Looking for innovative ideas for small business development, or for a small business to start, look no further! In this article we’re going to look at innovative ideas for small business development. If you don’t already have a business, skip down to the bottom of this article for a clever business you can use to get started on your own.
Innovative Ideas For Small Business
Most business owners think that in order to increase profits, they need more customers. While this is partly true, increasing your turnover can be done with a multi-pronged attack!
- Raise prices – introduce a 10% price increase to ‘test’ the market
- Introduce a referral program which rewards existing customers for referrals
- Create more products/services for existing customers (back-end products)
- Build a List Of Subscribers – Get your customers emails by offering discounts or offers.
- Use Paid Online advertising to buy customers for your business (Direct Response Advertising)
- Know the value of a customer to determine how much a customer is worth in your business
- Take Your Business Online – Offer an online branch of your business if you don’t already
These little innovative ideas for small business owners can seem simple, but often the drive for more customers is an approach which misses the point – increasing profits! Yes, more customers is a good idea of course. However, focusing only on this means you’re leaving money on the table through many other means. A small shift in thinking can make all the difference. By leveraging your existing customers better by asking them for referrals and offering them more products, you can make bigger changes without increasing customers numbers.
Whatever business you’re in, you are competing not only for customers but also for status. A customers perception of your business often comes down to price. How is it that the same jar of coffee is a different price in different stores? Harrods, for example, will charge £8 for a jar of coffee you can buy for £3 elsewhere. Why? Because it has a high ‘status’.
Customers don’t necessarily buy on price alone. They perceive Harrods as a higher value store than, say, ASDA. They want to “feel” like they are getting the best. Harrods gives them that experience. Raising prices by just 10% can make a huge difference to your business. In conjunction with the other methods here, you can dramatically change your profit with a few simple shifts. There’s a perception of value which is linked to what you charge. Businesses can increase their prices and sell more of their products, simply because their products are perceived differently.
Referral Program For Customers
Here’s one of the best innovative ideas for small business: introduce a referral program which rewards existing customers for bringing in new customers. Your customers like you, otherwise they would shop elsewhere right? Or else they just think you’re a bargain! Either way, they will feel good about introducing a friend if it means they can get some sort of reward.
Give away discounts or shopping tokens to people who are actively promoting your business. If existing customers started bringing in new customers, how much is it worth to your business. How much would the same impact cost in paid advertising? Having a referral program lets you ‘leverage’ your existing customer base for a simple, low cost advertising method.
More Products For Existing Customers
Back-end products are the main stay of many businesses. The main best-selling product can even serve as an entry level product which helps to advertise other products within a range. Look at Apple. They have a range of products which are accessible to nearly all sectors of society. From their lower costing I-pods to I-pads, I-Phones, MacBooks and Apple TV’s.
Existing customers are far more likely to buy from you than new customers too. You already have a customer base to sell to and have already made contact with existing customers.
Get Your Customers Email
Most stores nowadays attempt to get your email from you at the first point of purchase. That’s because they know you are more likely to purchase again if they get your email address; they can suggest products to you over the months and years to come.
Just like a website only gives a customer a small window of opportunity to buy, a store is much the same. If someone is purchasing from your business, it makes them more likely to purchase again in the future. By getting them to opt-in to your special offers/discounts subscription list, you can automate an ongoing reminder to them of your business and offers. It’s a clever way of building relationships with potential customers and existing customers.
Using Paid Online Advertising (Direct Response Advertising)
Any small business owner should know the value of advertising. Many, however don’t realise the power of online advertising. Pay per click advertising allows the business owner to control how much they spend on a daily basis by sending targeted website traffic to their business website. How well they learn and implement this strategy will determine how well it works!
Direct response is a great strategy for any online or offline business. It lets you send qualified and targeted website traffic directly to your business. However, you do need to use a little caution with this if you don’t know what you’re doing. You can spend a lot of money and get no results if you do it wrong. Access me ebook below to learn how to implement the various forms of online marketing.
Direct Response and The Value Of A Customer
Innovative ideas for small businesses also include knowing the value of a customer. Why is this so important? Simply because with direct response marketing you are learning how to purchase customers for your business. Knowing the lifetime value of a customer, better prepares you to know what it is worth spending to acquire one. Let’s say on average a customer spends $500 in your business per year. Most of your customers return and so over 10 years a single customer might be worth $5000.
Some customers will never return and some may only use your store a couple of times. But if we say on average, a customer is worth $5000 over a 10 year period, it gives us something to work with. Would it be worth paying $5000 to acquire one customer? Of course not! It would take 10 years to recoup your investment!
But it might be worth spending $500 because within a year you would recoup your investment. Within 2 years you would have doubled your investment. It’s worth understanding this concept because it will give you more confidence to use direct response advertising to grow your business. If you’re afraid to spend on advertising, you must rely on word of mouth advertising which is out of your control and very slow.
It’s a simple shift in thinking which produces the right innovative ideas for small business owners to make small changes in their business. These tiny changes can reap massive rewards when implemented as part of a business growth plan, and over time.
Take Your Business Online
Whether you already have an online presence or not, you should definitely be thinking in this direction. Many consumers are shifting to shopping online if they haven’t already. Think about how you can sell your products and services online. Can you create an online store? What can you give away free on your website to build a list of subscribers for your business? The internet gives anyone in business immediate access to the global market place.
If you don’t have a website, you’re letting your competitors have the edge. If you only use a website for lead generation, it’s better than not having one at all. Many small businesses can benefit from only having a simple website. Google Places for business lets you have a free listing if you have local business. Yahoo and Bing offer similar services and these are free! It makes sense to use them for free streams of traffic and customers to your business.
If You Don’t Already Have A Business
Let’s say you don’t already have a business idea or a passion you want to turn into a business. What then? How can anyone start from scratch and build a profitable online business from nothing?
Are there any innovative ideas for small business minded entrepreneurs who don’t have an existing business already?
The internet and digital technology have brought with them new ideas for how to run a business. The automation which is now available in the online world has opened up many innovative ideas for small business owners, entrepreneurs and anyone who wants to change their circumstances.
An Automated Online Business Model
Isn’t automation supposed to serve us? So how come so many people are losing their jobs to automation? How can automation help? The answer is with automated business models which use systems and strategies to automate online sales. You don’t need your own products either because anyone can now take advantage of a business model known as affiliate marketing.
What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a clever referral and performance based online business model. It lets anyone send website traffic to existing products and services online. If they make a sale, their link is tracked and they receive a commission for it. Content (like this article) can be used with affiliate marketing. If I make a recommendation on my website, and someone buys a product which I have recommended, I receive a commission based on my referred sale.
Affiliate marketers can also create video, run paid advertising campaigns and use various other strategies to sell digital (and physical) products over the internet. By using systems, strategies and automation, affiliates can run businesses online without ever touching a product or speaking to a customer.
What’s Good About Affiliate Marketing
What’s good about affiliate marketing is the automation involved means that affiliates can let their business run continually, even when they aren’t there personally. Websites, auto-responders, digital and physical products, affiliate links and affiliate companies all operate 24 hours a day on virtual autopilot. Affiliate marketing can allow business owners to build a business around a lifestyle and not the other way round.
What’s Not Good About Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is performance based. This means that however hard you work, your results determine how well you get paid. However, with the right training and education many people are already building lifestyle businesses around existing employment, which can mean their online income takes over their regular employment income (Earnings are never guaranteed).
Learn How To Build An Online Business From Scratch
Anyone can learn how to build an online business from scratch. It doesn’t matter what age you are and you don’t need to be “tech” savvy. People from all walks of life are doing this. Learn how you can build an online business from scratch with this all in one digital business platform and training program.
If you have any innovative ideas for small business owners or for small businesses, please add a comment below.