How can Small Business Gain Critical Insights with Sales Analytics

Sales Analytics
The sales process has changed dramatically over the last few years. In the past, businesses relied on talented sales reps to help them sell a product. Today, many companies are turning to sales analytics. The data from this analysis can provide companies with the insight they need to improve their performance and grow. Below we show number of helpful ways in which small businesses can use data to improve their business.

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Merchant Account Providers for Cigarette Companies

Merchant Account Provider
Cigarette companies are increasingly turning to electronic cigarettes and portable vaporizers (like as a source of revenue. Unlike traditional paper cigarettes, which are loaded with nicotine and many other harmful chemicals, an electronic cigarette may have little to no nicotine, is often odorless, and may be a better choice for smokers who are conscientious about their health. From a business standpoint, selling electronic cigarettes is a great way to meet customer demand. But from a credit card processing company’s perspective, an electronic cigarette company poses a higher financial risk, simply due to the nature of the business.

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Top 5 Telemarketing Mistakes Every Business Must Avoid

Top Five Telemarketing Mistakes Every Business Must Avoid
Few professions are hated with as much passion as telemarketing. Even businesses hate receiving sales calls, and for good reason. The marketing or sales call is an interruption – usually with the intent of selling something that the business never asked for. Many businesses fail to understand this and continue to rely on old tactics of business telemarketing to increase their sales. So, how do you switch from becoming an unwanted pest to a welcomed guest? Stop making the same mistakes that everyone else is making.

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How to Make Boring Products Exciting and Improve Sales

How to make boring products exciting
There’s nothing exciting about a razor blade, right? How about online budgeting software? Total snoozer. Contact lenses? No way. These are some of the most boring products you will find in the market. Yet, each of these products has been successfully marketed online. Dollar Shave Club has made shaving and razors exciting and cool. Mvelopes has transformed the way people think about something as boring as budgeting. The LensStore is creating a buzz about eye glasses. What did these companies do to generate excitement and how can you do something similar with your mundane commodity?

They took the product beyond itself and utilized online, offline and social channels by promoting stories around the product. This is what differentiates great marketers from mediocre ones. With the advent of internet and social media it has become easier than ever to share your stories to large number of audience. Below we provide tips on how to do it.

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5 Questions You Must Answer before Selling Overseas

5 questions you must answer before selling overseas
Globalization has made the world smaller than ever. Even small businesses are looking into exports and international trade to increase their customer base and sales. Technological advances have made it easier to find and serve global customers even for small business owners. This traditionally used to be the purview of large, multinational companies.

While it is easy to set up online shop, deliver orders via UPS and collect money via Paypal there are more nuances to exporting and selling to international customers. You need to answer number of questions before you can embark on that journey. Will your product be subject to special regulation? How will you handle warranty and product returns? Who will collect and pay taxes to foreign countries? Failing to answer these and many other questions can put you in the hot water and impact your business.

Here are 5 questions you can begin with to understand export and international trade:

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Yes, You CAN Compete with Amazon Selling Online

how to sell online
Ecommerce sales have been growing by leaps and bounds in the last 10 years, driven by maturing of Internet technology and changing consumer behavior. Amazon has solidified its position as the behemoth of online sales, just like Wal-Mart did with brick and mortar retail few decades ago. Even traditional brick and mortar retailers, such as Staples, Best Buy, and Wal-Mart itself, have established online operations and are working hard to increase their online sales.

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How to Sell Excess Inventory Quickly without Marking it Down

How to sell excess inventory without marking it down
Every business finds a need to get rid of excess inventory quickly at some point. You may end up with excess inventory for number of reasons. Clothing retailers need to sell remaining winter jackets at the end of winter. You may misjudge consumer preference and buy too much of pink trousers that are no longer trendy. You might even find a need to free up some cash and one way to do it is to sell excess inventory.

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Can Better Packaging Improve Sales for Small Business?

Can better packaging improve sales for small business
Next time you go to the mall pay close attention to the bags people are carrying. You will find many sizes and styles. You will find some bags that are just so good that you don’t care what’s inside you will want to go to the store just to get the bag. Do you form an opinion about the content of the package or the business providing the bag based on its appearance?

Such is the power of packaging. Some businesses, especially luxury retailers, pay as much attention to the packing as they do to the products they sell. After all, customers form opinion about the business based on their first impression of the package.

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Are you Making these 5 Terrible Sales Mistakes?

Are you making these 5 terrible sales mistakes 2
Growing sales is the ultimate sign that your small business is on the right track. The day your sales become stagnant, or even worse, start declining it’s time to start getting worried. If you don’t pay attention to declining sales and start taking actions to reverse them you may reach the point of no return and hurt your business permanently.
The problem is it is very difficult to pinpoint exactly what mistakes you are making that contribute to declining sales because many times you don’t even realize you are making them. The mistakes could be happening in anywhere within your business functions – customer service, products, marketing, and competition. Many of these mistakes are strategic in nature, which means that you do not directly see them in everyday transactions, but their impact can be very large. This is what understanding reversing sales decline very puzzling.
To add to confusion, there is a considerable lag between the time you make those mistakes and when their impact shows up in the form of declining sales. That is why it is paramount to be aware of these mistakes and ensure you are taking corrective measures before it is too late. Here are 5 common sales mistakes I have noticed small business owners make frequently.
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Top 10 Blog Articles from 2012

As we herald into 2013 I thought it would be worthwhile to revisit the stories we produced in 2012 and the response we received from the readers. Here are the top 10 articles, in no particular order that got the most attention, discussion, controversy and response.
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