Before you know it, this year’s holiday season will have come and gone faster than you can say “cash or credit?” Instead of hunkering down until the next big shopping period, use this time to figure out what your next game plan will be.Some owners have survived or even thrived despite a weak economy because they figured out how to improve their operations and run a more efficient business.
Follow this checklist to develop a blueprint to help strengthen your business’ performance in the months ahead:
Were certain promotions more successful than others? Did you order the right amount of inventory? Did you receive more first-time customers?
analyse the tactics you used to increase sales before the holidays and figure out which ones were the most effective. Perhaps you added a new selection of products and services or provided free shipping for online purchases. Evaluating your successes and missteps will help you develop a future winning strategy.
Studies show that up to 63 per cent of consumers have or will consider abandoning a brand because of irrelevant communications, according to the National Retail Federation. The last thing a company wants is to be perceived being as out of touch with its client base.
Most small businesses can't afford to hire an agency to collect customer data for them. Asking for feedback through social media tools like Facebook or Twitter and the traditional email or suggestion box are cost-effective ways to find out what many customers want in a brand.
This year's Cyber Monday was the heaviest U.S. online shopping day ever recorded with shoppers spending more than $1 billion on online purchases, reported comScore.
Clearly, more people are doing their shopping online and a poorly functioning website could cost you a huge chunk of your profits. Test your site to see if it needs some tweaking to help increase sales. Look for ways to improve its search functions as well as how products or services are displayed. The goal is to make it easy for customers to find what they want while also drawing their attention to other items that might interest them.
There's no point in updating your website if no one sees it.
Learn how to take advantage of SEO (search engine optimization) tools and keywords to make sure your website shows up frequently in web searches and gets more traffic.
The competition for consumers' dollars continues to be steep. The period after the holiday rush is an ideal time to try out new strategies or products you have been considering.
If you haven't created a Facebook fan page, Twitter or Foursquare account yet, now is a good time to figure out which tools work best for you. Spend some time experimenting and be patient if you don't see results quickly. It may take several months before your efforts start to bear fruit.
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