Sell Mobile: 5 Steps to Take Your Storefront Business Online

Running a storefront business is not the only way to reach your customers. With many customers choosing to shop online, expanding your sales channels to the internet, by way of website or other selling platforms can be a great way to boost revenue. For some business, knowing where to start is half the battle. In this post we will review the 5 steps you can take to get your storefront business online and making sales in no time! Lets get started.

 

  1. Get a website

In order to have an online business presence you will need an online platform to get your product out there. Consider starting a website to sell your items, market your products, and create a one stop online shop. For some businesses, the idea of starting a website is daunting. Starting out by selling on eBay, Amazon, or other platforms may be a simpler way to ease into the market. Another option is launching a simple e-commerce site featuring shopping cart, easy check out, and simple designs on platforms such as Shopify, Squarespace, Weebly, or Wix to name a few.

 

  1. Identify online price-points

Selling in store and online are vary different things. When selling online you have to factor in shipping costs, potential return costs, and packaging to send out orders. Start by identifying your price points, margins, profits, and possible losses and determine what the revenue would be if you sold an item in store versus online. Depending on your product you may be able to cut out excess costs by finding a distributor to ship your product or a facility to hold your product for quick shipping.

 

  1. Prepare Mock Ups

People need to know what your product looks like! Online shoppers first buy with their eyes. Start by taking some great images of your product and begin categorizing what it is you want to sell. Prepare a good variety of product mock-ups that you can use on social media sites, your website, Google Shopping, or other selling platforms.  Highlight the best features when showing customers what they will get when they make an order from your store.

 

  1. Start a web based campaign to sell

Unless your business has a long standing website already, getting found on the Internet may be tough when first starting out. That is where online marketing tools come in. Start a web based campaign to get the word out. Share on your social media accounts, create a Bing Business and Google Business page, and search for other listings where your customers may be shopping. You need to let the Internet know you are here!

 

  1. Build a contact list

You have customers coming in the doors so why not turn those into online shoppers? Start by collecting sign ups for every customer who comes in by offering discounts in exchange for their email address and contact information. You can then turn this list into your next email marketing campaign with new online store features, offers, upcoming sales, and discounts for ordering their next product online. Better yet, upgrade your point of sale technology to collect email addresses upon purchase, then you can send targeted messages based on what your customers purchased in store. All of this helps turn the on foot customer into a customer you can access any time of day!

 

Moving a store to an online platform may seem complicated or too tricky. The upside to working through a plan for preparing an online store can generate more sales and future growth. By implementing 5 strategies to moving a storefront into the online selling world, the task can be accomplished with less stress than going at it blindly. Calculate how much your business could generate in additional revenue through this new stream, and get the funds to make it happen! IOU Financial is able to offer your small business working capital, up to $150,000 in as little as 24 hours, so all you have to focus on is your products! Start working to expand to the internet and see what your store has “in store” for your customers.

5 Ways Your Small Business Can Capitalize on Olympic Hype

If you haven’t noticed, its Olympic season in Rio. If you have noticed, you are armchair-clutching, edge-of-your-seat watching, and stand-on-your-feet rooting for your favorite athlete to win gold and set him or herself apart from the competition. If you also are a business owner, you may be able to capitalize on this hype and build a steady flow of business and sales while people have Olympic fever. In this post we will review five ways your business can capitalize on the Olympic hype and create engaging ways to bring in new customers.

 

  1. Offer Olympic-sized discounts based on medal counts.

Medal counts are one of the most talked about factors of the Olympics. How many one country has over the other, down to how many each individual has from each country, is highlighted and talked about.  Use this to your advantage. Offer a percentage off based on total medal counts for a specific athlete, a country, you name it! Update it each day and keep customers coming back as the medal count rises.

 

  1. Use creative, Olympic-themed marketing slogans.

There are so many story lines surrounding the Olympics that you can play off of to create interesting marketing material. Use intriguing taglines for your marketing efforts. Slogans like Bolt into Savings, Simone says “come on down,” or Take a final lap in our clearance sale, will give your business the Olympic sprit and turn a few heads at the same time. Who knows what storylines will develop, but if you stay active with the latest events, customers will take notice and remember your name even after the torch goes out.

 

  1. Offer products geared towards the Olympics.

You don’t need to run an athletic store or a gym to capitalize on offering products geared towards the Olympics. It is not just about the events, but the people, the countries represented, and the medals. If you sell clothes, offer discounts on sporting apparel featured in the events. If you sell food and drink products, offer products that athletes would use at a discounted rate. Do you offer travel services? Showcase a package fit for any Olympian (whether you are in Rio or not).

 

  1. Create an Olympic event or contest.

Businesses that interact with their customers often generate more sales and leads in the future. Why not showcase your business by creating an Olympic-themed event for your community? Offer gift cards for customers who compete in events, guess Olympic-based trivia questions correctly, or do their best Olympic impressions. With endless options and fun contests to be held, it is a win-win to offer such interactive business events.

 

  1. Share a funny company video–Olympic style.

There are a lot of couch watchers who think they could run as fast, jump as high, or spike a volleyball as hard as the athletes at the Olympics. Gather some co-workers and make a fun video of you attempting similar events featured in the Olympics to show how difficult it really is. Film your coworker running a 200-meter and display their time against the gold medal winner’s time. Film your company doing a relay race in the pool and compare your company record with the current record-holder’s results on the screen. Have fun with the fact that watching from the couch is much different. That will help customers get off their couch and head down to a fun, creative store like yours.

 

When it comes to generating business and buzz, staying current with the most relevant topics on consumers’ minds will help increase your exposure, sales, and leads for Olympic season and beyond. By capitalizing on the Olympic hype, your business can rise to gold and set yourself on pace for a record year. Enjoy the Olympics and have fun boosting your revenue at the same time.

4 Ways to Get the Best Deals from Your Vendors

Your vendors are your partners. Without them, you would not be able to stock your shelves or get the supplies your staff needs. Having good vendor relationships means less stress and better deals so you can focus on managing your business.

When working with vendors, you want to make sure that you’re getting a good deal, especially if you are just starting out. Fortunately, getting the most for your money when working with a vendor can be as simple as asking the right questions and being courteous. Here are four vendor management tips that can help you keep costs down while growing your business and keeping your vendor happy, too.

Do Your Research

The first way to make sure you get a good deal is to shop around before you sign on the dotted line. Researching and comparing vendors will give you a good sense of current offerings and prices. If you already have an ongoing relationship with a vendor, dedicating some time annually to researching current prices and offers will keep you informed. If needed, you can use that research to negotiate a better deal than what you currently have.

Negotiate

Many business owners believe that the prices quoted by vendors are set in stone. While that may be the case sometimes, it is not always so. Use the research you have done to inform your discussion with your vendor if it’s time to negotiate a better deal. You may surprise yourself by the savings you can earn just by asking. Even if the price is non-negotiable, you may be able work out favorable payment terms and give yourself more time to pay off a balance by negotiating the terms of the deal.

Form Relationships

You make it a priority to wine and dine your clients, but don’t forget that forming strong relationships with your vendors can prove to be just as important. By making a personal connection with your vendors, they will be more willing to be your advocate. A good vendor relationship can benefit you in many ways, including discounted pricing, personalized service, expedited delivery, and faster and better support.
To maintain a good relationship, remember to be courteous if an issue or a mistake occurs and give your vendor a chance to make it right before escalating the issue. Show your gratitude for consistently good service so the vendor knows you appreciate their work.

Plan Ahead

Any vendor appreciates a consistent client, which requires you to plan ahead. While emergencies occur where you may suddenly need an influx of product overnight, generally, you should keep careful inventory and monitor your sales or usage history to create a schedule with your vendor. Once you develop a history and your vendor knows they can rely on you to be consistent, you may be able to negotiate a discount if you prepay for an entire order or order in bulk.

 

Need funds to pay off a big order or start expanding your inventory? Consider a small business loan so you can pay up front and get the most bang for your buck when negotiating with vendors. Contact IOU Financial for more information about how you can secure a small business loan in as little as 24 hours so you can have what you need on hand without stretching resources too thin.