When we give sales advice, we make sure to tailor it to the industry, location, as well as to the client. With all of that specialization in advice, there is always general advice that any business can benefit from.
Small businesses often need the most help but have the tightest budgets. With that in mind, we’ll be offering periodic posts with sales tips just for small businesses.To start off, we’ll be basic – basic advice for your small business.
Here are 3 tips that will help anyone to do some basic business development and increase their sales:
1. Have a mission statement. Your mission statement should be clear and to the point and serve as your ‘North Star’, guiding statement, when making important decisions. It not only explains to others in one sound byte what you do, but it helps you prioritize what you do.
For example, the mission statement for the US Environmental Protection Agency is, ‘Protecting human health and the environment.’ This makes it clear, to decision making employees and the public, that while the Agency works to protect the environment, protecting human health comes first.
2. Analyze your competition to see how you are different. You always need to differentiate so that potential clients understand why they should talk to you and not your competitor. This is extra important for local businesses where there is a lot of competition. For example, hair and makeup boutiques and salons, especially when they are in someone’s home. So if this is your job, how can you make your mark? Look at the other similar businesses within a reasonable distance to you. Make a list of ways businesses could differentiate (say if they are open special hours or do birthday parties).
Then see how you could stand out (based on your skills) – do you think you are the fastest? The most high end? Half salon half therapist? There is always an opportunity to stand out amongst a crowd of similar businesses.
3. Be part of a team. For many businesses, people who use your services often need related services – say you are a content marketer and your clients want you to also do their social media marketing. This is an opportunity to identify people in complementary industries, whose work you trust and want to be associated with, and start a referral network.
This can be applied to virtually any industry. Let’s go back to our home salon example, you can easily connect with friends who sell complementary products – say women’s apparel and accessories. Have an evening where women can come look at clothes and jewelry while getting their nails done. Or issue coupons so anyone who buys jewelry will also get a 15% discount on a haircut. You can show your affiliation by having their fliers in your store, or add them to your team page on your website.
If you are a small business and would like advice in any area of sales, marketing or business development, let us know here and we’ll write about it.