Category: Online Business

5 Great Cost-Saving Ideas for Your Retail Business

cost saving ideasWith the average small business set to spend over $75,000 on digital marketing this year, retail businesses need to find ways to cut costs to compete. Between the demands of even the tiniest businesses to have brick and mortar locations and the pressures of competing online, retail is feeling the squeezed.

You need to engage with some cost-saving ideas if you want to stay afloat in the current climate.

Follow these 5 tips to ensure you can run with the herd.

1. Do Your Own Marketing

Using social media and search engine optimization tactics, you can do a lot of marketing on your own.

When people use search engines, they’re either looking for the answer to a question or for a specific product. By creating a blog to answer frequently asked questions about your products and services, you can address both needs. Use local terms and the most important keywords to ensure you capture lots of traffic.

Share these posts along with great looking photos of your products on social media. Follow people in related industries and respond to comments to increase engagement.

2. Combine Scheduling With Payroll

There are lots of different software solutions available for payroll and for scheduling. The most common mistake small businesses make is to have separate services. Save costs for your business by finding a solution that can do both.

When you have a combined payroll and scheduling service, you can keep track of your labor costs. This data allows you to get to know when things are picking up and where they’re slowing down.

3. Keep A Tight Watch On Inventory

Having inventory that sits around on your shelves is like having a depreciating currency. When you have inventory, you should be just a couple of days away from having it in customers’ hands.

Inventory that sits around and collects dust can fall out of trend, go bad, or begin to fall apart. If you feel like your retail execution plan is failing, take some time to reassess it.

4. Run Online Only Promotions

Online-only promotions can help you get a feel for how well new products will sell. If you’re thinking about branching out, it could be a big investment to buy a bunch of new product and try to get customers excited about it.

Instead, see if you can get a partial order from your distributor to test how well it does with your customer base. Check out this guide to selling online if you’re new to the concept.

5. Give Customers What They Want

Instead of tirelessly promoting one product when customers clearly prefer another, focus on perfecting that product they already enjoy. Listen to their feedback and try to give them more of what they want. Once you show that you’re listening to them, they’ll listen to you and trust your judgment.

Cost-Saving Ideas Need To Suit Your Style

If one of these cost-saving ideas starts to cost you more money to implement, it might not be ideal for your retail business. Your first few solutions should require no new investment before you start scaling back your spending.

If you’re in the middle of a growth spurt and find you need to bring on some new staff, check out our guide for running a good pre-employment screening.

How to Promote Your Business on a Budget

promote your business

Typically, experts recommend that small businesses spend about 7 to 8 percent of their total revenue on advertising.

Of course, for small businesses that are just starting and trying to get by, this can be a huge use of resources. In other cases, if you’re just starting, 7-8% of your revenue might not be much money at all.

Luckily, there are ways that you can promote your business, even on a shoestring budget. The key to spend your money in a smart way so that each dollar goes farther. This will help build your brand recognition and loyal customer base.

Ready to get started? Here are the tips you need.

Promotional Items

It is simply a fact of life that people like free stuff. Giving people free stuff with your company’s name or logo on it can be a good way to familiarize them with your brand. Also, when they use the item, they will be reminded of your business, or remind others.

Pens, notebooks, t-shirts, and custom buttons are all items you can give away for free to increase brand recognition. You can also get creative with where you go to give away the items. Festivals, bars, and other community sites are good options.

Blogging and Social Media

It costs little to no money to publish engaging content on your blog. Writing posts that cover content that will interest your key audience is a good way to improve SEO and drive traffic.

Also, you can share this content on social media as a way to boost your engagement on these channels.

Get Listed on Google

Another key to getting customers to notice your business online is to get listed on Google’s business directory. This will make it easier for customers to find your business on searches, as well as on Google Maps.

This strategy is even important for brick-and-mortar businesses, as most people conduct online research before visiting a business in person.

Attend Networking Events

Your local chamber of commerce or small business association likely hosts meetups for business owners in the area.

This can be a great way to learn from others in your industry. It can also help connect you with potential clients who may be able to make use of your services.

Build an Email List

Contacting prospects via email can be an effective way to make sure they are informed about your business, and that they don’t forget your business.

Consider following up with past customers to promote repeat business. You can also follow up with leads collected from subscription lists or networking events.

Promote Your Business on a Budget Today

With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to promote your business successfully, even if you don’t have a lot of money to work with.

Whether you’re a local shop or a small home-based business, you can use these strategies to build your customer base.

Do you have a small business that you promote on a small budget? What strategies do you use? Let us know in the comments!

Tips to Help You Open Your Own Online Boutique Today

open your own online boutique today

Having a great product to sell is awesome, but selling it can be frustrating. You have to rent a space, buy the furniture for the store, and hire staff to help you manage the store.

That already sounds exhausting! But what would you say if you could do it all today without all those extra logistics?

Well, it’s possible! With the technology available today you can get started now. Open your own online boutique today with the tips fleshed out below.

Choose Your Products

To get on track to open your own online boutique today you need to start deciding what products you want to sell. Find products that people are looking for or are on trend. Try to cater to a specific niche with your products.

After you find these products, take amazing pictures of them. Find a white background and bright lighting to ensure high-quality pictures. If possible, try to record some video of your products as well.

When you are done taking pictures of your products, start writing up your product descriptions. Include measurements and special features. If it is relevant, include the materials your products are made of.

Get Your Finances in Check

You need to map out your budget before you open your online boutique today. Decide how much you will spend on getting your products, setting up your website, and shipping costs.

Make sure you know what bills you will need to spend and what days you will need to pay them. Understand that if you have a website, you will need to pay to maintain it and to update it regularly.

Getting the word out about your online boutique will be crucial to the business. Decide up front if you will be paying for marketing to be done or if you will be doing it yourself.

Set up Your Website

The next step to open your online boutique today is setting up your website. Make sure that your site design is organized and easy to navigate, as this aspect will help customers decide your credibility.

Since people will be purchasing products on your site, you’ll want to make sure it’s secure. Update your website regularly to ensure that it stays secure. And work on getting your site SSL certified.

Purchase your domain name and create one that is relevant to your boutique. This is what customers will be looking for on the web. Before you launch your site, test it. Make sure all of the pages load effectively. If your website takes too long to load it may cause customers to navigate away from it.

If you’re not sure what design would be best for your online boutique, look at other online stores. Note what you like and don’t like about the sites of other businesses and use them as inspiration for your own. Yizzam is a creative online website for buying t-shirts and is a great example to look at. Check it out here for more info.

Get on Social Media

To help extend your reach, meet your customers on social media. Ask potential customers what social media platforms they are on.

Then start creating accounts on those platforms. You won’t need to be on every platform, just the ones that matter.

Create relevant content that includes the products that will make users want to see you on their timelines. Post on social media weekly to keep up with trends.

Make sure your social media accounts look the same as your website. All pictures and posts should have the same branding as your website. This will increase brand recognition.

Organize Your Checkout

Since you will be selling things in your online boutique you’ll want to create an efficient checkout process.

Give the option for users to check out as a guest with just their email. Having users create an account can be pushy and may deter them from making a purchase. Simply getting their email will still help with marketing tactics later on.

If you want to start out simple and don’t want to spend time making a whole checkout process now, consider using Google Checkout or PayPal for your business. As these can be easier alternatives.

Set up Stores on Other Sites

After creating a website for your online boutique, start setting up smaller stores on other sites. This can help extend the reach of your products even further.

There are many users on online marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, and Etsy. Create an account on these and put a few of your products for sale. In the bio of your account direct them to your website.

These smaller stores will help you channel more users to your website and start building brand loyalty right away.

Learn About Your Customers

It’s important that you continue to learn about your customers. Use Google analytics for your website to help you understand how customers are interacting with it. Try changing some of your tactics based on how your customers behave and see if your site improves.

Take a look at your social media accounts and the analytics behind it. This will help you create an effective strategy for what you post and when.

Organize monthly checks of the analytics to observe how your online boutique is growing or suffering.

Start a Blog After You Open Your Own Online Boutique Today

After more of the pressing setup is completed, dedicate one page of your online boutique website to a blog. This will help increase your website’s search engine optimization gradually.

Start writing articles on topics that people are looking for. Choose a few relevant keywords and incorporate them into your content.

By optimizing your site for search engines, you’ll help put your site on the radar of customers and increase your traffic.

By creating a blog, you’ll also be helping your customers with problems they have. Thus adding value to their lives. This can also help your boutique’s credibility.

Optimize for Mobile

Currently, about 1.6 billion people use their mobile devices to shop online globally. Being able to access your website through smartphones is a must. If you’re going to open your own online boutique today, it needs to be accessible by mobile.

When creating your website, test its accessibility on your phone first before launching it. If you are using a site like WordPress or Wix, select their options for optimizing mobile.

More Business Tips

So there you have it! You’re ready to start building your online boutique store. Don’t stop here though. Keep researching best practices and other technology that can help.

Being a part of the e-commerce world means constantly improving and growing. For more tips on how to start your own thrifty businesses check out our page.