20 Dec 2021

Most people start a business because they are experts at making the best widgets, pizzas, cupcakes, or burgers. They aren’t necessarily great at marketing – that’s not their specialty. But, in reality, it’s not rocket science either; this stuff is kind of easy. Check out these 4 areas you should focus on to grow your sales; to keep both traffic and dollars coming in. If you want your business to be a success, you’ve got to employ effort into each of the following areas… at all times… simultaneously, and intentionally.

TIP 1: Get More Customers

Yah, this sounds like a no-brainer. We get it. But, it’s not uncommon for a business owner to sit behind the counter with his arms crossed, depending on luck, hoping that a new customer will magically walk through the door. Maybe you feel like that guy? You’ve done nothing this week, last month, or in the last year to reach out to potential customers. You’re just hoping that somehow, some way, new people will find you.

You need customers. They pay the bills. They help you build your dreams. Acquiring new customers has got to be a priority. You’ve got a product the world needs, right?

What programs and activities can you initiate to get more customers daily? You might consider fine-tuning your brand and image, beefing up your social media, launching some digital ads, creating a direct mail campaign, improving your SEO, making some sweet videos, establishing a referral program, or whatever else you think will work for your business.

The key, though, is to DO something. Anything (within reason, of course)! You can’t rely on luck if you want to grow your business. Start something that works and keep doing it. Seriously, though…. you should have 3-5 programs, activities, and campaigns running at all times. Lastly, be smart about it. You should be DOING something, but YOU shouldn’t be the one doing it. Build systems so getting new customers is always happening, day and night. You’ve got tons on your plate, be smart, start now, and build systems.

TIP 2: Retain Your Customers

Getting new customers isn’t the final solution. You better have a plan in place to keep the customers you’ve already got. Customer acquisition is super expensive, keep your existing customers and stop letting them walk out the door.

If you don’t have a plan in place to retain your existing customers, clients, and guests (whatever they are to you), chances are, you’re losing more of them than you realize. Again, customers pay the bills. You want them and need them to meet your goals and fulfill your mission. You must be aware of how your customers feel about your product or service and whether they plan to stick around.

Why do customers stop buying? According to SmallBizTrends.com:

  • 82 percent of consumers in the US stop doing business with a company because of a poor customer experience.
  • Businesses lose 71 percent of their customers due to bad customer service
  • 68 percent of customers leave because they perceive the business or its employees are indifferent to them (they think you’re not a big deal)
  • 47 percent of customers would make the move to a competitor within a day’s time of experiencing poor service.
  • 66 percent of consumers have switched brands due to poor service.

Well, the writing is on the wall. Those are just some quick, helpful stats. What did we learn? Customers need to have a great experience – every time. They need to feel important. Your customers can pick up and go at any time. And, they typically don’t give a departure notice (this isn’t an airport)… they just go, and you probably won’t notice until it’s too late.

Over and over again, we see a business launch a great ad campaign that sends great traffic to their business, their sales climb, and then drop back down to where they were before the spike. Why does that happen? Probably for several reasons. Here are a couple we can think of…

  • Operationally, the business wasn’t ready to receive an influx of customers and, as a result, consumers had poor experiences (too slow, mistakes, etc.) and didn’t stick around – new customers gave it a shot, but aren’t coming back.
  • The business was already providing low-quality service so when the ads worked and pulled new customers in, they weren’t impressed. Another example of a one-time customer (nobody wants those).

What programs and activities can you implement to retain your customers?

What is it like to be your customer? Is it fun? Is it memorable (for good or bad)? Is it quick and pain free? Is it slow and cumbersome? Do your customers feel appreciated? Are they treated like a VIP? Would they refer their friends and family?

Think about your operation. Do you have systems in place to provide for a smooth, trouble-free, and user-friendly experience? Can your operation handle a sudden increase of 500 new customers? Can it handle 5,000 new customers. If not, look for ways to either invent and implement those systems or improve what you have. Your business depends on it.

Do you have a high-quality rockstar approach to your customer service? Are your team members treating your customers like royalty? You might consider having friends or family act as a secret shoppers to give you the real scoop on how your team is doing. You can hire a Secret Shopper company to assist, if that’s in your budget. What is working and what isn’t?

Start TODAY to implement programs, practices, procedures, policies, plans, and pickles (sorry, we were on a roll with the P’s) that make for an efficient operation and VIP-like service so you can retain all those wonderful customers who pay your bills. You worked hard to get ‘em… now don’t lose ’em!

TIP 3: Increase Customer Frequency

What would happen to your sales if you turned 1/3 of your once-per-month customers into twice-per-month customers? Let’s say you have 1,000 customers and they spend $100 per month. Turn 300 of them into twice-per-month customers and you just increased gross revenue by $30K/month. Would that help?

How do you get once-per-month customers to double their frequency each month? What does that look like? Perhaps you can create an incentive program that offers rewards for frequent visits. What would happen if your restaurant or widget store was so fun to visit that the experience alone was sufficient to cause customers to desire to be there and to bring their families and friends?

Do your customers know you want them? Remember the TV show Cheers? It’s true, sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name. I have a friend who memorized more than 1,000 of his customers names and faces. You sure felt special when he called you by name, especially if it had been some time since your last visit.

Look at Krispy Kreme, for example. Their operation is on display for everyone to see. Not only are the doughnuts delicious, you can watch how they’re made. The operation is simple, quick, and the brand places an emphasis on quality service. Is your place fun? Do you have rockstar service that draws people back?

The entire team at Cold Stone Creamery will sing you a song just for leaving a buck in the tip jar.

What can you do to stand out in a fun or meaningful way that draws your customers back because they can’t live without your product and the experience you provide? What can you be the best at? Can you turn the mundane into marvelous and put it on display? We’ve got a local Mexican restaurant that operates out of a small shack (no indoor dining). You line up at the order counter and talk directly to the cook. Your food is made to order right in front of you. They’re also known for their large portions and for how they grate cheese. The cook holds a large block of cheese and grates it by hand and lets it fall onto your bomb food. It’s different. Nobody else does that. It’s not uncommon to see customers filming the cooks preparing food. What can you do to stand out in the crowded marketplace?

TIP 4: Increase Average Sale Amount

Every successful business has an average guest check, receipt, or sales ticket goal. They know what their average is and they know where they want it to go…. in an upwards direction.  

Do you know what your average sale is? You must know this. Once you do, ask yourself if you are you happy with what that number is.

The average sale can always go up. But, it won’t go up if you don’t have a plan in place to make that happen. I have a friend who doubled the appetizer sales in his restaurant in one month just because he wanted to. Yep, that easy. He wanted to, so he made a plan, enlisted the cashiers, taught them how to sell more appetizers, and incentivized them to succeed. No one believed they could double appetizer sales, let alone in one month… but they did because there was plan and follow-through.

If you don’t know what your average sale amount is, you’re in trouble. Study the numbers. Know what is coming in and going out. If you don’t have add-ons to sell, consider creating some. Come up with a plan, get others on board, and move the needle in the proper direction.


Let’s review. Here are the 4 areas you need to focus on:

1) Get More Customers

2) Retain Your Customers

3) Increase Customer Frequency

4) Increase Average Sale Amount

Don’t just pick one. Do it all. *No business that has multiple programs going in each of these areas at all times is going to fail. A CPA friend of mine always says: “Increased sales cures all ails.” Ain’t that the truth. If you aren’t a marketing guru, find one to help you. Or, hire an agency. We’re always available.


*Let’s be honest, there’s always an exception. You can do all of those things and fail if you have a crappy product. Don’t sell crappy stuff and don’t suck. You’re welcome.

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