5 Ways to Boost Revenue Back Up After a Pandemic


By Brian T. Horowitz

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As vaccinations ramp up and the economy recovers amid the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses should use this time as an opportunity to learn from what went right and wrong over the last year, find new revenue streams and increase profitability. Successful sales strategies involve creativity and new business models. Here are five tips on how to boost your sales back up after the unexpected health and economic challenges of 2020-2021. 

#1 Rethink Your Sales Experience

Small businesses should rethink how they sell their products to potential customers, “from contact to contract,” advises Scott K. Edinger, founder of Edinger Consulting and author of “The Hidden Leader: Discover and Develop Greatness Within Your Company.” Go beyond just providing information about your products and giving a presentation about their capabilities. 

“The proverbial talking brochure adds little value,” Edinger says. “Focus on insight, expertise and helping clients to see their issues differently.”

In addition, take stock of where your sales process may have gone wrong in the last year. That includes examining why you struggled to generate leads and whether your website links were working and whether the descriptions of products on your site are captivating enough, says Wesleyne Greer, sales leadership coach at Transformed Sales.

“Understanding where in your sales process things have broken down is really the key to success,” Greer says. “Think about the successes in 2019, then really do a deep dive into 2020 and see what where the problems were coming from.”

#2 Focus on Early-Stage Sales Efforts

Edinger writes in the Harvard Business Review that businesses should focus on steps in the early stages of the sales process, rather than trying to close deals at the late stage. 

“Myopically focusing on late-stage revenue also results in missed opportunities during the early stages of the sales process,” Edinger writes. “It’s here where you have the greatest potential for strengthening the business and minimizing the effects of a recession.”

Early-stage efforts include account strategy, allocating resources and building client relationships, according to Edinger. 

#3 Reevaluate Your Client Profile

The pandemic is a time to think about the customers you are really trying to attract with your limited resources, and avoid business that won’t serve you well, Edinger advises. Avoid deals with challenging clients that could cost you more revenue over time.

“It’s tempting to go after any business you can get when you are trying to boost revenue,” Edinger says. “Instead, focus your limited resources on your ideal client profile and respectfully walk away from business that you know isn’t going to be good (and you often know before you sign a contract.)” 

The right clients will be those that value the products and services you offer and will pay your fees, according to Edinger. They will also lead to additional business. 

A common mistake is losing focus on the right kind of business when a company is pushing to drive revenue, he explains. Instead, focus on the right clients. 

“Sometimes as small business owners, you take projects just because you need money,” Greer said. “Those are the ones that tend to take the most out of you, actually cost you more and you don’t enjoy them.”

After the pandemic, get creative on how you are reaching your customers. If you run a retail store, launch an ecommerce site if you didn’t have one before. Greer cites a bakery that went from catering large events at hotels and restaurants to feeding families and catering smaller events. 

“It’s just really reimagining the product that you currently have and your strengths and figuring out how you can really target the addressable need,” Greer says.

#4 Branch Out Into New Business Opportunities

With the spending habits of the public changing during COVID-19, businesses have had to reinvent themselves and offer new services. The “new normal” will involve multiple streams of revenue, Greer notes. That means even if you’re a small shop, make sure you have an ecommerce operation. If you were offering just in-person classes, you should also offer online courses. Businesses with a digital aspect and multiple streams of revenue will be more successful after the pandemic. 

#5 Boost Digital Marketing Efforts

Small businesses should reallocate funds from business travel to digital marketing, which goes “hand in hand” with sales, Greer says. 

“Having that strong marketing strategy is really what helps sales,” Greer says. Companies should double down on search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, email marketing and social media efforts. With digital marketing be sure to target the right space, whether that is LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram or Clubhouse, an invitation-only social media network based on voice. For example, businesses selling to teenagers up to early 30s should look to Instagram, and if you have products that warrant eye-catching images, try Pinterest as well as Instagram. 

“If you’re in a business-to-business space, you should 100% be on LinkedIn, but you don’t need to spread yourself too thin and be on Instagram and Facebook and everything else,” Greer says. “It’s about really focusing on that social media that is most important.”  

In the end, be sure to focus on your target audience with your digital marketing efforts to increase sales. However, be realistic that these efforts will take time. 

“Search engine optimization is good, but it just takes a long time,” Greer says. “It takes about six months to see any return on your investment whereas running ads on social media platforms, as well as organic social media will really help set you apart.”