Every small business owner wrestles with understanding how to increase his business. “Get more customers” is not always a practical solution.
The bottom line is really this: “How do I bring additional revenue into the company?”
Well friends, you have just two choices: sell more or charge more.
Regardless of how complicated you try to make this puzzle, these are the only two things you can do to increase your business.
Everything else you do supports your ability to make additional sales or charge more for the products and services you sell.
Now comes the critical question: “What can the business owner do to increase sales?”
The majority of owners immediately think along these lines . . .
“I’ve got to reach a broader audience.”
“I must add additional products to my line.”
“I have to increase my advertising and promote my business harder.”
These business owners are basically saying that they must find the solution to greater sales from the outside.
More new outside customers, more products added into their business, more advertising in strategic places that I’m not currently involved with.
While all of these solutions may bear fruit in terms of increased sales, they will all cost the business increased effort and expense.
In the end, increasing your sales by going outside the business may actually be a losing proposition if the increased cost is not supported by an even greater amount of sales that result from these added activities.
But there is another option; one that many owners never consider.
What about increasing sales by leveraging your time to a greater degree?
In other words, if you could get the same amount of sales but do it more cost effectively, you will have additional time to devote to marketing your business and developing new products.
Just as a simple example: let’s say you spend 40 hours to net $1,000 profit in your business – a profit of $25 for each hour spent.
Now you can work longer and harder to increase your sales or you can figure out ways to do the same amount of work in less time.
The question now becomes, how do you make $1,000 by only working 35 hours? Or 30 hours? Or 20 hours?
The answer probably lies in modifying how you are doing business. The answer is right there in front of you … inside your business.
One of the keys is to find ways to better leverage your time. Study the processes that you have in place in your business. Look at how you execute the daily steps you take to make everything click and run smoothly. Look critically and analytically at how you spend your day and see if there time drains or wasted effort in what you’re doing. Could you hire out certain tasks to free up some of your valuable time?
We will get more specific about places to look in future posts.
Think about areas like writing more effective sales copy, targeting your customers more critically, streamlining your transaction process, automating your customer response system, employing outsourcing in areas that are taking a lot of your valuable time, and on and on.
Most business owners often have a very difficult time “letting go” of certain tasks within their business. They wouldn’t think of handing these beloved tasks to just anyone. But I can tell you that daily business execution can become a prime area for an upgrade with automation that most owners would not even consider given the tradition they follow – it’s how things have always been done!
Many of these solutions are based on the intangibles of your business delivery so often they are not even considered as areas where you can increase your business.
But make no mistake about it – your business can become a greater profit center if you will review every step and process you do with a critical eye. Assume there are no “sacred cows” – not tasks or functions that only you can do.
A word of caution here: there may actually be some things you must do as the business owner. For example, your business may be built around daily blogging that your audience loves. If so, this is one task that you should keep. Hiring a replacement for your knowledge and charisma presented in the daily blog may not be your most prudent business move. What I am suggesting is that you at least consider and think about every part of your selling system. Obviously, there will be things that you shouldn’t give up.
Ask yourself the question: “How can I better leverage my time and effort to streamline, automate, and simplify each and every step in my business execution?” That is what I mean when I say you can “increase your business from the inside out!”
To your online business success!