Sales Strategy

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How to Create a Sustainable Sales Strategy for Your Small Business

June 13, 2018 - 11:00 am
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Thanks to e-commerce, small business startups are proliferating locally and worldwide. Nonetheless, a sustainable sales strategy remains a challenge. If launching a startup, you can expect there are businesses like yours competing for market share. As a small business owner, your best defense is resilience in the face of changing consumer preferences and emerging trends.

The sales strategy you put together today will need constant tweaking or perhaps an entirely new approach. However, e-commerce has generated e-tools to propel sales and marketing. With strategic integration and dashes of traditional or old-school tactics, you can be the architect of a sustainably adaptive sales strategy. Here are ways to begin building.

 

Leverage tech tools 

Leverage the tools many of us already have, including a smartphone and other mobile devices, a desktop computer with internet connection, a digital camera, and printer with scan and fax functions. 

 

Collaborate

Collaborate with business owners in person and on social media to plan a sales strategy. If you have a social media following and your own personal network, these are advantages. Connect as much as possible online and offline as well.

 

Distribute

Set up distribution channels if selling products. Unless you enjoy packaging and labeling, zero in on distributors that will do your shipping and handling. Use Google and other search engines to target e-tail sites and brick and mortar distributors best suited to your business. Include international as well as local distributors. Post ads on job sites such as Indeed and in publications that have a strong circulation. 

 

Maximize social media and online merchant sites 

  • Set up a Facebook store to sell and promote your company's products and services. A Facebook page is for socializing. The store is where you actually sell.
  • Set up shop on Shopify, a nifty online site for selling and shipping your goods. This site is packed with information on selling through third parties such as Facebook and Amazon. Businesses get the e-resources for becoming an e-merchant. These include online payment gateways so that you, the seller, can receive payments quickly.
  • Create or plug into a mobile app such as Snapchat for Business. Many businesses attract customers through mobile devices. 
  • Sell merchandise on established sites such as eBay, Amazon, Overstock.com and Etsy.
  • Place ads on LinkedIn and Twitter and in trade publications. Create content suitable for each medium. If selling clothing on LinkedIn, for example, feature content about business wear for professionals. 
  • Create infomercials on YouTube. In addition to promoting products, YouTube is great for product demonstrations and promoting services related to health and beauty. YouTube demos have also helped homeowners with DIY projects such as floor installation. If you're a home improvement contractor, promote your services on YouTube. 
  • Work with media channels such as Snapchat Discover Channel
  • Create and publish an advertorial to supplement and augment your infomercials and other promotional materials. 

 

Generating sales in other ways 

  • Rent out your wares and allow customers to keep the merchandise if they like it.
  • Franchise your business. This is a tried and true way to grow your small business when you know your products and services are selling.
  • Offer buying incentives such as Groupon discounts and sales specials.  
  • If in the building trades, list your company on sites such as Angie's List and HomeAdvisor. Look for online sites that sell tools and building materials. Approach hardware chains and home improvement retailers and distributors.
  • Generate free publicity for your company through press release announcements, using either e-mail or snail mail. 
  • Print and distribute flyers. This traditional use of guerilla marketing has been deployed for years.
  • Set up a pop-up store as a litmus test for selling your products. 

 

This article was written by Linda Cameron for Small Business Pulse