More than a quarter of the working population is self-employed. The most successful small business owners know how to maximize their earnings and keep costs low
As a small business owner you know the importance of money but other than opening another shop or selling something different is there really ways to make more money? If you’re a small business owner looking for the best ways to make money and grow your business, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ll show you ten proven strategies for finding new customers and making more sales.
These ten tips can help you boost the odds that your small business will succeed.
- Do what you do best and delegate the rest
Many small business owners try to do too much themselves, which can cause burnout or even failure of their businesses. That doesn’t mean you have to hire a full-time staff right away (though if you need help with payroll, consider using ADP® Small Business Services). But if there are elements of your business that someone else can do just as well (or better), it makes sense delegate them.
In the early days of a startup, it might seem like the best way to save money is to do everything yourself. But this will only make it harder for your business to grow. Learn how to delegate tasks and resources to others who can do them more effectively or efficiently than you can.
A good example of this is hiring outside expertise instead of relying on your own. Even if you think you know what you’re doing, there’s no substitute for the advice of an experienced accountant or lawyer — especially when it comes to areas like taxes and contracts. Your time and energy are better spent focusing on the areas that only you can manage, such as marketing and sales.
Be careful not to delegate too much, though. It’s essential that you take the time to understand the big picture so you can make the right decisions based on a full understanding of what’s going on in your business.
- Be knowledgeable and networked
Being a small business owner isn’t easy. You have to be knowledgeable about your product or service and you have to be well-connected in your community. Without either of these, you’ll never find the customers that you need to sustain your business. So make sure that you are up to date on the latest industry information and that you are making yourself available to potential clients by attending industry functions and through professional associations.
So, get to know and network with local business people. Small business owners will appreciate your interest in their company and your willingness to refer customers to them. If you’re not able to make a direct referral, they’ll appreciate the fact that you thought of them and will return the favor in the future. Networking is also a great way to get leads on new customers.
- Take advantage of promotional opportunities for new businesses
When working on a business plan, many small business owners neglect to include the cost of promotions in their budget. However, when launching a new business or product, it is often necessary to increase visibility of your brand through various types of marketing and advertising. Consider the cost of promotional products like pens or t-shirts with your logo printed on them; signs or banners for outside your store; or even radio or TV ads in your local area.
- Make customer service a priority
If you want to make money as a small business owner, you need repeat customers who are willing to spend their hard-earned cash on whatever product or service you have to offer. The best way to ensure that this happens is by providing excellent customer service at all times. If you go above and beyond providing friendly service, customers are sure to return again and again – taking their friends with them.
Also, reward your loyal customers. Word of mouth is great for generating new business but one of the best ways to get people talking about your company is by offering existing customers some kind of reward for recommending you. This could be anything from giving them a discount off their next purchase if they refer someone who buys something from you or even just sending out vouchers during special occasions such as birthdays and Christmas.
- Create a referral program
One of the most effective ways to get more business is by word of mouth. When you provide quality service, customers will be happy to tell others about it and recommend your business to others. Even better, get your customers involved by creating a referral program where they can give friends and family members a discount for choosing your business. This can be as simple as giving out coupons or offering a percentage off their next purchase if they give one of your business cards to someone who ends up becoming a customer themselves.
- Spend your time and money on marketing, not advertising
Marketing is what you do to get customers; advertising is just one part of marketing. And while advertising is expensive, there are many ways to market a small business cheaply.
You may spend a lot more time on marketing than you think. There’s what you do to get new customers: writing proposals, doing presentations, making cold calls. And then there’s what you do to make your existing customers happy, so they don’t go elsewhere: invoicing them smoothly, answering their questions, providing good customer service.
Marketing is not the same thing as sales. Marketing is what you do to get people to notice your business and become interested in buying from you. Sales is what you do to persuade people to buy from you now. Marketing takes time: most businesses don’t immediately pay off in terms of sales or money. But it’s the only way to get sales in the long run.
Advertising is easy to measure, because it usually involves a specific action at a specific time, like someone placing an ad or clicking on a link on your website. Marketing is harder, because it involves getting people to notice and like your business over time.
The simplest way for a small business owner to market their business is through word of mouth: when people hear about your business from friends and family, that’s word of mouth marketing.
- Make sure your pricing is right
Get your pricing wrong and even the most promising business model can fail. Your pricing needs to factor in the cost of each item or service as well as the likely selling price and what your competition is charging.
- Know your break-even point
Knowing your break-even point is critical if you want to make money with your small business. This is the point where the amount of money coming in equals the amount going out, so there’s no net profit or loss. The break-even point can help you determine when it’s time to raise prices, start advertising or look for more efficient ways to run your business.
- Know your market
It’s a great feeling to be in business for yourself. But don’t get so caught up in promoting your products and services that you forget to find out what your customers really want. Research the competition and find out what they’re doing right, and where they can improve. You can then position yourself as the company that offers what customers are looking for.
- Stop treating your business like a hobby
If you’re running a small business, you might be tempted to treat it like a hobby. After all, it’s fun and you get to be your own boss. Bad idea. If you really want to succeed, you need to treat your business like a real business, not a hobby. That means being professional in everything you do, from how you dress and talk to clients to how you handle mistakes and keep records.
That’s my best advice on how to make money as a small business owner. Hopefully, these tips will help you get started on your journey. You deserve to earn more money. If you use these tips, you will make yourself more valuable, and you will be paid more.