Once you get your home business started and things start running a little smooth, the next logical step will be to grow your business into a self-sustaining enterprise. A majority of the big businesses you see both on and off-line began just as you did. A single unit, making enough money to pay the bills and keeping the family finances on an even keel. However, over time they found a niche that enabled them to expand or increase their sales to vastly build their business and go from getting by to getting comfortable.
Most businesses find that it is easier to add on to their business than it is to find new customers and this can require some creative thinking on the part of the business owner. Since new customers may be reluctant to conduct business with a new company, counting on referrals can help bring in new business. Offer an incentive to existing customers if they can bring in another new customer.
Additionally, offering a similar incentive can give both the new and existing customers a reason to send business your way. If you offer a $25 bounty for new customers that spend $100 with you, offer a 25-percent discount to new can more than make for the expense. However, finding new customers may be tough in certain Financial Times, so offering existing customers additional products to go with items they already buy, maybe the next logical step in building your business.
For example, if you sell curtains online, why not offer curtain rods to go along with them? When an existing customer looks to change the curtains in their room they are more likely to buy the rod from the same company and offering different types of curtain rods can help maintain their business. If another customer is in the market for curtain rods, they may also decide to upgrade their curtains from you as well.
Before you begin offering anything for sale online, you should first research the market. While curtains may not be the best example, you should find out how many online companies are offering curtains for sale. Learn their pricing structure, shipping costs, and return policies. While undercutting a competitor is a common business tactic, prices that are too low to bring in any sustainable profit, you will hurt your business in the long run. Having to increase your prices in a short time of opening can have a negative effect on your reputation.
Remain competitive without pricing yourself out of business and then maintain a consistent pricing structure. People are willing to pay for quality and have no objection to paying for quick shipping. However, some companies lose a lot of business by charging excessive shipping and handling charge to help make up for lower prices on the goods they sell.
Another thing for you to think about is a giveaway for any purchase above a specified amount. This could be merchandise or free or express shipping or even a discount. Be creative.