Eight Ways to Increase Your Profits

Posted by Stephan Orlob on 18 May 2017
Eight Ways to Increase Your Profits

Increasing your profits might sound like it's an unattainable dream just out of your reach. But there are a finite number of ways that profits can be increased. Once you understand what they are, you'll have clarity on how to best reach your goals.

There are two primary ways to increase profits:

  • Raise revenue
  • Lower expenses

That's not particularly enlightening or instructional, is it? Let's look at four ways you can increase revenues and four ways you can reduce expenses to get clearer on what actions you can take for your business.

Ways to Increase Revenue

Raise prices

The easiest way to raise revenue is to simply raise prices. However, this is not foolproof and assumes you'll be able to maintain the volume of sales you've achieved in the past. This method is also limited by market demand, what your customers are willing to pay.

Add new customers

Adding new customers is what most entrepreneurs think about when raising revenue. Increasing your marketing or adding new marketing methods is typically the way to add new customers. Another related option is to work hard to keep the customers you already have. You can also potentially contact the customers you lost and ask them to come back.

Introduce new products or services

For some companies, your products and services are changing every year. For others, not so much. To increase revenue, consider adding new products or services that will bring in an additional revenue stream that you didn't have before. Even if your products are changing every year, you can consider adding something completely different that your customer base would love.  For example, a hair salon could add a nail desk, a clothing store could add handbags or shoes, a grocery store could add a coffee bar, a restaurant could add catering, a landscaper could add hardscaping, and so on.

Acquisition

The final way a business can increase revenue is to acquire another business in a merger or acquisition.

Four Ways to Reduce Expenses

Negotiate for a better deal with vendors

If you've been working with a vendor for a while, you may be able to re-negotiate your contract with them. This is especially common with telecom companies. Call you phone provider and ask them for the latest deal. They always favor new customers over long term customers, but they don't want to lose customers either. Just calling them usually yields a better price than what you are paying now.

Change vendors

If a vendor has gotten too expensive, it might be time to look for a new vendor. Health care insurance seems to be in this category. Often, changing providers will lower your costs.

Reduce headcount

If there is not enough work to support your employees or not enough cash flow to pay them, then it might be time for a layoff or restructuring. You might also consider outsourcing a function that you previously did in-house.

Reduce / Rationalize Expenses Or Services

It might be your business no longer needs to spend money on an expense. Perhaps this expense has been automated. In this case, it's an easy decision to cut the expense out entirely.

Those are some of the ways to increase profits. Which one makes the most sense in your business? Create a plan around these eight ideas to boost your profit this year, and let us know if we can help. For results you can count on, contact us at 1 844 577 7654 or at solutions@bizmetrics.ca  We hope you find all of this useful and, as always, please keep your feedback and suggestions coming.

 

Spending Too Much Time Managing Social Media?

Posted by Stephan Orlob on 14 April 2017
Spending Too Much Time Managing Social Media?

Social media is an awesome marketing tool, but it can also be a huge time drain.  If you post regularly, or want to post regularly, and use multiple social media platforms, such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+, then an APP like Hootsuite can save you a tremendous amount of time.

Hootsuite is not only a cool but also a very useful APP, allowing you to schedule social media updates or posts across multiple platforms.  If you are currently posting in real time or are logging on several times a day, then Hootsuite can save you a lot of time.  You can enter tweets, posts, or updates ahead of time and tell Hootsuite when to post them.  You can also enter one post to be posted on multiple platforms all at once.

All you need to do is write your posts ahead of time.  Once you have a week's worth, you can log in to Hootsuite, enter them, and let Hootsuite know when and where to post them.

One of the biggest benefits of Hootsuite is that it allows you to become far more consistent with social media, rather than posting when you feel like it.  You can decide ahead of time if you want to post once a day, three times a day, or ten times a day.  Then, you can write your posts all at once.  If you want to post three times a day, then you'll need to write 15 posts a week.  Plan to write them on Friday morning, and schedule them for the coming week.  You'll be all set with your social media until next Friday.

Writing a post and using it on multiple platforms can also save time.  There is little need to create separate posts for each platform, and with Hootsuite, you can enter your post and have it update your LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ account all at the same time.  In addition to those four, Hootsuite integrates with WordPress, YouTube, and Instagram.

Even if you still log into your social media platforms every day to increase your interactivity and engagement, you can still automate your posts to save time.  Hootsuite even offers free services for customers who only have a couple of media platforms connected.  Look for more information at Hootsuite.com.

BizMetrics offers a complementary digital media evaluation for small businesses. Contact us today at 1 844 577 7654 or at solutions@bizmetrics.ca to arrange for one.

We hope you find all of this useful and, as always, please keep your feedback and suggestions coming.

 

Add Sizzle To Your Customer Service.

Posted by Stephan Orlob on 14 March 2017
Add Sizzle To Your Customer Service.

The BizMetrics Marketing Minute
Volume 6, Issue 3.

 

Add Sizzle To Your Customer Service

It's the little things that add up to make an exceptional experience for your customers. Here are five "little things" you can add to your services to create an exponentially memorable connection with your customers.

Generosity

Add a little extra something to the products or services you offer. It could be chocolate, or it might be a handwritten thank you note. It could be a coupon for their next visit or having coffee or a bottle of water. These little additions can pack a huge wallop for the customer experience. And none of them cost a lot to implement (unless you eat all the stuff yourself). Think of what you can add to your customer experience so that the customer sees you as generous and caring.

Response Times

Many customers value their time, and adding speed to your service will be appreciated. When customers call in or email you for a service question, how fast do you respond? Set response time goals for you and your employees to respond to customer issues and questions. You might choose one minute, four hours, or one day for response time, depending on your business. Make sure customer emails are answered first, and have someone monitoring the phone during business hours. You can also track your results and reward your speediest employees as an added internal benefit.

Positive Communications

How you word things can make all the difference. Which sounds nicer?

"That item is out of stock and won't be in for six weeks."

"We will have that item in stock in six weeks."

The first sentence has two negatives (out of stock and won't), while the second sentence is positive. It avoids the negative wording. It's a small but powerful change in the customer experience. Think about how you can word your communications so that there are more positive words when communicating with customers.

Acknowledge and Apologize

Sometimes things can go wrong, and an apology to the customer is in order. In most cases, customers simply want to be heard, so your listening skills are your best asset at that moment. As an entrepreneur, the buck stops with you. Even though it might not have been your fault, it's sometimes a good idea to simply apologize in the sincerest way possible. If there's something that needs to be done to make it right, go overboard. Give the refund, take the loss, and let the customer win.

Your Full Attention

Although you want to respond to customer issues with speed as mentioned above, while you are working with the customer, take time to slow down and really engage with the person. Our world is so fast, and some companies even reward multi-tasking, but no customer appreciates interruptions when being helped. When you are with a customer, even on a phone call, be with the customer. Avoid interruptions and distractions, and give them your full attention. It's the most powerful thing on this list. Treat them as a real person, not just another figure, and the customer will notice.

Try one or more of these five customer service boosts to take your customer service experience to the next level. A great way to differentiate your business in the crowded marketplace. For a complimentary consultation with one of our Team on options to transform your business, contact us at 1 844 577 7654 or at solutions@bizmetrics.ca

 

Tax Preparation Tips To Reduce Your Stress.

Posted by Stephan Orlob on 14 February 2017
Tax Preparation Tips To Reduce Your Stress.

The BizMetrics Marketing Minute
Volume 6, Issue 1.

 

Happy New Year here's to a fantastic 2017 for all of us. For our regular readers, you'll note a new title. Our blog and newsletters will now be called The BizMetrics Marketing Minute. We've listened to your feedback and our format is changing too in response. Your blog will be shorter, providing more of a summary and key points approach. An expanded Newsletter is coming this fall. Also this fall will be a weekly Podcast cover the latest hot topics for entrepreneurs in 2 minutes or less. Just like before, look for this amazing content on Tuesdays. Finally, a new website will appear over the summer. We hope you find all of this useful and, as always, please keep your feedback and suggestions coming. Let's make 2017 happen

Tax Time, Ready Or Not

It's always a huge relief to many people who get their taxes done early.  That gray cloud of stress that nags at you to get it over with can be gone in a matter of weeks instead of months.  April is right around the corner, and here are a few tax preparation tips to cross that task off your to-do list way before spring.

Catch Up On Your Books

If your books are behind, the first step is to get everything recorded so that your tax return will be accurate.  With automated bank feeds and data entry automation, this is easier than it's ever been before.  If you have cash transactions or receipts lying around that your accountant doesn't know about, be sure and get those pulled together so nothing is left out.

Make Year-End Changes

Some companies may need additional year-end adjustments, and now is the time to make them.  These include items such as loan balances if the interest adjustment has not been booked every month, depreciation and amortization, accounts receivable write-offs, accrual vs. cash basis adjustments, and possibly clean-up work.  Have you accountant help you with these items.

Note Deadlines

Get clear on the deadlines for your corporate, franchise tax, individual and any other tax returns that are required.  Even though you might hire someone to complete and file your return, you'll want to make sure the deadline has been met.

Stay Organized

As you receive your 2016 tax documents, keep them all together in a special place.  Download them or scan them in and keep them all in one folder.  If your tax accountant has a client portal, upload them as soon as you get them.  Your tax accountant appreciates getting your information as early as possible.  The sooner you get the documents to them, the sooner the whole process can be complete.  Even if you owe money and want to file at the last minute, you can still complete the process except for the filing which can be deferred to the due date.

Try these tips to reduce tax stress this winter and spring.  If you need help finding the right accountant, we would be happy to provide you a referral to a trusted professional. You can turn to the team at BizMetrics to help start or grow your business. For results you can count on, please contact us.
 

Get More Customers & Grow your Business with These Marketing Tips.

Posted by Stephan Orlob on 13 January 2017
Get More Customers & Grow your Business with These Marketing Tips.

The BizMetrics Marketing Minute
Volume 6, Issue 2.

For our regular readers, you'll note a new title. Our blog and newsletters will now be called The BizMetrics Marketing Minute. We've listened to your feedback and our format is changing too in response. Your blog will be shorter, providing more of a summary and key points approach. An expanded Newsletter is coming this fall. Also this fall will be a weekly Podcast cover the latest hot topics for entrepreneurs in 2 minutes or less. Just like before, look for this amazing content on Tuesdays. Finally, a new website will appear over the summer. We hope you find all of this useful and, as always, please keep your feedback and suggestions coming.

Online marketing is a large component of marketing for many small businesses.  There are many aspects to online marketing that you'll want to consider for your business.  Here are a few for your consideration.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is huge, and it consists of generating articles, blog posts, social media updates, white papers, videos, and other educational materials about your company's products and services. Content marketing provides your prospects with something to read, watch, or learn from. You can offer your content via your website, social media pages, a special landing page, in a blog, in the description portion of your profiles, via paid ads, or almost anywhere online. Your content should promote your brand as well as show your prospect how to use your product or service.

Video

Video has become incredibly important.  It's no longer enough to generate text.  Graphics are better than text, but video trumps them all when it comes to effectiveness, higher search rankings, engagement, and most importantly sales conversions. The good news is that hiring a professional video team is not that expensive anymore.  And while a good video camera is less than $500 and smartphones are video capable, in order to get decent footage you need to have some skill and a plan. Otherwise it might look like a clip on one of those funniest video shows.

Directories

It's no longer enough to simply have a website.  Being listed in online directories will help your business expand its visibility.  Some common directories with a wide reach for small business include:

411.ca

CanPages

Manta

AllOntario

Yellow Pages (online version)

LiveBusiness

Your local Chamber of Commerce / Board of Trade

Craigslist

Google for Business (Google Places)

Some of these directories work best if you ask customers to post reviews.  Be sure to also check out your local, regional and industry-specific directories.

Social Media

Including social media in your digital marketing is a no-brainer today.  Graphic and video posts are far more effective than text posts, so it's important to make this content switch if you haven't already. If you've focused on the "big 3" platforms LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter it might be time to try some new ones. Pinterest and Instagram lend themselves to graphic representation of your product. Google Plus is often overlooked but can really help search engine rankings. And YouTube is a must because of the importance of video.

Public Relations

Digital PR has been around for a while as well. If you don't already have a Press or Media page on your website, consider this addition. It can list contact information for reporters as well as a list of articles that your product, company, or employees have been featured in. You can also post press releases to this page. Distributing press releases is less expensive than ever with options such as PRWeb and PRNewswire.

Keep these marketing ideas as well as being watchful for latest trends. Marketing is truly the key to generating more revenue and growing your business.  And the team at BizMetrics is ready to help. For results you can count on, contact us at 1 844 577 7654 or at solutions@bizmetrics.ca

 
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