Whether you are just starting or your business sales have stagnated, every young entrepreneur could use a little help. Across all fields and types of businesses, you need to retain existing customers while acquiring new ones.
You don’t want to spend all your investment capital on advertising. But you do need to get the word out and get your brand in front of the eyeballs of people who will become customers or clients.
Sometimes the best ways to do things are the simplest. This is especially true for young entrepreneurs who are relatively new in the world of sales. Here are five of the best ways to make those sales numbers skyrocket – and maybe have some fun along the way!
1. PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR EXISTING CUSTOMERS
This might seem like a no-brainer: give your customers some love. But how can a young entrepreneur like you, who is just starting, guarantee customer retention beyond saying, “Thank you,” with every purchase?
Statistically speaking, your existing customers will make up about 65% of your total sales. Repeat customers spend around 31% more than new customers.
- Ask for feedback. Give your customers a chance to tell you what you’re already doing right – and what could use some improvement.
- Do some research. Google Analytics is a fast and easy way to track your customers’ habits, such as how long they spend on each page of your website or which demographics are visiting you. Gathering data will let you know where your customers are really paying attention and what’s dead weight.
- Offer loyalty rewards. People love getting things for free! Maybe you can offer existing customers a buy-6-get-1-free promotion, or a loyalty card that racks up points for discounts or freebies.
- Give them a head’s up on new products or services. Let your customers know you value their business by utilizing social media and email newsletters to offer new products or services before you launch them to the public.
2. ATTRACT NEW CUSTOMERS
Don’t forget to grow with new customers! Smart and ambitious young entrepreneurs know how important it is to expand their customer base. Anyone who isn’t a customer yet, but knows about your business, is referred to as a “prospect.” And every existing customer you have was once a prospect. But how and where do you find these prospects? And how do you convert a prospect into a loyal customer?
- Offer freebies. Think about pretty much every streaming service available. Most, if not all, of them offer a free trial before you pay for a subscription. This system is popular because it works.
- Offer deals. Young entrepreneurs who run a babysitting service might offer 20% off a parent’s first babysit during the hectic month of September when kids go back to school and parents scramble with new schedules and the return of homework battles.
- Consider paying for ads. You don’t need to spend millions on a 30-second Super Bowl commercial. But think about whether it might be worth investing a little cash for a Google ad.
3. FOCUS ON WHAT MAKES YOU UNIQUE
An easy way to boost sales is to focus your marketing on what makes you and your business unique. Don’t just offer a bland, template-style business. Show existing and potential customers all the individual and personalized services you offer. Anyone can open a lemonade stand, but young entrepreneurs with an eye on success will focus on why everyone should buy their lemonade.
Having trouble figuring out what your unique selling point might be?
- Look at your competitors. If every other lemonade seller highlights the fresh and homemade qualities of their product, you need to focus on something else. Do you give a percentage of your profits to a local charity? Do you add interesting and delicious flavors?
- Focus on your product’s benefits. What benefits will people get from buying lemonade from you? Do you deliver to their homes? Is your lemonade sugar-free?
4. OFFER MULTIMEDIA CONTENT
Even if you’re already marketing your business on social media, you may benefit from expanding your platforms. While you and your friends probably consider Facebook to be the networking platform of choice for older people, don’t take it off the table. Your marketing plan should be robust and well-rounded. That means a wide variety of content across a wide variety of platforms.
- Ads on Facebook and SnapChat
- Product description videos on TikTok and YouTube
- Behind-the-scenes photo stories on Instagram and Pinterest
- Announcements and customer engagement on Twitter
- Blogs that discuss your unique journey as a young entrepreneur
Remember to keep your personal profiles separate from your business profiles! The business profiles you create should stick to business talk and nothing else. No politics, no religion, no venting about someone you dislike at school, no trashing other businesses. Your posts and content should remain upbeat, optimistic, and inviting. Triple-check which account you are signed in with before you post anything!
5. MAKE A CALL TO ACTION
What’s a call to action? Investopedia defines this as:
“…a marketing term that refers to the next step a marketer wants its audience or reader to take. For example, it can instruct the reader to click the buy button to complete a sale…or it can suggest that the reader subscribe to a newsletter.”
Your call to action might include offering referral discounts for your regular customers, a method that’s popular with meal delivery kits.
- Make your call to action clear and concise.
- Make your call to action easy to do.
- Make your call to action rewarding.
Your call to action shouldn’t involve a lot of unnecessary steps. That’s a quick way to lose customers. It should benefit them in some way, like keeping them in the loop on new products before you launch them.
Ultimately, all five of these methods should work together for your benefit. Consider a call to action for new customers who sign up for your newsletter, or a discount code for your Twitter followers. These tips should not take up too much of your time – or money! Think of them as fun things to try as you travel that entrepreneurial path to success.
Young entrepreneurs in Florida may be eligible for a Kantner Foundation college scholarship. Click here to learn about what we have to offer and how to apply.