The secret to growing sales

February 20, 2024
5
minutes to read
by
Michael Nuciforo
Table of Contents

Every business has ambitions to expand but achieving growth is easier said than done. When running a business it’s important you continually assess your customers, competitors, your product or service offering and marketing channels to find the optimum mix of opportunities to grow your sales. By having the right insights and process in place, growing sales can be a regular occurrence and not a pipe dream.

Many businesses get stuck in a ‘no growth’ cycle. In the early days of the business, when things are new, growth comes easily. Customers hear about your business, purchase your product, tell their friends, and more came. Easy days. But somewhere along the way, this growth stops. This growth malaise often comes as the business hits maturity. Your new exciting product is no longer that new or exciting anymore.

Depending on the industry, location or product offering you might have reached saturation with your current offering in your target market. When this happens, it’s important to understand the cause behind this. Generally, the original growth blinded the business to other opportunities or customers. The irony is that past success often becomes detrimental to the future success of the business. Complacency sets in and you just get accustomed to business as usual.

Once you recognise this, it’s time to act - and act quickly; your business depends on it. Things can move rapidly in business, and customers always vote with their feet. The best way to handle this challenge is to set up an on-going process of self review and market evaluation. You need to look deeply at how your business is performing and also what else is happening in the wider market. If there is a new hairdresser around the corner that is offering a free first cut, but you don’t, it’s going to be impacting your business. If this happens for 12 months without you realising it could be terminal.

To get the ball rolling, start by speaking to your customers and find out how they feel about your offering. You want to build up a solid understanding of the quality of your offering and how customers really feel about it. More importantly, you want to identify areas for improvement, or items that are missing from your offering. These learnings are great as you can have a clear plan for addressing these gaps. Embed these reviews into a regular process, if you only do it once, you will find yourself with the same issue again in the future.

The next stage is to look at the rest of the market. What other similar products or services are consumers using? How do they feel about them? What do they like or dislike about them? You can use online reviews as a starting point. We highly recommend trying out competitor products for yourself. This is the best way to see first hand what your competition is offering. During this review, also evaluate pricing, marketing, performance levels and even things like help and support. 

As an example, many online hotel sites growth were severely impacted by the rise of booking.com in the 2010’s. The key differentiator for booking.com was offering free cancellation. The free cancellation offer hit such a sweet spot with customers that many switched to using booking.com exclusively. Booking.com then used this to build out their business, negotiate better rates with hotels, offer lower prices and ultimately get a significant share of the online hotel sales market. The incumbent online hotel sites let this happen right under their noses.

Once you have completed your analysis, list down the opportunity areas and changes you can make. Rank them from the highest expected impact to the lowest. Start working on these strategies. It could be a new pricing plan, a new loyalty program, or a new marketing channel. Test these out and see how you go. Compare performance, pre and post implementation. It’s important you identify which strategies are working and which are not. During this process, you might also identify other things to try based on the results of your initial test. If Facebook ads are working, perhaps you should try Instagram or Twitter.

Thriday can also assist you in determining the success of your activities. You can create budgets for marketing on the site or apps and then track your growth in sales. Our simple visual and customisable reports help you keep on top of your progress and give you the insights you need to make the right decisions about your business.  Thriday can also assist in your new efforts by allowing you to borrow funds to purchase new supplies, try new marketing channels or bring on the new team members.

Ultimately, if you don’t allocate time and energy to growth, you are bound to hit a brick wall at some stage. So create a plan, put time aside, and make sure you understand what opportunities exist in your market to scale. Growing sales is not unattainable, it’s just about executing a series of tasks that enable you to make the best decisions about where to spend your precious resources.

DISCLAIMER: Team Thrive Pty Ltd ABN 15 637 676 496 (Thriday) is an authorised representative (No.1297601) of Regional Australia Bank ABN 21 087 650 360 AFSL 241167 (Regional Australia Bank). Regional Australia Bank is the issuer of the transaction account and debit card available through Thriday. Any information provided by Thriday is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether Thriday is appropriate for you. Team Thrive No 2 Pty Ltd ABN 26 677 263 606 (Thriday Accounting) is a Registered Tax Agent (No.26262416).

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