Do you need a jump start for your business’ profits? We asked business owners and entrepreneurs to share their best tip to quickly boost profits, and here’s what they told us worked for them.
- Rapidly grow profits by doing unexpected acts of appreciation for your customers.
Gene Caballero, co-founder of the lawn care company GreenPal, said signing up customers is the easy part, but getting them to talk about the company and refer more business was more difficult. His idea revolved around doing something nice for his customers’ pets. Gene bought $100 worth of dog bones and cat nip and started sending the treats to his customers, thanking them for their business.
“We saw the emails and Yelp reviews skyrocket. People were thanking us for going the extra mile, saying how they can’t wait to tell their friends about our service. Mission accomplished! And they will never think about lawn care service again without thinking of us first. Powerful word-of-mouth advertising at a very minimal cost.”
How did Gene’s idea work? “We are projected to hit $1 million in gross revenue this year.”
- Partner with someone who has already built up a sizable audience.
Dave Schneider, owner of Ninja Outreach, recommends teaming up with a partner with a wide reach. “If you can partner with someone who has a large audience and they are willing to promote your product/service, it can drive your business forward in a big way.” Ninja Outreach partnered with AppSumo, which has a newsletter base of 750,000; they announced their product and they quickly sold more than 4,000 units.
Carl Mazzanti, owner of eMazzanti Technologies, agrees and says, “Partner with larger suppliers to share their marketing resources, outsource marketing skills you don’t have and collaborate your way to success.”
- Be ready for the growth and be willing to take risks.
Jesse Harrison of Zeus Legal Funding says people are often scared of growth. “They have all the resources that they need to grow, but they just can’t handle growing. There are psychological reasons behind it; they think they are not good enough or they can’t do it. It has to do with that negative voice that always comes to your mind when you’re about to do something,” Jesse says. “To grow rapidly, you need to take risks. You need to risk everything. Every highly successful business owner that you name has risked it all at some point. That’s for the psychological aspect of growth.”
- Create a professional, active online presence.
Tony Mena, who works with Homeland Security Protective Service, says sales have soared over the past three months thanks to a newly-implemented online presence and strategic social media branding. “Before I became involved, the sales person and owner did everything the “old school” way, which was basic networking by phone and handshakes. They had a website that was full of grammar mistakes and wasn’t SEO friendly. I revamped everything making it modern and professional…the calls started rolling in.”
- Determine who your best customers are and find more like them.
John Paul Engel, president of Knowledge Capital Consulting, recommends creating a customer profile. “In almost every business, 80 percent of the revenue comes from 20 percent or fewer of the customers. Figure out who your best customers are and find more of them,” John says. “Form an archetype (profile) of the customer.”
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- Pay attention to the smallest details.
Dennis M. Najjar, co-founder of Accounting Department, says, “Too often, business owners focus on the big deals, the 30,000-foot view and the major projects. Yet, in the details – the small recurring residual fees or the growing roster of small but repeat clients – is where the money is. It isn’t often the entrepreneur’s natural ability to focus on the minutia, so assigning someone to manage these details will help keep them monitored and in check. The small numbers in the aggregate add up to a large volume and potential growth.”
- Simply do the best job you possible can for the customers you have.
Speaker and author Barry Maher says, “There’s no marketing anywhere nearly as powerful as a satisfied client. Or as cheap. What’s more, your best clients are likely to recommend your business to customers who are similar to themselves. So you’ll get more of the customers you want the most.”
- Don’t be scared of advertising.
Pete Abilla, founder and CEO of findtutorsnearme.com, says moving forward with advertising was the best tip he implemented to grow his business. “At one point, I was afraid to advertise online, for fear of losing money. Then a friend showed me how to use advertising mediums such as AdWords and others. Then, I saw traffic coming to my site and revenue: traffic rose 42 percent and revenue tripled!”
- Think big.
Alexia Bregman, CEO of Vuka Natural Energy Drinks, says don’t be afraid to go for it. “For several years we didn’t feel we were in a place to hire a sales brokerage but at the beginning of 2015 contracted with the largest broker in the country, and literally doubled our business. As small businesses, we’re sometimes afraid of the big boys, and you certainly have to get everything lined up to handle the growth, but taking that big step was a big deal for our business. We’re on track to triple sales this year.”
- Offer value for free.
Joleena Louis, Esq., of Joleena Louis Law, provides her expertise for others and says being a resource for people means growing profits. “I’ve seen a dramatic increase in profits since I started offering free webinars, guides and tips through my blog and email list. I’m seen as a resource so people keep returning to my site.
- Renegotiate contracts with vendors.
Joe Riviello, owner and CEO of Zen Design Firm, says, “Renegotiate with your current vendors to receive better rates. This is especially true if you are a product-based business. If your vendors feel your business is valuable, they’ll be willing to renegotiate a lower wholesale price in order to maintain your relationship.”
- Show up!
Tammy Cannon, owner of Cannon Online Marketing, says nothing replaces the face-to-face contact. “The number one way to rapidly grow your profits is to show up! Technology is an amazing tool that allows us to run the business we love, but it will never replace the value of showing up and meeting people face-to-face. My business doubled once I joined local business groups.”
- Empower your employees.
Alan Guinn, managing director of The Guinn Consultancy Group, Inc., says, “There is simply no better way to rapidly grow profits and improve the revenue of your business than to engage those with whom you work and empower them to act with the authority and stature of management and ownership. When empowered employees know and understand the reasoning that you believe in them, expect them to take the correct actions, understand that they are creating their own motivation for doing the right thing and they recognize that they are responsible for both taking ownership for their decisions and decision-making, your profits and revenue grow exponentially.
- Develop your sales process.
Yoan Ante, CEO and founder of Power Cleanouts LLC, says everything has a process and sales is no different. “Whether you are selling ice cream cones, power tools or home cleaning services, develop and know your sales process. If a customer reaches out to you and you’re not closing the sale, find out why and make the necessary changes. Don’t underestimate the power of a solid sales person or team.”
- Advertise on Facebook.
Bob Bentz, president of Purplegator, says Facebook advertising works. “If you can only do one thing, do a very narrow cast of your advertisement to a highly-targeted Facebook audience. If your business is a lumber yard, for instance, you could find people within a 10-mile radius of your store who are “currently remodeling their homes.” Facebook advertising remains a bargain.”
- Raise your rates.
Locksmith Teddy Poulos, owner of A-Access Lock & Key, says increasing your rates is key. “All my years in business, my competitors would lower their prices, thinking they would get more work. They found themselves working harder and actually making less money. A lot of them are now out of business. So, if you have calls and seem to be a little too busy, raise your prices. Sure, you may lose a few price shoppers, but you will make up for it with better paying customers and actually work less and make more.”
- Always follow up.
Dave and Bella Breth, owners of Apple Pie Business Consulting, say their tried-and-true tip is to follow up with all customers, current and potential. “Our clients, as well as us, have experienced at least a (on average) 20 percent increase in sales by just following up. Many times it is sending a handwritten note such as a “just because” card, sometimes it is an email and other times a personal telephone call to inquire how their product is working for them.
- Do a “process” audit and cut the waste.
Nicki Morris, business consultant and coach and president of the Neoteric Group, says her advice is to reduce costs and expenses. “Conduct a process identification and improvement exercise to identify areas of “waste” – identify tasks and processes in the business that do not add value to the customers or employees.” She says you’ll save money and improve profits by eliminating those unnecessary tasks.
Do you have a favorite tip to quickly increase profits? Share it with us in the comments below.