If you ask any small business owner, one of the major factors affecting business trajectory -- along with other major challenges including cash flow, health care, tax compliance, employee hiring -- is sales. Revenue is a key driver to any business as it is directly related to one's bottom line growth and ability to scale. So then, what are the key factors to increasing sales if you're currently struggling? With only 50% of small businesses surviving past the five-year mark, this is a necessary problem that many of us prioritize. Here are some quick marketing tips directed toward my fellow entrepreneurs that can help fuel growth for your small business.
How To Boost Sales For Your Small Business
1. Live in your niche/engage with your customer
One CBInsights analysis study concluded that 42% of small businesses fail because there is no market need for the product offered. In order to make sure your product is solving a customer challenge, you'll need to live in your niche and constantly engage with your current and potential customer base. Understand how your product can help solve a problem in their lives. Market research via tools, such as customer service surveys or focus groups, can help garner insights to inform better product-related decisions. Building relationships with your customers is always beneficial.
Another way to live in your niche is to attend industry trade events that target your customer or market specifically. This allows you to further understand their buying behavior and what's driving their purchase decisions. You'll also be able to network with other leaders in your industry and share experiences that can yield ideas for how you can better serve your customer.
2. Spend money to make money
As the saying goes, "Scared money don't make no money." In business, investing in advertisements can be a targeted way to drive sales. Depending on your business, social media is a low cost way to start spending ad dollars. First, you'll need to make sure your visual media, sales copy, and call to action is extremely clear. Then, use the social media platform's ad tools to target your ad as specifically as possible. You may need to make different versions of the ad depending upon your market segment.
One size does not fit all. Working with a social media ads expert for training or implementation is a smart investment if you're not comfortable running an ad campaign alone. A solid expert should be able to tailor your visuals, sales copy and call to action to align with your sales goals. Other types of worthwhile paid promotion include buying advertising space on other platforms (websites, podcasts, radio, TV), working with influencers to push your product or service, or even offering affiliate codes to others to help direct traffic to your business.
Depending upon your business, investing in a content marketing strategy can also be valuable. What kind of content can you create or push out into the world that drives brand awareness and inspires customers to take action? If you're a service provider, investing in video content that teaches lessons related to your service might be a way to drive future sales. Or, hiring a publicist that can help you land press opportunities and increase your brand awareness is another smart way to spend marketing dollars. Whatever you choose, you'll want to make sure you're consistently reviewing all reports monthly (or weekly) to make sure there is a positive ROI (return on investment.) Then, adjust if needed.
3. Nurture your email list
Email marketing is an often underlooked tool that can drive business growth. If you aren't investing in building a quality, well-engaged email list now is the time to start. Email marketing is a great way to stay top of mind and build a personal relationship with your audience. However your emails shouldn't always be about driving customers to buy something from you. Use emails as a way to build a sense of genuine community. Share behind the scenes about your company or tips that your customer can use in their own lives. Show that you care.
Making sure you choose the right email service provider based on your business and email needs is also crucial. A good email service provider should allow you to segment your audience so that you can send emails that cater to their past behaviors and experience with your business.
4. Conduct a website audit
If you're an online-based business, you'll want to ensure that it is easy for customers to buy from you. Is your website designed to convert interested customers into paying customers? Take some time to analyze your site for key indicators of future sales performance. Does the site take a long time to load? Are your product and/or service descriptions clear? For example, if you're an online fashion boutique, are your product photos well-taken and edited? Do you have all appropriate sizing information readily available to someone who is looking? Making sure your cart checkout process is easy is also key. Many customers will abandon cart, especially if they can't figure out how to checkout and pay.
Take time to act as a customer and walk through your website experience. Make sure your content is search-engine optimized -- and includes keywords that your customer is searching for. If you notice kinks or detractors, it's more than likely that your customer will as well. Your website doesn't have to be fancy or cost the most to design, but it should be aesthetically appealing, effective, easy to use, and drive action towards your sales goal.
At the end of the day, you'll need to find the right marketing mix that works for your business. The best way to see results and grow your sales is to experiment constantly, review your insights and analytics, and make sure you're intune with customer feedback and needs. Make smart investments in people, systems, and tools that can aid along your business sales journey.
If you need a refresher on marketing tips that convert, check out a favorite of mine -- Guerilla Marketing Remix by Jay Conrad Levinson.
Want more business reads like this? Check out these related reads:
The Power Of The Pivot: How CurlMix Plans To Reach $10M In Sales - Read More
What's Really Keeping You From Your Six-Figure Goals - Read More
The Most Common Mistakes That Keep Us From Reaching Our Business Goals - Read More
I Made $15,000 In Three Months As An Airbnb Host - Read More
Featured image by Getty Images
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Rana Campbell is a Princeton University graduate, storyteller, content marketing strategist, and the founder and host of Dreams In Drive - a weekly podcast that teaches you how to take your dreams from PARK to DRIVE. She loves teaching others how to use their life stories to inspire action within oneself and others. Connect with her on Instagram @rainshineluv or @dreamsindrive.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Many have wondered if one time is ever enough to see Queen Bey. Some argue yes. However, many of us on the opposite end of the spectrum, including myself, would disagree. Beyoncé's "Renaissance World Tour" is a universal yet varying experience for everyone who attends. In the words of Oprah Winfrey, the concert is "transcendent." For millennials, we have over two decades of her catalog that has served as the soundtrack for many of our lives and painted a personal portrait of our most coveted thoughts. Her music provides mental clarity and self-expression by serving as a universal language that has united fans from all walks of life through community, fashion, self-acceptance, and healing.
With a multi-layered approach to her artistry, just as she did on that winter day in December 2013 with the infamous digital drop of her self-titled album, she changed the game again on February 1, 2023, when she announced her world tour in support of Renaissance, her seventh studio album. Her cultural impact set the internet ablaze, with everyone trying to gather their coins, barter for presale codes, and figure out which cities to attend. The group chats were lit, and the Beyhive was stressed trying to get their hands on tickets.
Photo courtesy of Dontaira Terrell
Unfortunately, I was in that number. As the concert dates passed by and the one in my city drawing near all roads led to disappointment. With time ticking on the day of the Miami show and less than two hours to spare, my wallet bit the bullet, and I purchased three last-minute tickets, costing roughly $700.00 a piece (including fees) for me, my 9-year-old and 16-year-old nieces in Section 121 at the Hard Rock Stadium. With 10 minutes before showtime, we eagerly awaited the Queen to take the stage. A sea of metallic fringes, cowboy hats, disco fans, and western boots were in full effect and filled the entire stadium.
As the lights dimmed, a flood of emotions instantly overtook my body. It continued with each note she belted, along with nearly 50,000 roaring fans. The reverberating sound of the music through the stadium transported me from one era of my life to the next. As a teen girl in her bedroom daydreaming about her first love to blossoming into an unapologetic Black woman who is still on a road of self-discovery while learning to lean into the power anthem of "You won't break my soul." For over two hours, and with each set, I felt joy, love, peace, and a commanderie with fellow concertgoers. It was therapeutic as I danced like no one was watching and sang as if I were alone in my bathroom mirror.
There were no bars held, and I realized at that moment, "Nobody can judge me but me." The "Renaissance World Tour" proved to be so vast, and my Black girl joy was re-invigorated. It was magnetic and liberating, and I had to attend again, but this time, I needed to be up close and personal; I needed to be on the floor. In the days that passed, I watched more social media clips in different cities and asked myself if I would really splurge again to attend another Renaissance show.
Photo courtesy of Dontaira Terrell
After all, this would be my thirteenth time (maybe more because I lost count) seeing Beyoncé live, whether she was on tour with Destiny's Child, as a solo artist, or doing a live appearance. I contemplated for a while, but it worked itself out on its own. I was gifted two tickets and the next thing I knew, I was off to LA to attend another Renaissance show with floor seats at SoFi Stadium during Beyonce's 42nd birthday weekend! This time, things were different: no kids were allowed. It was adults only this go round.
Although the energy at the Miami and Los Angeles shows was empowering, infectious, and a celebration of life, happiness, and identity, they each provided their own unique experience. However, both concerts were what I needed for my well-being, leaving me with sore feet from dancing the night away, on vocal rest for the next few days from screaming at the top of my lungs, and on an indefinite high on life.
My introduction and love for Beyoncé began in 1996, while my older sister lived in Houston, TX, right before Bey hit the scene in 1998 with "No, No, No" as a budding R&B member. Her evolution twenty-seven years later as an international superstar and into womanhood has been an incredible journey to witness. As Mrs. Carter reminds each of us in the audience every night before the curtain closes, "I want you to remember this moment, where you're standing, who you came with, and take it with you. I hope you feel inspired."
I truly felt inspired, so thank you, Queen Bey. You awakened my inner child, and I will definitely remember these moments and take them with me.
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Feature image by Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Parkwood