A recent survey has revealed that a quarter of small businesses are inhibiting growth by failing to launch their own websites. The research, conducted by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), examined the practises of 2,000 companies in relation to the cyber world and e-commerce. Even though 75 per cent of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are officially represented online, only 36 per cent use their website as a portal for online sales.
The findings were released to coincide with Local Business Week, a campaign that aims to help SMEs compete with large corporations.
FSB’s research highlights a serious issue for local companies struggling to maximise profits. Hosting a website and enabling it for customer transactions are two of many ways that businesses can promote growth and increase revenue. There are a number of other, more far-reaching changes that have tremendous potential to boost success.
For a start, businesses should acknowledge and embrace the erratic nature of sales. Sometimes traffic (both in bricks and mortar stores and online) is heavy, while other weeks, or even months, may be incredibly slow. To capitalise on busy periods and avoid desperate dry spells, businesses should take control of their sales strategy. Lay the foundation by defining a clear, overarching focus for the year, then divvy it up into chunks and decide how to approach each season.
Take preventative measures to keep sales from slipping. Focus on offering the best product or service available, and gather as much information as possible on your target market. That way, you’ll have a good sense of their expectations so you can rise above them and truly impress your consumers. Setting yourself apart from the competition is crucial to attract new customers. Additionally, maintaining a high standard will help you retain the loyal ones.
Still, if you notice a decrease in revenue, offer sales and attractive deals to boost your income or subscription rate. Do what needs to be done in times of hardship, but don’t be hasty or go overboard. Losing control of your sales process is a good way to ruin your business. Effective business start-up advice encourages confidence and proactive measures to keep sales flowing throughout the year.