It can take time to spread the word about your business to more potential customers, but increasing your sales comes with creativity, determination, and sticking with the right long-term strategies.
There are plenty of platitudes like “It’s all about the numbers” or “It’s who you know, not what you know”, but what many people fail to say is that sales growth strategies for small businesses need to be custom-tailored to the personality and capabilities of the business owner. So consider the following things as you build your growth strategy.
Are you a social butterfly or a lone wolf?
Often, one of the first pieces of advice a small business owner gets is to network. That’s great if you are naturally gregarious and outgoing, but for bosses who don’t enjoy the limelight, this is the kind of advice they dread.
Not everyone has the gift of gab, and some small business owners must push themselves out of their comfort zone until they can afford to hire a salesperson to the team. The great news is, there are ways to network and to obtain sales leads no matter what your personality type.
While the word “networking” may conjure up images of desperately making small talk about the weather with potential colleagues, there are a ton of ways to network that fit closely with your life. Just substitute the word “network” with the word “volunteer” or “hobby”. What’s your passion? Are you interested in robotics? Rare book collecting? Mountain biking? Think about your top three favorite ways to spend your free time, then join a club of like-minded people and volunteer for the causes that matter to you.
This not only takes the sting out of social anxiety, but you end up having a great deal more to talk about with people who enjoy the same things you do. Just make sure to casually drop details about your business when appropriate.
If even that approach makes your palms sweat, or if you just don’t have access to a large enough local network to successfully grow your business, then you can turn to companies that offer consumer data leads. Not only can you drill down to a specific target market of potential customers, but these services offer automated marketing campaigns and reporting features. So you can narrow focus to the most promising customers interested in what you’re selling.
Tortoise, not the hare
The pressure to get more leads right now keeps many small business owners up at night. But shifting your focus to the long term helps prioritize activities that will earn you more business over time.
A person needs to hear something many times before it sticks in their minds. So rather than sinking money into gimmicks, spend time on drip marketing and consistent social media campaigns to keep your business name coming up in a customer’s feed.
This is where volunteering and spending time doing what you love benefits your business a second time: not only can you meet potential customers during this activity, but commemorating your time in newsletter or social media post gets the word out that you are active in the community, and this is often important to customers too.
Some people feel conflicted about seeming as though they are bragging. However, nobody will know what you and your company are really about if you don’t tell them. Use careful wording that focuses on your charity or hobby rather than you, and share your life and passion with others.
Spend your time wisely
Balancing your time can be one of the hardest acts for a small business owner to manage. While you are still growing your sales, research companies that offer business services for a variety of things like marketing, accounting, and even things like statement printing outsourcing.
Hiring employees can be a significant cost barrier, but it’s important to delegate or outsource what you can so that your time is best spent on earning new business.