A new financial year is approaching fast and come July 1, companies of all stripes will be back to scratch in terms of sales and profits.
Increasing bookings and billings against 2016’s numbers will be top of the goals list for many owners.
Here are some tips for giving your bottom line a boost in 2017.
Expand your range
Looking for a surefire way to see your sales soar? Ask your customers what else they’re in the market for and expand your range to suit, says The Healthy Mummy founder and CEO Rhian Allen, who has a personal training service and Thermomix cookbook ready to roll for 2017.
“Many businesses just want that one product and then put their feet up, but in a world which is ever changing, you need to be flexible and innovative,” she says.
Social media spark
Sure you’ve got a website and a Facebook page, but does this mean you’re squeezing all the sales you can out of social media?
Pinterest and Instagram are powerful free platforms you can no longer afford to sidestep if you’re marketing goods or services with visual appeal. Hardtofind founder Erica Stewart says: “A clever engaging social content strategy can really help drive traffic.
“And with organic Google ratings, it’s worth consulting an SEO expert to ensure your business is a first page contender when customers are searching for what you’re selling.”
"People who’re presented with options based on past purchases and behaviour are more likely to buy again."
Online concierge service
With more sales than ever taking place online – as a nation we spent $16.6 billion in the year to January 2015 – giving your customers top notch service in cyberspace can be the key to ensuring they return for more.
Focus on delivering a ‘frictionless’ experience which capitalises on the younger market’s propensity for clicking, sharing, comparing, customising and automating, Teradata Marketing Applications director Adam Dougall says.
“People who’re presented with options based on past purchases and behaviour are more likely to buy again,” he says.
Repeat business is the best kind and what better way to encourage it than by thanking an existing client for pointing their customer in your direction?
Consider leaving a sweet taste in their mouth, with an edible gift for the office to share, or go old school with a simple note or card expressing your appreciation for their ongoing support.
Collect what’s yours
Tardy remittances and bad debts are a drain on businesses of all sizes and beefing up your bank balance can be as simple as tightening up your credit terms and being more rigorous about collecting what’s owed. Mobile invoicing apps can reduce payment times and provide an at-your-fingertips way to monitor those outstanding invoices.
Sylvia Pennington is a Brisbane-based freelance journalist who writes about small business, information technology and personal finance.