5 Proven Ways to Build Local Business Sales and Profits

Local businesses face unique challenges when it comes to increasing sales. In this post we’ll detail five ways you can increase your profits this year.

1. Keep Your Marketing in the Neighborhood

local shops

Imagine a circle around your small business with a radius of three miles. Now, imagine that everyone outside that ring disappears from Earth. You would hardly notice the effect on your business!

Research shows that nearly 80% of sales for small businesses, such as restaurants, come from within a three-mile radius. It doesn’t matter wether you are an independent business or part of a major chain, the results are the same.

With that in mind, are you directing 80% of your marketing efforts towards that critical 3-mile radius?

The mass marketing myth that the more people you reach, the more business you will attract just does not work for local businesses. The battle for the heart, mind (and pocketbook) of the local patron must be won block-by-block through friendly neighborhood marketing.

2. Present a Welcome, Cozy Atmosphere

cozy restaurant gathering

Most customers don’t like to shop in big, empty stores or eat in empty restaurants. People enjoy a cozy, intimate atmosphere where they feel welcome and where others are also congregating.

While you can’t control the number of guests who arrive and fill up your location, you can control how full the room looks and how comfortable the guests feel.

It will take a willingness to re-arrange  your seating, the wisdom to change service policies and the ability to reconfigure your layout based on volume of business, but it will be worth it.

Just remember that hanging a “This Section Closed” sign sends a negative message. You should make your changes in a sophisticated and subtle way. Guests do not need to know that you have closed off a section of your business.

3. Set Expectations to Deliver Customer Satisfaction

happy restaurant customer

As the owner of a local, small business you have fewer resources at your disposal than a large corporation. As such you must set expectations in order to deliver customer satisfaction.

For example, let’s say you eat out and your meal costs $5.00. What are your expectations? You expect a “no-frills” experience where the food is ready quickly and is wrapped in paper and handed over the counter. You’ll likely eat your food with disposable utensils in an environment dominated by plastic.

If those expectations are met, a sort of unspoken contract has been fulfilled between the customer and restaurant. The value received corresponds with the price charged. The guest leaves satisfied. 

Now consider a $20.00 meal. Your expectations will be both different and greater. This time you will probably expect a china plate, tablecloth, glassware, metal flatware and personal table service.

Make sure your business, whatever you sell, is meeting or exceeding customer expectations.

4. Conduct a Pre-Shift Sales Briefing

informal small team meeting

For many local businesses, there is a big opportunity to increase revenue through sales briefings before each shift.

You can quickly discuss any specials, discounts or promotions going on that your team can use to increase sales. You can also discuss the many benefits of your more expensively priced items to help your team upsell when talking with customers.

The better prepared your staff is to explain and promote your products, the more you will sell.

5. Introduce a New Product

store owner with products

New products offer the greatest potential for increasing foot traffic to your location, but you must know which type of products your customers will love before going full steam ahead.

Before you select a new product to begin offering (even on a trial basis), follow these seven steps:

  1. Conduct consumer research
  2. Identify a product consumers love
  3. Develop/obtain the product
  4. Conduct consumer testing
  5. Launch test marketing
  6. Analyze the results
  7. Launch the product full scale if it’s a good fit / communicate this new product offering and benefits clearly with your customers

These steps will keep you on the new product path for successful business expansion.

Are you ready to explore financing options to expand your business? ARF Financial is a lender you can trust. We have a quick and simple funding process. Contact us today to learn more.