Are you making good progress on your business goals this year? Most businesses resolve to close more sales and attract new customers. They turn their focus outward. But there are a surprising number of ways to optimize your business from the inside out.
Outdated practices, inefficient workflow systems, and a lack of proper tools can all cause your business to operate sluggishly. Worse, other misguided practices may even be losing you money. Is your business leaving free money on the table? Here are five ways you might be:
1. Ignoring Your Customer Data
Are you aware of how much data you can collect just from customers browsing or even passing by your store? You have access to far more customer data than you may realize. Or maybe you know you have customer data but have yet to do much with it. That's a mistake. And it's losing you money.
Businesses are often overwhelmed by customer data and don't know how to make full use of it. But checking up on customer data is like a health check-up for your business. You'll understand who frequents your store and why, so that you can ensure they keep coming back. Customer demographics allow you to create targeted, relevant content and offers. You might offer special deals for new customers, notify loyal fans of new items or use campaigns designed to upsell to mid-range customers. A Wi-Fi analytics and marketing automation tool can help your business achieve this.
2. Not Communicating Your Core Value
Why should customers visit your store? What makes your business better than your competitors? Your value, and in particular, why your value is better than alternative businesses, should be your key marketing point. Today's consumers want to receive value up front. While promotions and quick gimmicks might temporarily increase your sales, the foundation of your business is the value you provide to consumers.
Go back to the core of your business and the value you provide. Ensure prospects learn and current customers remember exactly why they need you.
3. Getting Caught in a Race to the Bottom
Low-cost competitors are the bane of any small business. Well-established chains and big box stores can afford to offer prices that you may not be able survive on. It's tempting to lower your prices in a move to stay competitive, but rising to their bait is only a surefire way to lose profits.
There will always be businesses who offer a lower price than you. But following their prices puts you in a race to the bottom. Keep your prices steady and focus on providing exceptional quality. And unless there's new technology that has made it exceptionally cheaper to run your type of business, your prices should actually rise over time to account for inflation.
4. Failing to Follow Up
Many businesses fail to follow up enough with cusomters and especially after a sale. Marketers are often afraid of following up too much or pushing a sale too hard. It's true that soft sells are more common in today's marketing landscape. But not following up is a wasted opportunity. Prospects know that when they interact with you, they're interacting with a business. No lead will be shocked to receive a follow-up call or email. You might even be a welcome reminder.
After a sale is when most businesses forget to follow up. But not following up with new and existing customers is where you can really lose money. Follow up to thank the customer for their business, ensure they were happy, and ask for a review. Keeping a loyal customer costs far less than acquiring a new one, so take the time to stay in touch.
5. Not Using Intelligent Marketing
While some marketing principles are universal and apply to all customers, the rest of your messages should be customized, down to even the timing and delivery. We call this tailored application of data intelligent marketing. It helps you not only organize but apply customer data for more efficient marketing messages.
Intelligent marketing can provide customers with a campaign sequence based on their past buying history. It can identify at-risk customers who haven't visited your store for a long time, and may not be responding to general advertisements and promotions. You can use intelligent marketing to provide only the most relevant information to customers at any stage, instead of annoying them with email blasts or deals that don't interest them.