Here is some food for thought if you’re planning to increase sales and profit in your Art & Design business.
Before you get started with the marketing strategy, Firstly you need to clearly define your ideal customer.
Knowing your ideal customer will help you decide the marketing strategy that will help you generate more ideal leads for your business.
Increase Leads: We highly recommend you to have a combination of short, medium and long term lead generation strategies in your business.
By implementing these strategies at different stages it is also more manageable and measurable.
- If you use more direct marketing methods such as direct mail, e-mail and phone could take a month to generate leads and a systematic referral strategy could begin to pay dividends in a week or two (short term).
- Arranging a strategic alliance with another business or association could take 3 to 6 months to really impact the lead flow (medium term).
- Attending more tradeshows could take months to a year depending on the tradeshow schedule.(long term)
A design business with a short sales cycle could see a rapid increase in conversion with some sales training and the development of a unique selling proposition (USP) and guarantee. Once the techniques are effectively implemented, they could have an immediate impact on the bottom line because clients decide relatively quickly.
However, if you are a Licensing artist, those same sales technique improvements would take much longer to reach the bottom line because the sales cycle could be 6 to 12 months or more. The key is to expect to see measured improvement a full sales cycle AFTER your business has effectively implemented the enhancements.
Average Transaction Size:This will also generally follow the sales cycle. If a cross sell or upsell is integrated into the sales process, results could be seen within the typical sales cycle. “Would you like fries with that?” Could have an impact the day it is implemented.
Average Annual Number of Transactions Per Client:The time to see an impact will vary greatly by the nature of your design business. The key to remember is that multiple transactions depend on the first experience going well!
Profit Margin:Profit margin can be impacted almost right away with the right strategy. For example, If your business negotiate a handbag order with a 5% less in the cost of goods from the manufacturer, it can go immediately to the bottom line. A 5% increase in prices will also increase profits as soon as it is implemented. Many Art & Design businesses have not increased their prices for years and have watched it erode their bottom line. The New Year is the perfect time to review and align prices with the value you provide. Eliminating habitual discounting in the sales process can also have a major impact. Overall the profit margin often offers the fastest way to bottom line impact.
If we now take a second look at our plans for a fast start to 2011, you can see that it starts with actions taken right now.
For Art & Design businesses with longer sales cycles, the early 2011 results will be a result of actions taken in third quarter. If your business has a short sales cycle, there is still time to get off to a fast start in 2011. If your business has a sales cycle measured in months, there is no time like the present to be taking ACTION to impact the second quarter.
Remember that a 1% improvement each week equates to a 67% improvement in a year.
So Make Tomorrow Today!
Need help with your business planning for the New Year?