Grow your business

Colour graph showing business growth

Colour graph showing business growth

Many business owners, small business owners included, want to grow their businesses but are not sure how.

In one-man bands, where your time is money, it’s a challenge to grow a business without an exponential hike in the number of hours you work. But there are ways and means!

Here are four ideas about how to increase the revenue and profit in your business.

1 Increase your prices

Are you too cheap? If you are a service provider, your quotes may be too cheap – you spend more time than anticipated in which case you end up working for peanuts. Under-quoting on time for work completed not only means less per contract, as you only have so many hours in a day to work, your overall ability to increase your income suffers as well.

If you are in the business of selling products, an increase in the price of your goods can have a real effect on your bottom line. Many people don’t mind paying more for the right quality product.

Here’s a strategy. Do an audit on what services or products are the most profitable and which are not. Ditch the unprofitable lines and focus on the 80 percent. Increase your prices for these services or products by 10 percent.

Develop a communications strategy that tells existing clients of the changes. Work out a script on what to say and collect supporting documentation such as testimonials that show you deliver quality products on time. One company that did just this increased their bottom line by over $100 000 and lost only three clients.

2. Develop a relationship with existing clients

This is an easy way to grow your business and yet it’s often overlooked completely. Keeping in touch – without becoming a pest – can grow your business without having to find new clients. Start an email marketing campaign to keep your clients informed about your industry, your business and other relevant information.

Do a survey of your clients. Use your email marketing to find out what your clients want. Ask some simple questions to get feedback from your clients.

  • What did you like about the work we did for you?
  • What could we do to improve our service?
  • What are your plans for the coming year?
  • How can we help?

You’ll find some survey programs on the Internet clients a survey – online products such as www.surveymonkey.com.

3. Find more customers

Firstly, determine which areas of your business are the most profitable. You might need to do an audit on costs verses income to see what is making you money and what is not. Streamline your marketing to focus on profitable areas.

A business without a functional, well-designed website in the 21 century is not a business!

Modify your website so that your best selling products are more prominent. Improve your website and make sure it is search engine optimised. Websites go in and out of fashion just like everything else so if your website is looking old and tired, it may need a makeover.

Use your analytics program on your website to assess your ratio between number of visitors, number of enquiries to actual sales ratio. Make changes to your website to improve

  • the number of potential customers who are looking for your service or product
  • to get people to trust your company
  • to choose you over competitors.

More people use the Internet to find products and services than ever before and the numbers are going to continue to grow so having an effective website is essential for growing your business.

4. Increase your profit margin

What can you do to make your business more profitable? We’ve talked about increasing your prices. Consider also how you can reduce costs.

Speak to your suppliers. Discuss costs with them and see if you can strike a better deal.

Become an environmentally friendly office. Tell clients and potential clients that you are a business that wants to protect the environment. It’s a win/win situation. You can save money by turning off equipment when not in use and recycling what you can. And, many of your clients are keen to work with businesses who care about the environment so you’ll potentially increase your number of clients.

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