Best Business Tips and Strategies information channel:
We would like to thank the local libraries, schools, and universities for recommending students
to visit us when doing research on any of our information topics.
10 Ways to Boost your Profitability
So many business owners work hard - really hard - just to break even or keep afloat. Each one of us deserves reward for our efforts, whether that be financial or personal. The question to ask yourself is whether you are directing your effort in the right places, to get the reward you want?
Of the businesses I've seen and worked in, there are plenty of ways to mis-spend effort - that is, to work hard - but on the wrong things. Here are ten of the most common areas where the return on your efforts can really be ramped up.
1. Marketing Inconsistently
Once you have committed to owning and running a business you must be equally committed to marketing and selling the products and services of that business. It is difficult, if not impossible, to stay and remain profitable without a commitment to ongoing concerted marketing.
To get more out of your marketing, create a simple marketing plan that includes marketing activity every day, every week and every month. Marketing plans combine formal activities (such as advertising, promotions and writing) with informal activities (such as making new contacts) . Don't underestimate the power of talking to people about what you do. Use every opportunity, every time.
2. Fear of Asking for the Sale
Isn't it true that we think asking directly for someone's business means coming across as pushy or obnoxious. But if we have this attitude, we are letting profit-producing opportunities pass us by. Worrying more about what someone thinks of you than bringing more money into the business is an all too common mistake. If you find it difficult to "ask for the sale", you can be sure that you're not bringing in as much money as you could be.
The most effective way to address this issue it to practice asking for the sale in language that you are comfortable with (not too wishy-washy please). Write down what you want to say first, then practice it over and over. There is also plenty of stuff out there on handling objections. Prepare your responses to the most common objections so you are well armed before you speak with your prospective customers.
3. Getting help
Most business owners possess strengths in one or two specific areas, but whether by necessity or design, they often end up working in areas they aren't strong in. This builds inefficiencies and potential for mistakes into the business. To compound the problem, we don't ask for help straight away, but struggle on doing the stuff we are not suited to (saves money right?) But each day that goes by with your business running at less than maximum efficiency, means dollars lost from your pocket.
Work out where you add the most and least value in your business. Pay someone to help you out with these low value add activities. Your time is best spent where you add the most value. If you can do more of this kind of activity, your business will benefit.
4. Use your Existing Customer Base
All the research tells us that it is easier and cheaper to keep working with customers you already have, than to get new customers into your business. If you are not following up with past customers on a regular basis you are reducing your profitability potential.
Develop strategies to keep your customers with you, such as loyalty plans, regular communications and special offers. Implement a regular process for following up your customers after they buy from you.
5. Managing Expenses
Savvy business owners regularly appraise their business expenses and find ways to reduce costs without sacrificing quality. If you haven't completed a cost analysis lately, you might be paying more than you need to be, which will reduce your profitability.
At least once per quarter you should review your expenses and negotiate for adjustments as appropriate. Categorize everything you spend under 3 headings: Essential, Nice to Have and Non-Essential. Everything in the last two categories is up for grabs - be ruthless!
6. Spending large amounts on glossy, slick marketing materials and expecting business to pour in without any additional effort.
Glossy brochures and slick marketing materials are a nice addition to more active forms of marketing such as meeting people, calling people and speaking to people. However, brochures and business cards, no matter how beautiful, do not replace direct contact. If you are spending money on flashy marketing materials in the place of marketing directly, your profitability will suffer. The most effective form of marketing comes from you talking about your business to others.
Marketing materials are an expense, and to be sure they are working, you need to get some handle on the return on your investment. At the very least you should be tracking where new business is coming from so you can get an idea of whether your marketing materials are contributing to any new business you get.
7. Spending a significant amount of time in low-return activities
Don't we all know about this one! If you are spending the majority of your day completing tasks which are administrative in nature and/or which can be easily completed by other people then you are not putting yourself to best use. For most of us, the best value-adding activity we can be involved with is in bringing business in the door by building relationships, talking to prospective customers and promoting our business.
What value do you put on your time? Assign yourself a competitive hourly rate for the market and industry you work in - it might be anywhere from $100 per hour or upwards. Then ask yourself whether you would pay anyone that hourly rate to process accounts or do administrative work. If the answer is no, find a way of getting these low-return activities done for a lower hourly rate. Hire a bookkeeper or assistant for a few hours a week, and spend your time doing the valuable work.
8. Not charging enough for what you do.
This challenge seems to arise especially for people who sell services. Either we feel embarrassed to ask for the amount we want, or we simply accept less money than we need - so we get "some money" rather than "no money". But beware, after a while, working for too little can leave you exhausted and resentful, not to mention the impact it has on your profitability.
You do not need to defend an increase in your fees either. It is normal business strategy to review fee structures, make changes and advise customers. And contrary to our fears, it is often the case that business levels improve after fees are increased. It seems that we attract a whole different class of customer when our fees reflect the value we provide.
9. Not making enough use of technology which could save time and effort.
As a business owner, you have a fixed amount of time and energy within which you must maximize your profits. Technology can help you do this in the form of autoresponders, voicemail, wireless internet connections, speech recognition software, SMS from your computer and so on. All of these tools are widely available to us, and are designed to save time and effort. Each of us needs to continually look for ways to make business processes more efficient by using inexpensive technology.
Often the problem is that we don't know what we don't know. Some wonderful tool might be available but we don't know it exists. You need to stay on top of the latest products by regularly checking in with business and telecommunications sites.
10. Sticking with outdated business models or plans.
You've all heard it before - doing things the way they have always been done means that you will get the results that you always got. If you are not satisfied with your results then you need to re-look at what and how you are doing things. An astute entrepreneur has a mindset that is always challenging the way things are done in the business.
Another great way of coming across new ideas is to attend seminars and conferences on various topics. If you get a single idea to put into practice in your business, then that seminar has been worthwhile.
If you are serious about improving your business' profitability (and aren't we all?), then taking action on these areas will help you make more money and have more fun in your business. And that's what it's all about really.
Megan Tough is a published author, coach, facilitator and speaker. Her business, Action Plus, works with professionals to create sustainable and profitable income streams. Make more money and have less stress! To learn more and to sign up for more FREE tips and articles like these, visit http://www.megantough.com
Are You a Project Manager Or a Project Mangler?
Which one are you? An effective IT project manager, able to deliver software on time, according to specs, and within budget, or someone referred to by your peers as a project mangler? Find out with these Top 10 Signs You're a Project Mangler.10.
How to Hold An Extremely Successful Event - 10 Tips
Every event you hold can be extremely successful. Apply these 10 tips to guarantee a memorable event for everyone who attends.
Ten Tips for Working at Home
1. Maintain regular working hours and stick to them.
How to Apply the 12 Steps for Managment Conflict and Resolution
1. Admit there is a problem.
Top Ten Tips for Participating in Online Business Expos
Are you ready for a BASH? Have you ever been a vendor or exhibitor at an expo, craft show or other offline event? Well, when you are a participant in an online bash or online expo - many of the same expo tips apply. Here are the Top Ten essential business expo tips for online events.
Brainstorming! The Key To Wealth
Advertising executive Alex F. Osborne first coined the word "brainstorming" in the early 1940's.
Never Sell Again: Get Repeat Business and Avoid the Need to Prospect
If you're a business owner, you know that repeat business is critical to your success. It also makes your life much easier because you can count on ongoing business without having to continuously find new prospects and convince them to hire you.
10 Things To Do When Business Slows Down Over The Holidays
I'm sure you've seen it happen every year: your business slows down during predictable times, like the summer vacation months or year-end holidays. For the self-employed who rely upon steady cash flow, this can be a disconcerting time.
Top 10 Ways to Start a Business For Less Than $500
We've heard numerous success stories of Internet entrepreneurs like Jeff Bezos, who started Amazon.com from his garage, using cheap plywood to construct desks.
Top 7 Ways to Profit from Foreign Trade
Here are seven excellent ways to earn income from international trade.1.
5 Tips to Manage and Organize E-Mail
How do you focus on your urgent e-mail and organize the rest for your review? Think about how you handle your paper mail. You probably sort your paper mail quickly before you read it to figure out what to look at first, what to read later, and what to throw away.
7 Online Banking Success Stories
You have seen their ads and you may have wondered if they are worth a second look. What am I talking about? Online banks! Also known as internet banks, these are financial institutions who provide the majority of their banking services over the internet.
#1 Key To Select Right Business Partner
Having business partner or planning to start a business with partnership is a always a win-loose factor. Know one knows the partners inner instinct to deal business in several different circumstances and this is why we see the n number of broken partnerships.
7 Keys to Running a Successful Business
Although dentistry may appear to be different than other types of businesses, in reality it is a business. And although this article is written from a dentist's perspective on developing a successful practice, the principles can be used in virtually any business.
Business Meeting Etiquette
Business etiquette is essentially about building relationships with colleagues, clients or customers. In the business world, it is these people that can influence your success or failure.
Ten Ways To Sell Your Ideas To Anyone
You have a great idea you know is a winner. All you need is support from some key people.
10 Steps for Business Owners to Take if They Are a Victim of Identity Theft
Be aware that 40 million crooks obtained credit card numbers this past year, "Be Suspicious". Also be aware that most identify theft is not reported, especially when it involves family members, so the statistics are off.
Top Ten Tips for Online Publishing Success
Use the checklist below to make sure your article, tip, or book excerpt will get published and make you a household name on the Internet. 1.
7 Secrets to Writing Inventory Procedures
What would You do with $1,000,000With $1 Million would you:? Pay off debt?? Purchase new equipment?? Invest/save for the future?? Give yourself a bonus?$1,000,000 Waiting in the Wings. What do you and your business need that you have been putting off because you don't have the money today? $1,000,000 certainly would fill those needs. But where do you find $1,000,000 just lying around your business right now? Well, you probably have $250,000 in each of four areas in your everyday business, and you don't even realize it.
Top 7 Business Tips For Small Business Starters For Online Business
1.) Brainstorming for an idea - You must select what interests you in any field and put together 5 to 7 possible ideas that seem viable as a source of income.
Akron City Directory
© 2012 - 2024 All Rights Reserved