Are you looking to boost your sales and profits?
I hope you are, because any business owner or entrepreneur who isn't looking to grow, will surely start to decline.
So, since you ARE ready to grow, here are seven easy ways to do so:
1. Find or build the right product or service
Without the right product or service, you're going to have a hard time growing your business. The right product or service serves the customer segment(s) you want, and solves a real need of theirs. Also, the size of the customer segment must be large enough to make your business profitable.
In addition, the ideal product or service is a consumable item that needs to be replaced on a regular basis, or a product or service that will have recurring sales. If you don't have a product or service with recurring sales, figure out how to create one.
By having a customer base that comes back to you over and over again, you can introduce related products, as satisfied customers will be open to recommendations.
If you don't have the resources to build a new product yourself, consider partnering with another business that already makes the product you want to sell. You can often get them to create a variation of their product and private label it as your own.
2. Learn to sell better
Having the right product or service doesn't help if no one is aware it exists. Someone once observed that a successful writer isn't labeled a best-writing author - he or she is called a best-selling author!
A marvelous product could collect on the shelves if not promoted or distributed. That's where selling comes in. The number one piece of advice for new business owners is, before you learn to build, learn to sell.
3. Improve your unique selling proposition (USP)
Having a strong unique selling proposition (USP) is one of the most important elements of your marketing plan. Your USP separates your product or service from your competitors. It makes your product or service a "unique, must have" item.
In fact, the USP of Domino's Pizza: "Fresh hot pizza delivered to your door in thirty minutes or less, guaranteed," has widely been credited as the reason for the company's success in a highly competitive and fairly commoditized business.
Ideally you can come up with a great USP for your company like Domino's did. But at the very least, you need to be able to clearly articulate reasons why customers should buy from you instead of your competitors.
4. Raise your prices
Entrepreneurs who start a business often think they should charge less, mistakenly assuming that customers will flock to them if they see a low price.
In fact, the opposite is more likely to be true; low price often denotes low quality. When you have a great product or service you'll discover that people will pay more for it and you will earn more. And if your profit margins are too low, that's another sign to increase your prices right away.
5. Do a better job of cross-selling and up-selling
It's said that McDonald's doubled its profits when its cashiers started asking "would you like fries with that?" This simple cross-sell request results in tons of new sales that the company otherwise wouldn't have generated.
Likewise, McDonalds added "would you like to supersize that?" later which is a classic up-sell. This too dramatically increased the company's sales and profits.
Importantly, when you cross-sell and up-sell, you are not only generating more revenues and profits for yourself, but you are better satisfying your customers.
For example, if you owned a hardware store and a customer was purchasing a hammer, you would be doing them a service to offer them the right nails for the job, and a better hammer, or an offer to buy a second hammer at a discount in case they ever lost the first one.
6. Establish yourself as an "authority"
Make sure everyone knows you as an authority and recognizes your expertise. We all know what a "xerox" is, right? In 1959, Xerox introduced its first plain paper photocopier; by 1961, the company had almost $50 million in revenue, by 1965 its revenues were $500 million, and the rest is history - revenues were $22 billion last year!
What was first a company name and then a trademark, in popular vernacular became a noun of common usage, although Xerox fought this use of its name. Do the same with your product. Make sure everyone has a mental picture of a great product or service when they say your company name.
7. Figure out how to gain economies of scale
The key to making a great profit is scale. If you can't produce and sell a product on scale, then you won't generate a lot of profit.
Some ideas may be moderately profitable on a small scale, but can you sell 1,000 units with the same precision and scalability as 10 units? The most important consideration when choosing a product for a business is scalability - the ability to replicate one sale with many sales.
If your current product or service isn't very scalable, figure out how to make it more scalable. Generally, by implementing the right systems, you can accomplish this.
Follow these 7 tips (and see many more here) to maximize your revenues and profits, and keep your business thriving!