What’s the one thing that every business should do? Turn a profit, of course! You may think that you’re doing a pretty good job of this already by sticking to the usual swing of things, and getting by on the standard figures of your cash flow. However, if you really want to stimulate growth and push your venture as far as it can go, you need to be constantly on the lookout for new ways to make a profit. Here, I’ve listed some excellent methods for boosting profit that you may not have considered.
Product Mark-ups and Suppliers
This isn’t exactly the most innovative or cutting-edge way to improve profit margins at your business. However, changing your product mark-ups can be a fantastic way to improve your overall cash flow. Buying low and selling high is the simple core of any business model. Buy for one dollar, sell for two. By bumping up your product mark-up prices, or looking around at alternative suppliers who offer lower prices, you can tap into a whole new source of profit, and really get the pistons moving.
If you’re running a small start-up, then you may feel that your extra profit-making opportunities are slightly limited. However, if you’re operating a website that gets a lot of traffic, partnering up with a related business, (not a competitor!) can be a great way for improving your bottom line. For example, if you’re running an ecommerce store that specializes in martial arts gear, you may want to consider paid ads for more general athletic gear. If you handle your own online marketing, you’ll know by now that paying for customers is occasionally necessary for scaling the business as a whole.
Adding to the Range
Perhaps you feel that you’ve got selling your usual line of products or services down to a tee. If this is the case, but you’re still looking to improve your overall profit margins, you should consider some new additions to your range. As long as you’re not being too radical with the changes to your business, and sticking to a product with a target audience that you’re already familiar with, making this transition should be easy. If you’re selling software products to other businesses, consider setting yourself up as an online backup reseller. If you’re running an ecommerce store specializing in clothing, make your range more varied with some accessories or shoes. If you run a home cleaning business, consider buying a surplus of some of the products you use and selling them on for a profit. There are countless possibilities out there, it just takes a little imagination!
If you’ve got decades of experience in your field, and your skills are current enough to call yourself an expert, then consultancy could be the perfect way for you to boost your profit margins. You may also find it more satisfying than the day-to-day operations of your business as it stands. Offer to do speeches, webinars and seminars at businesses in a similar vein as yours, and charge clients a competitive rate. Depending on your field, you may get a pleasant surprise when you find out what a competitive rate is!
Referrals are a massively underrated way of generating extra revenue for your business. This allows you to leverage clients or customers who are already familiar with your brand, and trust its products or services. As you can imagine, this is much more cost-effective and less demanding than spending money on marketing campaigns, looking to attract people who don’t know anything about you. If you provide your customers and clients with a great experience, they’ll want to come back for more, and will be more inclined to send referrals your way in return for discounts and other benefits. You can set up a referrals program in pretty much every business model, just offer your customers some kind of incentive you can afford for sending you new customers.
Freebies and Other Offers
Closely related to referrals schemes, offering your target market freebies and introductory offers can be a fantastic way to inject some life into your cashflow. For example, if you’re running a law firm, offering a free, no-obligation case consultation can be highly effective for drawing in prospective clients. Once you’ve had a chance to show off your expertise, they’ll be pretty inclined to follow through and hire you! Whatever business you’re running, there’ll be some opportunity for freebies and other first-time offers. Put coupons in your local paper, or on sites like Groupon and advertise them through social media.