In any small business, ‘cash is king’ and the clearest way to generate more cash is to increase new revenues coming in the door. Despite this fact, small business owners often struggle to find new revenue opportunities amidst the flood of day-to-day responsibilities they must pursue to serve current customers, employees and orders.
Nonetheless, there are some high-value strategies that busy small business owners can easily pursue to increase revenues with a relative minimum of additional time, effort and investment. Here are three revenue generation strategies worth considering for your small business today:
1. Reach out to existing customers first.
It takes an average of 7 times more time and money to find and sell to a new customer than it does to re-sell to an existing customer. When is the last time you reviewed your entire customer list (current and past accounts), and reached out with anything new?
These are people who’ve already made the decision to buy from you once, and with rare exception, they are primed to buy from you again. That’s why you should reach out via email, phone, postal mail and other means and share with them:
- A special offer for a new product or service that is based upon what they purchased in the past.
- A thank you for being a valued customer and invitation to come and visit again.
- A unique event, opportunity, reception or open house during which they can come, meet the team and take advantage of their valued customer status.
Better yet, communicate with them across multiple channels. Send a postcard, follow it up with a phone call, and then send a reminder email. Bringing value to your existing customers is the surest way to generate new revenue quickly, from people who already know and love your business.
2. Package products and services to increase value…and sales.
Customers want convenience and convenience means giving them everything they want or need in a neatly prepared and packaged offering. If you run a retail store, consider bundling some of your most high-value products with relevant accessories in a pre-configured ‘value pack’. If you own a restaurant, look at creating prix fixe packages that are slightly more expensive than the value of your average check, but which include a small appetizer, salad, entree and dessert.
The same can be achieved in the business-to-business (B2B) market, where other business owners are just as busy as you are and will usually choose convenience over cost to save themselves time.
If you offer office cleaning services, consider adding the option of trash removal and upgrades such as polishing brass finishes and cleaning glass partitions, all at a neatly packaged price. If you sell business products or equipment look to bundle reusable components with the up-front equipment purchase (such as including a ream of paper with a new copier, or a set of replacement toner cartridges with a new laser printer).
In each of these cases, the customer receives a discount for making the larger up-front purchase, and you receive more cash and improve your top-line growth quickly, without sacrificing much in the way of profitability. Remember, you can’t profit on products you can’t move.
3. Offer follow-on support and loyalty benefits to new and existing customers alike.
Along with the convenience of packaging products and services, you can extend the convenience benefit for new and existing customers alike by providing ongoing support and other loyalty benefits to every account.
For example, Apple retail stores sell an optional support package with every new computer purchase that includes a timeframe for access to free support calls, plus the opportunity to schedule a series of one-on-one in person sessions with an Apple computer expert in the store.
Many customers purchase these, even though few will find the time to use all of the benefits they purchased. In this case, they’re not just purchasing the actual benefits listed — they’re purchasing peace-of-mind that they can access services they might want or need in the future.
Similarly, you can provide loyalty benefits to every customer by enrolling them in a customer rewards program. This also has the added advantage of giving you the opportunity to collect more detailed contact information on customers so you can reach out with offers, events and other promotions.
This can be as simple as a paper punch-card that provides a free or fixed-value benefit after a number of purchases (such as offering a free 10th cup of coffee after a customer purchases 9), or it can be as sophisticated as an email- and text-based automated special offer system. For example, a restaurant can ask customers to enter their cell phone number every time they visit, and and then if a customer has not returned for a certain period of time, the system can text a special offer just to that customer to entice them back.
As you can see, each of these three strategies is focused on creating and strengthening customer relationships that allow you to leverage higher value for them to achieve higher revenues for you. If you deliver value and convenience to your customers, they will generally pay for it with a smile.
In this way, these strategies support not only a strong set of initial steps to increased revenue — they also establish a firm foundation for new revenue growth in the future. Get started with these strategies today and watch your business grow as you engage customers, add value and increase their loyalty to your business.