Can you feel that we’re in the heart of the fall season? Recession or not businesses are serving clients and customers who are tending to the needs of this busy pre-holiday period.
So what can you do to benefit from this seasonal rise in business?
Keep it simple – that’s what you can do.
Once you have a viable business (a business able to satisfy a market demand/need) there are dozens of things you can do to increase sales. What makes the real difference is action and follow through.
Sometimes having “dozens of strategies” to implement can be overwhelming. Here are just three solid suggestions and strategies you can consider implementing to help increase your sales over the next few months.
1. Be Seen and Heard – Increase Promotion
You’ve spent the time identifying a product or service that the marketplace needs now to ensure that your market knows you exist! There are many affordable ways to promote your business and they include:
Joining forums, clubs and networking groups where members of your target market can be found.
For example: Let’s say you are selling a graffiti blackbook product for baby boomers (people 45 – 65 years old). This is one of the most social media savvy demographics so you know you’ll want to find them online in the social groups where they network.
Joining popular groups that serve your target market can provide you with the opportunities for free promotion and direct contact and dialogue with people in your target market.
Take out advertisements on high traffic websites in your target group.
For example, Kelly McCausey has a well-established and popular podcast called Work At Home Moms Talk Radio (www.wahmtalkradio.com).
Her weekly program targets moms who work at home while raising children. All kinds of small businesses target moms, from life coaches to children’s clothing sellers. This might be an ideal sight to reach your target market in a short period of time.
Pitch your “story” to your local media, online podcasts and blogs that reach your target market: You (your story) can be the most effective component of your promotional strategy.
Explain what makes your product or service unique and indispensable to your target market in a way that is compelling and you could get the kind of credible exposure that will reach thousands of individuals in your market without costing you a penny.
Write the “pitch” yourself or hire a ghost writer to do it and then send your story to your local media and to key bloggers and podcasters in your niche.
Get on Twitter and Facebook:
Twitter: The hottest micro-blogging platform today with millions of users checking in dozens of times per day is of course Twitter.
Get your profile established and start following people considered influencers and thought leaders in your target market. Then start following the people who seem to ask questions and respond to their comments.
By following this strategy you will start to receive in your Twitter stream important information affecting trends in your niche and you’ll start to learn more about the needs and interests of those in your target market.
Your final step is to engage those people you find interesting then continue to participate in discussions that highlight your knowledge and support for your niche and the individuals who care about the topic.
By engaging in this way you will yourself begin to create a following and that is a critical objective of Twitter. If people are not following you, no one is really listening to you.
Once you have a following paying attention to your comments you can begin to insert promotions about your Perth business IT services. But be careful not to saturate your stream with promotional links. If you do, you will quickly lose your followers and potential sales.
Facebook: Since there are over 500 million people on Facebook it makes huge sense to set up your free business page on Facebook.
Create a business or fan page on Facebook for your company and grow the audience of those who “like” your page by promoting your Facebook page on Twitter and on your business website. You can also include the address to your Facebook fan page on your business cards and in the signatures that you use in your emails, on forums and in discussion groups.
2. Offer discounts
One of the fastest ways to increase your customer base, especially if you’re a service based business, is to offer a limited time discount on your services. Tie in your discount promotion with seasonal highlights (e.g. Thanksgiving specials, pre-Christmas sales, etc.) and promote consistently.
You’ll be surprised at how many people respond at this time of year to discount promotions. The opportunity to save on a valued service or product is a very powerful message to customers – especially in this economy.
3. Communicate with your List
One of the things you’ll often hear from Internet marketers is that the “money is in the list.” This simply means that when you develop a strong relationship with your target market—one built on trust, service and fulfilled expectations—you will likely find that members of this list will purchase from you when you have products or services to sell.
Build your list by ensuring that you have a subscription or “opt-in forms” on every page of your website. Offer incentives for people to fill in this form and join your list. Incentives include valuable guides or informative newsletters or email updates.
Take the time to communicate with your list by sharing with them (via email) updates on information for which you have expertise and that they would find interesting and beneficial to their lives or businesses.
The three areas of focus mentioned above offer a great way to start positioning your business to increase sales for you during this busy and wonderful season.