Having a soldering business comes with various drawbacks as compared to other businesses. Among this are the relatively limited growth and expansion possibilities. Despite this however, there are still a few ways that you can tap a larger market and grow your soldering iron shop venture. These include getting an online presence, selling through e-commerce and offering door-to-door services. We look at each of these in detail.
Getting an online presence
Always ask yourself how easy it is for your customers to get you online. Do you have a company website and a corporate email? In the modern day and age, these are no longer luxuries but rather necessities for running a successful business. A company website is the company’s online office and therefore serves to get customers for your business that even you did not have knowledge of.
Using E-commerce sites
Well, everyone is doing it so why not give it a try? It has become extremely easy to just go online and after a few searches have what you needed. This may not get you a lot of local clients but might get you a few customers with large orders. Once your company becomes stable, local customers will also be able to locate you as within their area and thus increase your customer base. This is probably the easiest means of growing your soldering company.
Door to door services
The changes in various industries have turned most customers into convenience-focused people. Most customers rarely look for products and services out there but rather rely on the delivery of goods and services to their homes and places of work. This presents an opportunity to expand your soldering shop by providing on-demand door to door services for your customers. This will however require you to first establish a sustainable customer base.
Your new soldering shop is now up and running. How will you tell whether your business is performing as you would like. Does it meet or exceed your projections. If you do not have a business background, here are a few tips to help you.
Learn the basics
You should have basic knowledge regarding stock-taking, revenue and cash flow, profit calculations and financial statements. You can learn the basics of these by taking an online accounting course. It will probably take you no longer than a few weeks. This will save you quite some money you would otherwise have spent to pay someone to do the math for you.
This will probably be the easiest way of evaluation your business performance on a daily basis. The question you need to ask yourself is how much you have sold at a given time or period. This can be analyzed on a daily or weekly basis. For a small soldering shop however, it is advisable to do this on a daily basis.
This becomes a little bit tricky. In its most basic form, it will be the difference between the revenue and the costs of whatever has brought in that revenue. The tricky part now becomes the cost element. There are various costs that you will incur as well as expenses. These include rent, electricity, and delivery, administrative and other types of expenses. For you to profit from your business venture, the revenue has to exceed all the costs combined.
This will involve analyzing how your company has grown in terms of number of customers, increase in revenue and profit, physical size and number of branches and various other growth parameters. This is relatively easy to evaluate. Always try to come up with measures to ensure your business attain sustainable growth.
Sales promotions are probably the most ineffective means of increasing sales. However, they tend to increase awareness among a very wide range of your potential customers. This could benefit your business greatly in the long run though the returns will be relatively low in the short run. While running product promotions, make sure to keep costs low since high costs will strain your cash flows. Here are a few ideas you can use to promote your soldering shop.
Free promotional items
These should include cheap items that have the company’s branding on them. They could be pens, small notebooks, cups and so on. Give these to customers and potential customers and the next time they need something related to soldering, they will definitely have you in their mind. Ensure that the items you give are inexpensive to maintain your revenue and profit margins.
Periodic gifts and price discounts
These could include designing a running raffle promotion for buyers where a few of them get to win fantastic prizes. This should however be done periodically, at most twice in a year. The benefits of such promotions are usually only visible in the long run. Price discounts on the other hand are highly effective in on creasing sales but should be kept within certain limits so as not to eat into the company’s profits.
Branded company apparel
This is a means of promotion as well as a marketing strategy. Have your employees wear officially branded company t-shirts. This will create a perspective of a serious company in the buyer’s mind. This will also be an effective and relatively cheap promotion means that will serve your company for a very long time. There are other promotion methods that you can apply but as we mentioned earlier, the effectiveness of promotions on revenue and profit is not very straightforward or guaranteed.
You will be operating in a relatively busy market with many suppliers and relatively many buyers. What is going to make your business succeed where others have probably tried and failed? What will be your keys to success? Here are a few things to keep in mind.
- Owner’s skill and experience. Your customers are going to judge depending on how well you carry out tasks for them or for people they know. This implies that you should always work on continuous self-improvement to hone your skills.
- Pickup and drop off services. Can you pick up your client’s faulty electronics, repair them and drop them back to their residences? This could very well be your key to success. It is a system built on convenience and trust. For personal businesses such as a soldering shop, this is very important.
- This involves asking yourself, how well can your customers find you? Is your shop well branded with clear signage? Do you have an online presence? The easier it is for your potential customers to find you, the better chances of success you have.
- Product and service portfolio. This is basically the depth of the services and products you will offer. The larger the product and service portfolio, the larger the potential customer base and thus a potential key to success. Research widely on the prevailing industry and market needs and trends and position your company to match or exceed customer expectations.
- Mobile soldering services. This can be applied once the company’s revenue and profits stabilise. As a means of expansion, you could purchase an outdoor van to provide mobile soldering services. This saves clients time and cost and will therefore gain you more clients. This will however probably require additional staff and can thus not be applied during the venture’s start-up.