Slow and steady may win the race for some people, but it’s not enough for an ambitious business owner with the determination to take their home-based business and make it more profitable. A simple and profitable business with no rent, inventory, or employees sounds like a great way to make money, but when you plan to fail you fail to plan. The good news is that there are things you can do to take your business to the next level. Here are five strategies to grow your business and get more sales.
Focus on a single product or service; market it, sell it, promote it.
While you might want to try and please everyone, there’s less risk and more profit in focusing on a select few products and getting on base. A great example of this is Richard Roy, a landscaper from New Jersey. Tired of having to pick up dog poop from customer’s lawns, he decided to offer dog-waste removal as a separate service. He decked out his van to be a moving billboard and managed to get so many customers as a dog-waste remover that he’s preparing to move away from landscaping altogether. It’s easier for him to do, there’s no need for equipment, and he can do it all year-round; unlike landscaping which is a very seasonal business.
Offer Complementary Services and Products
After finding a great product customer love, don’t forget to offer some related items and diversify the product line. This gives your customers more choice and also makes products more appealing to retailers that like to stock a line of products rather than just individual items. Meredith Liebelt started out making burp cloths for newborns, and then expanded her line to include gift baskets, blankets, and bibs. Customers have more choice and it boosted her business.
Increase Sales to Existing Customers
Finding ways to boost sales to existing customers is much cheaper than finding new ones. Even if you aren’t able to expand a product line, you could boost revenue by selling more of your current products and services to existing customers. Volume discounts are a great way to do this, particularly with products that don’t cost a lot to make. Giving customers two-for-one discounts allows you to get extra sales without much damage to your profit. Consider introducing a loyalty scheme where customers get a free product for every tenth purchase.
Hire a Freelancer, Intern, Independent Contractor, an Employee, or Just your Kids to get Some Help
Hiring some help frees up the cash flow as you can adjust expenses based on the work you bring in, while also giving you access to talent that you wouldn’t have been able to hire full-time. Marc Kirschner is a neighborhood directory publisher out of New York City that brought in 50-75 freelancers to assist him. By hiring freelancers, he is able to save on payroll taxes, employee liability insurance, medical benefits, and other costs of hiring people full time. It also gives you someone to bounce strategies off of and stops you feeling like you’re doing everything by yourself.
Advertise Your Company and Sell Products Online with a Great Website
With the power of the internet, you no longer need to have a physical store to reach customers. Someone selling specialty products such as rare books and collectibles can use an online store to reach millions of potential customers around the world without having to pay for rent, utilities, or other costs.
While having a great website created was once a big investment and you needed a skilled web-designer to do it, these days “done-for-you” websites can be found for under $30 a month with no technical skills needed. Companies that help you to register a domain name/web address will offer online templates you can create an online site with, host your web page for you, and provide you with email addresses related to your business. There may be an additional charge for e-commerce capabilities, but you can set up a low-cost website through search engines and web hosting companies.