Business Profitability - 10 Ways To Boost


10 Ways to Boost your Profitability

So many business owners work hard - really hard - just to break even or keep afloat. Each one of us deserves reward for our efforts, whether that be financial or personal. The question to ask yourself is whether you are directing your effort in the right places, to get the reward you want?

Of the businesses I've seen and worked in, there are plenty of ways to mis-spend effort - that is, to work hard - but on the wrong things. Here are ten of the most common areas where the return on your efforts can really be ramped up.

1. Marketing Inconsistently

Once you have committed to owning and running a business you must be equally committed to marketing and selling the products and services of that business. It is difficult, if not impossible, to stay and remain profitable without a commitment to ongoing concerted marketing.

To get more out of your marketing, create a simple marketing plan that includes marketing activity every day, every week and every month. Marketing plans combine formal activities (such as advertising, promotions and writing) with informal activities (such as making new contacts) . Don't underestimate the power of talking to people about what you do. Use every opportunity, every time.

2. Fear of Asking for the Sale

Isn't it true that we think asking directly for someone's business means coming across as pushy or obnoxious. But if we have this attitude, we are letting profit-producing opportunities pass us by. Worrying more about what someone thinks of you than bringing more money into the business is an all too common mistake. If you find it difficult to "ask for the sale", you can be sure that you're not bringing in as much money as you could be.

The most effective way to address this issue it to practice asking for the sale in language that you are comfortable with (not too wishy-washy please). Write down what you want to say first, then practice it over and over. There is also plenty of stuff out there on handling objections. Prepare your responses to the most common objections so you are well armed before you speak with your prospective customers.

3. Getting help

Most business owners possess strengths in one or two specific areas, but whether by necessity or design, they often end up working in areas they aren't strong in. This builds inefficiencies and potential for mistakes into the business. To compound the problem, we don't ask for help straight away, but struggle on doing the stuff we are not suited to (saves money right?) But each day that goes by with your business running at less than maximum efficiency, means dollars lost from your pocket.

Work out where you add the most and least value in your business. Pay someone to help you out with these low value add activities. Your time is best spent where you add the most value. If you can do more of this kind of activity, your business will benefit.

4. Use your Existing Customer Base

All the research tells us that it is easier and cheaper to keep working with customers you already have, than to get new customers into your business. If you are not following up with past customers on a regular basis you are reducing your profitability potential.

Develop strategies to keep your customers with you, such as loyalty plans, regular communications and special offers. Implement a regular process for following up your customers after they buy from you.

5. Managing Expenses

Savvy business owners regularly appraise their business expenses and find ways to reduce costs without sacrificing quality. If you haven't completed a cost analysis lately, you might be paying more than you need to be, which will reduce your profitability.

At least once per quarter you should review your expenses and negotiate for adjustments as appropriate. Categorize everything you spend under 3 headings: Essential, Nice to Have and Non-Essential. Everything in the last two categories is up for grabs - be ruthless!

6. Spending large amounts on glossy, slick marketing materials and expecting business to pour in without any additional effort.

Glossy brochures and slick marketing materials are a nice addition to more active forms of marketing such as meeting people, calling people and speaking to people. However, brochures and business cards, no matter how beautiful, do not replace direct contact. If you are spending money on flashy marketing materials in the place of marketing directly, your profitability will suffer. The most effective form of marketing comes from you talking about your business to others.

Marketing materials are an expense, and to be sure they are working, you need to get some handle on the return on your investment. At the very least you should be tracking where new business is coming from so you can get an idea of whether your marketing materials are contributing to any new business you get.

7. Spending a significant amount of time in low-return activities

Don't we all know about this one! If you are spending the majority of your day completing tasks which are administrative in nature and/or which can be easily completed by other people then you are not putting yourself to best use. For most of us, the best value-adding activity we can be involved with is in bringing business in the door by building relationships, talking to prospective customers and promoting our business.

What value do you put on your time? Assign yourself a competitive hourly rate for the market and industry you work in - it might be anywhere from $100 per hour or upwards. Then ask yourself whether you would pay anyone that hourly rate to process accounts or do administrative work. If the answer is no, find a way of getting these low-return activities done for a lower hourly rate. Hire a bookkeeper or assistant for a few hours a week, and spend your time doing the valuable work.

8. Not charging enough for what you do.

This challenge seems to arise especially for people who sell services. Either we feel embarrassed to ask for the amount we want, or we simply accept less money than we need - so we get "some money" rather than "no money". But beware, after a while, working for too little can leave you exhausted and resentful, not to mention the impact it has on your profitability.

You do not need to defend an increase in your fees either. It is normal business strategy to review fee structures, make changes and advise customers. And contrary to our fears, it is often the case that business levels improve after fees are increased. It seems that we attract a whole different class of customer when our fees reflect the value we provide.

9. Not making enough use of technology which could save time and effort.

As a business owner, you have a fixed amount of time and energy within which you must maximize your profits. Technology can help you do this in the form of autoresponders, voicemail, wireless internet connections, speech recognition software, SMS from your computer and so on. All of these tools are widely available to us, and are designed to save time and effort. Each of us needs to continually look for ways to make business processes more efficient by using inexpensive technology.

Often the problem is that we don't know what we don't know. Some wonderful tool might be available but we don't know it exists. You need to stay on top of the latest products by regularly checking in with business and telecommunications sites.

10. Sticking with outdated business models or plans.

You've all heard it before - doing things the way they have always been done means that you will get the results that you always got. If you are not satisfied with your results then you need to re-look at what and how you are doing things. An astute entrepreneur has a mindset that is always challenging the way things are done in the business.

Another great way of coming across new ideas is to attend seminars and conferences on various topics. If you get a single idea to put into practice in your business, then that seminar has been worthwhile.

If you are serious about improving your business' profitability (and aren't we all?), then taking action on these areas will help you make more money and have more fun in your business. And that's what it's all about really.

Megan Tough is a published author, coach, facilitator and speaker. Her business, Action Plus, works with professionals to create sustainable and profitable income streams. Make more money and have less stress! To learn more and to sign up for more FREE tips and articles like these, visit www.megantough.com">http://www.megantough.com


MORE RESOURCES:

As the death toll reaches 56, the Chinese government promises tougher crackdown to stop the spread. Follow all the latest developments here

The BBC’s China correspondent paints a vivid picture of life inside Hubei province in this video:

Here’s what we’ve seen inside Hubei Province where the #coronarovirus outbreak started. #China shots by ⁦@EP_Lawrencepic.twitter.com/D89SYGqAvk

The prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, has said the country will evacuate any of its citizens in Wuhan who wish to return to Japan.

Continue reading...

Head of powerful CGT tells French president of trouble to come unless he cancels reform

The union leader heading protests against France’s bitterly contested pension reforms has accused Emmanuel Macron of playing with fire and showing contempt for the country’s workers.

Philippe Martinez, head of the powerful CGT, said the president and his government were “disconnected” from the real world, and their advisers needed to “shake the hands of a few who actually work”.

Continue reading...

The Observer’s political editor has reported on Britain’s place in the EU for more than 30 years. Here he charts the key moments in a stormy relationship and the missed chances to save it from destruction

Last week, with the end of the UK’s 47-year membership of the club of European nations just days away, I looked back at some newspaper cuttings from my time as a Brussels correspondent. A picture of worried-looking farmers eyeing up their cattle at a market in Banbury stared out alongside banner headlines. “British beef banned in Europe. Cattle prices fall. School meals hit. EU ‘rules’ broken.” Among the many crises in British relations with the EU down the years – from Margaret Thatcher’s bust-up over the European budget in the early 1980s to the UK’s exit from the ERM in 1992 – the beef war between London and Brussels ranks among the biggest.

It was 29 March, 1996, and the European commission had just announced a worldwide ban on the export of British beef. The EU’s executive opted for decisive action after the Tory government admitted there could be a link between “mad cow” disease and the mutant strain of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease which could kill humans. I had been in Brussels less than three months. It was a huge story, and reading through articles I had written at the time, it felt like yesterday. But what was most striking, as my mind fixed again on events of 24 years ago, was how relevant that one prolonged and tortuous episode seemed today, in the context of Brexit.

Continue reading...

UN urges immediate action as east African nations already experiencing devastating hunger see large areas of crops destroyed

The worst outbreak of desert locusts in Kenya in 70 years has seen hundreds of millions of the insects swarm into the east African nation from Somalia and Ethiopia. Those two countries have not had an infestation like this in a quarter century, destroying farmland and threatening an already vulnerable region with devastating hunger.

“Even cows are wondering what is happening,” said Ndunda Makanga, who spent hours Friday trying to chase the locusts from his farm. “Corn, sorghum, cowpeas, they have eaten everything.”

Continue reading...

New research warns that ‘blue acceleration’ – a global goldrush to claim the ocean floor – is already impacting on the environment.

The scaly-foot snail is one of Earth’s strangest creatures. It lives more than 2,300 metres below the surface of the sea on a trio of deep-sea hydrothermal vents at the bottom of the Indian Ocean. Here it has evolved a remarkable form of protection against the crushing, grim conditions found at these Stygian depths. It grows a shell made of iron.

Discovered in 1999, the multi-layered iron sulphide armour of Chrysomallon squamiferumwhich measures a few centimetres in diameter – has already attracted the interest of the US defence department, whose scientists are now studying its genes in a bid to discover how it grows its own metal armour.

Continue reading...

Donald Trump’s lawyers began making their case Saturday, with a longer, more meaningful session expected for Monday

Donald Trump’s legal team on Saturday argued that Donald Trump broke no laws and Democrats’ move to impeach him was simply an attempt to delegitimize Trump’s presidency.

Related: The key takeaways from day three of the impeachment trial

Continue reading...

Ronald Lauder’s Auschwitz memorial address will demand action against a rising tide of hatred

The president of the World Jewish Congress has accused leaders of contributing to the “drip, drip method” of spreading antisemitism, comparing it to the defamation campaigns that culminated in the Holocaust.

Ahead of the 75th anniversary on Mondayof the liberation of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau, Ronald Lauder said that governments spent too much time talking about the dangers of antisemitism and not enough time tackling it.

Continue reading...

Party HQ, under its general secretary, Jenny Formby, has rejected criticism for advertising senior posts in emails to staff

Allies of Jeremy Corbyn have been accused of trying to cement their power at the top of the party after they announced plans to appoint new staff to senior posts before the next leader is elected.

The party sent an email to staff last week advertising posts of head of press and broadcasting, head of policy development, and deputy regional director in London. The applications have to be made by early February.

Continue reading...

Benita Mehra had been the target of fury from survivors and bereaved of 2017 tragedy

A key member of the Grenfell Tower public inquiry has resigned after fury among survivors and the bereaved at her links to the company that made the combustible cladding.

Less than 48 hours before the inquiry is due to start hearing evidence about “decisions which led to the installation of a highly combustible cladding system”, Boris Johnson announced Benita Mehra was standing down from a panel advising the chairman of the inquiry, Sir Martin Moore-Bick. It followed 10 days of rising pressure on the prime minister from the community devastated by the fire on 14 June 2017 – which claimed 72 lives – to reverse her appointment.

Continue reading...

Boris Johnson’s partner and animal rights activist was briefed by Badger Trust weeks before the policy was changed

The influence exerted on the prime minister by his partner, Carrie Symonds, will be explored in court after permission was granted last week for a judicial review into how the government came to pull a cull on badgers in Derbyshire.

The case could embarrass Boris Johnson and raise questions about the government’s willingness to listen to its advisers when formulating policy.

Continue reading...

Ahead of critical trade talks, Steven Mnuchin says ‘discriminatory’ levy no place in budget

One of the most senior figures in the US government has warned Sajid Javid to delay a “discriminatory” tax on big tech companies, in the latest sign of tensions with Donald Trump’s administration ahead of critical trade talks.

Steven Mnuchin, the US treasury secretary, used a breakfast meeting with the chancellor on Saturday to warn him directly against applying the new tax as part of his forthcoming budget. The confrontation comes as the US mounts a last-ditch attempt to stop Britain using technology from China’s Huawei in its 5G network.

Continue reading...

The Senakw development aims to ease the city’s chronic housing crisis – and to challenge the mindset that indigeneity and urbanity are incompatible

The scrubby, vacant patch beneath the Burrard Street Bridge in Vancouver looks at first glance like a typical example of the type of derelict nook common to all cities: 11.7 acres of former railway lands, over which tens of thousands of people drive every day.

This is not any old swath of underused space, however. It’s one of Canada’s smallest First Nations reserves, where dozens of Squamish families once lived. The village was destroyed by provincial authorities more than a century ago.

Continue reading...

Amazon have arrived in force in rapidly expanding Hyderabad, with designs on the currently almost non-existent Indian e-commence market

The futuristic lobby of the new Amazon building in Hyderabad feels as though it should have a permanent orchestra blasting out Also Sprach Zarathustra. The scale is intended to awe. A large slogan on a wall suggests the company is “Delivering smiles”. The only sound that rises above the hush is a synthesised beep, coming from a giant screen playing a video of the campus at various stages of its construction.

Built on nine acres in this Indian city’s financial district, it is Amazon’s single largest building globally and the only Amazon-owned campus outside the US. It can house over 15,000 employees, but its size is its main architectural feature: it resembles the same cube of glass steel and chrome seen in corporate offices across Hyderabad, though a flash of magenta reflected in one of the top floor windows, from a billowing sari across the road, is a nice Indian touch.

Continue reading...

Minibuses that run on Friday evenings and Saturdays buck state’s religious restrictions

Tel Aviv is one of Israel’s most dynamic cities, but the latest local craze could appear fairly humdrum to outsiders – a bus service that runs at weekends.

Packed 19-seat minibuses fill up fast with passengers, who excitedly gossip about the new routes. People patiently queue at bus stops, knowing they might have to wait for two or three buses to pass before there is a space. Still, they are upbeat. “It’s a pleasure,” said Ben Uzan, a 30-year-old electronic engineer. “It’s a blessed initiative.”

Continue reading...

The Garbage Cafe in Ambikapur, India, is helping to tackle the country’s plastic waste problem – and their novel idea is catching on

On bad days, when his employer made some excuse for not paying him his paltry daily wage, Ram Yadav’s main meal used to be dry chapatis, with salt and raw onion for flavour. Sometimes he just went hungry. For a ragpicker like him, one of the thousands of Indians who make a living bringing in plastic waste for recycling, eating in a cafe or restaurant was the stuff of fairytales.

But last week, Yadav was sitting at a table at the Garbage Cafe in Ambikapur, in the state of Chhattisgarh, over a piping hot meal of dal, aloo gobi, poppadoms and rice. He earned the food in exchange for bringing in 1kg of plastic waste. “The hot meal I get here lasts me all day. And it feels good to sit at a table like everyone else,” he said.

Continue reading...

Incidents involving explosives have risen to crisis levels in a country where the crime rate is low

The first thing Daniel Georén registered was a cacophony of car alarms. It was 2am, and everyone in the attractive cobbled street where he lives in Malmö, Sweden, had been jolted awake by a giant explosion.

“The blinds shot up because of the pressure, and straightaway there was a small crowd of neighbours outside,” the 40-year-old wine merchant told the Observer a week after the blast.

Continue reading...

Forks, pendants and wine jugs shine a light on city life in the Middle Ages

It is said that one person’s trash is another’s treasure. The discovery by archaeologists of a huge cesspit containing medieval artefacts under one of London’s finest historic buildings is proving the case.

Up to 100 objects, largely dating from the 14th and 15th centuries, have been retrieved from sticky, greenish sludge in a four-metre-deep pit beneath the Courtauld Institute of Art at Somerset House.

Continue reading...

Several US veterans’ organizations call for president to apologize for remarks about injuries suffered by service members in Iraq

Veterans of Foreign Wars, a prominent organization advocating for US military veterans, has called for Donald Trump to apologize for remarks downplaying brain injuries recently suffered by nearly three dozen American service members in Iraq.

Related: Trump downplays brain injuries suffered by US troops in Iran missile strike

Continue reading...

Maddie Hernandez and her father, Emerson, fled crime in Guatemala. After months, her parents says she has changed

Emerson Hernandez and his daughter Maddie have withstood hunger and thirst.

They’ve been dumped in a threatening border city in Mexico, a foreign country with nowhere to shelter. And, for seven months, they’ve been locked up at what critics call a “baby jail”.

Continue reading...

Chief medical officer says Australia is ‘incredibly well prepared to isolate and deal with’ any more cases

Australia’s chief medical officer has warned there will likely be more cases of the deadly coronavirus confirmed in the country, as the federal government explores plans to evacuate Australian citizens from the pandemic’s epicentre in central China.

Prof Brendan Murphy, Australia’s chief medical officer, said more cases of 2019-nCoV were likely, following the confirmation of four cases. NSW Health said on Sunday afternoon a fourth person had tested positive, according to their preliminary test results, though more follow-up was needed.

Continue reading...

Campaigners say education funding would be ‘inappropriate if not irresponsible’ in light of ban on pregnant girls attending school

An opposition MP and activists in Tanzania are urging the World Bank to withdraw a $500m (£381m) loan to the country, amid concerns over deteriorating human rights, particularly for women and girls.

In a letter addressed to the bank’s board members, Zitto Kabwe said he feared the money would be used by the ruling party “to distort our electoral processes’” and ensure an easy victory in an election year.

Continue reading...

Researchers sound the alarm after statistics reveal almost half of impoverished children in rural areas do not have enough to eat

Poverty has reached unprecedented levels in Zimbabwe, with more than 70% of Zimbabwean children in rural areas living in poverty, a UN study has found.

The report, compiled by Unicef and the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency, shows high levels of privation in rural areas, where 76.3% of children live in abject poverty. Statistics seen by the Guardian suggest that almost half of these children do not have enough of the right food to eat.

Continue reading...

As the death toll in Yemen passes 100,000, questions must be asked about UK arms exports to the Saudi-led coalition

As British politics reverberates with the results of the general election and Brexit approaches, the announcement from researchers that the death toll in the war in Yemen now exceeds 100,000 went unnoticed in the mainstream press at the end of last year.

With heightened US-Iranian hostility after the US government’s killing of Qassem Suleimani, the prospects for the war in Yemen look increasingly bleak.

Continue reading...

Allegations of domestic violence and marital infidelity have bogged down one of the most diverse parties

Scandals involving domestic violence and marital infidelity have overshadowed the campaign to elect a new congress in Peru, in which gender equality and women’s rights have been key issues.

Peruvians will elect 130 new lawmakers on Sunday after the previous chamber was dissolved by President Martín Vizcarra in a controversial but popular move in September.

Continue reading...

From Somalia to South Sudan, torrential rains have devastated crops and made roads impassable, sending the cost of food soaring

Before the floods hit her village, crumpling buildings, ripping out pathways and submerging swathes of land, Nurto Mohamed Hassan could buy a kilogram of rice for the equivalent of about 70p.

Now the cost is more than £1. This may not seem a lot in isolation but, for people with little money and families to feed, it is a significant rise.

Continue reading...

President’s defense repeatedly came around to a basic argument: nothing Trump did in withholding aid to Ukraine was unusual

Donald Trump’s legal defense team began their argument Saturday during a three-hour session of the impeachment proceedings against the president.

Here are the five key takeaways:

Continue reading...

White House counsel says prosecution aims to pull off ‘the most massive interference in an election in American history’

Welcome to Day One of the Trump Show.

It was, admittedly, an inauspicious start to what was teased as a “trailer” for the rollicking show to come next week in the historic impeachment trial of Donald Trump.

Continue reading...

London Breed, San Francisco’s first black female mayor, joins campaign following support from Stockton and San Jose mayors

There’s nothing surprising about a billionaire winning the support of the mayor of San Francisco, a city flush with tech wealth and new money.

But when the billionaire is Mike Bloomberg – and the endorsement is the latest from a string of California mayors he mentored and supported – the vow of support raises some eyebrows.

Continue reading...

Wellington has restricted foreign political donations but its lax approach to Beijing suggests economic interests still trump national security concerns

Transparency International announced yesterday that New Zealand is the least corrupt country in the world. This is excellent news, but New Zealand cannot afford to rest on its laurels.

Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index assesses whether countries have a corrupt judiciary and public sector. Some other aspects where corruption can also occur, such as political funding, are not included in the index.

Continue reading...

The death toll from a powerful earthquake that hit eastern Turkey stood at 29 on Saturday night and could rise further, warn officials.

Footage showed rescuers pulling the injured from under a collapsed building in Elâzığ province as the search for people continued

Continue reading...

National guardsmen in riot gear have blocked the path of hundreds of Central Americans near the town of Frontera Hidalgo in southern Mexico. 

Security forces corralled the migrants and hauled them on to buses, as Mexico continues with efforts to contain mass migration under pressure from the Trump administration.


Continue reading...

On the fourth day of Trump's trial for impeachment in the US senate, impeachment manager Hakeem Jeffries warned that the president's actions toward Ukraine had put the country in jeopardy.

The New York Democrat also warned of a 'toxic mess' emanating from the White House, that 'is our collective job on behalf of the people to try and clean up'. 

Continue reading...

Huge locust swarms in east Africa are the result of extreme weather swings and could prove catastrophic for a region still reeling from drought and deadly floods. Dense clouds of the ravenous insects have spread from Ethiopia and Somalia into Kenya, in the region’s worse infestation in decades

Continue reading...

Representatives from Europe, Russia and America warned against the resurgence of antisemitism at a memorial event at the World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem. Prince Charles, representing Britain, said the lessons of the Holocaust were 'searingly relevant to this day'


Continue reading...

Authorities have shut down public transport and airports to prevent Wuhan's 11 million residents from leaving the city as they look to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Police have been seen patrolling railway stations and setting up roadblocks

Continue reading...

Iguanas are falling from trees in south Florida as unusually low temperatures sweep through the region. The invasive species can become sluggish when the temperature drops below 50F (10C) and are susceptible to freezing once temperatures drop to around 40F (4.5C). Once frozen, these cold-blooded creatures lose their grip on the trees they call home. Residents have expressed shock at the sight of rigid reptiles lying motionless in the middle of sidewalks and backyards. But while they appear lifeless, they are simply too cold to move

Continue reading...

odrnews.com ©