What entrepreneur gets excited about a profit margin that has flatlined? Not a single one, and we get that. When we started our business, we wanted the same thing all businesses do: continuous expansion and growth. And through a little bit of experimentation, we found out exactly what worked for making our profits go the way we wanted them to. Not surprisingly, we continued to go back to how we were managing our customers, our employees, and our goals — and from there we discovered exactly what made us grow.
Want a sneak peek into our process? We’ve got the fail-proof tips you need to get ahead below.
1. Set goals that bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be.
This may seem like an obvious tip, but many businesses (especially small businesses and startups) fail to set measurable company goals. Goals are important because they allow you to understand where the company is in comparison to where the company would like to be. Over the years, we’ve found that SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound) goals not only helps us work more efficiently, but also make the big goals more attainable.
2. Understand your customer, and keep them engaged.
Technology at first made it easier to reach people, and then as the channels flooded, much harder. If you want people to buy your services, you need to get to know your customers, and they need to get to know you. Don’t know where to start? Sign up for industry-leading conferences, and make yourself known on social — these kinds of opportunities will create the integral connections you need to create a loyal customer base.
3. Be competitive, and stand firmly behind your pricing decisions.
One of the biggest mistakes that small businesses and startup companies make is improperly pricing their products. You don’t want to be too pricey for your consumer base, but you also don’t want to discount so much or so often that your brand loses credibility. To find the sweet spot, dive into researching your competition and see how they’re operating. Next, check out where your current inbound and outbound sales currently lie by turning to your books — your monthly reports can be a surprisingly great place to figure out whether you’re being as efficient with your pricing as you need to be. Want more info on how your books can be insightful for your business? Check out our top bookkeeping tips for small businesses.
4. Do the legwork and go after your customer.
People are constantly busy and bombarded with product after product, which makes it more important than ever to remain relevant to your audience by being where they are. From PTA meetings to college campuses, you’ll benefit from being in the environments where your audience works, plays, learns, and lives so get out there and make a splash in your community. It has a bigger impact on your bottom line than you know.
Pro-tip: Align your company with a non-profit endeavor that’s close to the heart of your business and you’ll be surprised at how much better the partnership works for your exposure — and for the overall well-being of your team!
5. Be committed and consistent.
This habit is the most important: Prioritize commitment and consistency. While it can be the most time-consuming task for you and your team, staying committed to the main company goals both internally and externally will move your company forward. Don’t know how to start with this tip? Listen to the needs of your customers — and your employees — and create solutions that solve their problems while still aligning with the company goals.
Tim Notke once said, “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard,” proving that with good direction and a little bit of elbow grease, you can go a long way. So set to work with our tips, and watch as that bottom line starts inching skyward!