The busy season is almost upon us. Sidewalk shoppers will be out in force, homeowners are ready to start their next summer patio projects, or maybe it’s finally time to purchase that new kitchen they always wanted.
The pre-summer lull is the perfect time to take stock of where your business is at, and where it needs to go in order to grow. So what can you and your team be doing to get your business ready to take its next step forward?
Here is a list of things you can be doing or thinking about to prime your business to expand this summer. Over the next few weeks we’ll be exploring each item in greater detail on this blog, so stay tuned.
Build a marketing plan. Word of mouth will carry your business far, but it might not have the same reach as web-based or traditional media. Decide where you are most likely to find new customers and tailor your marketing strategy to these targeted areas. Try pricing promotions, package deals, special contests, and increasing your presence on social media.
Breathe new life into your brand. What do the weather, fashion, and brand identity all have in common? Change is inevitable, and even some of the largest and most established companies need a brand refresh, once in a while. Consider how customers think about your business, and whether its look and values align with modern expectations around brand relationships.
That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to hire a design team for a new look either. There are some fantastic resources for giving your brand a revamp. Take a look at 99 Designs or CrowdSPRING for talented creative work on logo design, web design, company name, product name, packaging design, and plenty more creative opportunities. Plus, these avenues give small businesses the opportunities to access countless creatives in their global network.
Refresh your product line. When it comes to retail, nothing gets better with age. Stay ahead of the curve by updating your product line. Try a clearance sale to move out old stock and make room for this year’s hot new items.
Letting your customers know about a deal, clearance, or sale right from the moment they enter your store is an important step to clearing out and bringing in new products. Take a look some tips on how to merchandise your store in our Resource Centre.
Run a sales promotion. Make them an offer they can’t refuse. Your customers already love what you’re selling, so remove that last thread of hesitation from their minds with an attractive sales promotion.
Sweeten the sale for your customer by adding a promotional program. For example, offering a lower interest rate to your customers by buying a percentage of the interest yourself, is another proven way of increasing sales.
Want to learn more about promotional programs? Check out our Resource Centre!
Train your staff. By investing in your company culture and making sure everyone on your team is on the same page, you can increase efficiency and reduce turnover rates. Whether you want to add new skills to the team, or provide a simple refresher on best practices, training lets your staff know that you’re invested in them, and in the future of your business.
Plus, it never hurts to institute a bit of friendly competition with your sales team!
Optimize your local search hits. Web 2.0 is all about the local. If potential customers are doing web searches for the kinds of goods or services that your business provides, make sure you’re showing up on their radar. For example, check that you’re listed prominently on Google Places and Yelp, and that your user review scores are strong. Search results and star ratings are the new word of mouth, so make sure your online reputation is where you want it to be. Learn new insights in online marketing from the folks at Moz.
Look into new payment methods. Offering more ways for your customers to pay has become a major selling point for today’s successful small business. Financeit payment plans are a terrific place to start, of course, but there are lots of great new payment alternatives out there. Solutions like Shopify POS or Square can help you to both modernize your business and save money.
As we edge into warmer weather, it’s time to start looking at new ways to improve your business this season. Looking at new ways to improve your customer’s experience, new technologies that could introduce a whole new market, and even giving your business a complete facelift are all ways you can grow this season.
The busy season is almost here. Let’s make it count this year.