5 tips to increase your business' revenueApr 10, 2022
By Jen Blandos, Female Fusion
Sometimes we spend so much time working IN our business rather than ON our business that we miss the small things that could be losing us money. I have the privilege of seeing women’s businesses up close – and I can see months in advance what’s working and what isn’t. A big challenge that all small business owners face is money, and how do you bring more money in your business? What we don’t realise is that rather than going out and chasing down new customers or clients, there’s changes we can make right now that will add value to our bottom line.
Know your worth – ask the right price
When you first start out, I know how hard it is. You feel uncomfortable asking for a certain price because you feel that you need to have time to build up your reputation. But it all comes from how we project ourselves. If you come across as confident, people will have trust in you. Even if on the inside you’re questioning if you are up to the job, don’t show it!
20 years ago when I first started out, I thought that if I sold my services below market rate, people will instantly want to buy from me. I’d get more clients and build my business. Wrong. Very few people bought from me, and I was losing money and hope. So what did I do? I doubled my prices, wrote extra copy on my website that made me seem like my business was the best in the area that I was working in, and I stood firm on my prices. What happened? The business flowed in!
Now, I’m not saying to double your prices, but I am saying to quote a price which is the market value and representative of the value that you can deliver.
How? One of the easiest ways to do this is to benchmark what other people are charging on the market. Where does your price sit? How do you want to be perceived? If you’re too cheap, what does that tell people about you? If you’re too expensive, will that price you out of the market, or will you gain new clients and customers?
Remember though that if you raise your prices, or you become one of the most expensive, you need to ensure that you’re delivering a product or service that is aligned with that value.
Entrepreneurs are too quick to give away discounts. I try to support entrepreneurs as much as possible, and I love to see how they engage in the whole business negotiation process. When I ask for a price, I’m often told the price, and then immediately offered a discount – without even asking for one! I didn’t ask for a discount, so why are you giving away your product or service cheaper than you need to?
If you know the market you’re operating in, you’ll be able to set your price correctly. Know how much discount you can give, and what is your absolute final price.
If you’re submitting a proposal as part of a tender process, understand how that organisation prices and negotiates. If they always ask for a discount, don’t put your last price down first, add a bit of a buffer onto the price so it gives you room to negotiate.
Have the right ideal paying customers or clients
I know this is a bit of a luxury, especially when you’re first starting out in business, but if you have the right customers or clients, business becomes easier, and more money flows into your business.
I have a rule in business: I don’t work with jerks… and I won’t work with people who don’t pay me on time. I really struggled with this one in my earlier years as an entrepreneur, as my instincts used to be, if someone is willing to pay for my service, who am I to stay no to work? Many entrepreneurs are exactly the same as I used to be. However, the problem with this, is that these types of customers take a toll on you and your team. They can have unreasonable demands, have you working into the wee hours of the night, or stretch your cashflow to the point that you can’t make your monthly payment obligations. This is no fun.
When you free yourself and your business of these types of customers or clients, it opens you up to more time – where you can create other products or services that people might want to buy, or able to deliver work for those people who will appreciate you and your team.
I love a good system in business, but the challenge is that these take a lot of time to create, and when you’re so busy working IN the business, you don’t have time to put a good system in place. When you have systems that work, they save you time and money. The great thing about systems is that once they’re in place, you can easily train other people in your business, or a virtual assistant to take over that process. How does this add money to your business? It means that it frees you up to work on more money generating activities. Systems take time, it’s not something you can create in a day, it could take you months if not more. But… what better time than to start now? You could have systems in place for how you create content, hire employees, onboard employees, update your website, organise events or meetings, manage marketing, updates to social media or deal with late payments, etc. The list is endless. But the moment that you can put this into a system and create a process for how it’s managed, life as a business owner becomes easier because other people can pick up these tasks.
There are a lot of technology and tools on the market that you can use to make things easier. If you missed our post on tech tools, you can find it HERE
Networking and the power of community
Introverts hate hearing the word “networking”! But if you’re a business owner, you need to network, whether introverted or extroverted. This is how you’re going to build your community and the network that will help you scale your business. In the UAE there are so many opportunities for how you can do this both online and offline. Find your tribe that will support you in this growth. The business councils have some excellent networking opportunities, specific industries have meet-ups, as does Female Fusion through the Fusion Circle, which has weekly opportunities for get togethers.
I’ve gone through periods in my business when I’ve networked, and when I’ve been too busy to network and ignored it all! The fastest growth that I’ve seen, is when I’ve been present and networked. I don’t turn up with my business cards and try to sell – I’m there to listen and learn and build relationships. People need to know, like and trust you before they’re going to do business with you. The same goes for social networks. If you go onto social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn and just paste an advertisement for your business, chances are, you won’t get much engagement. Put yourself in the shoes of others, how would you respond if you got an approach like this?
If you expand your business network of people who know, like and trust you – you will be surprised by how fast your business grows!
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