July 27, 2016 By Suzanne Robertson

Have your sales hit a slump? There are a few simple strategies you can use to increase profits and attract new customers.

Review these ideas to determine if they are a fit for your small business.

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1. Nurture Your Current Customers

Don’t make the mistake of ignoring your current customer base. Not only can they offer valuable advice, you can gain their loyalty and increase sales with a few easy strategies. If you have an email list, consider sending out a thank you along with a discount or other incentive. Think about a customer newsletter. Can you offer information that your core customers will find interesting? Take some time to Google “small business newsletter” for ideas and inspiration.

2. Ramp Up Your Social Media Activity

These days, popular platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter offer the opportunity to use targeted advertising. You don’t have to spend a fortune to connect with potential customers and clients.

3. Review Costly Services And Activities

You might be offering your customers expensive services that could be cut without losing customer satisfaction. Review services offered – can you reduce the cost of the service or get rid of it completely without impacting sales?

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4. Launch a Limited-Time Sale or Promotion

Just a tiny discount can spark the interest of current customers and attract new ones. The QuickBooks blog has a good suggestion if you implement this strategy, “Make sure to clearly define the parameters of the sale—including start and end dates—so there isn’t any confusion if the client decides to continue working with you once the promotion ends.”

5. Bundle Products

Package your products according to a theme like an upcoming holiday, season or even a color. Sell the bundle as a special package.

6. Invest in Promotional Items

In a recent survey, 58% of respondents reported that they keep a promotional product anywhere from one year to more than four years. Branded pens, t-shirts, recyclable bags and other swag can keep your business top-of-mind and can sway customers shopping decisions.

7. Launch a Contest or Giveaway

Although this can sound overwhelming, there are many low-effort ways to host a giveaway. Facebook has a number of apps, like WooBox, that make it easy run a contest. You can also go old school with paper entry forms dropped into a jar or box. Think creatively about what type of prize will interest your target consumer.

8. Hold a Special Event

Everyone loves a party! You can buy some balloons and rent a popcorn popper to drive traffic into your store. If your customer base has children, consider family-friendly activities that can keep the kids busy while parents shop. If you have an adult clientele, consider brining in live music or hosting a grown-up events like wine tastings.

9. Bulk Order Rewards

If customers buy in bulk, offer a special discount or an incentive like a t-shirt or other promotional item.

10. Explore Publicity Opportunities

Has your small business been featured in local publications or other news outlets? If you have a newsworthy story, reach out to reporters and writers who cover small business. Even if you don’t have a media angle, offer yourself as an expert in local commerce. There’s also a service called “HARO” or Help A Reporter Out. HARO is a free publicity tool. Reporters need expert sources for their stories, and HARO connects you with their queries.

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