Whether you’ve recently purchased an existing business, or you’ve built your own company from the ground up, business owners all have one thing in common – they want their venture to become more profitable. And while every industry is unique, there are some simple ways to do so that apply to virtually every business model. Let’s take a look!
Make every employee a salesperson
Anyone who’s worked at your company for a time, even if it’s only a few months, has gained a basic grasp of what you do, and likely what your major selling points are too. And outside of the working environment, they might very well have connections that could be useful to you. The next time you have a general office meeting, throw it out there that you’re willing to incentivize any employee who brings a new customer into the business. How you structure incentives for non-sales staff or how much of the sale goes to them is up to you, but there’s usually very real potential for a mutually beneficial arrangement. As an added benefit, it can boost employee engagement and morale – another great way to improve your profitability.
Cut unnecessary expenses and manage costs better
There are hundreds of tried and tested ways to cut expenses, but sometimes you need to think a little outside the box to take full advantage. Every day there are new technologies emerging that could help you do business more efficiently and cost-effectively, so the single biggest lesson to be learnt is to always be on your toes! Keep an open mind and your ears to the ground, and don’t forget to revisit your standard monthly expenses on a regular basis.
Sometimes we accept costs like rent and utilities as givens that we have no control over, but this isn’t always the case. Sharing office space with another company or having some of your staff work remotely from home so you can make use of smaller premises might be an option to reduce your monthly office rental, or you could partner with a utility management services firm to reduce your monthly municipal bills. Savings are out there if you keep your eyes open!
Take advantage of free networking and marketing opportunities
There’s no cost involved in putting together a blog post for your company’s website over the weekend, answering a few questions on LinkedIn, or sharing a company update on Facebook. If you’re not making use of the free marketing and networking opportunities offered by these channels, then now’s the time to start doing so. You’re an expert in your industry, and that expertise and knowledge is a valuable asset that could be bringing in more customers. If you don’t have the time to get to these activities, free some up be delegating administrative or non-core functions to one of your office staff, or hire an affordable virtual assistant to help out.
Offer bulk deals, bundle your offerings, and encourage customers to keep coming back
Once a customer has made or is in the process of making a purchase, you’ve got a brief window in which to offer them a complementary service or product to go along with it. Take a look at your normal sales process and see if you’re missing out on these kinds of opportunities. Another aspect to consider is whether you could be offering a tempting discount for larger orders, or something like a monthly subscription for a package deal – depending on what you’re in the business of supplying. You should also give thought to how you can encourage your customers to keep coming back to you – such as offering a return customer discount or some kind of loyalty rewards program. And if customers keep enquiring about a related service that you don’t currently offer, it might be time to take a serious look at expanding your offering or coming to a mutually beneficial arrangement with a reliable partner who does offer this service.
Delay hiring new staff until you’ve looked at other options
No-one likes to have to cut staff due to budget constraints, so take your time before making the decision to hire new employees. Automating some of your business processes or outsourcing to a temporary freelancer might be a better option, and you won’t be faced with having to make staff cuts later on.
Reevaluate your prices
When a business is still in the early stages, it’s natural to set your prices low enough to get a foothold and come in strong with a highly competitive offering. Whether those low prices are sustainable (or even necessary) in the long run, however, is another matter. Even a small percentage increase can make a big difference over time, and if you make sure to investigate your competition’s rates, you can still come in below them.