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How to make more money without landing new clients

How to make more money without landing new clients

Posted 19th February, 2020 by Sarah

8 minute read

Every business wants new customers. Who doesn’t want to see new prospects queuing outside the door the way New Yorkers queue for cronuts?

However, attracting new clients takes time. If you’re looking for a quick-fire way to boost your bottom line in the short term, here are a few ways to make instant wins.

Start by saving money

Cutting your costs and rationalising your business is an easy fix. In the hectic rush of running your business, day-to-day, you probably don’t get time to think about rationalising – but you really should.

Contracts and subscriptions

Spend some time looking through your contracted services and subscriptions. Those minor payments that automatically renew, month after month. If you’re paying for services you no longer use or don’t really need, cancel them; you’ll find that the savings mount up over a year.

If it is a service you use, ask yourself if you still need to purchase the same level. If you can afford to downgrade, you can retain the service and make a saving.

Shop around and consolidate

Everyone is always being encouraged to switch their utilities suppliers at home, to chase the best prices; well, it’s even more important to do that when you’re in business. Look at everything from your electricity supply, to who does your shipping, to who supplies your Wi-Fi. You might be able to get the same service cheaper somewhere else.

Similarly, it could be cheaper, and it’ll almost certainly save you time on admin, to bundle services together and purchase them all from a single supplier. You may offer discounts to customers who purchase multiple items, well, look for suppliers who do the same.

Renegotiate

If you don’t want to change supplier for a certain service, you can always play the “I’m leaving you” card. A lot of businesses would rather renegotiate your service and cut your bill than lose your custom entirely.

This doesn’t just relate to your utilities, it can apply to every supplier you work with, even the ones who supply the raw materials you rely upon. If you purchase a lot of their product, talk to them about a bulk discount.

And don’t forget your landlord. Finding good tenants is fiendishly difficult, so your landlord may be persuaded to take a cut in the rent, rather than lose you as a tenant.

Switch it off

Another one of those habits we have at home, but often forget about at work, is switching things off. Are there lights on in empty rooms? At home, you’re probably always switching lights off after the kids. So, why not have the lights at work tied into motion detectors, then you won’t have to go around switching things off, it’ll happen automatically.

If you don’t use the printer every day, why have it sitting there on standby? If that computer isn’t needed at the moment, does it need to be on? Even in standby or power-save modes, these machines are using more electricity than when they’re switched off.

When your mobile gadgets are charged up, switch the charger off.

Making sure that you and your staff develop these simple, money-saving habits is better for your bottom line and it’s better for the environment, too.

Telecommute and freelance

Another technique for saving time and money, is to think about the amount of travelling you need to do. Do you need to actually go to meet your clients all the time, or could you get as much value out of a face-to-face via video conference? That will save you travel time and travel costs.

By the same token, do all of the people you work with need to be in your premises at the same time? If people can work just as effectively at home, and send you their work digitally, that can have an impact on the size of premises you need, as well as on the day-to-day running costs.

Such people can often be freelancers, working under contract with you. This saves you the additional on-costs of employing staff. The right freelancers can be just as productive, just as important a part of the team as the staff, but they’re typically cheaper.

Optimise your workflow

Spend some time taking a serious look at the processes that you employ, at who does them, how they do them, how long they take, and how many resources they use up. You might find any number of ways to make time and money savings.

Then spend to save

Outsource

You can spend your own time doing your accounts, paying your staff wages, sorting out HR, or you can save yourself all the trouble by outsourcing it.

There are well-established, reputable businesses out there who can pick up the workload for many of the day-to-day processes that underpin a successful business - from remote receptionists, to automated accounting systems, to HR firms.

Yes, these services cost money, but hiring a member of staff to do that for you will cost more. Also, think about how much potential revenue your business is losing when you’re doing the books rather than doing the thing that you love, the thing that you got into business for.

So, now you’re saving, how about earning?

Finally: making money

The second part of this formula is to make money from the clients you already have.

Think long term.

Your satisfied customers are your most valuable resource, so don’t alienate them. Never offer them something that is in the interest of your short-term gain, because they will remember. You probably can’t afford to be losing repeat customers, so you really need to look after their best interests, because they’re also your best interests.

You do this by building long-term relationships. So, take a good look at their needs and wants, then think about what product or service you can offer them. Sometimes this will require you to learn new skills. Well, if you can get yourself skilled-up, or can outsource to a good freelancer, you will be able to super-serve your client and, at the same time, you’ll be adding new services to the range you can offer.

The more services you can offer, the more money you can make.

Upsell

Upselling has something of a tainted reputation, but that’s because a lot of unscrupulous companies have done it the wrong way or for the wrong reason.

The ‘other items you may like’ feature, pioneered by Amazon, is a great way of automating this process, if you run an online shop. However, if you’re running a small business, your customers may well respond to a less automated, more personal approach.

Make any upselling offers relevant to the customer’s original purchase; something that improves that product. So, for example, if you sell products that need maintenance, upsell the tools the customer needs for that maintenance, or upsell yourself to do that maintenance.

Discount

Alternatively, when you’re upselling, you can offer a discount on an additional full-price service, as a reward and an incentive to a good customer.

You could also offer generous discount vouchers to good customers, with expiry dates on them, in the interest of getting them back into your shop.

Referrals

If they like the work you’ve done for them, or the products you sold them, it’s likely that a good customer will be happy to pass on your details. Make this as easy and as rewarding as possible.

In this way, you can find yourself picking up new customers without even trying. To aid this process along, make sure that you have a lot of branding material to hand like business cards and flyers.

You know those ‘refer a friend and get some money’ promotions that some utilities companies offer? They work! If you give clients an incentive for referring you to new customers, they will happily take the trouble to do so.

Over to you

So, what have we missed? What other techniques would you recommend to help keep the cash tills ringing and the coffers overflowing, while you’re cultivating new customers, elsewhere? Come find us on Facebook or Twitter and pass on your knowledge.

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