A Small Business Owner's Guide to Year-End Sales Success With just four weeks left to bank end of year sales, there are still ways you can maximize your 2011 income. Here are five tips.

By Carol Tice

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Year-End Sales SuccessAs the holiday season kicks into full gear, many business owners' thoughts naturally turn to their year-end income strategy. Suddenly, there are only four weeks left to book revenue into 2011.

Likely, you already have your holiday sales strategy set for the holiday season but, if you don't, chin up. There's still plenty of time to implement smart sales and pricing techniques that will make your year-end brighter.

Here are five ways to maximize your 2011 income.

  1. Offer payment incentives. If you have slow customers whose payments might not show up until next year, consider offering them a small prompt-payment discount to encourage them to fork over funds sooner rather than later.
  2. Hire temporary help. If you sell retail either online or off, your big season lies ahead. Do you have enough staff? If not, hire a veteran or a teen to help you during the holiday crunch time. Unemployment is sky-high for both those groups.
  3. Get smart about pricing. Customers have never been more price-sensitive, but that doesn't mean every item you sell needs to be at a rock-bottom price. Make sure you've done your research to identify opportunities to sell at higher price points. Also consider bundling your products into new combinations, where your price won't be directly comparable with competitors.
  4. Consider flash marketing. It may be too late to organize a major marketing campaign, but there's always running a quick sale on Facebook or Twitter to bring in more last-minute revenue. Your competitors are doing it. In a recent study by retail-industry research firm RSR Research, 40 percent of retailers said their marketing has become more promotion-driven over the past few years, up from 31 percent last year.
  5. Tap your network for ideas. Learn what other local businesses are doing to drive year-end sales. Post a question on your LinkedIn status, ask at your mastermind group, take a Facebook poll -- there are many ways to take the pulse of what's going on locally and find a great new sales tip.

How will you drive revenue in the end of 2011? Leave a comment and let us know.

Carol Tice

Owner of Make a Living Writing

Longtime Seattle business writer Carol Tice has written for Entrepreneur, Forbes, Delta Sky and many more. She writes the award-winning Make a Living Writing blog. Her new ebook for Oberlo is Crowdfunding for Entrepreneurs.

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