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:

Donald Trump heads to Capitol Hill on Tuesday afternoon facing an extraordinary backlash from his own party – and the American public – over his policy of separating children from their parents at the southern US border.

Related: Image of sobbing toddler at US border: ‘It was hard for me to photograph’

Continue reading...

Matteo Salvini shrugs off critics who say policy reminiscent of fascist past

Matteo Salvini vowed to turn “words into action” in his drive to root out and expel thousands of nomadic Roma from Italy as he shrugged off critics who said the far-right interior minister was adopting illegal policies reminiscent of the country’s fascist past.

Salvini, who has seen a jump in his approval ratings in the little under three weeks he has been in office, has called for a new census of Roma and for all non-Italian Roma to be expelled as part of his .

Continue reading...

Jeremy Fleming’s comments can be seen as riposte to EU threats to end UK access to security databases

Britain supplied key information to help break up terrorist operations in four European countries in the last year, one of its intelligence chiefs revealed on Tuesday, as the UK upped the ante in the growing row over post-Brexit security.

The director of the surveillance agency GCHQ, Jeremy Fleming, speaking on a visit to Nato headquarters, also stressed other European countries had benefited from classified intelligence shared by the UK on cyber-threats.

Continue reading...

Exclusive: Jens Stoltenberg says US and Europe must work to avoid breakdown in western unity

Europe and North America need to stay united – now more than ever

The head of Nato has warned that the deep divisions between the US under Donald Trump and its European allies are not going away and there is no certainty that the transatlantic relationship and its military alliance will survive.

Against a backdrop of Trump’s open baiting of the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, over immigration and her domestic difficulties, Jens Stoltenberg has called for all Nato members to work to avoid a disastrous breakdown in western unity.

Continue reading...

Military advance comes after UN envoy fails to broker ceasefire with Houthi rebels

Saudi-backed Yemeni government forces have captured the airport at Hodeidah and have started preparations for the more complex task of capturing the city and its port nine miles (15km) to the north. The port is critical to the supply of aid to the rest of the famine-struck country.

Confirmation that the airport on the southern outskirts of the city had been seized after three days of fighting came from both TV pictures and eyewitness accounts. At least 40 Houthi fighters who had held the airport were killed, but most retreated into the city, preparing to fight a potentially intense street-by-street campaign that could endanger tens of thousands of civilians.

Continue reading...

Markets dropped across the world after Trump threatened to impose $200bn more in levies on Chinese goods

The trade dispute between the US and China escalated on Tuesday, with a senior Trump official accusing China of “theft” and Beijing accusing the US of blackmail.

The news roiled global stock markets as investors feared that escalating tensions could trigger an international trade war.

Continue reading...

Government also resubmits bill to criminalise those deemed to be helping illegal immigration

The Hungarian government has stepped up its anti-immigration measures with plans to introduce a 25% tax on aid groups it says support migration.

Viktor Orbán’s administration has been among the most hostile to immigration in Europe. His Fidesz party was re-elected in a landslide victory in April, promising to crack down on non-governmental organisations it says support migrants.

Continue reading...

150,000 bees stolen near Tessenderlo in latest incident, as interest in hobby grows

Dirty tricks by rival beekeepers have been blamed for a rise in hive thefts in Belgium after huge growth in interest in the hobby.

Following the disappearance of 150,000 bees from hives near the Flemish town of Tessenderlo, keepers have been advised to keep a keen eye on their insects and alert the police to suspicious activity.

Continue reading...

Judges say ruling party is tightening its grip through threats and hate campaigns

Three high-profile Polish judges have complained of a “state-led campaign of intimidation and harassment” against them, as Poland’s ruling party tightens its grip on the judiciary.

Since taking power in 2015 the Law and Justice party (PiS) has assumed direct oversight of state prosecutors and the judicial body that appoints, promotes and disciplines judges, as well as the power to dismiss and appoint court presidents, who wield considerable power and influence in the Polish justice system.

Continue reading...

Report warns that swift progress in our ability to manufacture viruses is making us vulnerable to biological attacks

The rapid rise of synthetic biology, a futuristic field of science that seeks to master the machinery of life, has raised the risk of a new generation of bioweapons, according a major US report into the state of the art.

Advances in the area mean that scientists now have the capability to recreate dangerous viruses from scratch; make harmful bacteria more deadly; and modify common microbes so that they churn out lethal toxins once they enter the body.

Continue reading...

North Korean leader meets Chinese president a week after Kim’s summit with Donald Trump

One week after holding a summit with the US president, Donald Trump, the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, has met the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, his third visit since March.

On Tuesday, the Chinese state broadcaster CCTV showed Kim and Xi holding talks at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, usually used for formal state visits. Analysts believe Kim is in China to brief Xi on the summit, seek economic assistance, as well as pay deference to Beijing, which is eager to emphasise its role in talks between North Korea, the US, and South Korea.

Continue reading...

As data shows one in every 110 people is displaced, UN special envoy Angelina Jolie warns of ‘terrible human consequences’ of Syria’s aid shortfall

The number of people forced to flee their homes rose to a record high in 2017, with 16.2 million people newly displaced around the world. The figure includes people who have been displaced for the first time, and those who have been forced from their homes multiple times.

The figure of 68.5 million displaced people – 3 million higher than the total population of the UK – includes 25.4 million refugees, 40 million internally displaced and 3.1 million asylum seekers.

Continue reading...

Exercise planned for August put on hold while US and North Korea continue denuclearisation talks

The United States and South Korea have cancelled a major military exercise scheduled for August, a week after Donald Trump said he would end the “war games” in a surprise concession during his summit with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un.

The Pentagon said Operation Ulchi Freedom Guardian would not take place, while Washington and Pyongyang continue to discuss denuclearisation following Trump’s historic meeting with Kim in Singapore last Tuesday.

Continue reading...

Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways now refer to Taiwan as a Chinese territory on Chinese-language websites

Japan’s two largest airlines have changed “Taiwan” to “China Taiwan” on their Chinese-language websites, officials said Tuesday, a move likely to please Beijing but anger the self-ruled island.

The change, which was made last week, is meant to accommodate customers, Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways said.

Continue reading...

Argentina’s president once talked of forcing slums out of the city – now he wants to deliver residents the deeds to their land. But will it help?

“It was really bad in there – I mean, it’s literally a ruin,” says Romina Vargas of Argentina’s most famous abandoned building, where she once lived. “There was lots of contaminated water on the lower floors, there were no sewers, and kids would come and take drugs inside. It’s good that it’s coming down.”

Built in the 1930s and later championed by president Juan Domingo Perón, the 14-storey building in south-west Buenos Aires was intended to be the largest hospital in Latin America; a cornerstone of Perón’s grand populist vision for Argentina. But construction stopped abruptly in 1955 with a military coup. The abandoned colossus at the edge of the capital became known as the White Elephant.

Continue reading...

Joel Cánovas uses Instagram to document his passion for rescuing discarded tiles as part of his one-man mission to salvage a century of Catalan heritage

Joel Cánovas was sipping a beer on a patio in Barcelona when a piece of rubbish caught his eye. A section of hydraulic cement tile – the once-ubiquitous flooring material used in homes around the city for a century or so from the mid-1800s – had been discarded during a home renovation.

Cánovas picked up the tile, and a passion was born. Spotting tiles in dumpsters throughout Barcelona, Cánovas soon began to document his discoveries on Instagram as The Tile Hunter (@i_rescue_tiles).

Continue reading...

The booming market for products for ‘urban skin’ reflects anxieties about the health impacts of living in cities – but is it all just a marketing gimmick?

Fiona Westerhout talks about her skin as though she is giving directions in a familiar neighbourhood: oily around the T-zone, dry cheeks, sensitive with the occasional breakout.

Westerhout, 29, had just started blogging about skincare when she and her partner moved from Perth in Western Australia to Shanghai in May 2016. There she found a new cause for skincare concern: pollution.

Continue reading...

There are just 178 registered architects in this rapidly urbanising country, where buildings frequently collapse. But more professionals may not be the solution

Sitting outside the office of her architecture firm in the industrial area of Kampala, Uganda, Doreen Adengo remembers the last major building collapse in the city.

A four-storey building opposite Makerere University collapsed in 2016, injuring dozens and killing four people.

Continue reading...

The Trump administration’s ‘zero-tolerance’ policy has led to almost 2,000 children being separated from their families

In April, the US attorney general, Jeff Sessions, announced a “zero-tolerance” policy, stating “our goal is to prosecute every case that is brought to us”. Under the Trump administration’s new enforcement policy, every migrant who crosses the border illegally – even those seeking asylum in the US – is subject to criminal prosecution.

Continue reading...

No serious injuries after incident at Southgate tube station shortly after 7pm

Police are dealing with a reported explosion at an Underground station in north London after reports that a suspicious package had been found, they have said.

Scotland Yard said officers were at Southgate tube station, where they were making enquiries to “establish the cause of a reported minor explosion at 19:03 hours” on Tuesday. They said they were not aware of any serious injuries in a message posted on Twitter about an hour after the incident.

Continue reading...

Country says tennis star, who faces bankruptcy proceedings, is not one of its diplomats

The Central African Republic has denied that Boris Becker is one of its official diplomats and said a passport the former tennis star claimed should give him diplomatic immunity from bankruptcy proceedings in the UK is invalid.

“The diplomatic passport that he has is a fake,” the foreign ministry’s chief of staff, Cherubin Moroubama, told Agence-France Presse. He said the document’s serial number corresponded to one of a batch of passports stolen in 2014.

Continue reading...

As a chorus of condemnation builds, defenders are finding unusual ways to back a policy that seems indefensible

On Monday, the conservative news site Drudge Report filled its famous, all-caps lead story slot with the headline “BORDER BATTLE: USA TAKING IN 250 KIDS PER DAY”. Next to the story was a photo of young children holding guns, implying that the children separated from their parents are gun-toting criminals.

The children in the photo were not traumatised minors who crossed the US-Mexico border with their parents. They weren’t even from Central America – they were Syrians. The photo had been taken in Syria in 2012 by photojournalist Christiaan Triebert, and was a blatantly misleading attempt to try to find some way to make the border policy seem legitimate.

Continue reading...

The Trump administration’s horrifying child separation policy demands that Canada scrap the Safe Third Country Agreement

Last July, a woman from El Salvador arrived at the Fort Erie border crossing in Buffalo, New York, seeking refuge in Canada. The woman, known only as E, was accompanied by her two young daughters, one still young enough to be fed from a bottle. She threw herself on our mercy, filing a refugee claim based on her fear of being deported by the US to her home country, where she says she had been raped by gang members who harangued her family and threatened to kill her.

Because E arrived through the US, she was subject to the Safe Third Country Agreement, which stipulates that a foreign national seeking asylum must do so in the first “safe” country they arrive in. The agreement was signed in 2004, and since then, the landmass of the US has functioned as a bulwark against Canada’s lofty promises that the persecuted, the terrorized and the survivors of war are welcome here. E and her children had escaped to the US in 2016, so her claim was denied.

Continue reading...

Abdull Grafar Ghulami was suddenly taken to Kentucky from Manus Island as part of the Australia-US refugee deal. Now he is forging a new life, despite the weight of the past and four lost years

It is a hot and sticky 25C in Louisville, Kentucky, and the young man is dressed accordingly in a polo shirt, bermuda shorts, long white socks and shoes. Like a local, Abdull Grafar Ghulami refers to the city as “Luhvul” and points out that aside from thoroughbred horse racing and Kentucky whisky, Louisville’s claims to fame are as the home of Muhammad Ali and Colonel Sanders.

Ghulami, 24, is proudly driving an older model car. He smoothly navigates the sharp turns of the city’s overhead highway maze. The GPS tracker he consults is the only outward indication that he is not yet entirely at home in this city.

Continue reading...

Calls for prime minister Peter O’Neill to visit restive Southern Highlands province, amid anger over election result

Riots that erupted last week in Papua New Guinea could turn into a full-scale conflict, locals have said, as anger and chaos grip the Southern Highlands province.

In the last week, protesters incensed by the failure of a court challenge relating to an election result have set fire to a commercial plane, government buildings and the home of the local governor, as well as ambushing two police cars.

Continue reading...

The photographer behind the viral image that exposed the anguish of Trump’s controversial border policy speaks out

Photographer John Moore, whose viral image of a weeping two-year-old girl at the US border has become the potent symbol of the outrage over Donald Trump’s controversial “zero tolerance” policy, including family separations, knew what he had captured was “important”.

What he could not guess, however, was how great an impact his picture would have on the debate as it was published around the globe.

Continue reading...

Nearly 40% of all guns are in hands of US citizens, according to report that says rich countries hold more weapons than poorer nations

Latest statistics show the proliferation of privately owned guns is on the rise, with wealthy countries outstripping developing and war-torn countries.

In a detailed report, weapons watchdog the Small Arms Survey has researched the numbers of guns across 230 countries.

Continue reading...

Young people are all but invisible in the justice system, facing ill treatment at the hands of those who should be protecting them

The legendary editor of the Guardian newspaper CP Scott famously declared in 1921 that “Comment is free, but facts are sacred”. Unfortunately, when it comes to hard evidence on how many children are locked up in prisons, detention centres, migrant and refugee camps, rehabilitation units or other institutions across the world, the facts are more scarce than sacred.

There is no single source of accurate data for these figures and estimates vary widely between 15,000 and 28,000 in Africa alone, but common sense dictates that the numbers are likely to be worse than even the highest approximations.

Continue reading...

British firm races to produce bananas resistant to fungus sweeping global plantations

A British company has joined the race to develop a banana variety resistant to diseases and climatic changes that threaten to disrupt the availability of the country’s favourite fruit – or even kill it off altogether.

The UK alone consumes more than 5bn bananas a year, while the fruit is a staple food in many poor countries and accounts for an export industry worth $13bn (£9.8bn) a year.

Continue reading...

Japan urged to examine payment made by Kirin subsidiary at height of ethnic cleansing campaign in Rakhine state, which firm claims was for victims

The Japanese government has been urged to investigate “immoral” payments, made by a subsidiary of one of the country’s most popular breweries, that appear to have gone to Myanmar’s military.

Kirin Holdings Company has admitted its offshoot, Myanmar Brewery, made a payment late last year, during the height of the ethnic cleansing campaign against the Rohingya population in Rakhine state.

Continue reading...

One oil spill from the Trans Mountain pipeline would destroy Squamish territory. So much for Trudeau’s promise

The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project is no ordinary pipeline. This project, which the government of Canada has just decided to nationalise, will travel more than 1,000km from northern Alberta through unspoiled wilderness to end at the port of Vancouver. The port is on the Salish Sea, part of the hereditary territory of the Squamish People. The Salish Sea is home to some of the world’s largest wild salmon runs. Majestic orcas swim in the waters and feed on the abundance.

Related: You may think all First Nations are against pipelines. Think again

Continue reading...

Erdoğan is running for president, of course, but who else is in the running for control?

The country will hold presidential and parliamentary elections on 24 June. If no candidate wins an outright majority in the first round of the presidential elections, a second round will be held on 8 July between the top two candidates in the race.

Continue reading...

Results indicate that in an electorate with increasingly few swing voters, motivating the base is what matters most

In the 2018 primaries, two clear trends have emerged.

Related: Republican primary election wins reflect a strong Trump effect

Continue reading...

The Trump administration's zero-tolerance immigration policy has come under attack at a congressional hearing. New York representative Jerry Nadler gave an impassioned speech condemning the separation of migrant families and people being held in cages at the border

Continue reading...

The children of migrants and refugees who cross the southern US border illegally are being separated from their families while their parents face legal proceedings. While they wait for their parents to be released, the children are put into inhospitable detention centres furnished with metal cages and concrete floors. Audio recordings released by a charity reveal the distress many children are experiencing in the centres, despite the Department of  Homeland Security’s insistence that the children are well treated

• Trump administration scrambles as outrage grows over border separations

Continue reading...

Audio initially obtained by investigative news outlet ProPublica appears to capture the heartbreaking cries of young Spanish-speaking children being processed by US officials after they are taken from their parents at the border with Mexico. Throughout the recording one child can be heard repeatedly calling for her father. The audio was recorded inside a US Customs and Border Protection detention facility, according to ProPublica

Continue reading...

French president dresses down a boy who addressed him by his nickname, ‘Manu’. Macron told the boy that he needed to ‘do things the right way’ and even if he wanted to lead a revolution one day he still needed to address him now as ‘sir’ or ‘Mr President’

Continue reading...

Homeland security secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, rejects criticism of children of illegal immigrants being separated from their parents on the US-Mexico border. Nielsen says her department is 'enforcing the laws as they exist on the books'  

Continue reading...

Thirteen pupils from seven countries have drawn on their imagination and personal experiences to create the story of a 10-year-old and his family and their search for safety. Ali and the Long Journey to Australia is a stop-motion film based on a tale written and illustrated by students from refugee backgrounds at Noble Park primary school in south-east Melbourne

Continue reading...

Donald Trump has announced his plans to create an ambitious space programme in the US. Space Force will become a new branch of military that aims to ensure American's dominance in space. Trump wants America to return to the moon and land on Mars


Continue reading...

odrnews.com ©