Zero Cost Ideas To Help Your Business Grow
These zero cost ideas are a some of my ‘no cost’ and ‘very low cost’ ideas.
- Set your sales targets for the year
How much extra business do you want each month?
You should set a growth of 25% to 30% for the year.
What is your average sale value?
Can you increase it by 2% per month?
How many new sales do you need each month to hit your target?
- Set your enquiry target for the month
You need to know your enquiry to sales ratio to do this.
What percentage of enquiries result in a sale, on average?
Once you’ve worked out the above then you can go on to work out how many enquiries you need each month to hit your target?
From past experience, what do you need to do to generate that number of enquiries?
- Determine your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
What do you offer that’s different?
You should describe your product in terms of what it does for your client, not what it is. No-one really cares what your product is, the only thing they care about is how they benefit from using your product / service.
Why do customers buy from you?
Do you know?
I mean, did you ask your customers or are you guessing?
What problems do they have with other suppliers in your field?
State your USP in a single sentence or short paragraph. Use it whenever you can.
If you already have a pile of brochures and stationery without the USP, make sure you include it in the text of any letters you send.
At the very least, hand write it on any compliments slips you send out with information to prospective customers.
- Work out what a new customer is worth to you
It won’t cost you anything to do this, other than some time and effort.
What is your C.L. Customer Lifetime?
How long does the average customer stay with you?
What is your C.L.V. Customer Lifetime Value?
How much profit do you make each year from an average customer?
Once you know the above two metrics you then know how much you can afford to spend to acquire a new customer / client.
Even though you may not have a marketing budget, you now know how much you could afford to spend to tempt them in.
Cashflow is obviously a priority.
- Keep customer records
Whether you do it on sheets of labels, cards or on a computer, just make sure you do it.
Just a few extra sales a year will pay for the time and effort.
- Keep in touch with your customers
It doesn’t cost much to telephone or write to your regular customers when you have something to tell them or offer them.
They will thank you for it, if you’re offering something of value to them.
The extra orders will easily cover your costs.
- Make sure all your customers know about all your products and services
Many customers buy one product from a company without ever knowing the full range of products and services they offer.
- Take the risk away from your prospects
One of the main barriers to doing business is fear of the unknown.
Make it clear to your prospects that there is no risk in doing business with you.
How can you reduce the perceived risk of doing business with you?
You have to be Lowest Risk / Highest Value before people will do business with you.
If the product doesn’t do what you say it will do, tell them, you’ll take it back.
Make sure that it will do what you say!
Offer them a free trial of your product or service.
Yes, you’ll get the odd few who cancel, but the extra business will more than make up for it.
- Give information away to your customers and prospects
Put together an information sheet or leaflet that you can give to people or include in your mailshots.
If you already advertise, ask them to call for your free advice sheet.
This should not be a repetition of your sales messages.
It should give them valuable information, advice and guidance whether or not they ever do business with you.
Many will thank you for it and come to you when they’re ready to buy something.
You can have 5,000 leaflets printed for a very reasonable price.
- Make the most of free publicity opportunities
Issue press releases when you have something new to say.
Get to know the editorial staff on the publications you’re targeting.
Invite them to come and see what you have to offer.
Send them your advice sheet with a covering letter explaining how useful it could be to their readers.
Call them and discuss articles you could write for them about your area of expertise that would be of interest and value to their readers.
All of these get you exposure at little or no cost.
- Test your adverts as leaflets
Before committing to major advertising spend, make sure you will get a good response by testing the ad layout as a leaflet.
If it bombs, think again.
- ‘Clone’ your best salesperson
Find out what makes them the best.
Go on sales calls with them.
Listen to their telephone technique.
Put together a short training seminar for everyone else.
Make sure they’re using the new ideas you’ve given them.
- Make sure you know how you’re performing
Keep records of where your enquiries are coming from.
Log your enquiries on forms, computer database or spreadsheet.
Summarise every month and compare against your costs.
Ditch any medium that’s not paying for itself, or adjust your sales messages until it does.
- Actively seek referrals from your existing customers
If you don’t ask you may never be given any.
Make sure you give them some incentive.
Offer them discounts or free extras, don’t just leave it to chance.
Ask all your customers for five names you could contact on their recommendation.
- Seek out any Internet listing services that are free or low-cost
In the UK Scoot will list you on their Internet service for free.
You only pay if you want your name given out to telephone enquirers.
Also, if you’re a hotel, many listing services will include you from about $25 upwards.
Find out what listing services exist in your own line of business, and how much they cost.
- Team up with anyone else who shares your target market
Make use of your own suppliers.
Who benefit from your success.
You’re effectively selling for them, so couldn’t they share some of the cost with you?
Who else is already supplying to the customers you want?
Could they recommend your products or services?
The above are just a few ways I can help you improve your Sales and Marketing Results.