Lately, I have been helping one of my small business clients increase revenue and profitability. We have only done 4x 1 hour coaching sessions so far, so I have only shared some of the below tips at this stage. I’ve chosen to write a lot of tips in this blog post. Perhaps some of them may assist you, if you are wanting to increase revenue and profitability within your business:

Mindset, Reviews and Goals:

  • Brain-dump your ‘concerns, challenges and problems’ that you are experiencing in your business. Write them all down (get them out of your head). Here is a template that you can download to assist with doing this activity.
  • Decide how much gross revenue you want to earn during the next 12 months, and each year after for the next 5 years.
  • If you offer services, then decide how many ‘billable’ hours you want to work each week. Then calculate how much you need to charge per hour to reach your 12-month sales target. If you also offer products (and/or ONLY sell products), do similar calculations. The point of this is to know you are charging enough and how much you need to sell to achieve your 12-month gross-revenue goal. It will also tell you if you need to increase your rates. From there you can decide what your monthly sales targets are going to be.
  • Review your goals. If they are not written down, now is the time. Write your 12-month goals, 2-year, 5-year, 10-year and possibly even your 15-year and 20-year goals. Also write down your retirement goals if you would like. The sooner you plan your retirement (or at least ‘vision’ what you would like it to look like), the greater the chance you’ll manifest it, and therefore retire (comfortably) the way you want to.
  • Review your written ‘5 Year Business and LIFE Growth Plan’. If you don’t have one, now is a great time to create one. Review it every year. Update it as you need to … and also review it at the end of the 5 years. Then write another one. The more you can write down your goals and review them regularly (and write affirmations to read regularly), the more your goals will manifest.
  • Have 100% belief in what you are doing. Align yourself with people who are ‘in your corner’, on your side, are going to be there for you (in the good times and bad) and who understand what you are doing… and why! Understand that: “You become like those you spend time with“. If you surround yourself with positive people, who are successful and/ or who are working towards it diligently, they will rub off on you. HOWEVER, if you are around nay-sayers and/or negative-nelly people, or people who do not passionately REALLY want to see you achieve all your goals, you’re going to struggle (and maybe even fail or give up)!
  • Get very clear on your ‘why’s’! Write them down. Read them often, including on the ‘bad days’. They will help you ‘get back up’, keep you moving forward, keep you motivated (and/or re-motivate you), stop you from giving up and will help you ‘stay on the path’. They also help you make choices and decisions so you ‘stay aligned with your why’s’.
  • Re-do your SWOT Analysis
  • Keep having a mindset of: “You can have everything in life you want if you help enough other people get what they want.” This is a well-known quote by Zig Ziglar.

You may not be able to perform everything in this blog post straight away, especially if you are a one-person business. If you’re able, you could dedicate one day a week to doing this growth work and/or allocate time during your evenings at least a few days per week. I also like to spend some Saturday evenings doing studies and more self-learning.

Remember too the saying, “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer: “One bite at a time.” Chunk/ break everything down into achievable SMART Goals. Keep chipping away at getting everything done (and of a high standard). A mediocre standard of work will only yield mediocre growth (at best), BUT a great quality standard of work will yield ‘great quality growth’.

Avoid doing nothing. Try not to become paralyzed, or feel you’re not going to do it well enough. Procrastination won’t lead to growth. A good mindset way of thinking that I was taught years ago was: “Aim for results, not perfection.”

Some mistakes may be made along the way, but don’t fear them. Of course, try and make as few mistakes as you can, but if you do make some, simply learn from them. No one ever grows if they fear making mistakes and/or fear failing. We all make mistakes — we’re all only human. Keep trying, keep moving forward!

“If you get knocked down 7 times, get back up 8.”

Celebrate every success you have during your growth journey. Even the small wins!

Marketing:

  • Review your market research. Amongst things, ask existing customers and potential customers exactly what they want and need from you.
  • Review your direct competitors. Write an investigative report on each competitor.
  • Review your ‘ideal buyer persona’ profiles. Re-write them if they need an update and/or if you need to add more.
  • Review and/or get really familiar with the universal ‘ideal buyer customer journey’. You can learn about it here. It applies to EVERY business. More info about it is here.
  • Do a ‘Needs Analysis’ of actual-ideal clients/ customers (and ideal potential clients/customers). You need to actually interview people and ask questions. This DOES NOT work if you purely ‘assume’. Identify their biggest common challenges and problems. Then figure out how you can solve these challenges and/or problems for them. Then create services and products that they can access. THIS will directly increase your growth, especially once more people (with the same problem) hear how good you are at solving them. The bigger the problems, the more expertise needed to solve them, the more you can charge for the solutions.
  • Get very clear on what ‘value’ you offer. ‘Value’ is not always purely about ‘price’. Value can be related to quality, timeframe, convenience and many other things. Write ALL the value you offer down. These become ‘selling points’. Once you know what your selling points are, start clearly marketing them online and offline.
  • Gain more website traffic from people searching Google and Bing. If you’re not doing effective SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) work yourself, ask an expert to do it for you. Make sure they can prove that they can get you results. Do this by asking them to share results that they have gotten for other clients. There are also additional ways to find out if they are any good or not.
  • Review your Business Plan and Marketing Plan. Here is a ‘working business plan’ template if you would like it.
  • Write an additional ‘next stage’ growth plan and marketing plan for the next 6 months. Then implement it. Then review it during and at the end of the 6 months. Then repeat this process every 6 months.
  • Demonstrate the value of your services and products.
  • Run a limited-time special offer.
  • Come up with other great promos for various times of the year. Also come up with a promotion for Black Friday Sales in November.
  • If you don’t collect the email addresses of all your customers, consider starting doing this asap. We can then import them into a Mailing List eNewsletter program like MailChimp. Here is an article that explains how to import your list into MailChimp. We have helped clients do this for years (and/or we do this for them)
  • Start a regular eNewsletter. Write separate eNewsletters for your customers, suppliers, referral sources, etc. You can even write different eNewsletters to specific groups of clients, depending on what they need and/or value (aka: relevant information).
  • Put together some kind of loyalty program
  • Review your branding – eg. what is your brand saying (aka: what are the ‘marketing messages’ that your brand is putting out there?). Are they the right messages? If they are, that is great! If they are not, it is time to change them.
  • Could your marketing materials be enhanced – eg. your business card, fridge magnets, vehicle signage, etc. Is it bright, visual, interesting, eye-catching, etc? Also ask yourself, “Should your website be improved? Should your social media graphics be improved? Are your social media posts getting good reach, engagement, etc. Are you posting often enough? Do you know how to take advantage of the algorithms?
  • Work with social media experts if your social channels and/or posts need improving. Some experts will also coach you.
  • Are you aligned with your brand? Are you “on brand” in how you conduct yourself on a daily basis?
  • What ways can you increase the perception of your business, including but not limited to the quality and ‘value’ (perceived and real) of what you offer?
  • Are you targeting the best markets and/or industries? Or are there other markets you could be focusing on serving? As in, are there potential new clients within specific markets and industries that would be happy to sign up to retainer packages, and/or that will be willing to buy from you more regularly?
  • Grow your mailing list and your number of likers, followers, etc on Social Media.
  • If you have a brick-and-mortar business and your shop exterior signage looks tired, it is probably time to get it re-done. Same thing if your shop interior needs a refresh and/or a new theme.
  • Never underestimate the power of letterbox drops. Even putting a flyer and/or a business card in letterboxes can make a great difference when wanting to increase your customer size and sales.
  • High-quality strategically positioned billboards can be a good thing. Same too with radio advertising.
  • Start ramping up ‘content creation’. As in, create quality content that helps people better view you and/or your business as an authority, builds further trust and provides them with excellent useful information that helps them overcome challenges, problems and/or concerns.
  • Build a community. Even start by creating a Facebook Group for your business. Invite your existing customers and share useful information with them on a regular basis. Also, help them start a ‘conversation’, invite them to ask questions, etc.
  • Remember the following: Trust leads to initial sales, authority and greater market awareness leads to growth, growth leads to initial profits, and initial profits allow you to grow further and scale.
  • Look for additional new opportunities. Eg. ask yourself, “Who else could benefit from my expertise and experience?” Write this down. Then consider how you might best market to them. Then do it 🙂
  • Use video more often. People like watching interesting videos. It is also easier for some people to retain information if it is presented in a good video, vs reading text. As an example, I may turn this blog post into a video at some point. It would only contain key points, be quick to watch, have good pacing, be visually interesting, etc.
  • Learn about ‘Inbound Marketing’ and how to do it effectively. Then start doing it as you learn. Do as many courses as you can on the HubSpot website. Start with the free courses.

Education:

Your brain is your greatest asset. Levels of business success vary based on what knowledge you put into your brain. Seek information and education that is going to directly help you achieve more success and more growth. For example:

  • If you aren’t already, learn to be great with people. Know that, “People buy from those they know, like, trust and value”. The more you can learn to be excellent with people (especially your ideal customers), the more growth you will achieve/ receive in return.
  • “Success is proportionate to what you know, how well you implement it, and who you know”. Doors will open the more you make a conscious decision and put in the effort to further your education and knowledge regularly (routinely) and ongoing. Choose to become not only a ‘student of life’ but also a ‘student of acquiring more education and knowledge’.
  • Identify any gaps in your knowledge and any areas of business that you need to educate yourself further in. Write these all down. Then find courses, online courses, books, videos, experts, mentors, coaches, etc to help you learn.
  • If you want to learn aspects of SEO, start by doing the SEMRush Academy Training. It takes a LONG time to be skilled at doing SEO, but there is nothing stopping you from beginning to learn. Dedicate 4 hours each week for at least 6 months to learn the basics. Then learn more. After a few years you’ll know a LOT!
  • Do the free Google Garage training.
  • Get good at using every online and offline channel you possibly can that will get your business exposed to more potential customers. Do short courses on Udemy (and other places) online if you need to learn how to use these channels effectively for business growth.

The people who have achieved great levels of business success have worked their tails off behind the scenes during their entire careers,… including ongoing formal learning/ training/ education and ongoing self-learning. They have ‘quested’ knowledge.

  • Watch videos on YouTube; seek insights and tips. There is a wealth of information on YouTube. For most industries, there are people on YouTube explaining how they grew or grow their business, how they became more profitable, how they achieved ultimate success, etc. Side note: Lately I have been sharing some videos related to business growth on my freelance site.

Below is an example video that may be of benefit if you’re running a small service-based business:

 

 

  • I suggest also watching videos on TikTok that are about business growth, business models and increasing profitability… and business in general. TikTok has some great video content! It is NOT just for young people.
  • Look for new opportunities. Never be afraid to pivot what you offer in your business, how you offer it, etc. Also never be afraid of starting additional businesses. Eg. provide the same services (and/or products) but to specific industries, segments of the market and/ or groups of people. AKA: ‘niching’.

Money:

  • Review your business budget
  • Review the ‘numbers’ in your business. Write projections and also ‘play’ with your figures/ numbers in an Excel file. Determine where you can increase your prices.
  • Productise your services. Provide monthly packages. Offer small discounts if they join a package vs sending you jobs ‘adhoc’.
  • Look at which services make the most profit. If they also have high demand, market them more aggressively. As in, focus on selling services and/or products that make the most money. Something to consider as an example: Why do a job that only pays $30 and takes 1 hour to do, vs prioritizing doing $10 jobs that you can do 6 of in 1 hour? You can still do the other $30 job, but leave it till later in the day, or a later date once the priority jobs are done. OR you could even outsource it if you don’t want to do it yourself and/or you don’t have a staff member to do it.

Outreach:

  • Contact all your referral sources. Catch up with them. Share with them/ update them on new services and/or products in your business. Keep them informed ongoing.
  • Do the same thing if you have retail sellers and/or sales reps, etc.
  • Find more referral sources as well.
  • Ask for customer reviews, written testimonials, video interview testimonials, etc. Then share these on your social media, website, print marketing materials, etc.  ‘Proof to support your claims’ dramatically helps with growth.

Your Website:

  • Make sure your website is up to date, reflects your business correctly, explains what you offer correctly, has proof to support claims,… AND ensure that it looks great and reads really well! Make sure too it is easy to use on mobile phones. Be aware that over 50% of your website visitors are visiting your website on their mobile phones.
  • Give your website visitors a way to join your mailing list. Also, provide them with an incentive to do so.
  • Determine if there are ways to sell things on your website – eg. products, digital products, courses, etc.

Networking:

  • Attend more networking events. Get to know more people.
  • Follow up with people you meet.
  • Door knocking. Take your business flyer (or a promo pack) and drop it off at businesses you might want to work for.
  • Consider doing cold calling
  • Warm email marketing
  • Contacting people individually on LinkedIn. Research specific people you would like to meet, then write them a very personalised message.
  • Give back to your community or other people (including youth if you would like). You’ll make more friends, feel good helping others and you’ll become known as a giving person. “Givers gain”. As an example, we mentor youth (and provide work experience), do discount work for certain clubs, charities, grass-roots groups, conservation groups, etc. We also do some pro-bono work.

Existing Clients:

  • Ask businesses if they can display your business cards. Definitely also ask your own customers.
  • Contact your existing clients individually and ask how they are going. Re-connect with them, especially those you have not heard from in a while.
  • Determine which of your clients, friends and family are ‘really big fans’ of what you do. Update them about your business. You may be surprised how willing they may be to help  you market your business, help you share your posts on social media, carry and distribute your business cards, etc.

Advertising:

  • Decide if you are going to advertise. Then consult an expert growth professional to gain advice and guidance on where and how to advertise effectively.
  • If you haven’t had great success in the past with advertising, don’t advertise without getting expert advice first. You’ll be potentially wasting your money if you do.
  • Decide how much you can spend each month on ads.

Productivity:

  • Ask yourself if there are any ways to further increase efficiencies and productivity. As in, can you ‘dial in’ and optimize how you perform certain tasks more quickly?
  • Which of your processes should you write down step by step and/or create video tutorials for, so you can remind yourself and/or your staff how to do them quickly. I do this for tasks that are technical and that I don’t do regularly. A quick refresher saves me a HEAP of time vs ‘re-figuring’ something out.
  • Our clients know that we provide coaching, consultancy, done-for-you service, marketing growth work, and MANY other services for them. We do everything and anything our clients want us to do and/or want a hand with. This gets them further ahead more quickly. “Many hands make light work”… plus the faster the right things get done, the quicker your growth.
  • I am a big fan of this ‘getting things done‘ tutorial.
  • Track your time spent doing every task each week. (We use Toggl to track our time). Track your time for 1 month. Then review where your time is going. Then work out how to do more ‘billable hours’ each month… and how to get the other tasks done either: 1. quicker, 2. cheaper or 3. done by others (or all 3).

There are many, many other tips I could also share in this blog post. I might write a second blog post soon.
I may also start writing a series of blog articles that provide more information about the various tips mentioned above.

Below is the new Facebook Business Page banner design I created for the client I’ve been helping.
I’ve also been co-writing and publishing their Facebook page posts during the last week. Two of them are below. This business has already had an increase in sales.

Facebook Business Page Banner Design

Here is their Facebook business page: https://www.facebook.com/ksembroideryservice

 

 

Jay Daniells

About the Author: Jay Daniells

Jay Daniells has been doing advanced Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) work for clients since 2010. He is an SEO specialist. He first started doing SEO work in 2005. He has also been creating websites full-time since 2003. Amongst things Jay is also a graphic designer, digital marketing consultant and creative person. His focus is helping businesses, community groups, clubs, charities, organisations and other entities achieve their goals. He is the owner of Green Valley Digital.