99% of the SME business owners today wear multiple hats in their business. They are the sales head, the marketing head, the customer escalation and customer relationship head. All this because they are the final go-to-authority for all decisions related to the business.
The main reason for this being, limited financial resources to onboard functional heads. But handling the financial limitations this way, means that the personal resource (read time and efforts) of the business owner is now stretched too thin to have any major impact in all the functions. The result is a see-saw of the business owner’s attention on some functions today and other functions tomorrow. There is an alternate solution to this situation and that is to focus on the key areas that bring in the
maximum impact to the business’s topline and bottom line. I call this the CORE AREAS of the Business. These CORE AREAS are –
- More Leads
- More Conversions
- More Transactions
- Higher Prices
- More Profits
Let’s examine each of these Core Areas.
More Leads –
Almost all organizations start with lead generation tactics when it comes to their sales and marketing strategies. And in today’s digital world. Almost all organizations think about digital / social media marketing first. But before we jump into frenzied activity
trying to create engaging posts that will attract all our customers into our sales funnel, we need to set a few fundamentals in place. One of the first things I recommend is to identify your UBP – Unique Buying proposition. UBP is basically your USP – Unique Selling proposition from the customer’s perspective. This little perspective shift brings out the true value of your business offerings to your customers. The question one needs to ask is “What if anything, makes my business different from my competitors as perceived by my target customers?” Creating Strategies such as Referral generations, Joint ventures, direct response advertising etc. help one out during this stage.
More Conversions –
“Many organizations are guilty of wasting the attention that they have earned with their lead generation strategies”. This is because the second crucial step of lead conversion does not get as much attention as the lead generation stage. Today’s customer
is demanding. Once she gives you her attention, she wants to be engaged with additional information, before she decides to make the purchase decision. This is where tactics like creating compelling, irresistible offers, demonstrating value that far exceeds competition, being in constant touch with prospects to create the high recall value etc. come in handy.
More Transactions –
It’s amazing how many businesses completely neglect this part of their overall strategies. There are a multitude of strategies that one can adopt to convince clients to buy more often. After all, it is easier to convince an existing customer to buy more or
more often from you, than convincing a completely new prospect. Existing clients need to be marketed too. This applies to ‘stale clients’ too. Activities that remind old clients, who may have forgotten you, can be consciously designed to bring them back to our sales pipeline. Specific strategies such as upselling, cross- selling and downselling can easily be applied to increase transactions during and after initial purchases. Remember “Marketing does not stop once a sale is done!”
Higher Prices –
When was the last time an SME business owner increased their prices to earn more profits? With increasing costs, the profit margins are diminishing and most often than not, the SME business owner is absorbing this additional cost, till the thin profit
margins disappear and then they are forced to increase the price. There is a constant fear of losing existing customers by increasing prices. However, there is another truth, the customers who do leave with a slight price hike are typically price shoppers and they would leave anytime a competition offers a lower price, irrespective of the current service provider increasing or maintaining their prices. This is where we look at creating added value (remember UBP) for a customer, that they will think beyond the price tag, when making a purchase decision.
More Profits –
It is not enough to have a great topline in revenues. We all have heard of business that are raking in money but are yet to make profits. A SME business owner does not have this luxury and hence has to be conscious of the bottom line constantly. Increase in
profits come about, either by increasing revenues or decreasing costs. A few tactics to explore include doing a ‘wastage audit’ , Reduce refunds, Reduce returns, increase customer purchase value and numbers, optimise marketing and sales expenses etc.
The above article is a quick summary of my business coaching programs. Do feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com to get my e-book “8 Strategies to Increase SME Business Revenues” .