When you think about making New Year’s resolutions, you might have had trouble actually accomplishing them in the past.
You decide you want to boost sales by 30%, but then you’re overwhelmed by this goal, and have no clue where to start.
This year, do things differently.
Here, I’ve broken down activities into bite-size chunks that you can take on, one each month.
By the end of 2018, you should have met or exceeded your sales goals!
January: Assess Your Profit Margin
Your sales goals for 2018 need to start off with an assessment.
Your costs of doing business are likely rising, so if you haven’t taken a look at your profit margin in a while, it’s a good time to do so.
While the average profit margin for ecommerce is 40%, you might have a lower margin.
Still, it should be healthy enough for you to pay your expenses and have a cushion that will feed into what you pay yourself. Look at how your annual profit margin has changed over the past five years. Is it growing or shrinking?
February: Raise Prices for New Customers
New year, new pricing. Just because you’ve charged $X per product for years doesn’t mean you have to keep doing so.
Now that you know what your profit margin looks like, determine how much you need to increase product pricing so that you have that nice buffer.
Resist raising prices too much beyond what your competitors charge or you might lose business. Increasing prices just 10-20% should get you what you want.
March: Increase Order Size
If you aren’t capitalizing on upsells, now’s the month to make that your focus.
People are easily swayed when they’re checking out with their purchase online and see a “Products You Might Like” banner with products related to those they’re purchasing.
Someone who has a shirt in her shopping cart might be happy to add a necklace that would look great to her purchase, but you’ve got to nudge her to do so.
Increasing average order value will help you boost sales and revenue with very little effort.
April: Step Up Your Promotions Calendar
Develop a calendar that includes all the sales, discounts, and promotions you want to hold for the rest of the year. It may be easier to focus on one sale a week.
You can test out different strategies, like:
- Percent discount
- Free gift with purchase
- Buy one get one free
On your calendar, include social media updates to promote the sale to make your marketing easier.
May: Ping Past Customers
The people who have purchased from you before could be an untapped source of future business — and getting them to come back again should be one of your major sales goals for the new year.
You have their emails; all you have to do is create a campaign to get them buying from you again.
Send a “we miss you!” email with special discount will see some redemption, and get those customers active with your brand once again.
June: Expand Your Product Line
If you sell products that people only need one of, such as a watering can, consider offering more products that will get people returning to your online store to buy.
If you sell garden supplies, expand into fairy garden accessories, pruning shears, and garden decor.
July: Collaborate With Other Sellers
Just like a celebrity will do a limited edition line of clothing or makeup, you can partner with someone who sells products that complement your own to create bundled packages that will spark demand.
If, for example, you sell T-shirts, you could have a popular guest designer create a limited collection.
Or you could partner with a well-known makeup blogger who can curate her favorites of your products, sold in a limited edition makeup bag to help you boost sales.
August: Review Your Website or Online Store
It never hurts to blow the dust off of your web copy and product images.
In fact, revamping them can give people who have been to your site a dozen times something fresh and exciting to look at, even if it’s the same products. And it can boost sales!
Use these posts to help you meet your sales goals:
- 4 Photography Tips: Staging, Lighting, Cameras, and More
- A Guide to Writing Damn-Good Product Descriptions
September: Work With Influencers
You can greatly expand your reach if the right influencers in your industry start talking about your brand.
A blogger who loves your products could write more reviews in exchange for some free product.
She could also hold a giveaway, getting her fans excited about what you’re selling.
October: Invest in Online Ads
Another way to expand your reach is to buy online ads, like Google Adwords or Facebook Ads.
You can target exactly who sees your ad, which greatly impacts your conversion potential.
Create a special offer for ad viewers only, and include an enticing product photo.
Check out these posts to help you meet your sales goals in 2018:
- Nice Ad! How to Easily Set Up Your First Facebook Ad
- All About That Math: 3 Facebook Ad Metrics to Start Tracking Now
November: Get Your Black-Friday Game On
This month and into December has the potential to be your biggest sales period, so don’t skimp on planning your Black Friday strategy.
Decide what you’ll mark down, and when Black Friday will actually begin (retailers are starting it earlier and earlier every year!).
Ensure you’re ready to handle lots of order fulfillment, and get your social media marketing game ready to roll.
December: Time to Review
Whew! While we covered a lot this year, we spread it out over the months so that nothing was so overwhelming you couldn’t handle it.
So, how’d you do? Did you take on each task? And how did your revenues change for the better?
Keep your sales goals on track year-by-year by checking out these templates:
- A Free Business Budget Template to Get Your Finances in Check
- Bank Reconciliation Template: 5 Easy Steps to Balance Your Accounts