Increasing Sales on a Tight Budget as a Small Business
Written by Michael Zhou
16 May 2018
Are you seeking to boost your small business’s sales when you are running short of money?
Entrepreneurship comes with many challenges. Uncertainty and risk are the inherent elements associated with business. At one time you post impressive sales, while other times, you barely make it to the bottom line. So when you are operating on a tight budget, increasing sales becomes more of an uphill task.
However, this is also time to show or develop strong marketing prowess and innovative advertising skills. While doing this may not be a walk in the park, it is quite achievable, for cash-crunch doesn’t necessarily mean that all hope is lost.
Here is how you can increase sales of your small business without having to spend a fortune:
Communicate with your current customers
Your current customers are your most prized assets right now as they are the best resources for increasing revenue. It is way easier to upsell to a customer who is already familiar with your brand. You can start a healthy communication with them and highlight the qualities of your product or service. A good communication will help you build a level of trust between yourself and your customers. You can also ask them for their valuable feedback, which will give you a good insight as to what changes you need to bring in. They will surely respect you for reaching out to them, and that’s a perfect opportunity for you to create customer loyalty.
Use more social media than ever
Social media is increasingly becoming a rather productive platform to market various products and services. As you know there are many social media channels that are highly popular among the masses; and more and more people are signing up on them on daily basis. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest are the most used social media channels today, with Facebook having over 1.2 billion active users. Marketing on these social media platforms is inexpensive and extremely effective. You can use slightly different strategies to promote your product or service on different channels out there. For example, YouTube offers a lot of visual opportunities, while Twitter allows you to reach people through tweets. And building an engaged Instagram following is whole another story.
Start a referral system
It will be really helpful for you to develop a customer referral program by offering existing customers free products or monthly services for referring your business to new customers. Word of mouth will do the trick for you here, as friends telling friends about you will give you incredible benefits. You can easily set up a referral system and it won’t cost you much, however, you have to make sure that you are satisfying them with your services and they will get new ones for you. Referrals are also handy for you to find other small entrepreneurs who are ready to work with you, which will provide you with more opportunities to generate an efficient revenue.
Use cheaper ways to promote your product or service
There are many creative and affordable ways that you can simultaneously use for promotion. As an example, you can use your vehicle as a mobile billboard, or you can distribute custom-designed attractive business cards at various places that have strategic value in terms of business. You can create promotional leaflets even by yourself. One of the best ways you can use for promotion is guerrilla marketing, which emphasizes creativity over budget, and its strategies are often pretty cheap and easy to implement.
Guerilla marketing example by McDonald’s
It will involve your high degree of imagination to grasp the attention of the public. Another way of promoting your product or service is to support a social cause; it goes without saying that becoming a socially conscious company can drive your sales overnight.
Listen to what your customers’ need
Listening to what your customers actually need or knowing what their real concerns are will not cost you much, but you will definitely get an inch closer to buying their loyalty. You will get to know what types of products will satisfy your potential customers and how you can gain their trust. If you keep listening to them, they will more likely prefer you to others. Do your homework in forms of surveys and analytics and you’ll be on the same page with your clients.
Offer discounts on higher volume orders
Offering discounts is probably one of the oldest marketing strategies because it works more often than not. Psychology has it when customers receive one or two FREE additional items; they feel as though they have got something for nothing. Since every customer wants a better deal and moves toward businesses that provide them with a good value for their money, offering even a slight discount can make your product or service more attractive. Make sure you get the real benefit of discount on bulk orders.
Publish great content
Create a blog for your business because blogging has a huge potential for capturing a bigger market for your products or services, albeit you should create and publish most relevant and educating content. Great content will not only increase your site’s organic SEO ranking but drive more sales. For example, top 10 lists or tips regarding some of the best practices of your industry might give your blogs a good viewership. I’d also recommend being enthusiastic and leaving comment on other relevant blogs regularly.
With little creativity, experience and passion, you can devise certain marketing strategies that will help you boost sales of your small business even when you are low on budget. The above tips are the proven examples of this; while there could be many more other tactics that are cheaper and more effective. The only thing you have to do is wear your hat and become your innovative best.
Author bio: Michael Zhou is the Senior VP of Business Intelligence Development. He has assisted the Fortune many companies with expertise in the web as a whole, including ground-zero marketing efforts that benefit both consumer and vendor. A thinker, communicator, marketer, competitor, people person, and all-around busy bee.