Businesses should be making profit as one of their main operating goals. But, with over 11% of businesses failing in 2016, which amounted to 328,000 businesses, it is more important than ever to get your business profitable. It normally takes 12-18 months to get a business up and running – so what can you do to maximise profits?
Target your market?
Marketing is a major investment for any business and making sure you spend effectively is crucial. Pinpoint the customers you want for each product or service and describe who they are in as much detail as possible.
Which marketing methods work?
The only way to know which techniques work is to trial them and track which work. The more strategies you have the more likely it is that you will start to see which are giving you a great return. General rule of thumb is to aim for 10% of your leads coming from 10 different techniques; that way if someone doesn’t like one they may like another.
How can I get prospects to buy from me?
Check your sales process, are you building a relationship or going for a quick sale? Most businesses want a customer that buys from them again and again; if that is the case, how are you getting to know them?
Are you going for the one-night stand approach – the hard sell in all communications?
Getting to know each other, listening to their needs, giving them time to get to know, like and trust you. In my grand-parent’s day this was known as ‘courting’. This could end in a happy long-lasting marriage.
Increasing profits isn’t just about sales and marketing…
How can a business be more efficient?
Check your production process; how can it be automated or improved.
- Check your costs; can you reduce them, renegotiate or re-source
- Increase your selling prices; check market rates and the value you offer
- Train your team; if everyone’s performance increased by a few % …
- Manage your enquiries; track progress and follow up
The sales mantras with all my clients is simple…
Follow up Follow up Follow up Follow up Follow up
Get the see-saw right
More Get than Do: lots of time and money invested in finding new customers
- Poor customer service to existing customers
- Customers can be enticed away by your competitors
- A drop-in quality of products and services
More Do than Get
- Lack of sales funnel; existing orders can dry up; team are no longer busy, revenue reduces
- High level of spend required on marketing to kick start it
- Tunnel vision; lack of awareness of your competitors; their products and services, marketing
How do I track business performance?
Stop the feast or famine by having a dashboard tracking sales and marketing, production and your financials – this makes sure you keep your hand on the rudder at all times.
Work at your relationships
Internal – build a great team, communicate regularly and treat your team well
Suppliers – be a great customer to them
Customers – deliver what you say you will, stay in touch, make them feel valued
Don’t forget to track your cashflow; there is no point invoicing thousands if no-one is paying!
Remember, you are likely to be paying your suppliers and team sooner than you are getting the money in the bank from your customers. A cashflow forecast saves many businesses.
If you want to know the secret formula for increasing profits get in touch …