I’ve read a lot of business books over the years. My favorite ones have been the ones that get right to the point. Almost none of them do. If you get right to the point, you’d be left with a report, not a book. That’s more or less what I’m doing right now. I want to do my best to share with you 3 Simple Strategies to increase your business income.
Considering the time we’re in, the sooner you get started – the better.
From a mechanical perspective (minus the gray areas), it’s all math. That’s the foundation or the framework. Once you get the math part right, all the other “stuff” related to your business gets added on top.
One word of warning – if you get the math wrong, you’ll fail – no matter how great everything else seems to be.
I can sum up a lifetime of reading business books in a sentence or two. The “Old-Timers” taught that there were only three practical ways to grow a business. Only three.
You can increase the number of clients you serve. You can increase the size of the sale per client. You can increase how often the client returns to make a purchase.
Take a minute to let that sink in. It may be a relief for you to hear this because you only have to focus on three options, not a dozen.
Again, it’s math, not wizardry.
How many clients do you have? What’s the number?
What’s the average amount they spend on each sale or transaction?
Finally, how often do they make a purchase per year?
Here’s an example from one of my old, musty books:
1,000 clients x $100 purchase x 2 transactions a year = $200,000 a year
If you increase these 3 numbers by 10%
1,100 clients x $110 purchase x 2.2 transactions a year = $266,000 a year
I have several accountant friends. They remove all emotion from the process by focusing solely on the numbers. The emotional component is very real when it comes to business and money. Ask yourself, have you ever felt helpless when it comes to business growth? You hit a wall, you’re frustrated, and it starts to feel like there’s no way out?
You start believing there aren’t any realistic solutions to your problem. You don’t “see any,” so they must not be there. It’s the business equivalent of the fog-of-war.
“Fog of War: The fog of war is the uncertainty in situational awareness experienced by participants in military operations. The term seeks to capture the uncertainty regarding one’s own capability, adversary capability, and adversary intent during an engagement, operation, or campaign. Wikipedia”
I’ve been through it myself.
So, how do you get started?
The most obvious path to increasing income is by increasing the number of clients you serve. Blogging, creating videos, or invest time on various social media channels can help increase your visibility.
Don’t stop there. Start making offers.
It’s amazing how many people talk about what they do online without ever making a direct offer to their audience. In other words, what’s the next step? The next step may be obvious to you – but think about how distracted people really are today. In the past, you could point to the door. Today, you almost have to guide people through it.
You can make a direct offer in a blog post, in a video, on social media, in the Inbox, etc.
When was the last time you made an offer? When was the last time you wrote or posted “I will do x-service for y-dollars if you purchase before the end of this month. Click here to get started.”
What do you have to lose? If you don’t make the offer, it’s guaranteed that no one will take you up on it.
Maybe the offer only applies to new customers? The lifetime value of a new customer is significant. Even if you break even on your front end offer, how much will you make over the next 12-months?
In other words, why not make it as easy and as risk-free as possible for new clients to start doing business with you? Especially now. The effects of the lockdown are having a worldwide effect. The numbers are just starting to come in.
Maybe you’re procrastinating? You may be asking yourself, “Should I be blogging more, or creating videos or posting more on social media?” Before doing any of those things, you need to have a few offers in place and ready to go? Remember the context – we’re talking about increasing income – not brand building or being well-known.
Brand building and publicity won’t pay the bills unless they’re attached to the kind of offers your marketplace is looking for. Again – look at the math, forget about the lights and cameras part.
Getting people in the door.
Car dealerships are a great example of how these strategies work in the real world. Most car dealerships make the bulk of their money in car repairs, not the initial sale.
Even if you make a little less on the frontend, look at what you’ll potentially be making on the backend.
Consider where your real money is coming from long-term.
Increase the Size of the Sale Per Client
Restaurants do this with appetizers, desserts, and drinks.
Car dealers do this with extending warranties, upgraded sound systems, window tinting, and more.
Can you do this in your business? What extras could you provide (products or services)? Think about the logical progress a person goes through who purchases your type of product or service. What’s the next thing they usually need after the initial purchase? What comes after that?
In my industry, clients purchase website design/development services. Next comes SEO. Then, one or more digital marketing tools. Consulting services can be inserted anywhere within the timeline.
Selling Additional Services
Consider the car buying experience. After the initial purchase agreement, they move you on to the next person in the process. This is where the upsell process begins. Maybe you’ll upgrade the sound system or window tinting?
Additional offers are then presented to you after you’ve made the initial commitment.
They don’t just lump everything together upfront. Why? Because from a psychological standpoint, it’s easier for the customer to say, “No.” If you combine five offers into one big offer, two things can happen with that one offer. They can say, “Yes,” or they can say, “No.” That’s it.
Did I miss anything? That’s pretty simple, right?
Now, if I make a single offer, followed by another single offer and so on… I have five OPPORTUNITIES in this example to arrive at YES instead of just one.
Saying, “No,” isn’t easy for many people. Especially if they have to say it five times in a row. That’s why there’s so much buyer remorse out there today. Making an offer doesn’t mean you have to be pushy.
The approach you take is completely up to you. You can give “sales” a good name, or you can give it a bad name.
If you’re a solopreneur, consider packaging recordings and/or automated services into your sales strategy. You can package and present these services the same way a car dealership packages and presents theirs. Now that you’re seeing the pattern, structure what you’re doing around the same basic pattern.
Let your clients know they can buy whatever upgrades they’d like to purchase – after their initial purchase. Don’t assume they share your same value system when it comes to purchases. Some people pay 20k for coaching. The thought of doing so may seem ridiculous to you. Still, if you don’t offer – you’ll never sell. Don’t project your values onto others.
If you’re a solopreneur, you’ll want to have a plan and strategy in place (written out) that will allow you to scale your business to meet whatever your income goals are going forward. You can only trade hours for dollars to a certain point. Eventually, you’ll run out of time. Or, you’ll burn out working too many long hours. Or, you’ll have to hire more people and deal with keeping them happy.
Even if you don’t need “a lot of money,” whatever number you’re working with today – do you think it will have the same buying power a few years from now? Do you see where I’m going with this? You can keep it simple, but you’re still going to want to plan and build with the future in mind.
Think about automation while you’re smaller. With each passing year, it seems like it’s getting easier to automate more and more of the tasks we used to do manually. Automate, but commit to keeping the “human touch” present in your business interactions.
Digital products & automated digital services can provide you with a great balance with your time-for-money efforts. There’s a balance there. I sometimes think “balance” has become a lost art. So many people today have an all-or-nothing mindset.
Be flexible, experiment, and applying these principles to whatever kind of business you’re building. That’s the best way to learn. Above all, don’t lose sight of the basics. Don’t lose sight of the numbers. It’s really easy to do. Sometimes the simplest of solutions can end up fixing what appears to be a very complex problem.
Increasing the Number of Sales Per Client
Many different industries run “preferred client sales” throughout the year. Here’s another place you can keep things simple. As I’ve already mentioned, making an offer doesn’t have to be a complex process. Especially with existing customers. You can create a new page on your website if you want to take that approach. Or, you can keep it simple and send it in an email.
You’re making a simple offer, not a work of art.
You can create an advertisement and use it in your email signature. That’s another approach. It can be changed throughout the year.
Making an offer doesn’t have to be done aggressively. Look at your offer from both sides. If someone sent an identical offer to you, how would you feel about it? At the end of the day, it’s easier to get behind something you really believe in and feel good about.
Anyway, the main point is, it’s going to be easier for you to sell additional products and services to existing clients than it will be to find brand-new clients. Existing clients already know you. That in and of itself can be a significant hurdle that’s removed from the process.
Companies have recognized this for years. Getting a new client, in many cases, can be an expensive proposition as compared with selling more to an existing one.
Just to reiterate, we’re not talking about huge sales increases. I used 10% in the original example. What would a 10% increase look like in your business? I’m guessing that it would make a significant difference for you?
Summing it Up
So, let’s sum it up. You may be leaving a lot of money on the table without even realizing it? Why not use what you already have and experiment with the 3-principles outlined in this article? They worked 100-years ago and they’ll work today.
A quick side note here; I realize a lot of people there are struggling with demoralization and degrees of depression. And yes, those things can sap your strength, hope, and overall optimism. The thought of taking action in all three areas may seem overwhelming to you?
If that’s the case, just pick one. Keep it as simple as possible.
If it doesn’t work in a big way, then celebrate the little victories. Do you follow what I’m saying? If life knocks you down, sometimes you’ll get up slowly. You may want to jump up and get right back into the fight, but that’s sometimes easier said than done.
Even if you’re just taking a baby-step with this information, give yourself some credit. Everything you do, no matter how small, is a step in a better direction.
Thank you for reading!