Do you track the number of sales you make along with the revenue? Of course you do. How do your numbers look? Are you increasing or remaining the same? Hopefully you’re not down this year but if you are, these may be some of the reasons why and what you can do to fix them:
You Can’t Compete on PriceI’m making a broad generalization here, but as a small business you can’t compete on price with the big chain stores just as I can’t compete with writers who are overseas and on Fiverr.
I don’t want to. Neither should you.
If you make price your differentiator there will always be someone who can underbid you. There are plenty of businesses looking to take a hit in one area in the hopes they will get additional business in the future. That’s exactly how large retail and grocery stores work.
Better differentiators for small business include customer service, a unique product, a unique way of doing something, or even a value ad.
If you are a small business, find something other than price to differentiate your business. Your wallet will thank you.
You Have no DifferentiatorWhen kids open a lemonade stand, it’s all about location and need. They need a good location to be successful and people will stop when they need a drink. That’s fine until the kid next door opens a lemonade and hot dog stand. Now they and their competitor share a similar location, both are just as easy to get to, and the first lemonade stand has a limitation on its business – nothing to eat. Assuming they don’t get into a pricing war, the first stand better come up with a way to differentiate. If not, they’ll likely lose business.
You’re Not Making Your Customers Feel SpecialCustomers will buy from you without that “special” feeling until someone comes along who competes with you AND makes them feel special. There are tons of ways to make your customers feel appreciated everything from providing the happiest, best, most attentive service to giving away special previous customer discounts. Find a way to appreciate them and they’ll be more likely to return again and again.
You’re UnreponsiveWhen customers like your shop and enjoy your brand, they want to connect with you. If they try to do so on one of your social media profiles and you are unresponsive, they will read that as uninterested in them. Millennials especially want to be able to provide direct feedback to businesses on social media. If you’re not active on there or not responsive, you’re sending a message without ever writing one.
2016 is right around the corner. It’s time to review 2015 and decide what you want this upcoming year to look like. If you’re worried about your sales numbers this year, or just want to see them improve next year, follow this simple advice and make 2016 The Year of Your Customer.
Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and the Event Manager Blog.
She’s a bookish writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.