How Small Businesses Should Handle Data

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Do you consider that data is only for big businesses? After you’ll read this article you’ll see how small businesses should analyze and use data to their benefit. Imagine yourself in a grocery store waiting at the checkout. The customers that are in front of you can represent several things such as: sales, mild annoyance if the line is relatively long and, last but not least, an awful lot of information. While the last one is considered by many to be the most important part, it is often underrated.

While big companies can go online and track the purchases of customers and identify their tendencies, most small companies do not have the necessary resources or simply don’t know how to approach this.

So how can you manage to do this? Here are 5 tips on how you, a small business owner, can actually do what big companies do.

For example, there are services such as Swipely that focused on offering small businesses payment processing, particularly analyzing and collecting customer data. The reason behind this is to help small businesses improve their operations and marketing.

Now let’s move on to the five aspects that will help you analyze data more effectively:

1. First, get to know your customers better than they know themselves. The most important thing you should do is identify your top 100 clients, keep track of their activity, see their preferences when it comes to purchasing and how often they decide to visit. Afterwards you could use all this data to make their visit special and more pleasant. According to marketing experts, obtaining 100 loyal customers will prove more helpful than a $25.000 advertising campaign given the fact that they can spread the word about your business out faster.

2. If we were to consider the old saying that 90 percent of advertising doesn’t work, the trick is to find which 10 actually proves effective. Therefore, evaluate your marketing efforts by tracking how many purchases have come from new customers in comparison to the repeated visitors. By doing this you’ll have a better understanding if your marketing efforts do pay off.

3. Be aware of hidden items that could generate into new and more sales. Without the right tools this may prove like an uphill battle. For example, consider the following: You own a restaurant and new customers come in every day. Do those customers choose one course in particular? If so, identify it and see how you can promote it more by means of your staff recommending it to first-time guests.

4. Also, do your best in helping your employees to improve their selling skills. It’s not that difficult to determine who on your staff sells the most and who doesn’t. Focus your coaching efforts on the staff members that may not have a great deal of experience, offer them tips and advice so that they can improve their negotiating or selling skills.

5. Feedback at the touch of a button. With help from applications such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google or OpenTable you can receive instant feedback regarding your staff, your business and maybe even you. For example, feedback is ever-so-present in today’s restaurant industry. For example, approximately 50% of reviews pertaining to this area refer to specific menu items, which may provide an important data source to tap in.

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