Launching a new company takes a huge amount of initial investment, hard work and long hours. After all of that toiling, you find that people aren’t purchasing what you’re selling. Here are some strategies for identifying the problem and some solutions to start you down the right path.
The first strategy is to reflect carefully on what’s actually happening. Follow in the footsteps of your ideal customer and make sure everything is working smoothly. Whether you have a store front or sell your goods online, double-check each step of the way and see where you might be losing a customer. Is the page load time too slow? Is the storefront inviting or visible? Then, take a look at the market that you’re trying to serve. Are there needs met elsewhere? What could you do to innovate and provide an improved good or service?
Create Multiple Income Streams
If you’re making sales, but need a more stable income over time, consider diversifying your income streams. You can provide a slightly different set of goods or services that could attract a customers from a different demographic. Learning more about your current customer base will help you decide how you need to grow it.
Communicating with current or past customers about their experiences might provide insight into your revenue patterns. A simple set of questions or customer service follow up would be a simple way to learn from the customer’s perspective.
You also reach out to invite people to purchase, take a look, or try your product. It may seem aggressive, but people like making personal connections when buying new products. Often, the best recommendations that you will receive are from those who have tried and loved your company. Use your network to promote your brand.
Be realistic about how long sales cycle will be. The more expensive the item, the longer it will take customers to decide on a purchase. If your product will have a longer sales cycle, think about how you can keep your customers engaged while they’re processing their decision. If your product will have a shorter sales cycle, think about how you will keep customers loyal to your brand the next time they need to purchase.
Establish an Emergency Fund
When you are self-employed, you don’t have the same safety net that is accessible to others. Planning ahead and establishing an emergency fund will save you from worrying about your monthly bills and keep you out of credit card debt for a period of time. An emergency fund should cover your business and personal expenses. It needs to last at least 6 months. If you get to a point where you are accessing your emergency fund, you need to consider your options and decide at what point you will close your business. Will you continue to problem solve until your emergency fund is gone? Or will you consider other options more quickly?
Running a small business requires constant evaluation and adaptation. When trying a new line of goods or set of services, start small by testing the water. If it looks like a good option, slowly expand and continue your evaluations. There is a lot of opportunity and need in the market. Your business will thrive when you take smart, cautious steps to ensure it’s success.
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