How to Increase Sales for Small Business: 10 Effective Strategies

  • By Matthew Davis
  • Dec 24, 2023
  • Upselling Tactics
How to Increase Sales for Small Business

A good rule of growth for small businesses: Aim to increase sales 15-25% each year.

With today’s market challenges, it’s harder to grow sustainably.

But here’s a secret: You don’t have to invest heavily in marketing or grow your team fast to increase sales. There are many cost-effective strategies small businesses can use to generate lasting sales growth.

First, cover the basics. Build a strong online presence and get to know your customers. After you meet the basics, you can try more advanced techniques like optimizing your product mix or pricing strategy.

Ultimately, the goal is to refine your business and reduce waste, while increasing order values and walk-in traffic.

Need some ideas to help your small business grow sales? Here are 10 unique ways small businesses can increase profits (that don’t break the bank).

1. Understand Your Target Audience

It sounds simple enough. But you’d be surprised how many businesses fail to understand their customers.

They introduce products or services their customers don’t want. Or make cost-saving changes that drive their customers away.

Here’s a simple process you can use:

Create Customer Personas

Build a detailed profile of your target customer or customers. You should answer:

Who are they? What are their pain points and passions? What motivates them to shop?

With customer personas in place, your marketing, pricing strategy and product mix decisions get easier.

Here are some low-cost ways to analyze your customer base:

  • Social media surveys: Use surveys and Q&As to gather feedback and engage your audience. Surveys help you understand customer preferences (new products to carry) and pain points.
  • Post-purchase surveys: Send short, targeted surveys after in-store purchases. Ask about a customer’s experience, what they liked, and what could be improved. This will reveal areas for improvement while establishing a connection with the customer.
  • Analyze purchase history: A quality retail POS system tracks purchase data. Use this data to identify popular items, buying trends, and customer segments. You can use POS sales reports to fine-tune your promotions and marketing.
  • Online reviews: Reviews are a goldmine! Monitor your reviews – both positive and negative – and respond quickly. Using reviews, you will know if you’re meeting your customer’s expectations.

Example: After reading customer reviews, an independent grocer notices its customers are price sensitive. To respond, the store invests more in budget-friendly items (inventory optimization) and begins marketing a weekly specials program.

Optimize Your Product or Services Offering

2. Optimize Your Product or Services Offering

Product mix optimization is all about balance.

Your aim is to offer the right mix of products to a) attract the most customers and b) maximize profit margins.

Need some help? Here are some fast ways you can begin to optimize product mix to increase sales:

I. Identity top sellers

Find which products or services bring in the most revenue. Focus on promoting these super stars. Some ways to promote them include:

  • Cross-selling – Bring in products that naturally pair with your popular products. A phone case for your top-selling smartphone, for example. This will help you attract customers and increase order values.
  • Offers / bundles – Create limited-time offers that combine popular products or offer discounts when bundled with less popular products.

II. Analyze your sales data

Look at your sales reports and see:

  • Top sellers vs. bottom sellers
  • Seasonality trends
  • Purchase patterns
  • Overstocked & slow-moving items
  • Stockouts & missed sale opportunities

For example, if a product or category is overstocked, this might suggest you need to carry fewer products in the category. Additionally, you might notice a category commonly has stockout issues.

In this case, you should increase your product assortment.

III. Find the product gaps

Identity missing links in your product offerings. Does your clothing store carry athleisure wear? No? Adding this category may help your store attract new customers looking for specific items.

Here are some ideas for finding product assortment gaps:

  • Pricing – Identity price points that aren’t currently served. Could you become the source for premium pet products? Or could you add budget-friendly items?
  • Category / Subcategory – Find underserved categories in your market, e.g. your market doesn’t have a liquor store with a quality assortment of mid-range wines. Another option: Determine which categories your competitors are beating you on.
  • Exclusivity – Identity brands that you can become the exclusive source for. A shoe store that sells limited release sneakers, for example. Or a vape shop with genuine products.
  • Ask for Feedback – Your customers will tell you what they want you to sell. Just listen. Use Q&As online, email surveys, or even a simple suggestion box in your shop to ask.

Pro Tip. Start small. Run targeted sales tests to introduce new products. Use your email, social media and other marketing channels to get the word out.

3. Building a Strong Online Presence

Many store visits start online. Potential customers want to check your hours, see if items are in stock, or ask a question.

Your website and social media presence can affect sales significantly. In fact, 76% of shoppers look at your online presence before making an in-person visit.

Here are simple solutions retailers can use to improve:

  • Create a Google My Business (GMB) listing – Keep your hours, contact information and website link up to date.
  • Make it easy to connect – Respond to social media and GMB messages as quickly as possible.
  • Get reviews for your business – Reviews – both positive and negative – help to build your online visibility. And 74% of today’s shoppers regularly check review sites.
  • Incorporate online shopping – Ecommerce doesn’t break the bank anymore. A POS with ecommerce integration lets you instantly sync inventory data and make it possible to shop online for curbside pickup, delivery or shipping.

At a minimum, your website and online presence should make it easy to 1) make an inquiry, 2) see what products you carry (and/or shop), and 3) answer the top 5 questions a potential customer might have.

4. Build a Customer Experience (Sales Funnel)

Brick-and-mortar stores tend to neglect sales funnels planning. They say, that’s something that online businesses do.

However, mapping a sales funnel is a powerful way to grow sales for your shop. It will bridge your online / offline interactions and help you generate repeat business.

In general, there are 4 key stages:

I. Awareness

For a brick-and-mortar shop, awareness drives foot traffic.

How can your business increase walk-ins? Some effective strategies include:

  • Advertising – Use digital promotions and marketing to build awareness
  • Store Visibility – Use signage, sidewalk promos and window displays.
  • Events – Use workshops, demos, and customer appreciation parties.
  • Loyalty Programs – Make it easy to opt-in. Then use SMS and email to send targeted promotions with an omnichannel loyalty program.

Remember, the customer journey starts online. Your online presence is one of the most effective tools you have to generate awareness.

II. Consideration

You’ve worked hard to get people in the door. So, what comes next?

Make them feel welcome. Walmart is the perfect example. Founder Sam Walton developed the store greeter role because it made customers feel welcome and put a face to the company.

Here are some other ways you can help during this stage:

  • Offer personalized service to offer recommendations and build rapport
  • Use social media to “put a face” to your company and build a connection
  • Consider the offline-to-in-store nurturing process (e.g. welcome emails with a first-time shopper coupon)
  • Provide options for customers who start their shopping journey online (e.g. in-store pickup, appointment scheduling, browsing online)

III. Make the Sale

If your funnel is effective up to this point, you’ve got potential customers in your store and they’re shopping.

Now, you need to close. First, focus on store layout. Visual merchandizing, digital signage, and staff to offer suggestions on the sales floor are effective solutions. For example, you can use product displays to generate interest, and then follow up with personalized suggestions from staff.

Next, you can think about in-store promotions. This might be curated bundles, limited-time discounts, or flash sales that get potential customers to make a purchase. Digital signage is a great tool for advertising in-store.

Finally, you need to think about the check-out process.

Make sure your POS system processes transactions quickly and accepts multiple payment options. A few options to increase order values at checkout include:

  • Cashier upsells based on POS prompts
  • Encouraging loyalty opt-in at register (or even asking for a phone number or email)
  • Offering additional services or upsells like warranty coverage, an impulse buy, or gift card promotion
  • Make suggestions for related items

IV. Keep Them Coming Back

It costs five times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to retain one.

For sustainable retail sales growth, you need to be a retention expert. Here are some options to keep customers coming back:

  • Loyalty program – Offer targeted promotions to shoppers to encourage repeat visits.
  • Follow-up emails / texts – Send a follow-up survey to customers. You can add a special offer as well, e.g. get 10% off your next visit.
  • Personalize your messaging – Use data to build customer segments. Then, send personalized offers (email, text or direct mail) to get them to back.

Customer Retention

5. Customer Retention

This is the last phase of the funnel, and it’s important for increasing sales in small businesses. Here are some additional tips for retaining customers in your retail business:

1. Personalize – Remember birthdays (and send a loyalty or marketing offers), recommend past favorites, greet them by name. The goal is to make them feel valued. Companies that do personalization right generate 40% more revenue from the same activities than companies that don’t.

2. Better Rewards – Use your loyalty program to motivate repeat visits. Digital punch cards work great. As do exclusive offers, double-point days, and cash-saving days.

3. Engage Beyond the Sale – Events, workshops, demos, free in-store Wi-Fi. Create a community and extend the value proposition.

Your goal should be to build a relationship with your customers. And that starts with a friendly, knowledgeable staff.

6. Use Retail Tech for Efficiency (And to Drive Sales)

A basic store efficiency program can reduce costs by 5-10%. However, with using technology, you can increase savings by 2-3 times that

Tools to Increase Small Business Sales & Efficiency

Here are the tech tools every small business retailer needs:

  • Inventory management systems: Real-time stock tracking, automatic purchase orders, and low-stock alerts prevent overstocking and understocking.
  • Point-of-sale (POS) systems: Faster checkout, data capture for sales analysis, and integration with loyalty programs.
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) systems: Track customer interactions, preferences, and purchase history for personalized marketing and promotions.
  • Digital signage and screens: Targeted advertising, product information, and promotions based on customer demographics or buying habits.

How These Tools Help

Retailers can use these tools to:

  • Optimize store layout: Use POS sales reports to group related items and determine when you need more staff (to reduce bottlenecks).
  • Inventory automation: Set reorder points and low-stock alerts. Modern grocery inventory management systems, for example, can improve inventory efficiency by 10% or more.
  • Data analysis – Today’s tools can process more data, helping you to better forecast and identify trends in your sales data.
  • Go omnichannel – A POS with ecommerce integration helps you track inventory in real-time across your online and in-store shops. This allows you to offer an omnichannel experience with curbside pickup.

7. Pricing Strategies to Boost Small Business Sales

Price isn’t just a number on a tag.

It’s a lever your small business can use to control perception, influence buying decisions, and boost sales.

Forget the price wars! You can create a pricing strategy to stand out and maximize every transaction. Here are a few key pricing strategy tactics:

1. Know Your Value

Don’t undervalue yourself. Take stock of the unique benefits you bring, the problems you solve, and the value you add to customers’ lives. This “value proposition” becomes the foundation for your pricing.

2. Cost-Plus, Less, More

Cost-Plus is the basic formula, yes, but it’s not set in stone. This means you add your desired profit margin to the wholesale cost. Experiment with markups that reflect both your costs and the perceived value you deliver. Don’t be afraid to price above competitors if your products/service is demonstrably superior.

3. Test and Tweak

Pricing is not a one-time decision. Be data-driven, monitor customer response, and adjust your strategy as needed. Run promotions, offer limited-time discounts, and track the impact on sales. Remember, the right price is the one that optimizes both profit and customer satisfaction.

8. Sales Team Training and Motivation

Customer service – that’s how you can beat online retailers. Your team’s product knowledge and enthusiasm will drive sales.

Think about it. You’re shopping for a new laptop, but don’t have a clue what specs you need. But a salesperson is there to help guide you and provide recommendations. A helpful recommendation will stick with your customers and make them feel valued.

Basically, you need to train your team on:

  • Products – Give your staff the confidence to navigate customer inquiries.
  • Communication – Provide tools that help your team build rapport and tailor their approach to each customer.
  • Sales techniques – Equip your team with tools for handling objections and overcoming challenges.
  • Brand advocacy – Well-trained employees become brand ambassadors. They are the face of the company and help you build goodwill and word-of-mouth marketing.

Beyond training, look to motivate your team. Upsell incentives for cashiers work well! During checkout, a prompt would display on the POS screen. For example, “Would you like to make it a meal combo for just $1.50 more?”

And then you can record upsell wins in the POS and provide a percentage to employees.

9. Partnerships and Collaborations

Partnering with local organizations is a great way to build brand reputation (and give you some events to promote).

For example, during the holidays, you might become a drop-off point for a holiday toy drive. Incentivize your customers to drop-off at your store, help promote the program through social and in-store advertising. And then, promote your customer’s good will on social media.

There are many ways your small business can collaborate with the community. Some of the best include:

  • Complementary businesses – Partner with brands offering products and services like yours. For example, a pet supply store could partner with local dog sitters.
  • Non-profits – There are many ways your business can help. In-kind donations for raffles, cash donations, fundraising events, or offering your space for events.
  • Education – Host workshops and classes that teach your customers how to use your products. For example, an effective liquor store marketing idea is hosting wine tastings or craft cocktail classes.
  • Influencers – Collaborate with popular bloggers, community leaders, and social media personalities in your city. Tap into their established followings and gain authentic brand endorsements.

10. Monitoring and Analyzing Sales Performance

Your brick-and-mortar store holds a treasure trove of valuable data. But it’s up to you to turn it into actionable insights.

Enter the power of POS data: your real-time sales performance barometer. As you test new strategies, use your data to check for sales increases.

Some areas of your data to monitor regularly include:

  • Dive into product performance: Track top sellers, slow movers, and seasonal trends. Identify gaps in your product mix and capitalize on profitable items.
  • Analyze customer behavior: Understand shopping patterns, peak hours, and average purchase values. Then, optimize staffing, tailor promotions, and personalize product recommendations to meet demand.
  • Scrutinize checkout efficiency: Identify bottlenecks in the checkout process, improve queue management, and consider adopting faster payment options.
  • Track employee performance: Monitor individual sales figures and identify top performers. Offer targeted training and incentivize high-performing staff.
  • Unravel competitor insights: Compare your sales data to regional or industry benchmarks. Gain a competitive edge by understanding market trends and customer preferences.

Start Increasing Sales in Your Small Business Now

Growing a small business isn’t easy. There’s a reason that so many would-be entrepreneurs don’t take the plunge.

But you can achieve sustainable sales growth with the right strategies. And then, execute them repeatedly every single day.

Fortunately, technology makes the process easier. Automation, for example, shifts the time you spend managing advertising tasks. FTx POS is built to power retail businesses and help them grow. Use our retail POS and management software to:

  • Automate inventory tasks (like reordering
  • Schedule sales reports to be generated in the POS
  • Marketing automation (loyalty, upsells and digital signage)
  • Sales & inventory analytics
  • Process sales faster and reduce credit card processing fees

We’re here to help! Contact our sales today to learn more.


We’ve covered a lot in the guide. But here are some general guidelines for increasing sales:

  • Target wisely: Know your ideal customer and tailor offerings.
  • Sharpen your pitch: Craft a clear, compelling value proposition.
  • Go digital: Dominate online presence with SEO, social media, and email
  • Reward loyalty: Cultivate happy customers with loyalty programs and referrals.
  • Analyze and adapt: Track data and refine strategies for continuous improvement.

Boost sales with tech tools like CRMs, a POS software suite, marketing automation, e-commerce platforms, and analytics.

  • POS rewards programs centralize customer data and streamline sales processes.
  • POS systems help you process transactions and collect sales data
  • Marketing automation nurtures leads and sends personalized emails.
  • E-commerce platforms create online storefronts for easy buying.
  • Analytics track customer behavior and campaign performance.

Here are some ideas for increasing footfall in your retail shop:

  • Enticing window displays: Showcase your products in a way that draws people in. Think vibrant colors, creative themes, and interactive elements.
  • Host events: Organize in-store workshops, demonstrations, or meet-and-greets. This generates buzz and gives potential customers a reason to visit.
  • Irresistible promotions: Introduce discounts, loyalty bonuses, or free gifts. Incentives can nudge potential customers to visit your store.
  • Social media: Showcase your products in action, highlight customer testimonials, and run interactive contests to boost engagement.
  • Partnerships: Collaborate with complementary businesses in your area to cross-promote each other's products or services. This expands your reach and taps into new customer segments.

Turn loyal fans into sales engines!

  • Reward them with tiered loyalty, referral incentives, and surprise gifts.
  • Engage with targeted emails, one-click reorders, and curated subscriptions.
  • Offer exclusive experiences like early sales, styling sessions, and workshops.
  • Leverage data to recommend complementary products and gather feedback.

Optimize, adapt, and watch your sales soar!

Consistency is key! Build a thriving social community and watch your sales blossom.

  • Showcase products in action, highlight customer styles, and run contests.
  • Share valuable content, educate, and spark conversations instead of just pushing promotions.
  • Use paid campaigns to drive website traffic and conversions.
  • Encourage user-generated content and reward brand loyalty.

Get weekly expert insights from retail strategy secrets, right to your inbox.

Business Experts & Contributors

A New Solution Coming To FasTrax

Danielle is a content writer at FTx POS. She specializes in writing about all-in-one, cutting-edge POS and business solutions that can help companies stand out. In addition to her passions for reading and writing, she also enjoys crafts and watching documentaries.

Danielle Dixon

Content Writer
A New Solution Coming To FasTrax

Matthew Davis is a content marketing specialist for FTx POS. With experience in marketing, brick-and-mortar retail, and ecommerce, Matthew enjoys writing about strategies and technology retailers can use to grow. Previously, he managed retail operations for a sports/entertainment facility and worked in marketing consulting.

Matthew Davis

SEO Specialist/Content Writer

Looking for an article or guide on a specific topic? Get in touch and we’ll dive into creating expert insights
and successful strategies tailored to business success!

Suggest A Topic

Related Articles

Learn more about this topic. See these related posts on the FTx POS blog.