Trying to increase your revenue? There are so many ways that you can do it, and one awesome route is to create multiple streams of income and grow your sales.
Basically, there are short-term and long-term ways to increase revenue. For the long term, you need to develop new products and enter new markets to widen your reach. In the short term, you need to focus on marketing activities and ideas that can bump up your sales right now. Both are key to continued business growth!
We all know that business is not a science, but an art, so I thought we’d explore seven “arts” for increasing revenue that you might want to add to your palette.
The art of a new line
Your loyal customers will always be looking to try something new! A new line extension doesn’t have to be something completely new – by its very name, it’s an extension of something that’s already working for you! Consider adding in new colors, like the Pantone Color of the Year to freshen up your fashion line. Add a touch of “immediacy” with a limited edition line. It’s ironic, but you CAN make more with less. Or, hook them with the concept of “scarcity.” Limited editions will entice your loyal fans to wait for the release and snap it up before it disappears! Add a hot new ingredient, like organic shea butter, to your skin care line. Or create variations of your product to appeal to those with different skin types, like sensitive or dry. If you’re a food purveyor, add a line of gluten-free treats to your offerings.
The art of loyal customers
Above we mentioned limited editions. What a great way to reward your loyal customers, by putting them first in line! Other ideas are to start an “of the month” club filled with regular goodies that your members will get in the mail. Consider an auto-renewal option so that customers don’t even have to think twice about getting regular stock of their fave skincare staples or seasonal candles. And, consider implementing a membership or loyalty program. Everyone loves to “belong” and get special deals like free shipping, advance notice of sales or buy one/get one free promotions.
The art of suggestion
People love suggestions! Review purchases and see if you can recommend something complementary. Send them an email with some similar suggestions. We all know how good Amazon is with “customers who bought this, also bought this.” Go ahead and admit that always intrigues you…and borrow their idea! Group and package items by theme, season, color, holiday or event as even more suggestions.
The art of social media
Many of my clients with Etsy stores still aren’t really utilizing the power of Pinterest to drive traffic and sales back to their site. Or, they don’t know how to create a marketing strategy that will drive traffic back to their site from Facebook; or even how to make sure their posts get seen by their fans with the new news feed changes. They come to me after spending way too much money and time getting likes without sales. Social media is a fantastic way to steer traffic to your site, but you need to know how each platform works to make social media increase your business.
The art of follow up
I love it when a company takes the time to respond to my emails or my posts. That’s customized follow up that counts! And when they send me a survey after I make a purchase, I get the sense that they care about my feedback. You can do it too! Some say 50 percent of sales success is in the follow-up, but I think that because of all the noise online, it’s probably closer to 70 to 90 percent. Why? Because every time you reach out, you are contributing to the “know, like and trust factor” which is the reason people choose you to do business with!
The art of optimization
I can’t repeat this often enough! You have to be able to be found! Optimize your online presence with keywords and simple SEO tips. Use a keyword finder. I have my favorite and you can also use the Google Keyword Research tool to find the words that your customers are searching for. I know entrepreneurs who have made even simple tweaks to their Etsy site after a training with me that have helped increase sales of their products and services. One small business owner recently told me that after one of my webinars, she was able to move certain products in her online store that had been languishing. Optimization is crucial!
The art of reviews
Don’t be afraid to ask for reviews; they are a must-have! Research I saw recently revealed that eight out of 10 customers will not hire a service or buy a product without checking online reviews, and 79 percent trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. How do you go about getting these reviews? The best way is to ask! You’d be surprised how obliging customers will be to leave a review if you just ask. And don’t worry too much about negative reviews – believe it or not, they make your business look more trustworthy and reinforce that the reviews are actually being provided by real people – not you, or a spambot!
Even though you might be a small business, study what the big brands do – like Amazon, Sephora, Zappos and Sundance – and emulate what makes sense to grow your own business.
Whether a certain dollar amount will earn customers free shipping, or you offer awesome samples tucked in a box, points toward a loyalty program, or a birthday bonus coupon or gift, make your focus to grow your business by cultivating repeat customers and brand ambassadors!