If you’re in business, you probably want more profit than you’re currently getting. And the most effective way to do that is to increase your business marketing to get more customers, right?
Lead generation will definitely result in more enquiries, but doesn’t guarantee more profit. In fact, having more enquiries may just make your business fail faster.
If you would like more profit from your business in 2018, here are 5 essential things to do before you spend time, effort and money on business marketing ….
Reduce overheads and expenditure
While we do want to focus on the top line, it’s important first to ensure your business isn’t wasting money on unnecessary expenses. Check your bills for accuracy, and shop around for better deals for services such as electricity and phones. Reduce staff overtime, or consider using a virtual assistant for certain tasks. Look at your current marketing cost and stop spending money on ads that don’t work.
A profitable business needs solid systems and efficient staff. When things aren’t done to specification, on time, and to budget, time and money is lost to re-work, dissatisfied customers, and lost opportunity. Start by measuring the effectiveness of all that you’re currently doing. Give team members KPIs and targets; implement a quality control system; focus on employee training; and automate as much as possible.
Invite your previous customers to come back again, or use you more frequently
When customers feel important and valued to your business they are more likely to use your product or service again. Great customer service encourages a repeat customer, and a direct invitation makes it even more likely they’ll be back. Give a voucher for a return visit; a two-for-one deal for their next purchase; or offer a service contract. Introduce a frequent buyers’ program, or sell consumables to go with their original purchase.
Encourage your customers to spend more with you
We call this wallet share rather than market share. Your current customers may be buying one product or service from your business, but going elsewhere for other things they need (not realising they could also get it from you). Let your customers know your entire range of products and services; offer incentives for larger purchases; allow payment terms; and set an average dollar sale goal for your team.
Convert more of your existing leads into sales
When business owners tell us they need to focus on marketing, we often find that they have plenty of enquiries coming in, they just aren’t converting all their leads into sales.
Start to measure all your leads and how many of these turn into customers. You may be surprised at the number of opportunities you’re losing.
If you’re a service business, something as simple as appointment reminders or touching base before your first meeting will help. Assist your frontline staff and sales team by having scripts and a sales process; ensure every team member can communicate the benefits of using your products and services to prospective customers; and consider offering an incentive for first-time buyers.
As you can see, a profitable business requires more than just a steady stream of leads. We can help you maximise the value of each lead and customer, and have a glass overflowing, not a leaking bucket!
Although marketing is often the first thing business owners want to focus on to increase profit, we need to ensure the business is operating efficiently and effectively first.
The last thing you want to do is ramp up your marketing to introduce new customers to a bad experience, or speed up the decline of a business that’s not profitable.
Now it’s time for business marketing …
When you’ve minimised your expenses; and maximised your lead conversion, frequency of customers using you, amount they spend each time, and your efficiency; it’s time to generate new leads.
Start small and inexpensive. A combination of on-line and in-person marketing is ideal. Effective SEO and social media marketing can invite a steady stream of inquiries into your business, and a referral system will ensure that your happy customers introduce like-minded people to you.
When working with clients to increase their profitability, we establish a plan to ensure their business is working at its peak in all areas. We help them measure their results, and track their performance towards goals. Combined with a solid business marketing plan, businesses see strong and lasting increases to their bottom line.
If you’d like more profit in your business this year, contact us to see if you’re eligible for a complimentary 90-minute discussion about your business. Discover what’s possible in 2018.