There are businesses that do well. There are ones that hold the edge. There are businesses that lead the competition. And, there are the ones which struggle with getting more business.
The number of start-ups, small & medium enterprises & heavy investment enterprises has grown exponentially over the years. However, with all the problem-solving ideas, innovative concepts, well-researched products, and customized service projects businesses these days are finding roadblocks. Their stuff remains unsold due to lack of penetrating marketing strategies.
For small business owners or self-employed individuals, the business revolves around their passion with scanty knowledge about marketing their stuff. On many occasions, it has to with the lack of intent to engage in a planned promotion or having an effective marketing plan.
Peek into few factors that kill sales and obstruct organizations and businesses from acquiring new customers and getting more business.
1. Undefined goals
Setting the goal is the first step to turning the invisible into the visible. Businesses need to clearly define the reason for their existence. A big chunk of start-Ups & small businesses does not document a clear vision statement and goals.
- Write the vision statement that will help you ascertain the goals, the mission, and act as a guide to the core activities of the business, and help in the formulation of policies and taking an ethical stand.
2. Insufficient research & awareness about the markets
The obstacle to discovery is not ignorance. It is the illusion of knowledge. Businesses think that they know swimming and get into the ocean. And then they get drowned. The strategy that may have worked for you formerly may not work today. The markets are changing- If I correct this phrase, the customers are changing. Nowadays customers have access to information and pricing strategies.
- A customer has grown smarter and is well informed about purchase decisions. In such scenario, businesses have to constantly be engaged in market and customers and be smart in terms of pricing, features, services and over experience selling.
3. Not working out on products
Clinging to a product or a service that may look attractive, may be economic to manufacture and easy to distribute but has no practical value is practically unsalable. Start-Ups & businesses need to understand what the customer needs.
- Check out the relevance of the concept for the target audience. Also, verify if the target audience is well defined and correct. If required, conduct a pilot run & take feedback. Iron out the deficiencies into usability, features, pricing, competitiveness & offers.
4. Lack of proper sales process
The Company that doesn’t have a proper sales process is surely going to get stuck sooner or later. Lack of documented sales process & written sales presentation, Non-existence of staff training procedures, Inability to generate quality leads, Inadequacy in sales follow-up processes or Using inappropriate promotional channels is enough to screw down your business.
- Define the products/services.
- Create a sales presentation citing features & advantages, competitive edge & stress on how the customer will advantage out of your offer.
- Identify the Sales resistances and develop answers and explanations so that customer is forced to purchase the offering.
- Develop a well-trained sales staff and create options to generate quality leads.
- Install a mechanism to monitor sales pitches & follow up procedures. When a deal is done, make sure you retain the existing customers.
- While planning a promotional strategy, use those that maximize the outreach in the budgeted costs.
5. Inability to generate funds
The chief job of a business owner is to generate funds for keeping the business alive, whether via sales or through funding, loans or from capital markets. The biggest reason why start-ups fail is because of inability to generate the necessary resources that help the business tide through the tough phases and become strong to acquire new customers.
- Consider friends, family or bootstrapping. Develop options to raise capital from Angel investors. Crowd-funding from social circle comes handy in such circumstances. If you are looking at a little larger picture then you can get fund from the micro-loan organizations. It may take time, but losing heart is definitely not one of the ways. Keep calm and move ahead.
6. Inappropriate management of Customer Data
Not managing the customer’s data properly can get even the biggest of the companies in trouble. Keep your customers happy and other things will become easier.
- So, it is highly necessary to record analyze and manage customer data. Customers’ preferences, likes & dislikes provide an insight into current & future trends. This will help a correction in strategy & improvise the purchasing experience. Good quality crm software can help manage customer interactions, recording feedback and improvising relationships.
7. Overlooking the need of your own people
It’s not you alone who has set up the business. There are people you need to take care of so that they take care of your valuable business. The way customers are important to you, the employees are as much your priority.
- Understand your employees for better. Communicate with them often and value their opinions & suggestions. Create a dedicated team that strives to achieve the set goals.
- Train them, provide them with necessary tools, motivate them and they will do their best, always.
8. Weak online promotion strategy
Being absent on the internet impacts heavily on the scalability of the business. Being present without any promotional activity adds no good.
- Businesses & Start-Ups should promote their business online through the website, portals, blogs, & Social media sites. Keeping the customers engaged by developing mobile games, & mobile applications are some of the good ways to being visible to customers.
9. Improper inventory & logistics management
The inability to deliver when the customer demands is one of the easiest ways to kill the business. The marketing team may have made promises, but the delivery & logistics has got the responsibility to deliver in a timely manner.
- An impeccable way to make a place in your customer’s heart is to deliver the product on the date you promised. It is always an emergency on the customer’s side and inventory management, shipping process needs to be one of the selling points.
10. Restricting to a Comfortable geography
The home territory has a capped potential for any business. Beyond this, the businesses must look for newer geographies and probably think about exploring a newer market. Lack of such a planning can be enough to keep the business as a small player and deny the chances to acquire customers.
- Slowly and steady, a business need to penetrate in the other geographical areas but before doing that, they need to study the market carefully, plan the strategy and do a SWOT. It is good to move ahead with a proper planning.
It is not the failure of one or other strategy that would eventually decrease the number of customers and lead to the business failure but yes, not willing to invest resources and hard work would.
A good business will keep customers at the top and would define every strategy around them. This is the easiest way to reach the goal you set for the business.