It is no secret: everyone wants more money. However, finding ways to make more money is especially important to a small business owner. For a small business owner, the ability to increase cash flow is the only way a small business can secure its future. Thankfully, a small business can be successful in growing its profits without the need to jack up prices or cut employees’ pay.
Answer these questions to understand if you are truly doing the most for your business and customers.
Does your business have a website?
An even more shocking statistic? 56% of consumers do not trust a business without a website.
It does not take a statistics genius to do the math. Although many small business owners, especially in the service industry, choose to forgo a website to avoid the cost – this choice may have unintended consequences.
Building a simple, professional website can give a small business the presence and credibility it needs to grow and succeed. In today’s age of technology, customers are quick to Google search businesses to fit their needs. No website? No cigar. A clean and modern website allows a business to get in front of consumers around the world, with customer testimonials and company information available to prove the company’s purpose and authenticity.
Is your business turning leads into sales?
Do potential customers contact your business for more information, but the lead goes cold? If your business has a website, there is no doubt that interested consumers have visited your website without making a purchase. How do you handle those leads? How are you spending time to create more leads?
Without spending anything other than time, your business can begin converting some of those leads into paying customers. When a potential customer reaches out for information on your business, make sure you continually (and respectfully) follow up with them. No need to blast them with constant sales calls, but a well-written email reminder can go a long way. Go the extra mile and include a special, one-time offer for first-time customers!
Many website providers also include automatic follow-up features for those that visit your company’s website. If someone adds products or services to their cart without following through to check out, your website can send an automatic email to remind the potential customer of what they left behind (another great chance to provide a small discount incentive!).
To make a change like this manageable, start by focusing a certain day of the month on potential customer follow-ups. For example, at the end of each month spend time following up on potential emails and website visits, and include some personalization or a discount opportunity so each communication feels individual.
Is your business paperless?
Operating a business entirely without paper may be impossible but reducing your business’s reliance on paper is a healthy first step. Less paper is both good for the environment and good for your wallet. As businesses are challenged with the idea of corporate social responsibility, tools and resources to move your business from paper to digital are appearing daily.
Digital invoices, email communication, and digital fax services are examples of how to reduce your business’s reliance on paper. If it is not crucial that a certain work task be on paper, do not use paper. You will not only save on paper costs, but associated paper costs, as well (think binders, printers, toner, and more!).
Moving your business from paper to digital not only saves you time and resources but also creates a more modern and socially responsible feel for your customers. Trust us – now more than ever, employees and customers alike are placing a premium on working for and spending money with businesses that take the environment into account.
Does your business accept credit?
Regardless of debit and credit processing fees, studies show that customers will spend more money with your business if you have a credit card option. Not only do cash and check options take longer to process (less money in your pocket!), but they also increase the chance of a customer spending less with your business.
In one M.I.T. study, students were willing to spend roughly twice as much on a product or service if they were able to pay with credit versus cash. We have likely all experienced this phenomenon ourselves – paying $50 for a product or service may seem like a lot if we only have $100 in our pocket, but we may view it differently if we can pay with a credit card that has a $5,000 limit.
This advice is in no way pushing your small business to take advantage of customers. Small businesses can only reach full success by providing their customers a transparent, quality experience. However, accepting all forms of payment improves your business’s chance of making more money and waiting less time to receive it.
Increasing the revenue of your small business is no small task, and there is not one right answer. Finding ways to decrease expenses and increase sales is the perfect mixture for any small business. Hopefully these ideas allow you to find ways to bring in more revenue without spending a lot of money to do it.