In today’s fast-paced world, small business owners are even more hyper-connected and overloaded with information, choices, and distractions. One of the hardest things to determine is whether you’re on the right path or not. Great work requires taking risks. Couch Sessions offers practical information, new perspectives and quick tips to help point you in the right direction.
Are you a struggling, frustrated or just inquisitive small business owner? Got a question you just can’t seem to find the answer for? Please submit your small business questions here. Be sure to bookmark and check this page each week, your question and the reply could appear right here in “Couch Sessions” for entrepreneurs and small business owners. This week on Couch Sessions…
I purchased my business 6 months ago. The previous owners were claiming a profit. Since I took over, I have seen a sharp decline in business. I have offered multiple discounts and even free sessions. I use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram; in addition to my website. I have also done direct mail advertising. But business seems to have dropped off. What can I do to increase business and get more people into my studio? Jessica McAuliffe, www.yourphotostudio.org
Either the previous owner’s financials were incorrect or client’s have lost their faith in the business for some reason. You may want to start by reaching out to some of the core clients that no longer patronize the business and have a candid conversation about why they no longer use your services and what you may be able to do to restore their patronage. Focus on email marketing to your existing list and make it easy for them to give you feedback (i.e. a comment link, post on Facebook, via email, etc.). Instead of “free,” encourage them to book multiple sessions for additional props or something that adds value, but doesn’t cost you.
With the current clients you have, treat them like gold. Provide them with high-touch and ask them how you could improve your product or service. The quicker you can get feedback, the quick you can make the appropriate adjustments.
Be sure to do something special for your loyal clients and ask the photographers for referrals.
In addition, take a closer look at your website. Your messaging may be a little murky. There is a lot of text (with different fonts, colors and various sizes). You want your site to be easy to read and simple, but fun. Is there a way you could present your services/products in a cleaner and/or clearer fashion? Is it better you provide a few key bullet points and have people call for additional information? Your contact information, “sign-up” information and “calls to action” should be prominent on the first page, not at the bottom or after they click to another page. Food for thought…
Simplicity expert, A.Michelle Blakeley is the source for understanding and knowing how to align your purpose, principles and priorities with simple practices. She masterfully delivers the right information with step-by-step guidance. What’s good for you is good for your business. As a result, her clients are holistically and authentically operating their business and experiencing energized realities. Connect with her on twitter at @simplicityinc or read through her new online magazine, Micro Business Therapy.