WCBS 880 business tips: 5 ways to change your sales
NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Business owners are changing the way they sell to recover and grow during the coronavirus pandemic.
All three entrepreneurs on the WCBS BNB Bank Virtual Business Breakfast panel with Joe Connolly have adjusted their sales operations and strategies, increasing revenue as a result; they share advice to other owners on how to boost sales even in this tough economic climate.
1. Reduce Overhead
Satisfi Labs Co-Founder and CEO Don White says vendors are currently offering incentives for suppliers. You may be in a good position to negotiate.
"Now is a great time to shop for a better rate or a better priced option," White said. "We were able to reduce our health costs by 40 percent going into 2021 just because of how we worked with our partner who wanted to retain us, and even though it's 25 employees, they were very interested in offering us the ability to do that."The savvy tech entrepreneur says now is a great time to reduce your overhead going into next year. 2. Pivot to Boost Revenue
NTWRK president Moksha Fitzgibbons says small retailers should pivot online and attempt to move their current customer base to their e-commerce platform.
"I would say do as much as you can to build that online revenue and try to grow that as efficiently, as effectively as you can, and then, reopen that store in a safe way to bring back your customer base, as best you can, and introduce them to your online piece," Fitzgibbons said in response to an audience question from Anita Manfredonia who owns a boutique in Flushing, Queens named Pippy & Lily.
NTWRK is a livestreaming e-commerce application that has helped retailers pivot from brick and mortar to grow digital sales.One example Fitzgibbons shares on the Virtual Business Breakfast is Chelsea-based artist Mr. Flower Fantastic who designs elaborate floral pieces for live events and showcases, including making a floral masterpiece of Serena Williams' Nike Air Max 97 sneaker for the 2018 U.S. Open. NTWRK has a creative content deal with MFF that will rake in "seven figures plus" in revenue this year after event cancellations temporarily set the floral artist’s business back.
3. Know Who Your Customers Are
A key to changing your sales is understanding who your customers are by digging into your transaction data and social media analytics.
"When we saw that it was a reorder, we put a handwritten note in there with an extra two-ounce bottle thanking them for ordering from us," Jennifer Decker of Long Island-based 3 Moms Organics said of her personal touch.
Her customers became the company's most influential spokespeople during the pandemic as they made their own posts and videos explaining and showing how their DEET-free product TickWise works to repel ticks and insects.A combination of genuine influencer marketing and targeted Facebook advertisements accelerated 3 Moms Organics' sales over 1,000 percent this year. 4. Help Others Who Are Struggling
White shared his conviction that the business community should help others who have been laid-off due to this crisis. One way to do that is through virtual networking made easier on LinkedIn.
"Some of those relationships have really benefited our company," White said, noting that was not his objective. "I was able to provide them some benefits of either talking through what opportunities they were looking for, ways they can potentially help us, and then they would in turn say, ‘well, how can I help you?’ There was a reciprocal opportunity."
His startup's revenue doubled after shifting his sales operations from a regionally focused sales team to a vertical sales team whereby staffers focused on areas of expertise rather than geographic location since business travel was halted.
5. Be a Business for the Future
Fitzgibbons believes consumer behavior has changed permanently and entrepreneurs should look to fulfill needs in the marketplace.
"I used to go to Whole Foods all the time and now I order it through Amazon Prime. I don't think I'll ever go back to a Whole Foods or certainly not with the frequency that I once did," he shared, adding, "You need to think through that need case and make sure that you are well-positioned to be a business for the future and not one of the past."
Watch the WCBS BNB Bank Virtual Business Breakfast with Joe Connolly here.
UWS small business finds new customers on e-commerce store
NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Retailers that have grown their e-commerce platforms are the ones that are surviving the pandemic.
Sylvia Parker owns Magpie - a gift store on Amsterdam Avenue between 83rd and 84th Streets on the Upper West Side. She told Joe Connolly and Neil A. Carousso on the WCBS Small Business Spotlight, sponsored by BNB Bank, "now is the time" for retailers to focus on building and growing their online presence.https://omny.fm/shows/wcbs-880-small-business-spotlight/spend-time-on-your-e-commerce-site
"I know shop owners are really busy, but if they can take these couple of extra minutes or whatever to do it, then it's worthwhile, obviously worthwhile," she said.
Parker, with the help of a "tech savvy staff member," recently built a new website using a "big e-commerce" platform that has templates. Her product photos stand out on the easy-to-navigate online store. She told WCBS 880 that she purchased a portable photo booth for about $100 from a local camera store to take product photos for her website and Instagram page.
"That was something that we did sort of sporadically before and I think it's more and more important," Parker said of posting on Instagram, nothing frequency is important to growing a following.
Magpie is closing in on 800 followers on Instagram.
"I think it's another way to present ourselves to the public, especially for a lot of our customers now who are no longer in the city or are from out of town," Parker said.
She told Connolly and Carousso she has to be cognizant of what's in stock at all times before putting products on her website; they have more than 100 items available for purchase. Magpie, which opened in 2012, sells mostly hand-made products from bags to jewelry to home decor, and of course, masks.
"I think that people generally do appreciate that we have something special to offer," Parker said, adding, "This gives us an opportunity to think, 'well, what are the things that we can do that really differentiate us? What can we do to make the experience special for our customers?'"
She said e-commerce is part of the long-term strategy for her business and has to be for any shop owner. When she reopened her store, though, Parker told WCBS 880 her customers expressed how happy they are that she has stayed in business.
Hear ideas for building and improving a profitable e-commerce store on the WCBS Small Business Spotlight Podcast on the RADIO.COM app or on the media player above.
WCBS BNB Bank Virtual Business Breakfast: Growth opportunities in the COVID crisis
NYC Tech Startup Credits Fast Recovery, Growth To Sales Ops Change
I'm Listening: Family finds mission in NY doctor's death
Retailers Find Pandemic Success In Livestreaming E-Commerce
Business Leaders Urge Officials To Clean Up NYC For Economic Recovery
Downtown Brooklyn Looks to Attract Top Talent in a Post-Pandemic World
Pandemic Gap Year: Firms Providing Job Training, Career Development For Students Taking Semester Off
Planet Fitness Improves Air Filtration, PPE For NY Reopening
Why Remote-Only Classes May Force A Reckoning On Education
Brooklyn Daycare Struggles To Survive While Adjusting To COVID Era
Businesses Near Mets, Yankee Stadiums Take A Hit As Baseball Returns Without Fans
Long Island Moms Accelerate Digital Sales When Retailers Shutdown
Doctor Advises Americans To Avoid All Gatherings To Stop COVID Spread
NYC Businesses Seek Ways To Boost Consumer Confidence
By Neil A. CaroussoNEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Personal care services such as nail salons, massage parlors, tattoo shops and tanning salons turned on their lights in Phase 3 of New York City's reopening this week, but indoor dining was halted because the airborne coronavirus spreads in closed environments with poor ventilation. The City is encouraging business owners to adapt and listen to health experts to dictate their economic future. "As people begin to feel safe, they're going to come out," said New York City Small Business Services Commissioner Jonnel Doris on the WCBS Small Business Spotlight Podcast with Joe Connolly and Neil A. Carousso, sponsored by BNB Bank. Doris was appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio to lead the city agency through the pivotal survival and recovery period. He previously served as senior advisor and director of the Mayor’s Office of Minority and Women-Owned Enterprises. He also worked as chief diversity officer in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Office of Storm Recovery. "There's going to be some change in customer behavior," Doris pointed out. "Make sure that you are as safe as possible. Do face coverings, make sure it's on, make sure that you use social distancing; that's going to bring the confidence level back, and then, we're going to be able to see, really, the customer foot traffic pick up." He told Connolly and Carousso the Department of Small Business Services (SBS) has sent 5 million Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) items to City companies in the first three phases. He expects they'll be able to distribute another 2.5 million masks, face shields, gloves and goggles. "We've got a lot of resources for businesses that are ready to go particularly our restaurants who have really been hit hard during this time," said Doris. https://omny.fm/shows/wcbs-880-small-business-spotlight/survival-safety-resources-available-for-nyc-busine Restaurateurs had been preparing to welcome patrons inside by hiring and rehiring wait staff and ordering food from their suppliers, but now, many are turning to SBS for financial resources, including fundraising. "Customers are eating out differently, they're coming out different times, their likens have changed, they've been locked up for three months," the City's business leader said. "As they see and they hear from their customers, they are making changes and they're pivoting." Doris said about 7,000 restaurateurs are engaged in the agency's reopening program in which they provide tools and ideas for recovery. "Financial resources and/or education really is key for the success of these businesses and that's what we are able to provide," he said. Yudelka Carrera received operations training from SBS before she launched her catering and events-planning business Events By Yudy in 2015. "During COVID-19, Yudy had to really transform her business from a catering company to preparing, now, and delivering lunches for people at home, healthcare workers, first responders and more," Doris said. President Donald J. Trump on Saturday signed an extension of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) low-interest loan that is forgivable if business owners use it to pay their employees. The original deadline for small businesses to apply for the program was last Tuesday, but $130 billion remained in the fund. Congress unanimously approved the extension for assistance until August 8. Many prominent companies received millions of dollars in loans, including P.F. Chang's China Bistro and Chop't. The unintended assistance to large corporations has raised concerns that the government program funded owners with political connections. Doris is encouraging small businesses in need of capital to apply. He points to three core principles for business owners in adapting to the so-called new normal: innovation, creativity and collaboration. "We can't do business like we've always done it before," Doris said, continuing, "Industries got to work together, government and business needs to work better together, and that's what we're trying to do here." Hear examples of how business owners pivoted to survive and the financial and educational resources available to New York City companies on the WCBS Small Business Spotlight Podcast on the RADIO.COM app or the media player above.
Summer Businesses' Blueprint To Recovery
5 Tips To Help Businesses Survive The Coronavirus Crisis
NYC Restaurants Struggle To Make Profit During Phase 2 Of Reopening
NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Restaurants typically operate on thin profit margins, but establishments are getting squeezed as they struggle to serve their communities eager to eat out in phase two of New York City’s reopening.
TWITTER: “Influencer marketing” is the new word-of-mout[...]
TWITTER: Four aides to @VP have tested positive for COVID. [...]
TWITTER: “Now is the time” for businesses to improve th[...]
TWITTER: RT @wcbs880: #2 Pivot to Boost Revenue Moksha Fit[...]
TWITTER: .@JohnsHopkins reports 83,757 new #COVID19 cases i[...]
VIDEO: WCBS 880's First-Ever Virtual Business Breakfast
VIDEO: Shark Tank's "Mr. Wonderful" on How to Build Wealth during Coronavirus Crisis
VIDEO: NJ Woman Delivers Food to Hospital Workers on the Frontlines of the Coronavirus Pandemic
VIDEO: Brian Cashman, "Real Housewives" Headline "Mooch and the Mrs." Live Podcast in Times Square
VIDEO: Celebrating the Miracle Mets