INCREASING REVENUE: There are several simple and effective ways to improve sales output.
In most cases, the techniques that you use will depend on your particular circumstances. How well the business is performing can also be another determining factor.
Most small businesses will search for simpler ways to increase revenue by tapping into an existing customer base.
Allowing customer relationships to fizzle out after the initial sale is costly. So, how can a small business increase revenue from existing customers?
Well, one way you can do it is by ‘fostering’ the relationships. You need to build trust with the businesses and the individuals who buy from you. This is one of the best ways of marketing to an existing client base.
It can be tempting to try and win new customers locally, nationally, or even overseas. But, focusing on customers who have already done business with you can be most lucrative.
As a rule, and for most small businesses, the simplest way of increasing sales is by selling more of the products or services. So, focus on selling more to the customers who are already buying them from you. For the vast majority of small businesses this could mean:
- Checking which customers have stopped buying from you and doing your best to win them back.
- Focus on selling higher volumes of the products or services to the regular customers. This is an effective way to get increased revenue from existing clients.
- Trying to persuade one-off customers into becoming repeat customers. For example, the use of marketing automation can often help to build long-term client relationships.
- Creating a loyalty program, offering bulk discounts, and training a customer-centric team in the workforce.
- Paying more attention to upselling and cross selling as part of your normal marketing strategy rather than new customer acquisition being your only focus.
Many consider retaining customers and building a loyal relationship with them as being the first rule of business. In fact, it costs around five times higher to attract a new customer than it does to keep an existing one.
That is one good reason why you should be keeping a record of who your customers are and what they bought from you. It is the best way of tracking who stopped buying from you and which ones might also consider buying more.
Fact: Targeting existing customers is almost always less expensive and more effective for increasing sales than trying to find new ones.
Benefits of Reviewing Your Prices
If you do not review your prices on a regular basis, and check them against your competitors, you should! Savvy business owners see the tactic as an effective way of increasing sales, profits, or both.
That said, do some basic analysis before making any drastic price changes. Try estimating the likely effect of price changes on company cash flow, sales, and profitability. Thus, to make a successful estimation, you would need to understand:
- The ‘cost structure’ of the company. This should include regular ‘fixed’ and ‘variable’ costs that change according to the activity of the business.
- The value that the customers place on the products and services that you supply to them.
But, despite sales going up, offering a discount can sometimes reduce total profitability. Likewise, despite selling fewer items, you can generate higher profits by putting your prices up.
Making small changes to your pricing structure can also have a big impact. So, offering bulk discounts or loyalty schemes can increase sales to existing and to former customers.
You own a car wash company and decide to offer one free cleaning after every fifth visit. To get it, your customers need to opt in for the higher priced deluxe service.
True, you would be giving away something for free. But, the value of repeat business from your most loyal customers should mean that your profits increase.
In most cases, it would have cost you a lot more to generate the same amount of sales by acquiring new customers. Overall, that could have resulted in less profit.
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Make a habit of checking the price you sell products and services against the price of your competitors. Doing so will help you to determine whether you are:
- Losing potential customers because they can buy the same product or service for less money, elsewhere.
- Sacrificing the full profitability of the business. It may show that customers are willing to pay more than you charge them.
Note: The Marketing Donut website has further information on small business marketing. You can get free advice, tools, and resources on pricing strategy and how to increase sales.