You’ve probably heard statistic that 95% of small businesses fail in first five years. That’s not a very encouraging number! Although being part of 5% that succeed is not easy, it’s definitely possible. What it takes is a lot of common sense, some marketing and sales skills and ability to learn from mistakes of others.
To get you started on road to success, here are three of biggest mistakes small businesses make and some tips to help you avoid them:
Mistake #1: Having a Poorly Defined Sales Process
The key to making money with any business is to stay focused on how you can “sell”, “sell more” and “sell more often”. Unfortunately most businesses don’t consider all of ways they can make money from customers and end up losing potential revenues.
There are three ways you can make money from your site:
1. Get More New Customers – This is sales activity that most small businesses spend 90% of their efforts on. Although it’s an important element of your sales process, it’s only one of three ways you can make money. Don’t neglect other two because you’re focused on only attracting new customers.
2. Make More Money From Each Transaction – Upselling is process of increasing value of a customer’s order. Offering additional products and services at point of purchase is an effective way to increase value of transaction.
3. Sell More Often To Existing Customers – Existing customers are least expensive customers to sell to. Why? Because they’ve already purchased from you once so they trust you, you already know what they’re interested in and you know how to reach them. Use these facts to your advantage by following up with existing customers on a regular basis and offering them more products and services. This process is known as backend sales and is one of most overlooked revenue sources by small businesses.
A well-defined sales process will include all three of these. If you’re missing any of them you need to rethink your strategy from beginning. Start with your first contact with a customer and walk through step-by-step how you’ll take them from never having heard of you to being a lifelong customer.
Mistake #2: Not Learning What Makes a Website Sell
If you’ve been online longer than five minutes you know that “build it and they will come” mentality doesn’t work. If you want your business to succeed you need to learn how to make a website that sells.