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Getting out of your business rut

Did your business grow last year? Are things OK but not great? You might be on a revenue plateau.

It can be tough to stay motivated and give your best to your business if you’re working harder than ever and revenue is staying the same.

One thing is for sure; if you keep doing everything the same, nothing’s going to change. Here’s some reasons why you might be stalling and how to make this year, your year.

You don’t have revenue goals

If you’re not working with a business budget and a plan to grow, it’s not surprising you aren’t moving forward. Growth needs more than hard work day-to-day. Even if you identify payroll as a way to rein in spending and boost revenue, longer hours aren’t a sustainable strategy.

It’s time to look at your numbers, set some goals and work backwards to pinpoint how you’ll get there. Break it down by quarter, month, week or day and match it with practical steps designed to do something differently.

You haven’t done a price check

When was the last time you looked at your pricing? If costs are creeping up, you need to find a way to recoup them, or your profit margin gets thinner and thinner. Try to tie any cost increases for customers to a new benefit or feature you can offer at low or no cost.

If a price rise isn’t workable, try offering a premium product or service with a higher profit margin and more value for the customer.

You’re not offering anything new

If you’re a dry cleaner and always being asked about pick-up and delivery services – look into how it would work and ask customers what they’d be willing to pay for that convenience.

If you’re a real estate agent, think about complementary services like property cleaning and styling before a sale. If you don’t want to do the expansion yourself, team up with another business and build referral and affiliate fees.

Coffee shop? Add some art to the walls to boost local artists and make a commission on sales.

You’re shying away from investment

You’ve done the research, the numbers add up, and you have a solid plan for growth. So, what are you waiting for?

The time might be right for a smart small business loan to invest in new equipment, expand your premises or keep your cash flow healthy while you renovate. If you don’t back yourself, no one else will.

You’re not online

For service businesses, offering customers the convenience of booking and paying for a service online is essential in our digital world. Be the business that lets their customer book in their lawn mowing when they remember at 10.30pm or order some flowers on their phone while they wait for the bus.

If you’re a retail business more about small transactions, you can still think about technology to make life easier for your customers. How about an app to order coffee on the way from their office? Add a prepaid account option and watch your revenue grow.

You’re marketing without thinking

Smart marketing is a good investment, and it doesn’t always have an immediate payoff. But if you’re investing in SEO services, Google AdWords or other online advertising and not seeing a return, review your agreement, and pause your campaigns while you figure out a way forward.

If you’re advertising is working, make sure you can service the customers. Otherwise, you’ll spend all your time answering enquiries and saying no, and wasting your marketing efforts.

You’re taking your customers for granted

Your existing customers are a crucial source of growing revenue. Providing excellent customer service to the customers you have creates opportunities to upsell them and increase how much they buy from you and how often. And they’re your best source of business intelligence – if you’re not sure if your customers want a new product, ask them.

Try encouraging customer loyalty with a simple rewards scheme, or offer them an unexpected benefit that makes their day. Giving a regular customer a free biscuit with their smoothie, just because, will put a spring in their step and build your reputation.

Building your customer relationships can be a smarter way to grow revenue than relying on new customers.

What’s stopping you?

There are lots of factors that can cause a lack of revenue growth. The first step is to take a good look at your business numbers; this is not the time for gut feelings. To start the process of getting out of your plateau and growing your revenue, you need to know exactly where you are and how you got there.

Make this year the year for growth. Talk to our friendly team on 1300 882 867 or apply online for a small business loan to get set and go.

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