1. Set clear goals. Write out your goals – and then follow through with them. Your goals should be both precise and practical. Along with your goals, you also need to plan a budget.
Your budget is a tool that you should use to keep your expenses under control.
2. Right location, right product. In addition to having the right retail location after having identified a need in a particular area, you will need to provide the right products at the right time for your customers. This will ensure that you can supply products and services that the community has a need for.
Once customers know that you will have products that they want in stock, you will earn both new and repeat customers.
3. Maintain the right quantity of products. Rotate your stock according to the buying habits of your customers. Use one of the many available software packages to track and maintain ideal inventory levels.
There are many different kinds of computer programs available that will help you manage your inventory. That way, you can order additional inventory during peak seasons, or reduce your inventory in the off-season.
4. Establish and exploit your USP. Make your business stand out from others selling similar products and services by making sure your Unique Selling Point (USP) is indeed unique. Devise a unique delivery plan or offer different services that require expertise that you can provide – and that are not offered by your competitors.
Try to come up with new ideas that will save you time as well money. Make sure you value your customers’ time as well. When your customers know that their needs are important to you, they will reward you with their loyalty.
5. Acquire and maintain expertise in your field. Once you have acquired sufficient knowledge about your business’ products and services, stay ahead of your competition by becoming an expert on the products you sell. You can attend special workshops or seminars to gain that extra knowledge.
It is not enough to just sell products. Expert knowledge of them will translate into increased profits. Update your product knowledge regularly and stay in touch with your market.
6. Concentrate on your target market. Train your marketing efforts on your target audience. Identify the type of customers that are interested in your products or services and concentrate your energies selling to them.
Do not waste your time on customers who make unreasonable demands. Study your prospective customers’ body language to find out whether they really want to do business with you, or is just after some information.
7. Keep your customers for life. Maintain a good relationship with all your customers. Always meet their demands, but strive to exceed their expectations. Doing so will ensure that you grow a happy customer base. Do not let greed or dishonesty derail your long-term goals.
One satisfied customer can refer many new customers to you – and this type of marketing strategy doesn’t cost you anything.
Use the above tips – and watch your small business post some big returns.