10 Cheap Ways to Increase Business Profits
The family business is one of the most enduring institutions in human history. As Professor William O’Hara wrote in his book, “Centuries of Success“: “Before the multinational corporation, there was family business. Before the Industrial Revolution, there was family business. Before the enlightenment of Greece and the empire of Rome, there was family business.”
- 89.4% of the companies with over 100 years of history are businesses employing fewer than 300 people.
Undoubtedly family business represents the most lasting type of business, but no matter what business you have you must do one thing right, make a profit.
So to help you make a profit here are 10 cheap ways to increase business profits for your company, ride out the recession, and survive another 100 years.
1 – Get a Website
The internet has become the first point of call for researching a subject and the primary source of information for most adults. Proof! You’re here, reading this article. The World Wide Web is your friend, not your enemy. Use this information highway to your advantage and to the advantage of your business. Building a website for your business has never been cheaper or easier. See how to get started here.
All the web hosting providers I recommend provide online tutorials and wizards to get you started easily. With very little effort you can add pictures, videos and a shopping cart to your website. Just think of the almost FREE promotional opportunities available with your own website.
2 – Promote and Get Connected
There are literally hundreds of free ways to promote your business. Most towns have an annual parade and festivals and most encourage local businesses to participate. It doesn’t have to be spectacular and cost the earth. Simple but novel and entertaining is all that’s required. Give some candy or a trinket to the kids. Have a “guess the number of beans in the jar” contest.
Local business clubs, the local Chamber of Commerce, the local council are all sources that can be used to your advantage. Get connected with all of them.
Do something for the community such as giving business lectures in schools and colleges. Sponsor some local projects with schools, air cadet and scout groups.
3 – Tap into Hidden Gold
Have you exhausted the opportunities in your existing customer base? Don’t chase after new business with untapped opportunities within your existing customer base. How can you best serve your customers? What other products or services could you offer your existing customers? How could you increase the frequency or the amount of purchases?
4 – Use Cheap Media Advertising
Mass media advertising such as daily newspapers and TV can be very expensive ways to reach customers so don’t travel down those routes unless you really have no alternative. Find less expensive ways to reach your customers. Business journals and industry-specific magazines are cheaper alternatives and deliver a more targeted audience. Define your customer demographic and zero in on it.
5 – Use Your Specialized Knowledge
You have knowledge that customers and potential customers would find useful, so use it. Writing reports and articles is one of the best advertising methods and costs almost nothing. Local newspapers are always looking for stories with local interests. Distribute the reports and articles to specialist sites on the internet. Publish the content on forums. A simple search will generate dozens of outlets related to your industry. Why not add a blog or forum to your own website?
6 – Use Newsletters and eZines
Another inexpensive way to build your business is by using newsletters and eZines. A newsletter or eZine has a far better chance of being read than an ad. This is because newsletters address the needs of your customers. They should be sent at regular intervals (quarterly at the very least) and help your customers solve a problem. Newsletters and eZines can be printed and/or sent via electronic mail. Read my article, Top 10 Reasons to Have an Ezine for more information.
7 – Use Classified Ads
Classifieds are a powerful, inexpensive method of reaching new customers. A well-written classified ad can do wonders for your business. They are also a great way to test an idea before you commit to a larger ad budget. Use your local press or go global with GumTree or CraigsClassified AdsList.
8 – Use Auction sites
As with classified ads, auction sites such as eBay or the free site eBid.net, can be used to sell end of line products or test the market with new products. Once again, a quick, easy, simple and cheap way of testing a product idea before committing to a larger investment of time and money.
9 – Form a Mastermind Group
A Mastermind group brings together like-minded people on a regular basis with one objective, to help each other succeed. Join or gather a small group of like minded people with the same ideals and aspirations to yours. Arrange to meet regularly, ideally about once a month, rotating breakfast, lunch or coffee between each others businesses. A mastermind group can bring new insights and ideas and lead you down paths you may never have dreamed of taking.
Mastermind groups were first defined by Napoleon Hill in his classic book, “Think and Grow Rich“.
10 – Maximise Your Profits
Inventory control is a must in any business venture. Just in time management is a priority in this day and age. You obtain the good just before you sell them. No storage needed. Get a good system for inventory management so you can maintain the optimal level of stock, preferably zero. Minimum inventory means better cash flow, high stock levels mean you could have problems with cash flow.
Well, I hope you found something useful and enjoyed this article, please don’t forget to let me have your thoughts in the comment box below. See you soon.