You have been running your business for a number of years and have achieved some growth. Not as much as you’d like but enough to enable you to stay in business and maybe even take on one or two members of staff. However, recently you have hit a plateau. You are rushed off your feet operationally, but aren’t really hitting the sales you need to level up your business. Rather than continue hoping for the best, it’s time to take charge of the situation and be proactive. If you want change, you have to do something different. You cannot just expect it to happen. If you are ready to transform your business, then consider implementing these 5 things.
It is such a cliché. Busy entrepreneur, paperwork strewn across their desk, shouting at the staff member that has made a mistake. We have seen it repeatedly on TV shows and in the movies. If this is how you run your business, then it is time to make a change. You need to stop letting the business run you and start running your business.
If you don’t have order in your business, your business is not fulfilling its true potential. Focus on how you can improve operational efficiencies. Automate tasks that don’t require human interaction. Create templates, scripts, checklists and any other documentation that can help ensure that output is delivered consistently and to a high standard. Map your internal business processes and identify how you can improve them.
Whilst you are at it, organise your time! Ensure that you are scheduling time in your calendar to work on the business, not in it. Stick to it. Making these simple changes can have a huge impact on your business and the speed at which it grows. If you are spending more time on running your business better, your business will be run better. This will lead to better performance from you, your staff and the transform the business overall.
Raise Your Prices
I know, you read that and winced. Most people do and that’s why they keep their prices the same for years on end and wonder why their business isn’t growing. Or they drop their prices to try to attract more clients. The problem is cheaper isn’t always better. Sometimes cheaper just spells cheap to your prospects and they will go elsewhere. If you compete on price and that is a key factor for your business, then of course this won’t work for you. But, if you compete on value and you are operating in an industry that isn’t overly price sensitive, then you should consider raising your prices.
Just a few years ago, I was charging around £250 for one of my packages and struggled to get sales. I raised the price to £1000, interest peaked and the sales started coming through consistently. I was turning off my target audience by giving the appearance of being cheap. Cheap means low value and whilst I was screaming about the value from the rooftops, the pricing told a different story. So if you are scared of raising your prices, please consider how much money I would have lost had I not raised my prices.
Just a small increase in price can lead to a significant increase in profitability. If you charge more without costs increasing, then you improve your margins, which will mean greater profits to help grow your business. You should always try to gage how sensitive clients will be to price increases before implementing. Speak to existing clients, do some market research, look at what competitors are charging. Once you are clear that you won’t be pricing yourself out of the market, then make the increase and transform your business.
Push for profitability
You don’t always need to get more clients to make more money and grow your business. Raising your prices is one strategy for achieving growth, but another is simply removing the least profitable packages/services from your service menu. The first question to ask yourself is; “which of your current packages/services are the most and least profitable?”. It is surprising how many business owners don’t know the answer to that question. The answer and your subsequent actions, can make a huge impact on your business. If you discover that the package or service that you spend 90% of the time pushing for sales, only makes you a very small amount of profit, whilst another package which you rarely push, makes double the profit, then you need to adjust your priorities.
Let me break it down to you with examples. Package A, you are selling for £10000 and it costs your business £8000 to deliver. The profit is £2000 from every sale, assuming that the true cost is really £8000 as sometimes people under cost (but that’s an entirely different conversation). Package B is being sold for £6000 and costs £2000 to deliver. You will make £4000 profit from Package B. From the price, package A sounds like the one that should be pushed and this is an approach that many small business owners take, pushing the highest priced package. However, Package B is the most profitable package and therefore would help the business make more money. This is why understanding your profit margins is key. If you sold 10 Package A’s, your business would bank £20,000. However, if you sold the same number of Package B, your business would bank £40,000.
Spend some time reviewing the profit margins of your individual services & packages. Ensure that you prioritise the marketing and sales efforts to push the most profitable offers. Where the profit margins of packages/services are incredibly small, or you discover that they are loss making, either adjust the pricing, or remove them from your offers. Do it and transform your business.
When trying to achieve business growth, the most logical step seems to be, acquiring new business. However, an easier and sometimes more impactful method, is retaining clients. It has been argued that it costs 5 x more to acquire a new client, than it does to retain one. Yet so many business owners spend significantly more time to trying to attract new clients, than they do trying to keep the clients that have already invested in their business.
How much time do you spend speaking to your clients? The chances are, not enough. Make it your priority to gain insights into how you can add additional value, how you can improve your service delivery to suit their needs, what additional challenges they may have that you may be able to assist them with. Utilise what you find out and implement. The more you focus on fulfilling your clients’ needs, the more likely it is that they will stay with you. Don’t simply provide the service and move on. Obtain feedback, hold informal interviews, let them know that you care about serving them and SERVE THEM. Spend time tracking the client journey and improving it so that you provide top quality at every stage.
Most importantly, ask your clients to stay. How many times have you delivered a service to a client and then just waited for them to come back, only they don’t? So many businesses are unable to retain clients not because they don’t provide a good service, but because they don’t actually attempt to retain the client. Client retention requires you to be proactive. Part of being proactive is having a process for retention. This may include cross selling or upselling complimentary or higher end packages. What would the impact be on your business if you were able to retain 50% more of your clients through upselling them a higher value service or cross selling a complimentary service? You would likely transform your business.
Trust, can be a primary factor in purchase decision making. Gaining trust as a service business can be somewhat difficult. Primarily because what is being paid for is invisible, it isn’t a tangible object. Clients that buy from you and have a good experience, will have a level of trust in you. Use this as social proof to gain the trust of prospects. Share testimonials and case studies so prospects can see that others trust in you and have received a great service.
You can build further trust by asking satisfied clients to refer or recommend you to individuals within their network. Recommendations hold weight as they allow the receiver to feel a certain level of trust for the service they will receive. They are not relying on the word of people that they don’t know, but instead can place their trust in what someone they do know, says about your business.
Think about it. How many times have you asked a friend to recommend a company for something? You ask because you know you can trust their judgement. The same principle applies in business.
Don’t just assume your current clients will refer or recommend you to their networks. Simply asking isn’t enough. People are busy, so simply asking and hoping that they remember, isn’t sufficient. Instead, create a referral or recommendation scheme. Be intentional. More referrals, can lead to more business without you doing much additional work. This will in turn help you to grow your business.
If you implement just a few of the 5 recommendations, consistently, you will see change in your business. If you do them all consistently, you will transform your business.
If you feel like you need more personalised support to transform your business, check out the She’s Boss brochure to find out how we can help equip you with the knowledge and support to level up. Like what you see? Book an exploration call: Book Now