Are you a business owner feeling like you’re stuck in the mud? Spinning your tires, but inevitably going nowhere. Do you have a “7 year itch” with your business where the spark just isn’t there anymore?
Do you even remember why you started your business in the first place, and most importantly,how do you get out of this ever-lasting 7th inning slump?
Keeping the [Business] Spark Alive
If you’re like any other business owner, the most common and sought after goal for your business is success. It makes sense… why start a business when you believe it will fail? Simple answer: you don’t.
Think of your business as a person, and between you and your business there’s a relationship. All relationships have their ups and downs… peaks and valleys… (and any other analogy you can think of). So, how do you keep the “spark” alive in your relationship?
Well, think of your own social relationships… friends, family, spouse… how do they grow and change? Like the saying goes… Put in what you always put in, get out what out what you always get out. If nothing changes… then nothing changes (mind blown). If you’re going to put time, energy and money into your relationship with your business, then why wouldn’t you set your business up for success? So, change it up. Woo your business again. Keep it fresh, don’t let your relationship get stale.
As you know, there are many different ways to run a business, and you’ll find even more advice columns, blogs and opinions on how to run YOUR business… even more than you would ever want! But you know your business the best. So, instead of telling you what to do, I’ve gathered some ideas to help get the wheels turning and hopefully the relationship with your business turning around in the right direction!
4 Ways to Refresh Your Business
1. Create an online store or website
Creating an online presence opens up your world far greater than you know.
Positives to having an online presence:
- Online Traffic - More people surf the web and shop online than ever before. Tap into that potential for your business.
- Keeps you Busy During Slow Season - For many, winter is often a slow time of year, online sales will help with the stress and strain of that slow time.
- Easy Access for Returning Customers - Give customers your business card with your website, tell them they can order more or different products online so they keep buying your products with ease.
- Brick & Mortar works hand in hand with Online - You meet people at a flea market, why not drive them to your online store for more purchases. For people who like to buy in person, keep them updated on new products, selling locations and deals online to bring them into your booth or store.
- Keeps you Competitive - By not having an online aspect to your business you allow other competitors to have an edge over you.
- Saves Drive Time for Customers - You may meet a customer that loves your products, but they live a long distance from you, keep them purchasing products from you by allowing them to buy online.
- Extends your Hours past 8-5 - You could be selling in your sleep. The online world doesn’t have hours, it’s open 24/7 which allows your website to work for you.
How to start an online presence for your business:
If you haven’t read my Facebook Blog, start by clicking HERE. Facebook even has a Market app that allows you to sell directly from the site.
Other Social Media you can use includes: Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter. These wouldn’t’ be necessarily for selling, but for keeping your business in front of current and potential customers.
You could first try marketing your products from a selling/ecommerce platform website such as Etsy, Shopify, Zibbet, Selz or LemonStand just to list a few. Some websites will charge a certain % or fee once you make a sale, so be sure to check out all the details of each website before committing.
Ahhh yes, my favorite. Why not cut out the middle man and control your own website? Love it. However, there are positives and negatives to creating your own website. It does take time, there’s an annual fee and although they say you don’t have to be creative… you at least should know the basic functions and layout of a practical website. But you get simple control over your website and what it looks like, you can gather email lists and have the opportunity to sell from your website without additional ecommerce fees.
Don’t let ONLINE scare you. Take it one step at a time… how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time! Start out on Facebook and grow into your own website from there!
2. Write a Blog
Let me show you something… get on Pinterest (the Queen of the blogging world) and type something in like “home décor”. Loads of blogs will appear… some promising the best décor solutions to maximize your tiny space… or some claim to have the list of the best 10 floor cushions ever designed. You don’t have to be an expert, but you do need to know your business and your specialized department.
For instance, maybe you sell handmade yard games… you could write a blog about the Top 5 Yard Games Ever Invented… or create a guide of alternative ways to play well-known yard games… or maybe something like, How to Spice Up your Next Family Reunion with these 7 Unique Yard Games.
Why Blog? It drives people to your site… once they are reading your blog, they have the opportunity to explore your business and products. Once you gain a following and continuously and consistently blog, you become the EXPERT… the “go-to” blog to read which drives even more people to your site/store. Readers understand you are full of information and want to read your blog each week for more tips and guides. You keep yourself in front of customers and gain more potential customers by doing so.
3. Introduce New Products or Services
Maybe the Online world isn’t for you. Okay, that’s fine (for now!) An additional way to keep your relationship fresh with your business is to create and offer new products or services.
If you sell home décor products, maybe offer something new such as a home decorating service to local customers. Or maybe you retail clothing, consider new clothing lines and a fresher more up-to-date look while still carrying current products.
Coupling products and services makes you the one-stop-shop everybody is looking for. It keeps things interesting for you while offering new and exciting products/services to your customers.
4. Change with the Times
Just like the song goes, “Cha-Cha-Cha Changes”… so must your business. As technology sweeps through and Millennials are spending more and more money, you have to meet the demands of your customers.
Working in the flea market office, I get a lot of people who ask… “How many vendors accept credit cards?”… Don’t lose out on a sale just because you don’t have the capability to swipe a card. Something I just learned and was blow away by… you know those Square credit card readers you can attach to your smartphone? Those can be bought at Target for $5.99. Seriously… $5.99! Like any credit card processor, there is a fee per transaction, but with this option there is a lot less hassle and no contracts. You just need a smart phone, and an email address!
Other Changes and Improvements
Maybe begin to consider shipping goods. How about your return policies? What else in your business needs updated? Perhaps the display of your booth or store needs freshened up, how you get your information to the public could be tweaked, or maybe your business card could be updated and modernized.
Hopefully these ideas are getting the wheels turning as you think about your own business. As I stated earlier, keep the fire burning in your relationship with your business, don’t allow it to get stale. New ideas, a different perspective and a little bit of change can go a long way in keeping your business fresh and up to date.
Want more advice for selling at flea markets? Download our free e-book for more tips on how to improve your business.
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