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7 Ways to Build More Profit Into Your Small Business

7 Ways to Build More Profit Into Your Small Business

From “7 Ways to Build More Profit Into Your Small Business” by Joan Nowak and Manta.com

As you prepare your business for success in the coming year, will you focus your time and resources on sales growth? While it’s important, it’s often not enough. For sustainable growth and profit with a lot more control, spread your efforts around – creating small improvements in ALL areas of your business. It’s the formula for a business that is simple, fun and profitable!

So where do you start? Here’s the formula I recommend.

Planning. You don’t need a 50 page business plan. But you do need some clear, measurable goals with specific ‘actions’ you need to take to achieve them. Written goals and a simple action plan provide you with focus and clarity. So take the time to write down what you WANT (results or outcomes) and what you need to DO (actions) to make it happen.

Products/Services. When was the last time you actually thought about the products or services you offer? It’s more than just ‘what price should I charge’. Which ones are most profitable, which produce the most sales? Do your products and services still meet the needs of your target customers or do they need a facelift? Technology, competition and your customer needs change over time – make sure your products and services keep up!

Promotion. Sales don’t just happen. So what are you doing to attract new customers and keep existing ones coming back and referring others? Most owners associate promotion with marketing for new customers – and invest few (if any) resources on current customers. Big mistake. Make sure your plans also include tactics to turn your current customers into raving fans – who spend more, buy more often and refer other quality people to your business.

Processes. Streamlining and standardizing procedures make daily operations easier, efficient and more effective, whether you are there or not. They are also a key to increased profitability. As you plan for the coming year, make systematizing your business more of a priority. Start with just a few. Focus on those that save you time, increase sales, or fix problems that consistently erode profit.

People. No business operates successfully in a vacuum – we all need help from others. While we often associate people with employees, building a strong network of contractors, vendors and alliance partners for your business is equally important. Your needs will vary based on your business – but most small businesses have an opportunity to improve in this area. Have a method for hiring or developing new relationships with people who are committed to your customers and the success of your business.

Personal Development. As you grow and improve, so will your business. We are all familiar with the phrase, knowledge is power, but it also translates to earnings or income. And it doesn’t require a lot of time or money – just a commitment to learning and building skills and knowledge. Here’s a few things to consider:

•Invest 15 minutes a day reading and you will read about 12 books a year.
•Turn drive time into learning with audio books.
•Attend interactive workshops or webinars to improve knowledge gaps or simply get new ideas.
•Meet with and build relationships with other successful business owners so you can share information and learn.
•Work with a mentor or business coach who can help you find hidden opportunities, provide shortcuts to results and accountability to get more done.

Profit. You don’t need to be an accountant or financial guru, but you do need to track and understand the numbers that drive your business – beyond just sales. Here’s a few others to consider: average sale per customer or transaction, number of leads, revenue per employee, average accounts receivable, gross profit margins, customer retention rates and net profit. Monitor them and focus on activities that help to improve them – especially gross profit margins and net profit. If you keep them at the center of what you do, your small business will continue to serve your needs and the needs of your people and customers.

Remember, little improvements in ALL these areas will put more profit on the bottom line and in your wallet. So take the hybrid approach: bring together all the key elements that drive success – and you too will have a business that is simple, fun and profitable.

More from “7 Ways to Build More Profit Into Your Small Business” and Manta.com

 

Suzy Payne Rabb
Sage Peachtree Certified Consultant
Sage Solution Provider
Your Live, Online Guide to Sage Peachtree Success
512.892.8990
 
Send email to suzy@121-business.com
Website: www.121-business.com
Join my professional network at Linkedin and follow me on Twitter.
 
Keep Your Website Simple

Keep Your Website Simple


From: Transform Your Small Business Website From Blah to Ta-Dah! from Jessica Swanson and Manta Tip of the Day

Have you ever visited a website and were absolutely bored out of your mind?

Unfortunately, way too many websites are just big, fat sales brochures yapping on and on about every excruciating detail about the company – right down to a 500-word history on when and why the company was founded. Uggg!

Always remember that your website needs to be about your customer, not about you. Your customer doesn’t give a hoot about when and why your company was founded. All they care about is their problems and finding a solution. Blah and boring websites are much more common than websites that work. In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that most small business owners need to do a complete overhaul of their website in order to bring it from “blah” to “ta-dah.”

The good news is that there are simple and immediate solutions that you can implement in order to keep prospects on your website and convert them to paying customers.

Here is a list of five simple and proven ways to transform your website:

1. Create a clear purpose.
When a visitor comes to your website, your purpose needs to be crystal clear. Do you want the prospect to enter their name and email into a website opt-in form? Are you trying to sell a product or service? Are you interested in educating the prospect over time? Your website should be designed to efficiently guide visitors to the information that they are seeking. It must have a clear and direct purpose.

In the overcrowded world of the internet, you only have three seconds to capture the attention of your prospect. If your visitor is confused (even a little), they are going to leave your website in order to find a more obvious solution.

2. Highlight your benefits.
A prospect visits your site in order to solve a problem or improve their lives. It’s your job to convince them that your product or service will accomplish this. You can succeed in doing this by highlighting the benefits that your prospect will receive if they purchase your product or service.

Will your product make your prospect happier? Will it save them time? Will they be healthier or wealthier? It’s imperative that you convey to your prospect that if they purchase from you, they will receive an obvious and important benefit.

3. Keep it simple.
Time is a precious commodity in today’s world. More than ever before, your visitors are looking for a solution to their problems in a quick and timely manner. They don’t have hours to browse through your website looking for the answer.

Keep your web copy concise and to the point. You should use short paragraphs, bulleted lists and bolded and underlined text to highlight items of importance.

4. Give your visitors reasons to trust you.
As soon as a visitor comes to your site, it’s crucial that they feel that they can connect and trust you. There are a number of ways to increase the trust factor. Make sure that your contact information is prominent and easy to find.

Your website should be free from grammatical and spelling errors. Your site should have the look and feel of a well-established and successful company.

Research suggests that trust must be established for a prospect to either give you their information or make a purchase.

5. Offer your visitors options.
Whether you’re offering a product or service, your sales will immediately increase if you offer your prospects multiple options.

Giving your prospects three distinct price points to choose between is a highly successful model. For instance, if you’re offering a service, you can bundle your service into three different price points that will appeal to different buyers. If you’re offering a product, then offer a low price point, middle price point and a high price point.

When buyers have choices they feel more in control. They appreciate the fact that they are selecting an option that works best for them and their specific needs.

There are numerous ways to keep prospects engaged in your website and convert them to happy clients and customers. If you design your website with a clear and specific purpose, keep things simple, create a sense of trust and offer numerous benefits and options, you’ll soon find yourself with an abundance of new sales, clients and happy customers.

 

More from “Keep Your Website Simple” and Manta Tip of the Day

Suzy Rabb
Sage Peachtree Certified Consultant
Sage Solution Provider
Passionate about Small Business

Send email to suzy@121-business.com
Website: www.121-business.com
Join my professional network at Linkedin and follow me on Twitter.

Groupon, LivingSocial, and Scoutmob

Groupon, LivingSocial, and Scoutmob

“Groupon, LivingSocial, and Scoutmob” from Kim Dixon and The Sage Peachtree Insider

These services can be a great way to bring new customers to your business. But before you go offering up one of these deals, you need to understand how they work and make sure you can handle the increase in business.

These three services are very similar. All of them allow you to sign up to receive email alerts, or you can go directly to their web sites to see the latest offer. Usually the offer is good for 24 hours, with a different offer each day. And all three have free mobile apps for SmartPhones and the iPad. That’s where the similarities end.

With Groupon and LivingSocial, the customer purchases your coupon upfront and the service pays your portion to you (typically half of the total price of the offer). A good example is a coupon for half off the price of a product or service, good for 6 months up to one year.

Scoutmob has a different approach. Customers request the coupon and receive it for free. As a merchant, you pay Scoutmob a small fee for each customer who redeems a coupon at your business. Scoutmob is available in many cities already, and they have plans to add a new city each month.

In most cases, you won’t be making money on the coupon; it’s really just another form of marketing. Your goal is to make the shopping experience so great that customers want to return, and they’ll want to tell their friends about it…………

More from: “Groupon, LivingSocial, and Scoutmob” from Kim Dixon and The Sage Peachtree Insider

Suzy Rabb
Sage Peachtree Certified Consultant
Sage Solution Provider
Passionate about Small Business
 
Send email to suzy@121-business.com
Website:  www.121-business.com
Join my professional network at Linkedin and follow me on Twitter.