Newbury Park, CA – The cost of doing business is causing many small business owners to run for cover. Taking into account the now unavoidable Affordable Healthcare Act of 2010, also known as “Obamacare”, there’s only one solution. Bring in more revenue. Prominent strategists agree, there are four excellent instant income strategies and systems focused on the customer that will help small business owners do just that.
The first strategy is to keep track of the customer’s buying patterns and then call them to take re-orders. If businesses sell any kind of consumable product they owe it to themselves and their businesses to set up a contact management program. This internal program would have a “tickler” feature to prompt them to make these calls at just the point when customers will be deciding to replenish their supply. In fact, keeping records is imperative, since many customers will want to know what they ordered last time and will ask the company to simply send the same amount.
The second strategy is to up-sell customers at the point of purchase. When businesses offer a better version, extra add-ons, or any supplemental services that customers need in order to benefit more fully from the item or service that they’re purchasing, it’s no secret that business owners create more cash for themselves. But the benefit that’s not always focused on is that the added exchange also creates a relationship with now happier customers who ultimately enjoys their purchase much more.
The third strategy to increase the small business owner’s bottom line is to convert one-time customers into continuity customers. Continuity programs deliver ongoing monthly services, regular shipments of product, individual educational modules, or a special monthly selection with customers signing up today for a series of shipments or deliveries in the future. Businesses sell customers once and then bill their credit card until they’re told to stop or until their contract runs out. So, if a business owner has a group of customers who buy regularly, or if they sell a consumable item that customers repeatedly buy, they can easily generate substantial instant income by up-selling those buyers into a continuity program.
The easiest continuity programs to offer are those where customers routinely purchase the same products on a regular basis and the business performs the same level of service for the same clients, or they provide repair and maintenance services on a regular basis. “By using direct mail, telemarketing, email and other marketing campaigns separate from general marketing–and by crafting offers that speak specifically to past buyers companies can not only sell more goods and services to past buyers, but they can also turn them into continuity buyers that purchase on a pre-scheduled, automatic-delivery basis.” says strategist and author, Janet Switzer.
The fourth customer strategy is to instantly reactivate past customers and patients. Past customers often have no idea why they stopped purchasing an item or stopped using a particular service. All they need is a reminder of why they enjoyed buying the product and receive a special incentive to begin doing so again. “The key to success with existing customers” Switzer says, “is to communicate specific offers. Instead of saying ‘we have low prices’ businesses should offer a specific item or package at a specific price. Then they should take the time to explain the benefits that consumers will enjoy from that product or service.”
Janet Switzer is a New York Times bestseller and the author of Instant Income: Strategies That Bring In the Cash for Small Businesses, Innovative Employees and Occasional Entrepreneurs. She offers two free guides, the Instant Income New Business Planner for insuring long-term growth and the Instant Income 10-Day Turnaround Program, detailing day-by-day action steps for bringing in emergency cash in just 10 days.
In addition, Switzer has been the behind-the-scenes income strategist for celebrity entrepreneurs like Chicken Soup for the Soul’s Jack Canfield and others for more than 20 years. But her favorite clients, she says, have always been “solo entrepreneurs”—those without employees, usually working out of their home and, according to Switzer, able to benefit immediately from even the smallest increase in revenue.
The book, Instant Income®, details 35 strategies that help small businesses and self-employed people earn emergency cash from existing customers, through joint promotions with other local businesses, using highly responsive advertising techniques, in the sales department, via the Internet, and even by selling “overlooked” assets like obsolete inventory or valuable industry knowledge.
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