Increase Your Revenue
You want to make more money. No, you need to make more money. Once you factor in how much you’re losing to expenses, taxes, and the never-ending list of improvements you’re making to your business, it becomes painfully clear that you’re putting in a lot of hours without as much to show for it as you would like.
Maybe your business is at a make-it-or-break-it point. Your business must become profitable, or you must choose another career path. It’s a tough spot to be in, and the pressure of the situation definitely isn’t helping you to think more clearly or objectively.
How in the world can you increase your revenue without chaining yourself to your business? How do you make the hours you devote to your business more profitable?
Let’s review the options.
1. Increase Your Rates or Prices.
This is the most obvious starting point. It’s also the most commonly avoided moment of truth for many small businesses that are struggling.
Are you in a product-based business? If so, then you might already know it’s hard to compete with megastore chains or online storefronts. My advice to you: Stop trying.
Stop trying to compete with big-box retailers. You aren’t a big-box store, so your prices should reflect that. What do you offer that they just can’t? I bet it’s your personalized customer service and extensive expertise.
Sure, it’s easy for me to recommend that you raise your prices. Every customer you fight tooth-and-nail to close a deal with is price-sensitive. Your customers need to know they’re getting the most bang for their buck.
Obviously, I don’t know what it is like on your side of things within your business. But I do know from my years of working with my customers that the more a business leads with its prices, the more they draw in customers who are price-sensitive.
So I say raise your prices so you can finally make a real profit and then focus on educating your potential customers on what it is that sets you apart from the big-box store down the street (or online store).
And if your business provides a service, then take a long, hard look in the mirror. Are you having trouble determining and communicating the value and expertise you bring to the table? If you are, then your customers certainly will. Make a list of the skills and knowledge you utilize on a project for your customers. Is it something you could hire just about anyone to do and hand over without training and supervision? I bet the answer is no, not if you want the project to go smoothly. Not if you want the customer to be happy with the result. Not if you want to deliver that intangible added quality only you can bring to a project.
What does that tell you? It should tell you that what you have to offer is a valuable service. And you should charge accordingly.
You might be saying, “But Lorie, I’ve already raised my prices, and I still need to increase my revenue.”
Then let’s talk about the less obvious options.
2. Work Less.
It might be time to take a step back. When you’re only making time to keep pouring more, and more, and more of yourself into your business, you’re destined to run out of gas. And when you run out of gas, it’s going to show in every aspect of your business.
Your emails will reflect it, and your interactions with customers will show it. You might find you suddenly have more “problem customers” than you’ve ever had before. And to top it all off, you can’t seem to get nearly as much done as you used to. It’s like you’ve hit a wall.
This one is the hardest transitions for us entrepreneurs to recognize and accept. Taking a step back and working less means letting go a little of that control—you know, that white-knuckle grip you’re maintaining on every aspect of your business. You’re afraid if you let go even a little, the whole thing will collapse around you like a house of cards.
Trust me. Try it. Prioritize an extra day off every week for the next month. Then actually take those days off. Do not do anything related to your business. Don’t look at those emails, and don’t answer that call.
What you’ll discover is you’ve given your brain permission to take a break. You’ll allow your brain to recharge. You have a moment to think and to gain a little distance. You might even come up with a solution to your revenue issue. And most importantly, you’ll be refreshed and more productive when you are back at work.
Now you’re saying, “But Lorie, this will just put me even further behind at work. Think of the emails alone that will pile up! I can’t do this.”
You can’t afford not to…
3. Loosen Your Grip on the Reins.
You are the business, and the business is you. It’s your baby. How in the world do I expect you to loosen your grip on the reins guiding and directing the day-to-day in your business?
I don’t. Those aren’t the reins I’m talking about.
You are the leader of your business, and for it to be successful you must be a good leader. But do you know what a leader needs? A leader needs people to follow them. You don’t have any people. It’s time to get some.
It’s time to hire your first virtual assistant. That’s how you’ll manage to take that time off to recharge. And once you’re recharged, you’ll have more energy to pour into your business. And more energy means more contacts, more leads, and more revenue.
Loosen your grip on the administrative tasks others can do so you can focus on leading and prospecting. Hand over your email inbox chaos to a professional who can organize it for you, pointing you in the direction of the information you need, and the new business prospects that only you can follow up with. Turn over your bookkeeping. Dump your shoebox of business cards, those you’ve been holding onto forever, onto someone else’s plate.
My dynamic team can help you come up with a system that frees up space in your schedule, and your mind.
I’d be happy to talk with you about how we can work together to take time-consuming, repetitive tasks off of your shoulders, and free up your most valuable resource, your time.