1. Redefine Your Ideal Customer
Take some time to look back at your events in 2017. If you had a magic wand, which type of customer would you want to see more business from? This might be a higher price point, a certain event type, or perhaps a preferred time window. Understanding your ideal customer will help you plan ways to grow your business and determine where to best focus your efforts. I make it a point each January to reevaluate my ideal customer profile.
Pro Tip: It's fine to have multiple customer profiles which are your "ideal customer", but the point here is to focus your efforts to increase sales. Try keep the number on the lower side.
2. Reevaluate Your Packages
Now that you have a better understanding of the type of business you'd like to acquire, it's a good time to ensure your packages reflect your desired target. I tend create a separate category of packages for each desired customer profile.
Try to not focus much on pricing at this stage: it just muddies the water and we’ll do that soon. The goal is to make it easy for your ideal customer to identify you as a fit for their business. For example, if you want to do more corporate events and you don't have a packaged offering labels "Corporate", create one to indicate you specialize in catering to their needs and are ready for the business.
Another example, we have a customer who wants to attract more weekday business, they have created separate packages for weekdays vs weekends. The weekday packages have a lower price point.
Pro Tip: Keep it simple and limit the number of packages you offer per customer profile. Displaying a lot of packages will add confusion to the buying process at a critical time.
3. Reevaluate Your Pricing
Now that you have your packages updated with the intent of attracting more of your ideal customer, it's time to put a fair price on each one. I'm a huge fan of offering at least two base packages for any service offering (school, party, corporate, etc). This is a good time to look around and see what your competition is offering. Generally, I am not a fan of being the cheapest in the market: in my customers who are looking for the cheapest offer tend to be more work than those who are willing to pay more.
Pro Tip: Use add ons to upsell and allow for further customization of your service. In my experience, people will pay extra for personalization. For my photo booth service, props which match the theme of an event do well (80's party anyone?). For my DJ service, our custom monograms and other atmospheric effects are solid sellers.
4. Make Friends
Get out and share what your do with others. There are a lot of avenues for sharing your services. In general, I like to think more in terms of increasing awareness and less in terms of selling to my personal network.
Sharing events you are proud of on social media is a great low friction way to increase awareness. If you're a member of any organizations (churches, meetups, full time job, etc.) you can increase the awareness of your services by sharing it with others. Perhaps tell them about your weekend or maybe offer to provide a free or heavily discounted service at their next event.
Also, get in touch with venues and other event spaces who might need your services. Perhaps they have a recommended vendor list you can appear on. Maybe offer a discount/coupon for their referrals.
Pro Tip: Make friends with your competitors and other complimenting service providers. Referrals are powerful and you'd be surprised at how many people are up for being friends and helping each other out.
5. Experiment All Year
Don't be afraid to change your pricing or packages based on the feedback you receive from customers or observation from booking paterns. If an add on is not selling, lower the price or bundle it with the base package. If you need to go out and buy additional equipment to meet the needs of a client, advertise it as an add on.
In 2017 I removed several packages form my service aimed at schools. At one point, I had 8 packages and most everyone booked the same package. Looking back it's obvious I was unnecessarily adding complexity to the buying process.
If you are not getting enough bookings, consider experimenting with paid marketing channels such as Google AdWords or Yelp. Online directories like The Photobooth Finder can be a great source of leads.
Pro Tip: Sharing coupons on social media and other online channels can be a great way to increase sales and raise awareness. Just make sure you have an expiration on any offer so people have a reason to pull the trigger and book your service.
Awesome! I think you're on your way to having a tremendous 2018. If there is anything you think Check Cherry can do to help you increase sales, please send us a note email@example.com. We'd love to hear your thoughts.