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Ask These Business Questions

I created this list of questions from ideas I saw or read over the years, and can't even credit the authors. They are for increasing sales or profits in virtually any business. Find the answers for your business, and it is sure to be more profitable. I Hope they help.

How can you increase the average sale?

What is the least expensive way to get a new customer?

What low risk ideas can you try to increase profits?

How can you tell if your customers are satisfied?

How can you "educate the customer" to increase sales?

How can you increase the visibility of the business?

How can you enhance the perceived value of your product?

How can you redeploy business assets in a more profitable way?

How can you measure the results of your advertising?

Can you find customers that didn't return and find out why?

Do you have a customer list with addresses?

Have you tested prices?

Have you tried different headlines for ads -and measured results?

How can you sell your customer list?

How can you use a low cost premium to increase sales?

How can you use your customers as salesmen?

Do you have a follow-up plan for customers?

What are similar businesses doing that works?

If similar businesses are failing, find out why.

What non-necessary parts of the business can be eliminated?

What complementary products can you sell profitably?

Does your accountant have any ideas?

How can you sell things or services for other businesses?

How do you apply these business questions? Here are a few examples:

Can you increase the average sale?

This is a powerful way to boost profits without spending money to get new customers. This is what fast-food places are doing when they ask you, "Would you like something to drink with that?"

Can you increase the frequency of customer visits or purchases?

Again, it's usually cheaper and easier to make more money from existing customers than to get new ones. If you have a carpet cleaning business, for example, you could give a discount if they have the carpet cleaning scheduled automatically for every six months, instead of the usual year that people wait..

What is the least expensive way to get new customers?

You have to track the results of your marketing and advertising to know this. If coupons in newspapers get you customers cheaper than your mailers, you should probably drop the mailings and devote that money to newspaper coupons.

Have you tested prices?

If you sell a product for $20 that costs you $15, and you sell 200 per week, your gross profit is $1,000. If you raise the price to $27, and only sell 120 per week, your gross profit is $1,440 - $440 more, on fewer sales. You only learn these things by testing.

Can you "sell" lost customers to a another business?

If you sell new cars, for example, and the customer can't qualify for financing, you can still make money on them. Send them to a used car lot that finances bad credit risks. Arrange beforehand to get a commission for each person you send that buys something.

What low-risk ideas can you try to increase sales?

I once spent six stamps and an hour to mail an invitation out to visiting high school sports teams. I invited them to come to the fast-food restaurant I managed, and bribed the coach with a free meal. Two bus loads came in. The point of the low risk ways is that nine out of ten could fail, and you can still make money for the effort.

Can you get the customers of failing businesses?

Suppose you have a snow plowing business and you hear that another plowing business is closing down. Why wait to see if a few of their 200 customers call you? Offer to take over the route and pay the owner $20 for each customer that stays with you for three months.

Can you sublet space to another business?

An ice cream shop I know of rents out their lot to Christmas tree vendors and others during the winter months. A furniture store with extra space could sublet to a company that sells paintings. Extra income like this, from non-competing businesses is almost pure profit.


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