What do you think are the most profitable words ever? Some would say they are, “Would you like fries with that?” It transforms the purchase of a hamburger into a package deal, in many cases doubling the size of the original sale. All because of six simple words.
Are there simple, but profitable marketing tactics that you could implement in your small business? Most likely, it’s just a matter of finding them. To help you, try to remember the Four Goals of Marketing: sell more, more often, to more people, for more money. By focusing on each of these goals separately, it’s easier to pinpoint ways to improve your business.
As an example, let’s pretend we own a drive-through espresso stand with a small base of customers. How might we use the Four Goals of Marketing to give our business a boost?
Sell more: Let’s say our customers typically buy only a cup of coffee. If we want them to buy more, we simply need to offer products or services they want. For instance, we could add muffins, orange juice and oatmeal. Starbucks just recently added oatmeal, so no business is too big or small to utilize the principle of “sell more.” Just adding a few options for customers could substantially increase the size and profitability of each sale.
More often: what incentives could our espresso stand offer to bring customers in more often? First, we need to ensure quality products and consistent service. That’s key for bringing people back consistently. Then we could offer a punch card or rewards club. Some businesses provide visual reminders, like the oil change sticker on your windshield or the reminder postcard that some dentists send at checkup time. By doing these things, perhaps customers who come in twice per week will now come in four times per week – doubling our revenue.
To more people: when trying to grow our customer base, advertising is an obvious option. Other options include having proper signage so that people know who and where we are. Referral programs and promotional giveaways also should be considered. In years past, Krispy Kreme generated huge grand openings by giving out coupons for free doughnuts. Low cost, huge response.
For more money: At the end of the day, your profit per transaction is enormously important. In this economy, raising prices could be tough. However, if you provide something of clear value over the competitors, don’t be shy about charging for it. If our coffee stand sells soy mochas, it’s OK if they cost more than the “cup of joe” at a diner. Another way to increase profit per transaction is to lower costs. Could we change or renegotiate with suppliers? Is there a way to utilize different materials (without compromising quality)?
The key is that these are all simple ideas, but any one of them might provide a substantial boost to the bottom line. Try sitting down and brainstorming ideas for your business using each of the Four Goals of Marketing. Then start by implementing the ideas that are the lowest cost and easiest to put into practice.
Jeff Perlot is a Business Management Faculty and Small Business Adviser at Green River Community College. To read more ideas, visit enumclawbusiness.blogspot.com.