Imagine this scenario. You dreamed of having a home business for years and you finally decided to take the plunge and go for it. Things were great at first and you turned your business into a real profit making machine. However, you started to notice a decline in your profits some time ago and now you can scarcely pump enough money into the business to keep it afloat. If you were to find yourself in this situation, you would be asking yourself what happened and how you can fix it. Check out the following ten reasons why your business may be losing money. You can then pinpoint the reasons and figure out what you need to do to correct the situation before things get any worse.
1) You don’t have the inventory you used to have
Customers want to be able to get whatever they want when they want it. If they can’t get it at your business, they will just go somewhere else. The bigger problem is that when they do, they might find a place they like better and start shopping there on a regular basis. That is why it is so important to keep up with your inventory.
2) You have an issue with customer service
If you have any business experience whatsoever, you know how important customer service is. When you go into a business as a customer yourself, you make a mental note whether or not you want to come back to that place based on two things- the type of inventory that they have and the way that you are treated when you are there. If you are missing either one of these things, your business is going to be in trouble. You can have the greatest inventory in the world, but if you fail to greet your customers promptly or you treat them like they simply don’t matter, they will take their business elsewhere.
3) Your website is outdated
Your website is the online equivalent of a storefront. You would probably continue to drive past a business if the storefront is run down or looks dirty. The same can be said for a website that is outdated or simply unattractive. Unfortunately, we live in a culture that makes snap judgments in less than a second. When they visit a particular website, people make a judgment right then and there are about whether or not they want to continue looking. If it doesn’t look attractive, has too much or not enough information, or is difficult to load, they will move on to another website.
4) Your business is not progressive enough
One of the most important things you can do as a business owner is to constantly upgrade and change your merchandise. If you sell candles, keep the best-selling items as mainstays and then continue to develop new things. Create new colors, designs or scents that you have not previously sold. Don’t be afraid to branch out and sell some additional items. Remember, the more items that your customers can get on your website, the less tempted they will be to visit the site of a competitor.
5) Your website is down all the time
Sometimes, you create a website with a company that is simply not able to keep up with technological demands. If your website is down more than it is up and running, it won’t matter how good it looks or how user friendly it is when it functions properly. Customers that continuously go to a website that has problems every time they try to visit it will eventually get frustrated and go somewhere else.
6) You run out of items constantly
If you are lucky, you will find yourself in a situation where you are actually struggling to keep up with demands. However, you have to find a way to keep up with those demands and ensure your customers that your products are available and that they will be delivered on time. If you are always out of the most popular items, customers will grow frustrated and they will stop shopping with you. The same is true if you have a constant backlog of orders and cannot fulfill the orders that should always be in your inventory, creating weeks-long delays. This is understandable for custom made products, but not for products that you should have in stock on a continual basis.
7) You change your manufacturing process
If you have recently changed the way that you make your merchandise, or you purchase merchandise from a different company, it could cause your business to slow down. If there is anything wrong with the manufacturing process that causes products to be of questionable quality, consumers will pick up on that and they will stop shopping on your website as opposed to dealing with the issue themselves. If you are going to change the manufacturing process or buy merchandise from another company, make sure the quality level goes up instead of down.
8) You are largely inaccessible
Customers want the peace of mind that comes with knowing that they can reach you if they have a question or concern. That does not mean that you have to provide your personal telephone number, but it does mean that you should provide them with a chance to contact you. Give them a dedicated email address that you only use for your business. Better yet, get a dedicated phone number that is just for your business and provide that number to your customers. Promptly return phone calls and emails. Making customers wait for extended periods of time will cause you to lose out on business.
9) You ignore marketing techniques
If you ignore things like Internet marketing and email marketing, you can expect your business to fall off rather quickly. You have to do marketing in order to be successful, whether you want to do it or not. It is simply part of being a business owner. Otherwise, you run the risk of allowing your dream to go up in smoke before it even gets off the ground.
10) You don’t take advantage of what is available to you
If you really want to be successful, become familiar with things like blogging and promoting your business on social media. This can really help you gain a lot of business and it can also help you keep the customers the that you already have. Otherwise, you are cutting your business down for no other reason than the fact that you are not putting in the effort and the time to get as much business as possible. The next time that you think your business is starting to fall off, go back and check these tips again. Chances are, it is because one or more of these issues is present.