The heart of every business is the passion that drives you to deliver a good service or product to happy customers, but of course, none of this would be possible without earning some profit. It’s important to make sure that whilst you’re fighting for your brand, you’re making money in the process so that your business can develop and grow. And the more profit you make, the quicker your business can expand and grow. That’s why we’ve put together this list of 4 easy things you can to do to make sure you’re not missing out on some profit, which could turn out to be the make or break of your business.
Don’t Just Draw in Customers – Keep Them Coming Back
Strategies to pull in customers and persuade them to buy your product or service are great; that is, unless you don’t encourage them to come back to you. Although the pool of customers seems large at first, working your way through them without encouraging them to come back will start to run your options dry. Returning customers will keep your business moving forward, even when times seem slow. Not only are they necessary for a business to keep moving, but they can increase your profit per person than if you were to solely focus on new customers. Returning customers tend to spend more than new customers, and more frequently, too – meaning you’ll find yourself earning a lot more if you can encourage them to come back. So, how do you do this?
The most important way to keep customers coming back is to provide excellent customer service. How a customer is treated by staff and your business can improve or damage the way they view your business and thus affects the likelihood of them coming back for more. Some examples of excellent customer service include:
- Making sure the product or service is targeted towards the individual before sending out
- Asking for feedback on products
- Having a clear replacement or refund scheme in place, as well as 24/7 contact lines which make this an easy process
- Clear communications between you and the customer, so they are aware of where their package or service is and when it will arrive
- Sending out a thank you email or note for purchasing
Offering customers discounts or offers for purchases also means they are more likely to return.
Advertise – But Do It Right
Advertising can be a great way to gain new business, but it can also be a waste of money if not done properly. Before you do any advertising, it’s important to do some market research and figure out what sort of advertising you need to put out as well as the best way to make sure you’re reaching as many potential consumers as possible. Researching similar companies and how they advertise, what sort of audience they target their product towards, and how they target their advertisements are some important things to find out so you can create your own plan for advertising. Once you’ve got a good idea of the audience you’re aiming towards, the types of design that will appeal most, and good techniques for drawing customers in, testing the waters in various areas of advertisement will allow you to choose the best path for you.
Try various forms of social media, emails, websites, even in person advertisements, and ask customers how they discovered your company. This will give you an idea of where you want to focus your efforts – for example, you may find advertising on Instagram more successful than advertising on a website, and so you can put more resources into Instagram to make sure you get the most for your money.
Reconsider How You Carry Out Transactions
This does include online, but mostly for in-person sales, as there’s one fatal mistake a business can make – only taking cash. This is a common fatality that many small businesses make when they start out, but nowadays, using a card is the most common way to pay. Not including card transactions can be a serious problem, as you’re excluding a large audience who don’t carry cash on them, or prefer to pay by card.
It’s also important to look at how you are carrying out transactions still, card or otherwise. Often, many people have a card reader that is unreliable or isn’t supplied by large, trustworthy companies that can often come to damage their prospects later on. Companies like UTP offer this connection with larger companies, being one of just two merchants that work with Barclay Card. The best bit, however, is their fast processing times (it’s Faster Processing product), meaning you don’t have to wait days for your money to be in the bank account – in fact, it can take as little as one hour. This means you can speed up your business and improve its efficiency, and as such massively improve cash flow, leading to you generating more sales and thus more money. UTP’s website, utpgroup.co.uk has plenty of information on card machines, as well as much more (including their super reliable in-country tech support). No more waiting around!
Monitor Your Sales
There are several benefits of monitoring your sales. Firstly, monitoring your sales whilst they go through keeps your business efficient and organised, meaning less time can be spent sifting through data, and more time can be spent making money! The most important thing you can achieve by monitoring your sales, however, is filtering your products or services to find the best-selling or most successful.
For example, if you track how many products you sell, you can learn which are selling best, and which are selling worst. This allows you to discount products that are selling well, and hope to achieve spread by word of mouth (as well as encourage a wave of sales), or display these items on your home page or somewhere clear for customers. Those that are less successful can be reduced, meaning you still make some profit on them rather than no profit, or these items can be removed from the line in place of better, more successful items, so you are not wasting money on producing and stocking these items.
Monitoring your sales also gives you an idea of how your business is growing. Are your sales increasing, decreasing, at a standstill? What could you change or add to your product line to encourage sales to rise? Is there a particular area of your business that sells particularly well, and may be worth focusing more energy on? There is plenty to find out from recording and storing data on sales made, not only in how you can influence buyers now, but how you can plan and develop for the future of your business, too. Keep this data on hand, and review it every once in a while, to create new plans for the future.
It’s important to make sure your business is growing rather than dying – but with these tips, you should be well on your way to making sure your business ends up with the big shots rather than down in the ground. Growing a business takes a lot of time, but it’s worth the planning, preparation, and attention to detail to get where you want to be and make the profit needed to move forward.