Diagnosing Problems With Your Small Business

A small business can be an ambitious and satisfying venture to take on, but there may come a time where, for whatever reason, your business stalls.  The first important thing to do is to identify exactly what your problem is.  Are you not getting enough customers?  Are people coming in, but not buying?  Or is your store just too confusing to navigate?  Once you decide what your problem is, the solution may be as simple as lowering your prices or to redesign the layout of your store by displaying things more prominently.  Bakery cases, for example, will really draw the eye of the customer if you happen to be running a bakery.

Image courtesy of Jillian Johnson

Image courtesy of Jillian Johnson

Problem #1: Not enough people coming in.

Solution: Rethink your marketing plan.  Foot traffic can be dependant on anything from location of your store to the time of the year, but assuming moving your store isn’t an option, try tackling the problem of running an invisible business.  More and more, people are searching Google and the rest of the web to find what they are looking for, so having a good online presence is becoming more critical for the small business owner.  Consider launching an online branch of your business by making ordering your products available online, either through your own business website or via an e-commerce site like Etsy.  At the very least, determine a budget that you can spend on online advertising and get yourself noticed that way.

Problem #2: Plenty of customers, not enough sales

Solution: Have you ever thought about lowering your prices?  It’s simple supply and demand.  It’s obvious that you have plenty to supply, but people are deciding that they just don’t need what you are selling.  An Economics 101 course will tell you that that will drive your price down.  It may seem like you won’t be able to make a profit at a lower price, but you won’t be making a profit if nothing is coming off the shelves either.  Bite the bullet where you can and meet your customer halfway.  Don’t give things away for practically nothing, but give them a price worth jumping on.  Before you know it, you’ll have loyal customers rather than loyal window shoppers.

Problem #3: People can’t find what they’re looking for

Solution: Make everything pop!  Interior design is just as important in a business as it is in your home.  An unorganized, cluttered mess of a store will only make your customers frustrated and confused.  Make it easy on them by creating a layout for your store that is aesthetically pleasing and organized.  For example, if you run a bakery, display your beautiful works in well-lit bakery cases at the counter.  Less can sometimes be more, as well.  Keep fewer amounts of the same product out for the customer to see and carry more in the storage area of your store.  This will allow for more space on your shelves for different items and will maintain a cleaner look.

Hopefully, whatever your problem happens to be you find the solution quickly and find it isn’t a difficult change to make.  Don’t let a little speed bump slow you down.

[author ]Jillian Johnson is a professional content marketing writer and blogger with a particular interest in writing about business. To read more writing by Jillian, follow her @MissWritey.[/author]

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