Small Business Development Center
At Chemeketa Center for Business & Industry
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Monthly Archives: February 2012

Online Sales Techniques

By Chemeketa SBDC

Small business owners

Learn how to use your website and social media tools to generate income for your small business!

Ever wonder how to get your website to generate income?

Chemeketa SBDC is offering a 2-part class called Online Sales Techniques that will boost your online presence and generate new streams of income this year.

In this 6-hour class, get all the details you need to sell online, create raving fans, and get focused with your online marketing. No more frittering away precious time on social media or wondering what promotions will make your customers respond.

This intensive, hands-on class is for busy entrepreneurs who want to make more money and build a fan base online.

What you’ll get from the Online Sales Techniques classes:

  • Clarity for how to promote your products and services
  • Confidence using Web 2.0 strategies to promote your products and services
  • Strategy that engages your potential customers without annoying them
  • Simplicity from systems that work effectively for you and your business
  • Success from tried-and-true techniques that prevent hapazard action
  • Measurable results that maximize the return on your time investment

What we’ll cover:

  • How to convert your website visitors into customers
  • How to write a sales page that makes people want to buy
  • How to use social media tools (like Facebook and Twitter) effectively
  • How to connect with potential customers and build trust in your company while they’re deciding to buy
  • How to build your audience so marketing efforts yield new income
  • How to launch and promote a product or service and generate income

What’s included:

Class 1:

  • Effective Websites and SEO Basics: How to get people to buy
  • E-newsletters: How to stay in touch while the customer is still deciding to buy

Class 2:

  • Social Media Mastery: Turn customers into raving fans (who will then drive more customers your way)
  • How to Launch your Product or Service Online: How to build trust and create healthy hype so customers buy what you’re selling

Advising

  • This class includes a complimentary 1-on-1 advising session with the instructor as a follow-up to the class. This way you’ll get all your specific questions answered and have support in implementing the concepts you learn in the class.

Prerequisites

  • Must have an existing business
  • Must have a website and the capacity to edit it (yourself or by a professional)
  • Encouraged: A Facebook or Twitter account
  • Encouraged: Be able to access to your email account remotely

Dates:

  • Tuesdays, October 1 and 8, 2013
  • 1:30pm – 4:30pm

Taught by Jennifer Hofmann, owner of Inspired Home Office and advisor at Chemeketa SBDC.

This is not a sit-and-stare class. Interaction is encouraged and there is plenty of time for your questions. Since it’s taught in a state-of-the-art computer lab, you’ll also try out numerous hands-on activities and apply the learning in real time.

  • “Jennifer is a very good listener – responded to everyone, included everyone in discussion & participation.”
  • “This was the best class that I have attended at SBDC. It got me going and I’m ready to use the information.”
  • “Based on what I learned in this class, I will make major changes to my Facebook page – it will be better because of this class – thank you!”
  • “Very informative and well taught. Excellent handouts and text as well as web guided instructions.”

Best of all, the techniques you learn in this class will help your business make more money. Jennifer uses all of these techniques in her own business because they work! Space is limited to 22 participants. Sign up today!

Cost: $69 per participant.

Call 503.399.5088 to reserve your spot!


Forecasting Sales Benefits Your Business

By Chemeketa SBDC

Even if you are an existing business, you should be forecasting — projecting your sales. You may use actual numbers if you have historical financial records. But what do you do if you have nothing to refer back to? You will need to determine how many potential customers are there, how many of these potential customers are likely to buy from you, decide the average sale per customer and then project this out for the year. Try this:

First: Determine the total number of potential customers living in your territory. (Don’t forget — the more clearly you can define your customer, the more realistic your research.) If you sell to the public, you need to find the information from the new U.S. Census data for your market area.  You can find this information at www.census.gov or at the library.

If you sell to other businesses, there are many potential sources of information; one of the best is a trade association that represents your industry. You also can find this information through a web search or at the public library. After you have determined the total number of potential customers living within your geographical area, you have the base to begin narrowing down your target market.

Second: Determine the number that likely will buy from you. You need to be realistic. Consider your competition (in number and quality), consider that some of the people will not buy from you or your competition, and consider people will find substitutes for your product.  What percentage of the total available population will you be able to attract?

Third: Determine your average customer sales per year. How many purchases will your average customer make in a year? How much will they spend on each purchase? Is this a repeat business or once and only once. Does the average customer buy the same product/service or will they need other complimentary services? Trade associations are good sources of information to help answer these questions.

Fourth: Determine your annual sales volume. You have determined the number of customers and determined the average amount each customer will spend per year.  Multiply these two numbers together to calculate your expected annual sales volume.

Finally: Evaluate the annual sales volume figure. Does the number you calculated make sense? If not, go back and work the numbers again. What assumptions have you made about your customers? How accurate or risky are these assumptions. You can guess, and this is not a bad place to start. But — then — you need to back up your assumptions with actual figures to gain the greatest degree of reality for your projections.

Marcia Bagnall is director of the Chemeketa Small Business Development Center and instructor of Small Business Management Program . The Small-Business Adviser column is produced by the center and appears each Sunday. Questions can be submitted to SBDC@chemeketa.edu. Visit the SBDC at 626 High St. NE. in downtown Salem or call (503) 399-5088.