COVID19 has caused many enterprises to lose up to 30% of their income. How can they negate this loss and increase their revenue?
All companies need sales. Without sales, there is no future for a business. They need to cut costs, increase profits, and improve their bottom lines.
Here are some ideas on how to increase sales and cut costs.
Expand your market
• Offer new services or goods that complement your current offerings e.g. a gardening service can offer pool care.
• Enter into partnerships with companies offering complementary products e.g. an advertising agency offering traditional advertising enters into a partnership with a digital agency.
• Review what your competitors are offering. If someone, even a competitor, has an “extra” that appeals to customers, copy it.
• Brainstorm and look for new opportunities
Sharpen your pricing
• Check your pricing is in line with what your competitors are charging. Make sure you are not overcharging and losing business.
• Find a way to differentiate your product from the rest.
• Offer specials – bundle products, institute discounts or offer giveaways
• If this applies to your business, try to institute a retainer or subscription-based programme so there is a monthly source of income.
Stay visible and connected
• In times of crisis the first thing a business will cut is marketing spend. It is imperative to stay connected and visible.
• Your business needs a constant presence through online networks including your website, social media and a blog to connect with clients and to form strategic alliances.
• Develop an online marketing program to communicate with old customers and prospects, and contact them on a regular basis about your company and your products.
• Keep customers loyal to your brand and increasingly engaged by implementing a customer loyalty programme.
• The use of Google advertising is a powerful way to gain new business. Google is able to position your ads in front of the right customers.
• Ask your old customers for referrals and written references. This can be added to your digital marketing campaign
• Use advertisement sharing with complementary businesses, find ways to leverage referral selling.
Rejuvenate the sales channel
• Renew the sales material – brochures, branding items, POS etc
• Make every employee a salesperson – everyone needs to pitch in to help by cutting costs, selling, networking on the web, marketing, and more.
• Upskill your employees with training programmes.
• Incentivise salespeople to sell. Offer them a reward.
• Take care of old frequent customers. Renew those relationships with a special offer or a loyalty programme.
• Use technology. From teleconference services and online payment services to open-source software and remote desktop applications, there are many ways you can reduce business costs with technology.
• Reduce travel by implementing online meetings, online training etc.
• Small business owners who opt to use cell phones, VoIP, and virtual phone lines instead of a traditional landline can reduce their business costs.
• Go paperless. With all the technology available today there should be little need for paper filing systems. The cost of paper, ink, files, filing cabinets, storage is expensive and can be saved.
• Try auditing your administrative functions. Are there routine tasks you could afford to outsource or eliminate to save money? Would it be more cost-effective to hire part-time help instead of a full-time employee to do some of these tasks?
• Explore an alternative place to do business. Save office rental costs by working from home and using technology to connect up with your staff.
Successful small businesses continually reinvent themselves by adapting their products, sales strategies and processes to meet a constantly changing paradigm. Each of these strategies are powerful revenue generators in the right circumstances, but the optimum choices for your company will depend upon your understanding and knowledge of the customers you serve.