7 money making tips for your small business

Caroline Melville shares her tips on how to create more revenue for your small business and make the most of your time.

21st April 2009 at 9:17 am

It’s a funny thing, I speak to hundreds of small businesses every year, and there are always three things they complain about: I don’t have enough time; I don’t make enough money; and I just can’t get the staff.

So here are 7 ways you can make money and make your business more productive.

1. Money Money Money: Retrieve any outstanding debt – after all it’s your money, and it isn’t doing you any good in their bank account.  Chase up non-payers, get a payment date, send reminders, and bank those cheques.  Review all your outgoings each month. Are those phone bills too high? What about your stationery supplies? Could you email rather than post your invoices? Every cost you can minimise means more money in your pocket.

2. Affiliate schemes: Join relevant affiliate schemes to sell products online and earn passive income. Examples include Amazon, Tradedoubler, and Doubleclick. From experience, some schemes are better than others at paying out – do your research.

3. Increase Prices: This is an obvious one – charge more and earn more. If you are worried about raising prices, perform competitive analysis and see what your rivals charge and where you can offer extra value.   Spend some time being a “mystery shopper” and evaluating what their customer process is like.

4. Revisit old clients: It’s 10 times cheaper and 16 times easier to sell to an existing client than to recruit a new one. Get your old contacts out and send them an email, pick up the phone or send them a special offer. This also has a simplistic title: “Sell more often”.   After someone buys something from you what happens? Do they get directed to another page of your website recommending other products they might like? Do you send them a reminder to buy another 30 days supply from you? How about an email a month on to ask them how they like the product and remind them of your business? I was really impressed the other day to get a phone call from a supplier to check how I was finding the product about a week after buying it – fantastic customer service, and I just told all of you about it!

5. PR: Have a great story or a unique angle on something? We had an excellent ½ page article in the Daily Record (which has over half a million readers) on “21st Century Office Angels” – the equivalent advert would have cost of minimum of £7,000 – for FREE. Come up with an interesting angle – a competition, a survey you have done, a great headline, a cute picture. It’s impossible to buy the kind of credibility that good PR gives your business – well worth some investigation.

6. Network: If you can get 5 people to tell 5 of their friends about your business, and they tell just 5 of their friends, then that’s 125 people all talking about your business! It’s a long process getting business out of networking but it’s great for gauging opinion, getting honest feedback from other business owners/potential clients and getting those people doing your marketing for you.

7. Stop Being Active: Be productive instead. Think – is it really worth your time to sit doing the books (which you hate) rather than going out there and getting more clients? Your time is your most valuable asset – make sure it counts!

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Caroline Melville is the founder of VirtuallySorted.com, a service that provides your business with virtual assistants who can answer your telephone calls, organise your bookkeeping, arrange typing and free your time to do what you do best - running your business. http://virtuallysorted.com/

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  1. SmallBizPod says:

    Sarah, thanks for the great comment. Spot on. Always amazes me what happens when you actually ‘do’ something. I’m a strong believer in making your own luck.

  2. Sarah says:

    Great advice. I think the number 1 tip for anyone to be successful this year is to start taking action! Sounds simple doesn’t it? But often times we procrastinate, read books to build up knowledge (which is good), attend seminars (which is good), but we should focus on putting all info into practice and action all the ideas we have. Action = results.

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