Know what you are selling and know your customers.
As a start up business, breaking into a market, trying stand out from the crowd and encouraging people to buy your product or service can be a daunting task, so you need to know your customers. Sales are your businesses’ lifeline and how you approach sales is therefore pivotal when it comes to making your start up business a success.
What is your business aim?
You need to know your business aim. Do you want a lot of customers spending low? A few key customers with high expenditure? Are you looking for subscribers? Take care to think about the sales journey, how you are going to get your product to market, and what type of customers and sales you want. The end goal will always be to make sales without over stretching yourself. Therefore it is however vital that you consider how you are going to break into the market effectively whilst creating brand loyalty and engaging your customers. Think creatively about how you are going to achieve these aims.
Make things easy for your customers
When it comes to effective selling, making purchases convenient for your customers is key. If it is difficult to buy your product or service then customers will go elsewhere very quickly and they will often not consider your business again. Spend time exploring how best to reach your customers and ensure that your product is readily available in the places your target market are shopping in.
Having an online presence is a great way of drumming up sales as a start up business. An online shop on your website is a great way to capture new customers and sell your product or service. But what if your customers prefer to handle the product first? An online store won’t work for them, but maybe they will buy through a market stall or shop. Maybe they even want to repeat purchases, in which case it is worth considering subscription services or offers on buying in bulk.
Ryan Palmer, co-founder of the London Sock Company, who received finance from Start Up Loans at the end of 2014, knows all about making sure your business has a presence that can really attract customers. London Sock Company socks are sold in numerous stores as well as their online store, so that when they run a press release or ad campaign, their customers can find the product easily.
“Devise your plan and focus on executing it with sufficient product to sell.” – Ryan Palmer
Remember, if it is difficult for customers to access your product or service, there’s a good chance they will simply take their money elsewhere, so give them options.
Believe in your business
Would you buy a product or service from a company who does not care about what they’re selling? Possibly not. Your customers are no different. Now more than ever, customers buy into the ethos of a brand, the people behind the company, the quality of the product. If you don’t believe in what you are selling, then why should they?
It is extremely important that you sell with passion. People like to buy from somebody who they feel they can trust. Speak directly with as many potential customers as possible and make sure your personality comes through. Know your product inside out and act with integrity. When it comes to pitching your product make sure you are fully prepared and cut to the chase. What is it that you are selling and why do your customers want it? What makes your product different? Make sure you always take the customer in mind and pay attention to how they will perceive your business.
Thinking of starting a business? Check out our free online courses in partnership with the Open University on being an entrepreneur.
Our free Learn with Start Up Loans courses opens in new window include:
- Entrepreneurship – from ideas to reality
- First steps in innovation and entrepreneurship opens in new window
- Entrepreneurial behaviour opens in new window
Plus free courses on finance and accounting, project management, and leadership.
Reference to any organisation, business and event on this page does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation from the British Business Bank or the UK Government. Whilst we make reasonable efforts to keep the information on this page up to date, we do not guarantee or warrant (implied or otherwise) that it is current, accurate or complete. The information is intended for general information purposes only and does not take into account your personal situation, nor does it constitute legal, financial, tax or other professional advice. You should always consider whether the information is applicable to your particular circumstances and, where appropriate, seek professional or specialist advice or support.