Monday, February 24, 2014

Business Strategies That Can Improve Your Revenue

Although a small-business owner may prepare a formal strategic plan document only once a year, the process of seeking ways to increase revenue is ongoing. At least quarterly, you should review your current strategies to evaluate their effectiveness -- and consider new strategies to build your company’s revenues.

Expand Distribution Channels

Selling through additional distribution channels creates the opportunity to increase revenues, because the target customer will see your product in more than one place. Some consumer products, for example, are launched through television infomercials and then distributed to stores. The target customer has already seen the product multiple times on TV and will already be aware of the product’s uses when she sees it on retail shelves.

Sell Internationally

On a population basis, the global market is 20 times the size of the U.S. market. Although marketing outside the U.S. requires careful planning, through the use of the Internet even very small businesses can tap into foreign markets. Choose one country to test market your international sales strategy and engage a marketing consultant familiar with that market and its culture to help you craft a marketing message that will motivate customers in that country to try your product or service.

Seek Out New Target Markets

Determine how your product or service could benefit other target markets than the ones you have traditionally sold to. You may have to modify your product offering somewhat so it will appeal to these new markets. If the primary market for your service has been large corporations, for example, you could scale down the scope of the service and offer it to small companies that may not have been able to afford the comprehensive service you offer.

Sales Force Motivation

Review the compensation formula and incentives you provide your sales force to make sure they are comparable to what other companies in your industry pay their salespeople. Consider offering additional incentive compensation through sales contests. Particularly if industry growth has been sluggish -- making it more of a struggle for the sale force to meet quota or forecast -- the opportunity to earn rewards such as cash bonuses or vacation trips may revitalize them. A more inspired, enthusiastic sales force will generate increased revenues.

Stronger Relationships with Existing Customers

From a marketing cost standpoint, the best way to build revenues is to sell more to the customers you already have. One advantage to this strategy is that you don’t have to spend money to find these customers. Make it a point to ask your loyal customers if there is anything you could add to your product or service offering that would motivate them to do additional business with you. A pet food store, for example, could ask customers if the store should stock pet healthcare products as well. Customers want to feel special. A company owner must communicate that he truly appreciates their business -- and teach this philosophy to everyone in his organization.

Team Up With Other Companies

Find other companies that sell products or services not directly competitive with yours and that have already forged relationships with customers you want to do business with. Form a joint venture in which you agree to sell each other’s products and services. Your company will earn commissions from selling the other company’s products and generate additional revenue from its own products. Joint ventures can provide your company with the important advantage of time -- you can begin selling to these new customers before your competitors are able to build relationships with them.

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