When we look at our month end reports the first place we are drawn to is the net profit figure, this is a great place to start. Don’t forget though to look at your balance sheet and review how your net worth is doing. Once we’ve discovered how much we have or haven’t made or whether we have increased or decreased our net worth what next? Now we need to look at next month what can we do to improve those figures? Simply put you either need to increase your turnover or reduce your expenses and ideally both.
1. Increasing your prices
When did you last increase your prices? This can be the simplest way to increase your turnover it can be scary though what if all your customers leave? Let’s turn that on it’s head what if they don’t, do the maths on a 10% price increase and see if it’s worth a risk.
2. Open different/more hours
Are you open at a time that your customers and prospects can reach you? You don’t have to commit all your free time you could offer a Saturday, Sunday or late night opening once a month.
3. Engage with your current customers
When was the last time you sent out a newsletter to all your existing and previous customers? Like you all your customers are busy and will sometimes need reminding that you are around and how you can help solve their problems.
4. Engage with prospects
When I update the blog page on the website and share it via social media I see an increase in web traffic. Updating your content only works though if you let people know it’s there! Use Linked In, FaceBook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, E-Mail, Texting and any other method that you have at your disposal to help people see the ways you can assist them.
5. Review your costs
Spend a morning or afternoon once a month just looking at costs. Check your utilities when are your contracts due for renewal and when is the cut off for cancellation? Could you save money by getting fuel cards for your vehicles? Ring around when your insurance is due for renewal not doing so could leave you paying over the odds. Are you getting the best rates from your suppliers give them a ring and see if you can negotiate a discount.
6. Do something different
If you aren’t making as much as you would like doing what you are doing then review your model. Are there any recurring revenues available in your line of work that you could offer to your customer base? Could you switch from hourly to fixed price billing? Could you diversify or work collaboratively with a complementary business in your local area? Try brainstorming in the office and see what comes up.
7. Set some SMART goals
If you know where you are this is a great start but without somewhere to head for you may just end up staying exactly there or going around in circles. If you’re not convinced then set one goal that is in line with your business plan. For the next month and keep it in your mind by reading it every morning when you start your day. Remember is has to be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. If it doesn’t work and you don’t see results e-mail me firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know how useless point 7 was.
8. Change the way you invoice, accept payments and pay suppliers
Review your invoicing policy do you invoice immediately or with a set time delay do you bill in advance or retrospectively for larger orders could you insist on a deposit before accepting the order. Could you start to take online or card payments to get your money sooner? Do you pay suppliers as soon as you get the invoice? Check the terms you have and schedule the payment for the due date. If you have due on receipt terms with any of your suppliers call them up and ask for credit terms of 30 days or more.