Are you looking for ways to improve your bottom line? Try these six ideas for strategies that can work across just about any industry.
When it comes down to it, your ROI is a big part of your bottom line.
Your marketing expenses are the perfect example. Let's say you spend $500 on paid advertisements on Google and $500 on a radio spot. Which one attracts more customers? When there are obvious winners and losers in your investments and their returns, it's easy to make the decision as to which options to drop or decrease, and which ones to boost.
That said, some investments are harder to measure than others, so you'll either need to incorporate that into your calculations or focus on metrics that you can measure in the meantime.
Is the return you're getting worth the investment? Monitor your ROI and focus on the biggest earners.
Easy enough to say – harder to do.
Spend a month writing down all of your costs. Some of them will be absolutely necessary and expected, but others may be higher than you'd think.
For example, perhaps when you signed up for a phone plan, you weren't expecting to use it so much for business calls. Now, your monthly phone costs are higher than they should be because you're not on the right plan or with the best provider for your needs. A little research online on other options could be all it takes to find a better deal, and this can go for anything from your power bill to your email campaigns.
Travel time can eat up a lot of time, especially in cities. Keep travel logs to help you see whether there are more efficient ways you can organise the work and your materials to minimise travel time and costs.
Look closely at the projects you've worked on and your customer base over the past year.
Which ones brought in the most spend? While smaller, lower-paying projects will likely be the bread and butter of your business, you may be able to pinpoint those big spenders and target them in future marketing campaigns so they can become a bigger part of your business.
Be careful though... while one big spender for all your business can sound like the perfect plan, it's also best not to put all your eggs in one basket. If something happens to your big spender you may not have much business left. Where you can try and work with a number of customers, not just one.
A professional marketing guru could be the difference between an unsuccessful campaign and one that grows your brand and your bottom line. Sure, it will cost in the short-term, but a good marketer can be worth their weight in gold when they can take your message and get it out to customers that matter the most.
This can also apply to your accounts, your business planning and more. If you're finding part of your business administration or growth plans are taking up more time than you can allocate to them, a professional may be able to help you make the progress you need without you having to work more and more hours.
The very obvious and easy answer is to increase your prices. While this can be a good strategy once you start getting busy, it will be worthwhile to continuously study what your competitors are charging for the same work. The key is to ensure you are providing good value. If you offer benefits like shorter turnaround time, better quality workmanship, better quality finish, fewer call-backs, sustainable practices etc, customers will often be prepared to pay more as they value those benefits.
Another option for increasing the value of your sales is to add something a little extra – to upsell. On every job, consider ways you may be able to improve the overall outcome for the customer with a little extra work. Perhaps you have been hired to repaint the interior of a home, but you can see that the exterior needs doing as well. Or perhaps you are painting the exterior, but the deck hasn't been included and is looking the worse for wear. A small extra addition to each project can make a huge difference in your work over time. The extra addition might not even be a significantly larger job that the original project – all it needs to be is a little more for each one. Regular small upsells can help your bottom line.
Most customers would rather get all of a job done at once and get all the disruption over and done with. So, if you can point out something that will make the whole project look a lot better when it is finished, many customers will be grateful for the advice and happy to include it in the job. Upsells won't always work as some customers may be on a strict budget and unable or unwilling to include anything else in the current project, but if they are offered for all projects you'll get more business than if you never suggest anything.
You could be doing every textbook bottom-line-increasing strategy in the book, but it may not be enough if your employees aren't on board as well.
Make sure they know your plans for growth and give them the tools they require to help you make it happen. This might include teaching them how to upsell when they are in charge of one of the job sites and sharing some of the extra revenue with them. You'll need to teach them how to upsell properly so that they are offering an extra service to the customer but so the customer doesn't feel undue pressure into accepting.
Naturally, your employees should also follow your brand personality as well. For example, if your company goals include always responding quickly to calls and delivering on time, staff should also maintain these attributes, as a strong and reliable brand will naturally help to improve future sales thanks to referrals from past happy customers. Or perhaps you have built a brand on sustainable practices – make sure all your employees are following the same practices so your customer doesn't get an inconsistent impression of how you work.
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