Hot articles selections Print

Hot articles selections

  1. 15 Ways to Increase Sales in Tough Times
  2. Boost Your Entrepreneur Profit Through Effective Steps
  3. The Entrepreneur Mindset
  4. Six Steps To More Loyal Customers 

 

15 Ways to Increase Sales in Tough Times

When the economy outlook is rough, consumer behavior most definitely changes. For businesses concerned about their bottom lines, dwindling sales can have far-reaching ramifications. However, businesspersons should not commit themselves to doom and gloom just because the economy is dragging. Here are some ways you can actually increase sales in a struggling economy.

1. Discounts – Straight discounts are fantastic when the economy is in a rough patch. For example, retailing institutions such as Wal-Mart typically see significant sales increases when the economy is in a down turn. This is because consumers are being significantly more judicious when it comes to purchases. The only way to take advantage of newfound consumer stinginess is to offer discounts on certain products.

2. Luxury and Necessity Good Placement – The first thing consumers in financially tough times will do is cut out luxury goods. If your business markets these types of goods, then this is definitely not welcome news. However, one way to work on increasing the sales of luxury items is to place them close to necessity items in the store. Many luxury items are impulse buys, so while customer’s may still be hesitant, they will at least see the products and be more inclined to decide to buy them.

3. Add More Workers – One of the biggest things to slow down sales during a busy time is to have too few people working. In tough economic times, it’s tempting to try to cut back hours and save money, but the money you’ll be losing will be more. Remember, though, if some in your workforce is not pulling his or her weight, don’t add someone new just to make up for it.

4. Special Promotional Offers – If people are being more judicious in their expenditures, then they want better deals. Special offers, such as “buy one, get one free,” can do wonders to draw consumer interest. Offering discounts for a certain purchases based on quantity or total cash spent is great for motivating consumers to make more purchases.

5. Giveaways – Everyone likes free stuff. While TINSTAAFL still applies, having a giveaway can do wonders to increase store numbers. If a business had a special giveaway regularly, then overall customer numbers would likely increase. Make sure that whatever you decide to give away will entice new customers to start make purchases.

6. Celebrity Endorsements – If your business has the ability to pay for Celebrity Endorsements, why not consider it? Local celebrities are still celebrities, so endorsements can be just as effective. Nothing can help increase brand awareness quite like the local college’s football coach, or everyone’s favorite public access TV star.

7. Local Commercials – If you can get local stars, then local commercials would be the natural progression of things. In all seriousness, local commercials can be a fantastic investment even for a large company, because of an excellent targeted consumer base. In a dragging economy, consumers become more demanding and want to know what you offer especially for them. Local commercials are a great way to get such a message out. Just make sure you don’t make an awful local commercial.

8. Make it a “Must Have” – If you find less of your product is flying off the shelves in a bear market, and then you need to make your product a “must have.” Companies like Apple Computer are still able to have solid sales in rough economic climates because their products have the “cool” factor. They become “must haves” because Apple is able to bridge the gap between needs and wants.

9. Longer Hours of Operation – When sales are in decline, one great way to rectify this is to lengthen the hours of operation. If you are open for longer hours, then you should see an increase in sales. It’s amazing how many businesses fail to take advantage of sales opportunities simply because of an adherence to hours.

10. Go Online – If you’re attempting to make sales, and you don’t have an online facet to your businesses, you’re missing out on great opportunities. Increase sales by making a web site. Giving consumers the ability to shop online can do wonders to increase sales. Make sure your web site is easy to use and customer-friendly. The more ways potential customers can access your products, the more opportunities there are to make a sale.

11. Go Green – Concern for the environment is at an all time high in this day and age. Businesses with social consciousness who are concerned about the future of the planet will definitely enjoy positive PR. So, if you are noticing that sales are taking a nosedive, it can be a fantastic idea to revitalize your business by going green. Believe it or not, investing in energy efficient lights, recycling, and fuel-efficient technologies can do wonders for your bottom line.

12. Go Global – If you need any proof that today’s business world is truly global, look no further than the stock markets. When one country’s market is in decline, other countries’ markets will soon follow. The best way to combat this is to make sure your invested in every market you can be. You can increase sales simply by widening your consumer base. That way, when tough economic times abound, you’ll have more customers in more places around the world, which leads to a greater chance to not have any sales declines.

13. Advertise Online – Having a web site is great, but actually advertising online coupled with having a web site is even better. Google AdWords is an excellent way to promote your web site and increase your sales with a positive ROI. Having an online presence can help, but it is much more helpful to be an industry leader when it comes to online enterprises.

14. Word of Mouth – Some of the most loyal customers come directly from word of mouth. The best way to generate word of mouth buzz is by having high quality service coupled with effective ad campaigns. Word of mouth is the trustworthiest type of advertising. Essentially, this means that your biggest sales increases will come if people decide to tell their friends and family about your business.

15. Relocate – Some areas are simply more economically sound than others. If you find that your sales are dwindling significantly, then it’s a good idea to consider relocation. Moving into a bigger market, or a less competitive market can do wonders for the bottom line of any business. Moving is not an admission of defeat, but rather, an affirmation of a willingness to have success, even if success comes at the cost of leaving one’s comfort zone.

Increasing sales is more difficult to do in a sluggish economy, but it is not impossible. These few ideas have the potential to do wonders for any sales numbers. However, it’s always important to realize when your product has reached it’s limitations. Remember, it’s never a bad idea to start thinking about different ways to generate revenue since sales can be quite variable.

GO BACK TO TOP

 

Boost Your Entrepreneur Profit through Effective Steps

A successful entrepreneurial business has many parts but it always begins with the understanding of why you do such work. Aside from that, as an entrepreneur you should also understand the people you serve, their struggles, and the difference that your business will bring to their lives.

You also have to reach your clients in such a way as to make them fervent to do business with someone like you. The most important thing is to be able to manage your energy so that you can do your work effectively and earn great profits.

If you want profit to consistently flow to your business venture, here are the necessary steps that you need to take:

• You have to make it clear to everybody what you're doing and why you are doing it. You should avoid mistakes as much as possible. Everything and everyone has a certain purpose. As an entrepreneur, you're considered a "unique" individual. If you can clarify this to yourself, you will feel a surge of energy and enthusiasm. These things can attract prospective clients. Everything you do now is like a magnet that attracts energy.

• The next thing that you have to do in order to earn great profits is to establish your market. You should have an exact target for your products or services. You have to study the qualities of your customers so that you can make your own product or service stand out from your competitors.

• You should make use of every marketing material that you have to craft a significant message to your customers. You have to communicate with them honestly and authentically. Everything you do should be rooted in truthfulness and reliability. By doing this, you will attract more clients. With your energy, people will be drawn to you.

• Some entrepreneurs fail because of doubt and fear. They hesitate to take some risks involved in the business. They doubt their abilities and skills. This is a barrier that you should be able to knock down otherwise clients will shy away from you.

• The next thing is to organize your schedules. Prioritize… your business obligations and responsibilities should be done at the right time and at the right order. You have to manage your time effectively. If you can develop and master this skill, it will mean more clients and definitely, more money.

• You have to have the right system for your business so that you can also have time away from work and be able to generate new ideas for other business ventures. You must have a system for your business operations, marketing, and offerings.

• Change is the only thing permanent in this world. You have to adjust your business ideas according to these changes. Try to see if the products or services you offer are still in demand.

• Some entrepreneurs live only for their business. They often forget about achieving the proper balance between personal and business life. You have to establish specific strategies so that you can enjoy your success in all aspects of your life.

By following these steps, you will surely have a more successful business life and you can expect more money to come your way. Being an entrepreneur will surely give you more money that what you've ever imagined. Do you want to become an entrepreneur? Don’t forget to follow these quick steps.

GO BACK TO TOP

The Entrepreneur Mindset

Entrepreneurs are simply businesspeople. Some people may think that it’s really easy to become an entrepreneur, but they are very wrong. You see, there’s more to just being called an entrepreneur. In fact, many studies are conducted by some experts to uncover the traits possessed by successful entrepreneurs.

What makes a successful entrepreneur? There are many factors that help in making an entrepreneur like qualities, education, skills, and many others. There is however one thing that you shouldn’t disregard if you want to become a victorious entrepreneur. Mindset plays a very important role in the success of businesspeople.

Without it, you will definitely find it hard to succeed in whichever business endeavor you take. To be one of the successful entrepreneurs, you must have the qualities needed to become one. You must know how to organize,

Entrepreneurs are often identified with how they look and think about things. According to many experts who studied various entrepreneurs, if you can think like an entrepreneur you have a high chance of succeeding in any form of business.

Successful entrepreneurs are positive thinkers. They always think that they can do everything. Confidence is one trait that you need to become an entrepreneur. You must have this trait as early as possible but don’t worry if you’re not that confident yet because you can still develop that just in time before you get involved in any business.

You must also be able to set your vision straight and look at certain situations differently. For ordinary individuals, problems are considered obstacles but for many entrepreneurs, these are challenges. Aside from being a positive thinker, you must have strong belief in your objectives. If you’re confident enough, you can think straight at all times and you can set achievable objectives.

The business process is full of risks and if you don’t have the qualities of an entrepreneur, you will easily give in to such problems and obstacles. Being a risk taker is a very good trait of an entrepreneur. They are not afraid to be outside the so-called safety zone. To succeed in any business undertaking, one must not be afraid of these risks.

However, you don’t take risks blindly; you must be able to calculate them. By properly calculating the risks, you can determine if the risks are worth taking or not. If you think that by taking the risk you will gain more for the business, don’t be afraid to accept it. If you don’t put one of your foot forward, your business will not go anywhere.

Everything does not end in thinking alone. If you simply think and think, you will not achieve anything. But if you think and act, you will certainly reach the peak of success. Action is truly needed to put all your thoughts to action. You must be able to come up with well-intentioned objectives and your actions should be focused.

Now you know that the mindset of the individual is very important in order to become one of the successful entrepreneurs. If you think that you don’t possess the proper mindset, you must learn to develop it as soon as possible especially if you want to handle a business in the future.

By exerting some effort to develop your mindset, you can succeed. Being an entrepreneur is not that hard especially if you possess the right qualities, skills, and most specially – the proper mindset.

GO BACK TO TOP

Smile  Six Steps to More Loyal Customers

By Remond Sandosam, Customer Service Guru

We all know it´s important to have loyal customers. But do you know how important it is? A study by Bain & Company suggests that a 5% increase in customer loyalty can improve profitability by anywhere from 25% to 95%. It shows us there are big opportunities available for owners and managers who are willing to do what it takes to increase customer loyalty.

The good news is, it´s not hard. And you can do it with the people and resources you have right now. It takes time, effort and patience to make it successful. But you can make a huge impact on your business.

Here´s what you need to do:

1. Ask your customers what they want.

This is different than what they expect. What customers expect is usually less (often a lot less) than what they want. But you need to know what they want.

What do they want in general? What are they trying to accomplish (or avoid)? Why did they choose you instead of your competition? What are their priorities and preferences?

Keep in mind different customers focus on different aspects of what your business does and how you do it. But if you speak with enough, you should see patterns and trends. You should develop some profiles of what various customers want.

Also look for how your customers want to be served. This will vary a lot and is harder to discover. Most people focus on what they want because it´s easier to talk about. But people like to be treated well. We all have different definitions of what being treated well means. You need to learn what it means to your customers.

2. Tell your customers what to expect.

Some companies try to be all things to all customers. They do too much and none of it well. Every company has a unique set of resources that gives it a competitive advantage. these are your company´s strengths. Learn what they are. Use them to determine what your company can do better than anyone else in your market.

Once you know what your company does best, compare that list with what your customers want. These two lists should overlap. (If they don´t, you have a problem!) Where they overlap is what your company should focus on. These are the things you need to do for your customers: the combination of what they want most and what you do best.

From this list you need to develop your message. You might call it a brand promise. You might call it your Customer Service Standards. What you call it is not as important as what you do with it. Use it to tell your story. It tells people why they should do business with you. and it helps them know what to expect when they do business with you.

Then make sure your customers, employees and management all understand your message. Do everything you can to share your message with these three groups. Post it in your store, on your web site, on your business cards, in your ads and anywhere else your employees, management and customers will see it. Get it noticed!

3. Create easy ways for your customers to offer feedback.

This is where many companies stumble. They focus so much on getting new orders and delivering the product or service, they forget what happens afterward. The only way you can consistently get better at what you do is with a steady flow of honest and direct feedback.

Find many ways for your customers to let you know what they think. Brainstorm with your employees. Make it a contest. Copy other businesses. Ask your customers. Do a Google search! Try different communication channels and keep trying until you find a bunch that deliver the amount of feedback you need (which is a lot).

Make sure this step is done by your employees. Don´t rely on outsiders (consultants, survey companies, etc.) to do this for you. They are your customers and you need to communicate with them directly. You´ll learn more from them this way and you´ll develop closer ties with your customers. You´ll also get another benefit. Customers love it when a company pays attention to them after the sale. They feel important because you´re asking them what they think.

Finally, make sure your customers know how they can contact you. Publish and promtoe the many ways customers can connect with you. Encourage them to reach out to you often.

4. Listen to what your customers say.

Many companies talk about customer feedback. Some do it well. Most don´t. Because they don´t work vary hard to hear what customers are saying about them. They might hear the obvious, like complaints and "thank yous" but nothing else. If you want to increase customer loyalty, you need to do better. You need to make a special effort to find out what customers are saying about your company, your products and your service.

This includes more than the feedback mechanisms you create (Step 3). It includes the many other ways people communicate about your company. The Internet is full of people´s comments about their customer experiences. Make sure you are mining this resource on a regular basis.

When you build trusting relationships with your customers and you open the lines of communication. You position your customers as partners. They can help you learn how to do a better job. But you need to communicate with them to make this happen. You need a steady flow of quality customer feedback.

Are you doing what you said you would? If not, what´s missing? Are they getting what they want? Is the message you´re sending the right one? If you have developed a brand promise, is it really what your customers want? And since things change, you need to stay abreast of changes in what your customers want.

Look for the Amazing Service Gap. This is the difference between what you promise your customers and what you´re actually delivering. Their feedback is how you know what your gap is. So listen for ideas on how to do better. Find ways to close the gap.

In addition to listening to your customers, you need to gather and store what they tell you. Most companies have plenty of contact with customers. But they never keep track of what their customers say. And if they do keep track, it´s often hard to access because it´s in a file drawer somewhere or buried in a database that nobody knows how to use.

Make sure the feedback you gather is stored in a way that people can get to. In fact, you should publish it. Make it available to everyone in your company. The more people who see it the more ideas you can generate to use it (Step 5). By having a lot of people look at it and talk about it, you´ll be able to see your customers more clearly.

Conduct regular and frequent meetings to talk about the feedback and draw conclusions about what it means. Look for trends and patterns. Also, look for what´s not there. Are there things you think are issues or concerns but that do not appear in any customer feedback? If so, what does that tell you? If it´s not important to your customers, should it be important to your company?

5. Act on what your customers tell you.

Information is no good if ignored. Beyond listening to your customers and considering what they say, you have to use it. This doesn´t mean you act on everything. Remember, Step 2, you can´t do everything everyone wants. So you need to pick and choose what feedback to act on. Focus on what will help your company do what you do best. Choose ideas that will help you close the gap (Step 4).

You might find feedback that takes your company in a different direction. Your brand promise (Step 2) might be missing the mark. Maybe you have a changing customer base or a changing market. If your feedback suggests this you need to consider how it affects your business. Then either act on it or make an informed decision to not act on it.

The bottom line in Step 5 is to do something with your customer feedback. It´s a gift from your customers so treat it as such. Make sure your thank every customer every time they offer feedback. And, let customers know what you do with the feedback. If they know it gets used they´re more likely to keep offering it. Help them get involved and stay involved as your partners.

6. Repeat.

Like the shampoo bottle says, "lather, rinse, repeat". But in this case you should be repeating forever. This is a never ending process of learning, sharing, and working together.

Managing your company is no different than practicing a sport or hobby. The more you do something, the better you get. And since people and situations change constantly, this process needs to keep repeating so you don´t miss these changes. Keep cycling through again and again. You´ll get better at knowing what your customers want and at giving it to them. Your customers will see you are truly focused on helping them get what they want. They´ll have little incentive to go elsewhere.

You´ll never please every customer every time. But if you follow these steps you´re much more likely to please most of them most of the time. That will keep your customers coming back again and again.

GO BACK TO TOP