Young entrepreneurs often look at the most famous CEOs, such as Satya Nadella, Elon Musk, and Sundar Pichai, for inspiration. The truth is that even though these people are surely successful, the world is slowly changing. Clients are losing trust in huge corporations and are now shifting towards small companies for their purchases. People seem to prefer to opt for brands toward which they can feel a personal connection and whose values align with their own. Owning a small business today can be extremely rewarding, even on a financial level. Despite this, making money can be difficult at first, but there are a few tips you can incorporate into your business to skyrocket your sales!
Big companies may have several advantages over small businesses, but the latter can gain the upper hand by putting on their brand a friendly familiar face. According to CEO Emily Alexandra Guglielmo, founder of Emily Alexandra Cosmetics, this is a fundamental step that will make your brand stand out from all your competitors. It can be done in several ways, for instance, Emily Alexandra Guglielmo often takes her clients on a tour of the Dolls Kill store in LA to show them how her cosmetics are sold. By doing so, she creates a direct connection between herself, her brand, and her clients, drastically increasing the likelihood of people purchasing one of her products.
Donate to a Non-profit
If in the past, we used to hold governments accountable for social injustices, nowadays we tend to point our fingers at big companies. When in February 2022, the Russo-Ukrainian war began, people did not only expect a reaction from the EU, the US, and all the other nations, but also from corporations such as Apple, Coca-Cola, and Samsung. Fast food chains ranging from Mcdonald’s to Starbucks as well as fashion brands such as Nike and H&M, were all forced to close their stores in Russia due to social media pressure.
It’s becoming more and more clear that a company’s political agenda matters to its clients. A report involving over 15,000 participants worldwide found that roughly 59% of customers chose to purchase from a certain company because its values aligned with their own.
This is why it is fundamental for your brand to have a political agenda. You can implement this in your business by finding a non-profit to donate to that resonates with your audience. Luckily, nowadays the choices are endless, from companies trying to help the environment to non-profits improving social justice and gender equality in underdeveloped countries.
Investing in good customer support is fundamental, regardless of the size of your business. People who choose to buy from small companies often do so because they feel a connection with a certain brand. Having poor customer support means losing the connection and trust that led a certain client to buy from you rather than a multinational corporation.
In a report by Microsoft Dynamics, 61% of the participants reported switching to a different company, following a bad experience with customer service.
You may not be able to reply to every message right away, but if you make your customers feel understood, such as being willing to use some flexibility to accommodate their needs, you will surely earn their trust and loyalty. This will also help you stand out from other big corporations that often use the one-size-fits-all approach.
If you can automate it, stop wasting your time on it
One of the top problems young CEOs face is that they need to wear too many hats. Emily Alexandra Guglielmo recommends learning to delegate to cross off a few tasks from your endless to-do list, “Once I delegated to appropriate people that could expedite the tasks in a more timely manner with prestige and quality, I was able to allow myself to have more freedom and time to be creative and spend it on doing things I love.”
Even though delegating is a skill every CEO needs to master, at the very beginning some business owners may simply not have enough financial resources to hire employees. But there is a cheaper solution to this problem, automation! Nowadays, there are several programs on the market allowing you to automate all areas of your business. An example? You can invest in a chatbot to provide basic client service during your off-work hours. Other great ideas are setting up an automated email campaign and making use of social media scheduling tools.
If you can’t measure it you can’t improve it
Austrian-American management consultant, Peter Drucker wasn’t wrong when he famously said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it”. To be competitive, you need to constantly refine your services and follow the latest trends in your niche. The only way to achieve this is by having a good knowledge of your analytics. What are your clients’ main interests? What’s your target demographic? How many people clicked on your offer?
CRM data can give you a great insight into what your customers are interested in, what they value, and other general information. This will help you refine your product to meet your clients’ needs.
Predictive analytics and prescriptive analytics can also help you make financial decisions by giving you an idea of how your business may respond following financial changes. For instance, these tools can predict the percentage of clients who still buy a certain product if you decide to change its price.
There’s nothing better than email marketing to scale up your business. Emails can help you kickstart your sales by increasing your brand awareness, gaining subscribers, and helping you communicate directly with your customers. Email marketing is a great way to boost your sales using a completely automated method that will require you almost zero time and money investment.
All you need to start is an active email list of people who showed an interest in your product. This can be done by creating sign-up forms and popups. You can then use automated tools to send emails to all your contacts, such as monthly newsletters, promotional emails, and even questionnaires, to get data on your customers’ preferences and interests.
Spend money to make money
To make money, you first need to spend it. This can be very intimidating, especially if you’re a young entrepreneur. Nobody likes to have a several thousand dollar debt, but if you want to succeed, you need to get into the mindset that this is a necessary step that cannot be avoided.
According to a report by the British Business Bank, small businesses should have a debt ratio of roughly 1 to 1.5. In other words, for every dollar of debt, your company should have $1.50 in assets. For as long as you keep your debt within this ratio, you will see your brand benefit from it, growing exponentially, without having to worry too much about going bankrupt.
Written by Vanessa Lau.
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