Our focus is always on your cash flow – the life blood of your business. So this blog is frequently about how to cut costs and collect your debts. We thought it was about time we looked at the other end of your P&L.
Increasing sales is obviously a great way to improve the financial health of your business. But often, sales growth can come at the expense of cash flows. For example if you invest heavily in an advertising campaign, the cash is likely to flow out long before it starts coming in.
Here are five ways you can grow your top line without jeopardizing your cash flows.
Ask for referrals
There are a number of ways to do this, depending on the nature of your business. But the basic premise of getting your happy customers to find you more customers remains the same.
You can simply ask a happy customer if they have friends or colleagues who would benefit from your services. Or, consider a “family and friends” program to reach your staff’s networks. Consider even a reward for referral to staff, suppliers and customers.
One of the best ways to keep your sales growing is to make sure that your existing customers are happy. The secret here is excellent customer service. Follow up with customers after they have bought your product or service to let them know you care about their experience. Consider sending thank you letters to let them know you appreciate their custom.
Train your staff to up sell and cross sell
A great way to increase your top line is to get your existing customers to buy more and buy better. When your staff starts talking to someone who is eyeing one of your vacuum cleaners, do they know how to explain the difference between that cleaner and the next model up? Do they immediately think about vacuum cleaner bags or a small hand held vac as additional purchases? If not then a small investment in training could do wonders for your sales.
Implement a simple customer loyalty program
Another way to encourage your existing customers to keep coming back is by giving them an incentive. This could be anything from the “10th cup of coffee is free” card to a “collect & win” type game.
Give your customers the inside scoop
Let’s say you are looking at blenders in Kmart and the salesperson taps you on the shoulder and says, “We are having a sales on blenders in one week’s time. It might be a good idea to come back then.” The chances are pretty good that you will come back – and that you will have a good feeling about Kmart.
Making customers feels like they have “insider” knowledge draws them into your business. You can achieve this same effect through newsletters and text messages letting customers know what’s coming up.
If you have plans for growth and would like to discuss the potential cash flow implications, please contact us. We are here to help.