Has your small business hit a sales plateau? Your small business has been thriving, and the pipeline is always filled with upcoming work. For the first time since leaping into the world of small-business ownership, you finally have a sense of job security. If your business seems to have all the work it can handle but you aren't bringing in the money you need or expected, it’s time to take a serious look at how you’re going to realistically scale your business without working 24/7 and losing your sanity. The following tactics will help:
Increase your rates or revamp your packaging. Is it time to raise your prices? If you’re staring down a jam-packed pipeline, businesses can usually increase their prices by 10 percent or more with a direct benefit to the bottom line. Even if a few customers leave, the subsequent revenue growth is typically worth it. If that doesn’t feel comfortable, try re-packaging the way you’re selling your products or services. This can increase customers' value perception of your business, so you’re less likely to experience push-back from customers for raising rates.
Trade value for money, not time. Think about ways you can offer more value that won’t cost you more time. Creating a troubleshooting guide, for example, that teaches your customers how to handle some of what you do themselves is a single-time investment that generates money repeatedly with little additional effort.
Get your name out there. If you have a business-to-consumer business, think about marketing strategies that will help get your name out there in the community. For instance, sponsor a youth sports team or sponsor a hole at a major golf tournament.
Expand your team without hiring. Add to your sales team on a commission only basis. The right salesperson can excel in such a role and you don’t have to pay anything until they’ve landed a sale. That means you don’t have to worry about whether you’ll make payroll.
Edit your client base. There comes a time when you need to let go of customers who aren’t working for your business. In doing so, you and your staff will be able to spend more time with your best-fit and most-profitable clients, which is better for everybody.
Give a few of these tips a try when you feel like your business has hit a plateau. You may be able to breeze through the storm and emerge with healthy revenue, happy staff and more time to actually live your life.