Small business owners are always looking for ways to increase revenue.
To maintain a competitive edge is a major hurdle that many face in today’s business environment. Bianca B. King, marketing expert and President of Seven5 Seven3 Marketing Group, understands all too well. “After a year or so of trying to gain traction in my company, I finally took a hard look at my processes and made some critical changes that reaped my small struggling business great rewards.” To help others, she shares 5 tips to increase your small business revenue, which she used herself and tripled her business revenue in less than six months.
Define Your Target (Niche) Market
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in any business be it small or large is assuming you can serve everyone. You can’t and that’s the simple truth. After I spent some time determining exactly who my niche was and the challenges they faced, I was able to tailor my services to provide better solutions to their marketing requirements. Once you have determined exactly how your target market can benefit from your services, it’s time to demonstrate your value. In my case, I offered consulting services in the form of a free overview of their marketing strategies. It enabled potential clients the opportunity to not only understand how I could help their small business, but also get to know and trust me and my company to get the job done.
Understand the Power of Social Networking
Social media is a great way to market your business, but if you’re hanging out on the wrong platform, and you’re not engaging the right potential clients, you’re just wasting your time. As much as I enjoyed Facebook, spending time there wasn’t getting me the quality clients that I desired. Although I was getting clients, they wanted a lot of project work, which was not my primary focus. After some research and refining my niche, I discovered that my niche was hanging out and updating their statuses on LinkedIn – so that’s where I started spending more time. It’s important to note that I didn't just start spamming about my business with the hope that clients would start appearing in droves. Instead, I simply reconnected with old contacts, joined conversations, shared content where appropriate, and made sure my LinkedIn profile was current. By making these small adjustments, I picked up two new clients in less than one week, and I continue to get clients from this source. When it comes to social media, remember that it’s primarily about connecting, which means you have to be willing to engage in conversation.
Long-Term Value to Achieve Long-Term Goals
Occasionally, clients won’t understand the value of the service you’re offering if they have no prior experience with it. I had an existing client that was about to renew a contract for website maintenance, but I knew that they were missing an essential component in their overall marketing strategy that could dramatically help their business, content marketing. When I first approached them about the new strategy, they politely declined. However, I knew if they truly understood that this service would help them garner greater market exposure, they wouldn’t turn it down. So I tried again. The second time, I used an educational approach that also explained the inherent and long-term value of the service. This time they bought in. Since I understood the long-term goals of my client and I was persistent, I was able to not only help my client with their goals, I also help increase my revenue by providing a service to my client that I could charge an additional fee. Since then, my client’s ROI on the new services have been almost ten-fold.
As my marketing firm completes an assignment for a client, I make it a point to ask “how did we do, how might we improve services, would you work with us again? I ask these questions for three reasons, to ensure my clients’ complete satisfaction, to always have an eye on ways of improving the experience and delivery and lastly to help generate client referrals. A happy client is a referral generating God-send; which in turn can lead to new business and grow revenue. We’ve had the great privilege of having client, after client, after client, after client refer business to us (yes, four levels from the first client). Be sure to ask for the referral. I believe that we as women are sometimes not as assertive when asking for referrals, but if you don’t you’re leaving money on the table. I always tell my clients if you’re happy and satisfied with the services you received, please feel free to refer our services to your clients, friends and colleagues, and they do just that!
For a lot of people, figuring out what to charge clients is one of the most difficult parts of running your own business. I get it! You’re grateful for the clients you have, and you don’t want to do anything to scare them away. But you also have to recognize the value of your services and charge appropriately. I realized that the value I provided was far exceeding my current pricing strategy, so I increased my prices to the appropriate level, that simple. If some clients aren’t willing to pay your new rates, you don’t have to panic. You’re just making room for the future clients that will truly see the value in your business and services. By understanding your value and pricing your products and services appropriately, you will avoid one of the biggest pitfalls of entrepreneurship.
Whether you’re just starting on the entrepreneurial path or you’re looking to increase the revenue of an existing business, by employing any or all of these tips you will surely increase your bottom line in no time at all.
Bianca B. King is the President of Seven5 Seven3 Marketing Group, a Dallas, Texas based B2B boutique marketing firm dedicated to helping small businesses reach their potential.
As the Founder and President of Seven5 Seven3 Marketing Group, she has been featured in several on and offline publications, including JET Magazine, One Million Entrepreneurs.com, National Association of Women on the Rise and Brand Maker News.com.