Boosting Sales for a Small Business¹

Megan Rutherford: Sales and Marketing Column
Megan Rutherford has a diverse background in sales, marketing, and public relations. She has 15+ years of experience in helping small businesses grow their unique markets. Certified as an inbound marketer, Megan specializes in internet & email marketing, search engine optimization, social media, and more. Offline activities include direct mail marketing, public relations, and event planning.

Boosting Sales for a Small Business

Just about every business desires to increase their sales. The hardest obstacle that many small businesses face in this is boosting sales when the budget is limited. Here are 11 great tips for increasing small business sales on a budget:

  1. Go to the Customer: Current customers are often the best resource for heightening sales. Not only is it easier to upsell an existing client, but they can also provide an excellent source of referrals as well.
  2. Create a Promotion or Loyalty Program: People love to save money, by offering a promotion or limited time discount a company can make their product and services much more appealing to the client. Generating a sales promotion in the form of a buy one get one-half off event or other money saving incentive can bring clients in and entice them to purchase more. A loyalty program can also provide a reason to generate more business from customers. Businesses of all sizes employ customer loyalty marketing because it is less expensive to nurture existing customers than to acquire a new customer.
  3. Reach Online Audiences: Social media marketing is a critical component to increasing sales numbers. Utilizing Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and LinkedIn can all help to raise customer awareness and better engage with the target audience. A user-friendly website should also be in place. Small business owners can also work on boosting sales creating new content such as blog entries that are placed through online channels.
  4. Utilize Email: By implementing email campaigns, a business can help to stay in touch with leads and customers. Email conversions can vary significantly but having a clear call-to-action and personalizing the email can go a long way in increasing conversion rates.
  5. Be Easy to Contact: Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to find a business’s information online. Ensure that your business website has up-to-date contact information and allows for form submission. Additionally, claim your small business profile on Google My Business and Yelp to help get found in search results.
  6. Market Around Holidays: While the obvious go-to marketing is around major holidays, small businesses can set themselves apart by marketing to the not so known holidays. As an example, a company that provides pet supplies or grooming may market to pet-related holidays.
  7. Listen and Learn: By listening to potential clients and customers, a business can learn a lot. Understanding and addressing client needs can go a long way in boosting the bottom line for a company.
  8. Demonstrate the Uniqueness: Customers are always looking for differentiating factors between competing products. Showcase what is unique about your product and business. Utilize these points as an advantage in all marketing efforts.
  9. Pay Attention to the Sales Cycle: Identify the different stages of the business’s sales cycle and develop marketing plans around them to help nurture leads to closed sales, then follow through with referrals.
  10. Set Goals: All marketing efforts should start with setting goals. Goals must be established for a business to continue moving forward. Goal setting should include both short-term and long-term goals and have a focus around boosting sales.
  11. Build a Database: Going hand in hand with all of the ideas to boost a company’s sales is to employ a robust database. A Customer-Relationship Management (or CRM) tool allows for a business to build customer relationships and develop a business more in-depth by tracking sales and activities.

Small businesses can become overwhelmed with the vast amount of options available to better market their business and products. Often just small changes over time can significantly increase sales. In everything your small business does make sure that there is a clear call-to-action (CTA). From print-based advertising to social media and a website, all marketing materials should encompass a call out for a next step. A small business can reap the reward of increased sales by employing these best practices.