December 19, 2014

Small Business Sales Still Below Pre-Recession Levels: What to Do

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As a small business owner, you’ve weathered the storm of the recession. But if you’re finding your sales have still not fully recovered or returned to pre-recession levels, you’re not alone. In this roundup, we look at sales numbers and news from the small business community and add some insight into techniques for improvement.

Challenges Remain

Small business sales still seem sluggish. Small business sales gains since the recession are relative, says Scott Shane, Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies at Case Western Reserve University. While revenue is up, the numbers show small businesses are still in need of help. Bloomberg Businessweek

The good, the bad, and the ugly. A small business confidence index for April shows a two point increase among business owners and a three to four percent gain in sales; but there is some bad news too, showing the ugly truth that things have yet to turn around. NFIB

Policies Halt Progress

Policy could hurt small business exports. An important opportunity to expand small business sales in the U.S. could come through exporting. The Obama administration has pledged efforts to help improve U.S. exports, but one legislator says the policies will not help small businesses. Politico

Poor sales trumped by regulation worries. Poor sales are seen as less of a concern than government regulations and red tape. Another report on the recent small business optimism survey gives an interesting analysis of what’s really bugging small business owners. The Globe and Mail

Maximizing Your Market

Knowing how to deal with 4 types of customers. As a small business owner, you probably find your customers to be a real mixed bag. Handling them well will most likely result in more sales and revenue for your business, but navigating the various personalities you may encounter takes skill and practice. Small Business Trends

Boost sales by finding markets online. The Internet offers a huge  market for your products and services, if you just know how to close the deal. Matt Mansfield has created a site full of resources for you. Matt About Business

Tips for Improvement

Trying a better sales pitch? If you aren’t making the sales you expect, take a look at the pitch you are using. B2B sales expert Al Davidson shares these four surprising things you’ll hear, straight from the mouths of the best sales people. Try adding them to your approach. Small Business Trends

Bringing your sales to life. Sometimes boosting sales can be tough. In this post, Pawel Grabowski gives four suggestions that help you look at your business with new eyes and find the places where big sales growth can happen. Tweak Your Biz

Pricing Perspectives

Avoid these 3 pricing mistakes. Could some of your sales success …and failure … be in how you set your prices? Nicole Fende, president of Small Business Finance Forum, suggests 3 all-too-common mistakes that small business owners make.  Avoid these and you just may improve your bottom line.  Small Business Trends

Why are we afraid to talk about price?  Lack of published prices may be costing you sales.  Should you be upfront with your prices?  or be coy.  Lots of discussion — over 60 comments — bandying about the pros and cons.  Small Business Trends

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