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:

Transport minister says senior management of Genoa bridge operator ‘must step down’

Italy’s transport minister has called on senior managers at the company that operated the collapsed Genoa motorway bridge to resign, as the death toll rose to at least 37.

Rescuers searched overnight for survivors through tons of concrete and steel under the shattered structure of the Morandi Bridge. “We’re not giving up hope, we’ve already saved a dozen people from under the rubble,” a fire official, Emanuele Giffi, told AFP. “We’re going to work round the clock until the last victim is secured.”

Continue reading...

Law aims to boost housing affordability after property prices rise more 75% in some parts of the country in four years

The New Zealand government has banned the sale of existing homes to foreign buyers, saying New Zealanders were sick of being “tenants in our own land”.

Associate minister of finance David Parker said the ban would mean housing would become more affordable for locals, and supply would increase.

Continue reading...

As judge prepares key ruling, Siti Aisyah’s mother recounts her daughter’s journey from aspiring TV star to suspected tool of North Korean regime

In the beginning, there were a few times that Benah pretended not to know her daughter, Siti Aisyah. She just couldn’t face the questions.

One day while Benah was visiting the doctor in town the receptionist recognised the name of her sleepy Javanese village, Rancasumur – a name popularised by the nightly news. “How far away is your house from Siti’s?” the receptionist asked, leaning in conspiratorially. “Oh, it’s far,” replied Benah, “I don’t even know her.”

Continue reading...

Politicians unite in condemnation of Fraser Anning’s speech, but his party leader Bob Katter says he backs him ‘1000%’

Bob Katter, the veteran Queensland political maverick, has lauded an inflammatory speech by his Senate representative, Fraser Anning, declaring the contribution “absolutely magnificent” and “everything that this country should be doing”.

As political leaders moved in lock-step to condemn Anning’s speech – which praised the White Australia policy, called for an end to Muslim migration, and invoked the term “final solution” – Katter, the leader of Katter’s Australia party, struck a starkly different note, declaring the speech had his “1,000% support”.

Continue reading...

Far-right conspiracy theorist will not be able to tweet, retweet or favourite tweets for seven days

Controversial Infowars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has been suspended from Twitter for up to seven days.

The suspension has put Jones into what Twitter describes as “read-only mode” preventing him from tweeting, liking or retweeting, but not removing his tweets or personal account from the social network. The Infowars Twitter account remains unaffected.

Continue reading...

Australian researchers examine whether plants can be grown with characteristics of man-made materials

The dream of a cotton shirt that does not need ironing could one day materialise into a reality, with CSIRO scientists on the case.

Related: How to run a race: emotions may be more crucial than training says study

Continue reading...

  • Arrested man, thought to be Salih Khater, 29, of Birmingham
  • Officers raid properties in Nottingham and Birmingham
  • Mayor suggests Parliament Square could be pedestrianised

Police are continuing to question a man over a suspected terrorist attack in Westminster on Tuesday, after the investigation went nationwide with raids on addresses in Nottingham and Birmingham.

The 29-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of preparing an act of terrorism after a silver Ford Fiesta was driven into cyclists travelling around Parliament Square on Tuesday morning. He is understood to be Salih Khater, a British national who lives in the Sparkbrook area of Birmingham and is of Sudanese origin.

Continue reading...

All the day’s economy and financial news, as Ankara hikes the tariffs on US rice, spirits and cars

Back in Turkey, the government is preparing for show of support from Qatar.

The emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, left Doha to travel to Ankara for a “working visit” with president Erdoğan.

“means of strengthening the existing strategic cooperation between the two countries in various fields, in addition to a number of issues of mutual interest.

Related: UK rail fares to rise by 3.2%

Continue reading...

Priests harmed more than 1,000 children according to a grand jury report released by the state supreme court

More than 300 “predator priests” were found to have committed sexual abuse in Pennsylvania, harming more than 1,000 children, according to a grand jury report released by the state supreme court on Tuesday.

The near-900-page report is the result of one of the largest US investigations into sexual abuse in the Catholic church. In painful detail, it showcases how for decades one of the most powerful churches in the world hid the abuse and suffering of children.

Continue reading...

Twelfth-century sculpture missing for almost 60 years was spotted at antiques fair

A 12th-century statue of Buddha stolen from India nearly 60 years ago is to be returned to the country after it was discovered at a trade fair in the UK.

The bronze sculpture was one of 14 statues ransacked from the Archaeological Museum in Nalanda, eastern India, in 1961.

Continue reading...

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus ‘more worried after the visit than before’, as death toll in north-east of country reaches 41

The director general of the World Health Organization has appealed for an end to fighting in the north-east Democratic Republic of the Congo to allow humanitarian groups to tackle the Ebola outbreak there.

On his return from a trip to North Kivu where there have been 57 probable cases and 41 deaths so far, a sombre Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was “actually more worried after the visit than before the visit”.

Continue reading...

Hotter, drier summers in Australia mean longer fire seasons – and urban sprawl into bushland is putting more people at risk

At first the smoke on the horizon “didn’t look like anything major,” says Joe Mercieca of that day in 2013. But then the wind picked up.

His house in the Blue Mountains, an hour and a half out of Sydney, was soon surrounded by the blaze. “I told my wife it was too late, let’s retreat,” he says. Mercieca, Merylese and their dog took shelter in the concrete fire bunker they had built beneath their house. “We sat in there and listened to everything explode.”

Continue reading...

Cities are already up to 10C hotter than surrounding areas. As temperatures rise, here are four ways to cool cities down – saving both lives and energy

If you’ve felt uncomfortably hot in a city this summer, chances are it’s not just because of the weather. Look around any urban centre and you’ll see the built environment itself exacerbates summer temperatures.

Vehicles stuck in traffic emitting heat. Airconditioners pumping waste heat into the air. Concrete and asphalt across almost every surface, absorbing and radiating the sun’s rays. Urban canyons formed between tall buildings, trapping heat at the street level.

Continue reading...

Heat now kills more Americans than floods, hurricanes or other natural disasters – but cities are facing it almost entirely alone

On yet another day of roasting heat in Phoenix, elderly and homeless people scurry between shards of shade in search of respite at the Marcos De Niza Senior Center. Along with several dozen other institutions in the city, it has been set up as a cooling centre: a free public refuge, with air conditioning, chilled bottled water, boardgames and books. Last summer a record 155 people died in Phoenix from excess heat, and the city is straining to avoid a repeat.

James Sanders, an 83-year-old who goes by King, has lived in the city for 60 years and considers himself acclimatised to the baking south Arizona sun. “It does seem hotter than it used to be, though,” he says as he picks at his lunch, the temperature having climbed to 42C (107F) outside. “Maybe it’s my age. Maybe the wind isn’t blowing. It can’t get much hotter than this though. Can it?”

Continue reading...

Mapping the world’s cities where you can live comfortably without heating or air conditioning reveals how few boast such ideal climates – and how global warming would further narrow the field

Continue reading...

Migrants also speak of phones damaged or being taunted but Croatian authorities deny allegations

The lucky ones escaped with only their mobile phones smashed. Those less fortunate say they were beaten with sticks, taunted or attacked with dogs. Many allege they had large sums of money stolen.

According to the testimony of migrants and monitoring groups, the Croatian police force is engaging in a systematic campaign of violence and theft against migrants and refugees attempting to find a route to western Europe through the country.

Continue reading...

Allegations of rape and trafficking of five girls date from between 2005 and 2012

Thirty men have been charged with raping and trafficking five girls in West Yorkshire.

The allegations against the defendants are non-recent sexual offences dating back to between 2005 and 2012. They relate to five women who say they were abused as children in the Huddersfield area between the ages of 12 and 18.

Continue reading...

Party says leader had been attending memorial to Palestinian airstrike victims

Labour has hit out at what it said were “false and misleading” claims about Jeremy Corbyn’s visit to the Palestinian cemetery in Tunis and insisted he had attended an annual memorial for victims of an Israeli air attack on the Palestine Liberation Organisation headquarters in October 1985.

The party offered its most complete version of events yet about Corbyn’s controversial visit in 2014, and said the commemoration for the 74 people who had died was attended by “mainstream leaders”, including a Palestinian authority minister.

Continue reading...

Christine Hallquist becomes first transgender American to be a major party nominee for governor, while Minnesota Republicans reject Tim Pawlenty

Democrats in Vermont have chosen for the first transgender nominee for governor for a major party, in primaries that also saw Minnesota Republicans reject a former two-term governor attacked as not supportive enough of Donald Trump.

Tim Pawlenty lost the Republican nomination for Minnesota governor on Tuesday after his opponent repeatedly attacked him for calling Trump “unfit” for the White House in the aftermath of the Access Hollywood tape.

Continue reading...

Homicide rates in Mexico and Brazil are climbing even further. Yet Britain could learn from listening to debates in Latin America

Brazil has set a new and chilling record: it saw seven homicides each hour in 2017, or almost 64,000 deaths, a 3% annual increase on a sky-high rate. Mexico is on course to another unwelcome milestone, with nearly 16,000 homicides in the first half of this year, up 15% year-on-year on already record levels. More people are murdered than die in wars worldwide, and they are especially likely to be killed in Latin America. Brazil has 30 homicides per 100,000 citizens, compared with five in the US and around one in England and Wales even after a recent rise.

Victims and their families are not the only sufferers; 42% of Brazilians are “very afraid” of being murdered (in fact, victims are disproportionately young black men, although femicide is also a cause of grave and growing concern). The government estimates that violence cost the country nearly $2tn over two decades. Yet as daunting as the figures are, the problem is not irresolvable. “Violence can be prevented. This is not an article of faith, but a statement based on evidence,” says the World Health Organization. A campaign by multiple NGOs aims to halve the region’s murder rate in a decade; cities such as Bogotá and Cali have delivered dramatic falls in the past, although not always sustainably.

Continue reading...

Lucy Lamble talks to Sandra Olsson from Child Soldiers International, who works with girls formerly caught up in armed groups in Democratic Republic of the Congo as they struggle to settle back in their communities

After studying in Gothenburg and Ghana’s Cape Coast, Sandra Olsson worked for Unicef before joining Child Soldiers International and researching the lives of girl soldiers in eastern DRC. Often used as ‘wives’ and sexually abused by other soldiers, many former girl soldiers are shunned by family and friends when they are released or escape. The girls spoke of their strong wish to go back to school and CSI now runs a programme to help them return to education, despite the stigma they face.

Continue reading...

ConocoPhillips and Perenco try to stop £140m levy from sale of oilfields in key case for tax avoidance by multinationals

Two multinational oil companies have launched a pre-emptive legal strike, seeking to stop Vietnam from collecting taxes on the profits made in a major oil deal.

An investigation by Finance Uncovered has found that ConocoPhillips and Perenco will attempt to stop the Vietnamese government from levying an estimated $179m (£140m) in taxes on the profits made from the sale of oilfields in the country. The dispute will be heard at a little-known but powerful international court, so secretive that information on the date and location of the hearing is restricted.

Continue reading...

The Aquarius is a special-purpose ship chartered by SOS Méditerranée, a European maritime and humanitarian organisation, and Médecins Sans Frontières to rescue migrants and refugees in trouble at sea.

Photographer Nicoló Lanfranchi joined the crew onboard to chart the progress of the mission, which began in Marseille and will head to the Libyan coast. This is his first dispatch.

Continue reading...

Agriculture startups from around the world gathered at a vibrant conference sponsored by pesticide manufacturer

As confetti showers a theatre inside Rio de Janeiro’s normally sedate Museum of Tomorrow, electronic pop music pounds and dozens of young people crowd the stage to dance enthusiastically, hugging each other and waving flags as their audience films the festivities on their phones.

But this is not a religious event, or a disco. It’s an unusual conference that has attracted several hundred young people from across the world to pitch and discuss ideas on how to feed the world’s booming population with agriculture startups – and make their fortunes doing so.

Continue reading...

One year after visiting the Philippines to document the impact of President Rodrigo Duterte’s crackdown on drugs, photographer James Whitlow Delano returns to the city of Navotas, Metro Manila, to assess the impact of a campaign that has now claimed up to 20,000 lives

Teenage widow Jasmine Durana dries off her 18-month-old daughter, Hazel, after a morning bath, before preparing a fire to make breakfast. Plastic jerrycans hang on the rafters behind her in the one-room slum dwelling she shares with her parents, two brothers and younger sister.

The single mother, who saved for a month to pay for the containers, hopes they will help her to launch a new business selling drinks in the market or near a local school.

Continue reading...

Pontiff vowed ‘decisive action’ when elected but has failed to get a grip on series of scandals

The damning report on the sexual abuse of potentially thousands of children by priests in Pennsylvania, and the subsequent cover-up by a Catholic church primarily interested in self-protection, is another blow for Pope Francis, who is already reeling after a series of damaging scandals over recent months.

The shocking accounts of rape and assault of vulnerable children by men who are supposed to be moral exemplars are bad enough. But, as is almost always the case, the actual abuse is compounded by collusion and concealment by senior church figures and attempts to silence and intimidate survivors.

Continue reading...

Bob Goodlatte’s son and Stephen Miller’s uncle have proved that when it comes to politics blood is not thicker than water

The Republican party is increasingly alienating younger voters, older voters and voters in the suburbs. But there is one constituency turning against GOP lawmakers that they must be especially disappointed about losing: their own family members.

On Monday, Bobby Goodlatte, a Virginia-based designer, announced he had donated the maximum amount to Jennifer Lewis, the Democrat running in Virginia’s sixth congressional district. He also claimed he persuaded five others to do the same. There was nothing untoward about the donations save for the fact that Goodlatte’s father, GOP congressman Bob Goodlatte, has been the representative for the district since 1993. Bobby says he wants to “flip” districts like his father’s in 2018.

Continue reading...

Migration numbers have fallen since 2015 peak, but countries are still grappling with the political and practical fallout

Continue reading...

Today’s economic uncertainty and struggle can motivate people to change their allegiances and sensibilities, and make ‘pie-in-the-sky’ solutions seem more attainable

After another week of political despair and tawdry scandals involving porn stars and payoffs, we retreat into our Netflix accounts and wait for all this to end.

Or do we? At the end of July, US senator Bernie Sanders proposed a bill abolishing cash bail, long a scourge of indigent people and the activists who defend them. “Poverty is not a crime,” Sanders said. “Hundreds of thousands of Americans, convicted of nothing, should not be in jail today because they cannot afford cash bail.”

Continue reading...

As the public spat between Donald Trump and former aide Omarosa Manigault Newman continued, the White House was unable to guarantee that no recordings existed of the president using the 'N-word'. Manigault Newman, a former contestant on the reality TV show The Apprentice, is promoting a memoir, Unhinged, in which she recounts her time in the Trump administration before she was fired last year

Continue reading...

Helicopter footage released by the Italian fire brigade shows the full extent of destruction after a motorway bridge collapsed in the northern Italian port city of Genoa, killing at least 23 people and injuring 15. Firefighters have been working at the scene searching for survivors and bodies amid the rubble


Genoa bridge collapse: at least 23 killed, Italian official says

Continue reading...

At least 23 people were killed and 15 injured after a bridge on a main highway linking Italy with France collapsed in Genoa during a violent storm

Continue reading...

Omarosa Manigault Newman has revealed on CBS This Morning a third tape that she claims is a recording of  a 2016 conference call among Donald Trump's campaign aides discussing how to address potential fallout from the release of tapes that allegedly showed Trump using the N-word. The aides had previously denied that any such conversations had taken place. On Monday, Trump denied claims of racism and said Manigault Newman was a liar for claiming he used the N-word: 'I don’t have that word in my vocabulary and never have. She made it up.'

Continue reading...

At least 20 people have been killed after a motorway bridge collapsed in torrential rain in the northern Italian port city of Genoa. An 80-metre section of the bridge, including one set of the supports that tower above it, crashed down on to the roof of a factory and other buildings, crushing at least one lorry and plunging huge slabs of concrete into the river below

Continue reading...

Readers have been sharing their designs after it was announced Trump supporters were to vote on a logo for his new space force

Continue reading...

The Perseid meteor shower has been spotted across Europe, the US and Canada. Darker skies have created a spectacular show. The annual occurrence can be seen until the 24 August, but peaked on 11-13 August

Continue reading...

odrnews.com ©