We all know how it is. No matter how good or bad times are, most business owners always seem to be busy.
And as a business coach I often notice that in the busy day-to-day operations of running a small business, the focus on growing profits can often take a back seat to the other aspects of managing a business. Crunching numbers to make payroll, renewing that marketing campaign and doing anything to stay on top of things can be hard enough!
But taking your main focus off the importance of the bottom line, even for just a moment, is asking for trouble.
Committing to implement business development strategies in order to beef up your bottom line is vital for the health of your small business.
As a business coach I stress that growth is essential but it should never come at the expense of making a profit. Businesses must be producing both profits and cash, yet this is something that doesn’t always happen to the extent that it really should during a growth stage.
Sometimes by getting creative it’s possible to achieve good profit growth by simply changing the game. They say if nothing changes, nothing changes. Change is necessary to get results, so consider some out-of-the-box options. Don’t just rely on cost cutting. Look instead at other, smarter ways to improve your results.
How well have you implemented cross-selling strategies? Are you even measuring how well that strategy works?
Make better use of new technology. Don’t just use one technology to replace another. Look at how you might now be able to approach your whole business vision in a completely different way.
Adopt a relationship-based selling strategy that keeps customers coming back. Increasing the economic lifetime value of your customer is a very powerful profitable strategy.
Look at how you can bundle and package goods and services, implement rewards programmes and recognise those that refer A- and B-type customers to your business in order to create longevity and promote return business.
Constantly monitor your systems and processes in order to ensure you have a lean, mean, money-making machine.
Raise the bar when it comes to visibility, marketing and presence. You can hardly expect to get new customers if you are disappearing from sight as newly invigorated competitors adopt modern marketing techniques.
And always ensure you have positive cash flow. Sometimes you can help that along by offering prepaid terms that can also come with additional benefits. And always pay your own bills on time to avoid fees and overdue charges which can really impact on your margin.
It is often not a good idea to use your suppliers as a source of interest-free credit. As a business coach it’s usually one of the first things I look to address.