? I bet it does. Why not put a little effort or investment in expanding into a new market? Those are new customers, with money, just like your current ones. Don't be afraid to expand, where it makes sense.

6. Inspire Sharing

How can you facilitate your customers talking to other potential customers about you? If you can answer that question, you have marketing in the bag. Social media is one way, but a lot of companies waste a lot of time doing it wrong. Find out what works for your customer base. Help them share, and encourage the sharing. They are your best advertisement.

Michael writes about business, marketing, entrepreneurship, and success, while providing resources to help others grow and learn. He recommends checking out Dream Activated when looking to start or grow a business. They have exceptional resources for small business funding, legal, and tax concerns.

By Michael Bunch

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