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.
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'Power Book II: Ghost' Star LaToya Tonodeo Talks Breakout Role And Shooting Her Shot At 50 Cent For An Audition
Actress LaToya Tonodeo demonstrated the power of speaking up as she recently recalled how she secured her breakout role in Starz's Power Book II: Ghost.
The hit show, a spinoff of the original series Power, follows the journey of college student Tariq St. Patrick (Michael Rainey Jr.) as he tries to escape his father's tainted image while running a drug operation.
In Power Book II: Ghost, Tonodeo portrays the role of Diana Tejada, the daughter of former kingpin Lorenzo Tejada and Monet Tejada, played by Mary J. Blige.
The series debuted in 2020 and became an instant hit as viewers were glued to the screen weekly due to its captivating storylines. Power Book II: Ghost is currently in its third season and has been renewed for a fourth.
Although Tonodeo has been a part of the entertainment industry for over a decade by appearing in various television shows and films, the 26-year-old's star shined a lot brighter after landing a role in Power Book II: Ghost.
In an IG Live with xoNecole, Tonodeo opened up about how her dream opportunity came to fruition and the rumor that she boldly asked Power's executive producer, Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, to participate in one of his projects.
LaToya On Previously Working With 50 Cent
In last month's discussion, Tonodeo revealed that before landing Power Book II: Ghost, she was already working alongside Jackson for his Sony/Crackle series The Oath.
In the show, the actress played the character Tara Byrd. Tonodeo shared that as the red carpet premiere for the first season of The Oath occurred in 2018, she missed her opportunity to connect with Jackson because she was working on another project. But as fate would have it, The Oath was renewed for a second season.
In 2019, as Tonodeo reprised her role in the show and attended the red carpet premiere for the second season, she briefly chatted with Jackson, who at the time acquired the rights to the BMF story.
"Well, what's crazy [is] I was already on a 50 Cent show. So at that premiere, it's called The Oath. It was the season two premiere of The Oath on Sony/ Crackle, and he was there," she said. "Season one, there was a premiere, and 50 Cent attended. I wasn't there because I was doing The Fosters, and I'm like, 'man.' When I got to go to the season two premiere, I saw him, and it was around the time when he got the rights for the BMF story."
The Bold Move That Helped 'Powerbook' Star LaToya Tonodeo Land the Role
LaToya On Asking 50 Cent To Audition For a Role And Landing 'Power Book II: Ghost'
Tonodeo explained that during her conversation with Jackson, she congratulated the mogul on obtaining the rights to the BMF story and expressed her interest in wanting to be a part of the project.
Tonodeo added that although she is unclear if Jackson remembered their encounter or "if it meant anything," when a Power Book II: Ghost role came along, she auditioned and landed the job.
"I was like, 'Oh my God, like I want to be a part of it.' But I don't know why I did it. I just walked over there, and I was like, 'Hey, congratulations on getting the rights. I would love to audition.' I don't know why I did that. I don't even know if it meant anything or if he remembers or not. I do know that I did my thing in the audition, so yeah, we are here now," she stated.
Either way, with that story, Tonodeo has displayed the perfect example of "closed mouths don't get fed."
Power Book II: Ghost is now streaming on Starz.
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Feature image by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for STARZ