You May Reinvent Yourself.
If you have a brick and mortar business along with your Internet business, make sure the shopping experience is better than anything your customers have experienced before. Free coffee, a nice interior, and entertainment for people while they shop all make it something that they will not forget. When the hub store or main physical store offers a nice memory for shoppers, they will want to tell others they know about your business. This results in a WOW factor that goes above and beyond just a nice website.
You Should Never Promise What You Cannot Deliver.
If you have the Unique Selling Proposition, and have created a terrific tagline, you must also make sure that the product itself delivers. Never advertise yourself as something or someone who cannot give customers exactly what they expect. This is why product and/or website development is absolutely essential.
Be sure the tone of all of your correspondence, your website, your customer service and the people who work for you all maintain the same code of ethics and keep the same tone throughout any dealings with customers. People will shy away from companies who seem “unstable” because of the way they handle things. Consistency is the key when it comes to interacting with others and with how your company portrays itself.
While this tip shouldn’t have to be mentioned, unfortunately a lot of smaller businesses have a difficult time with it. You can be above the fold by staying reliable in your communications and your dealings with customers. They should be able to expect email replies quickly every time or be able to reach someone via the 800 number when they call. Reliability builds branding and more importantly, your company’s overall reputation.
Don’t Just Try To Corner A Niche, But Instead Create Your Own.
Niche marketing really is the way to go, and it’s what makes certain businesses much larger and do much better than others. There are literally thousands of businesses out there, all claiming that they own the niche they’re selling in. By coming up with a brand new niche, you’ve automatically become number one and have cornered the market.
Dream Up A Mascot.
Aflac’s white duck has made them instantly recognizable. This also goes for brands like Frosted Flakes (Tony the Tiger), Puma, and many others. If you can associate an animal or other figure with your business, you’ve branded yourself in a way that no one can duplicate. By making everything about your company unique, you’re stomping the competition while broadening your horizons in terms of customer potential. Mascots make people feel happy and comforted, which is always good for business from a psychological standpoint.
Offer An Address.
Never have contact information on your website without offering an actual physical address. Even if you sell exclusively online, never omit a real address so that others can see you are operating out of a real place and not a PO box. Some merchant account providers will not even allow businesses to accept credit cards without providing a real physical address.
This gives people a feeling of confidence and it shows that you are legitimate. Home addresses work just as well as business addresses, as long as it’s something that people can send correspondence to.
If you are not a CPA or are not familiar with accounting procedures, it is absolutely essential to get one. You don’t have to pay a licensed CPA if you cannot afford one. Get some good accounting and sales tracking software and use it to track all of your expenses and income. Without this vital part of any business, you’re simply spending money without knowing where it’s going. It is also necessary for tax purposes so keep this in mind as well.
While email lists are terrific, and newsletters can get the word out, do not overload your customers with too many emails. People will soon consider this spam, which is an automatic turn off. Instead, try to make all of your email correspondence as thorough as you can and pack as much information into it as possible. Include links so readers can easily get to sales and products pages. Then, limit this correspondence to a few emails per month. Every week or especially every day emails make most people leery and they will usually unsubscribe anyway.
Aspire to grow.
Don’t limit yourself to one product or service. While initially this may be great for niche purposes, but as you expand and your customer base increases, it is time for the business to also expand your product line or the level of services you provide. Remember that businesses have to adapt, and so your business should grow, too. People like change as long as it is positive, so there’s nothing wrong with expansion. This goes hand in hand with the positive attitude you should be having. By growing and adapting, you’re showing the world your company is ready, willing, and able to move up and into the clouds.
Reserve some private space.
If you’re a small business but you have an office, make sure you either have your own private office or your own office at home. This way, you’re able to focus and function without interference. It is almost impossible to give things your absolute best when you experience interruptions.
Make time and space for yourself as a business owner so you can do the best you can each and every day.
Build some back-links.
Try to build up back-links in your website, that way you’re staying at the top of the search results. Learn about SEO and other Internet marketing techniques so you can make sure that your website is as effective as possible, resulting in more hits and more sales.
Landing pages result in more sales.
Create a truly amazing landing page. Landing pages are the first thing most people see when they click on the search result link. The landing page should contain a headline, tagline, your logo and/or mascot, as well as bulleted points about your business and/or products. These bulleted points will give customers a breakdown and the specifics of the many benefits you have to offer. With a great landing page, you can turn a simple curious click into a real, tangible sale.
Diversify Your Income Stream.
Diversifying your income stream as the way to make more money is old advice, but in tough economic times, it’s advice well worth taking. The key to successfully increasing your business income is to be sure the cost of diversifying isn’t making your profits negligible or nonexistent. You can rent out part of your business premises. If you own or lease physical business premises, do you really need all of your current space? If not, you can make more money by renting out some of your space to another business.
There are a lot of small businesses that only need a corner or a kiosk. Or maybe you have an unused room that another business could use as office space. And you can make even more money from your rental space if you’re able to throw in some add-ins, such as shared secretarial services or computer workstations.
Shift your sales focus.
One of the easiest ways to make more money is often overlooked; getting your current customers to buy more of your products and/or services. Shifting your sales focus to your current customers rather than attracting new customers makes excellent economic sense because your current customers are already converted prospects. They know your company and your products and are easier to sell to.
Add value-added services or products.
A carpet cleaner selling bottles of spot remover. A store selling kitchenware offering cooking lessons. A seminar on investment strategies in tough economic times. A farm that sells produce offering a vegetable delivery service These are all examples of adding value-added products that customers and clients might be willing to pay money for.
You can make more money by examining your products and services and brainstorming services or products that your customers might be interested in. Then choose the one you think will make the most money for your business and test it.