How to recognise and assess opportunities in the marketplace
Running a successful business these days requires savvy. Small business-owners, who often do not have the support of skilled consultants, will need to call on their own experience, knowledge and common-sense. That’s why it’s important to have good leadership skills, good systems, and ensure your staff have product knowledge and great rapport with your customers.
Another useful characteristic for any business owner is the ability to recognise and assess opportunities in the market place. Here are ten tips to keep in mind:
- Understand and monitor the prevailing economic and industry conditions – look for opportunities.
- Analyse the demographics of your customer base and customer profiles: what are their needs, disposable income?
- Determine what pricing strategies can be implemented.
- Know what your competitors are doing.
- Determine promotional strategies to suit your target customers eg, media, word-of-mouth referrals; and plan promotional schedules around specific activities that will affect your customer base.
- Develop a budget for each promotional activity prior to commencing, highlighting what you hope to achieve, what it is going to cost to promote and then analyse the performance against the budget expectation at the conclusion of the activity.
- Measure the success of media advertising or promotion.
- Checklist for maintaining sales:
- Increasing the number of customers can be affected by: location, effective advertising, in store displays, demonstrations and special events
- Exterior appearance is important
- Effective hardworking employees are vital assets to a business
- Hints on increasing average sales:
- Companion selling
- Selling higher quality
- In-store signs
- Stock mix
- Increasing repeat visitors by customers:
- Staff attitude
- Staff product/service knowledge
- Staff sales ability
- Stock range
- Business image/appearance/housekeeping
- Direct mail
- Birthday and Christmas cards
- Customer clubs, outings, etc.