Do you run a business?
Do you want to increase revenues?
Then this will be useful for you.
Three Ways To Increase Revenue
There are only three ways to grow the revenues of a business or a startup.
- Increase the number of units you sell
- Increase price
- Increase the frequency of sale
This works for any type of business (B2B / B2C) and also whether you sell a product, services or software.
Here is how you do it.
Increase The Units Sold
You do it by getting more customers. The starting point for this will be to convert more prospects into customers.
There are many ways to do it but you need a strong brand to be able to do it. If you are a service-based business then it will be wise to start selling at as high a price that you can justify when compared to the value your service offers.
Increase The Frequency Of Sale
Best way to do it is to create recurring revenue products, where a customer pays you every month. This is why SaaS startups and agencies where you work on retainer with clients are such great businesses. If you take care of your customer acquisition costs then you can laugh all the way to the bank building these businesses.
Now, let me share a plan on how you can do all three.
Presenting the 13 Step Revenue Growth Blueprint
If I were to give you a simple revenue growth blueprint here is what it will look like.
#1 (FIND A WAY TO) BE FOUND
In the digital world, you can do it in two ways – SEO and Paid Media (both social and search).
Add some PR and content marketing which I see as a subset of SEO to the mix and you will create a solid system for awareness.
PR and SEO both take time to show results but are uber useful. SEO especially because it scales and you can see its results in 3-6 months as compared to 1-2 years of sustained efforts in case of PR.
If you in advanced growth mode then go for establishing partnerships with non-competing brands for distribution. This will allow fast growth without a lot of hassles that come with growing a business.
#2 CAPTURE INTEREST
This means converting your website visitors into leads.
You can have all the awareness in the world but unless you capture the interest of those coming to your website, you will not have a lot of sales to show for this awareness.
Start with getting emails and names and then follow up with a call, or a meeting. The meeting can be in-person or online.
There are smart ways of doing it. Using chat on your website is one of those. I have used chat on a website – that received more than 40,000 visitors on its peak traffic days, and where product price varied between $5,000 to $20,000 – resulting in significant revenues. Drift is a good solution that you can use, it is among the market leaders in conversational marketing space.
In a B2B context, you can also use smart forms for progressive information gathering like asking for email on the first form and on thank you page asking for name and mobile as well or showing a prompt for booking a call using a tool like Calendly. You can go a step further and automate a message that sends a short video or note on what to expect from the call and how to get the best out of it.
If you are further ahead in the game then you can use tools like LinkedIn AutoFill. This is very useful if you sell to the enterprise as it removes friction from the form filling process.
#3 KEEP IN TOUCH
Make it a priority.
People often do it for prospects and send emails to subscribers which is useful.
But I reckon, it is more important to talk to your customers. Send them relevant info, ideas and even share what you are working on. This will ensure that you are there and they will see you as a dynamic entity that is growing. People want to stay close to vibrant beings and slowly get away from those who they think are not growing or dying, with the exception of those who love you. But your customers are not your family so keep in touch.
Many customers may ignore what you are sharing but if you don’t connect or if you stop sending something useful they will notice it and may not like it. It may also affect how much your customers like you. You want your customers to like you so keep in touch.
Do everything within reason to keep them happy. Send them passes for the events you are organizing or a copy of your own book.
If you have still not written your own book (which I recommend by the way because a book is the new business card) then send a copy of your favorite book.
#4 DO NOT WAIT TOO LONG TO SELL
Don’t wait too long to sell to new email subscribers and to leads.
In case of email-subscribers make sure that your 4th or 5th email is about sales or at least informs customers about what you make and sell. Sell soon after you mention your product.
If you are using paid search to generate leads then make sure that you call a new lead within the work hours on the day that lead is generated. Faster you do it better it is.
#5 SELL AT A PRICE THAT WORKS FOR BOTH YOU AND THE CUSTOMER
Your product’s price should attract the right kind of buyers and allow you to offer a good quality product or service with decent margins.
Because without margins and profits, revenues don’t mean much.
You can start with a low price to honor your early customers without taking losses but be sure to increase prices as soon as you can. For a service-based business, my advice is to increase the price for every 5-10 customers.
[Who is a good customer? A good customer is the one you want, who is not a pain in the ass, values what you offer, and buys often.]
#6 THINK ABOUT GROWING YOUR BRAND AND INVEST TIME AND RESOURCES TO DO IT
Without a brand, everything is a commodity.
And the price of a commodity is defined by the market. As a brand owner, you can define your price.
Think hard about what makes you unique. Even if it is too hard, make it a point that you develop something unique about your business. Your product’s uniqueness should be aligned with what customers want.
Domino figured that customer didn’t want to wait for their Pizza so they came up with “30 minutes or free” offer. Zappos differentiated themselves by their exemplary customer service and two ways free returns before selling to Amazon for more than a billion dollars.
Race to the bottom is not good but sometimes low prices can be your unique selling point like it was for Walmart.
Branding does not end with defining your uniqueness. It starts with it. Once done make a plan to communicate that uniqueness to anyone who cares to listen, see, or watch.
#7 REMOVE SALES FRICTION (AND LEARN TO SELL)
Remove all friction from your customer’s first purchase.
This means make buying from you simple and easy. Be there to answer your customer’s questions. Offer simple pricing. List benefits instead of features because the customer wants a solution to their pain. If you are in a market where feature list is important to impress like in the enterprise software market then share both features and benefits but lead with benefits and then share features.
Also, always have something to sell after your customer’s first purchase.
Learning to sell helps you remove the sales fraction. Because savvy sellers come from the point of understanding customer needs first and then they do not shy away from selling.
#8 DON’T RELY ON SOCIAL MEDIA AS YOUR PRIMARY SALES CHANNEL
Use social media combined with paid media to find new customers.
Once it is done – communicate, introduce your brand and win their trust enough so that they pay attention to you and what you are selling. Then go for the sale preferably off social media.
#9 PLAN HOW YOU ARE GOING TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS
You should do this planning before you start your outreach.
Plan your onboarding, upsell offers, customer support communication and how often you are going to share the product or progress updates.
I understand that a perfect start is tough, even not needed. But have something – at least an outline or a short note on how you going to take care of the important customer and prospect communication.
#10 DON’T LOSE CUSTOMERS AFTER YOU WIN THEM
Do what you can to not lose your current customers.
Always give them useful ideas. Some of them can be related to what you sell and they can buy that from you.
Over-communicate if you are an agency, consulting, advisory type business. Set the right expectations upfront. Document what you are going to do for them with timelines. Avoid working with clients where there is a mental, expertise or expectation mismatch. Such relationships don’t go far.
Show a small win right after you win a customer. It can be offering a framework, customer assessment or a method or process that customers can use themselves to see results. Depending on what type of business you are in, help your customer with this quick win during the first day or first week of her life with your product or service.
New customer onboarding is really important. Startups that make software understand this but it is not any less important for service businesses.
#11 ASK FOR REFERRALS
This is a well known but underused tactic to find new customers.
Do it soon after you win a new customer.
Systemize asking for referral by including it in your customer communication plan. It is as simple as being ready with an ‘asking referral’ email and sending it after showing your first quick win to a new customer.
#12 HUMANIZE YOUR BRAND
People do not want to talk to websites. They want to talk to other people.
That is why it is ok to give your phone number to your early customers. Also, add your gravatar in your email and your photo on your website.
#13 DON’T JUST READ, DO!
People often forget it.
What I shared will make sense because it is based on common sense and experience, still, you may not increase your revenue.
Because you won’t make time to put it in practice. That is why you need to make sure that you or one of your team members is always doing what is needed for revenue growth every day at least for an hour.
If one hour looks too much then start with 15-20 minutes but increase this time as soon as you can. Because without revenues your business cannot exist.
Of course, you can have a website with words or videos on it but you’ll not have a real business. And, does it mean anything to own a fake business?
I am excited to see how you’ll use these ideas? Hope you use them to grow your business.
What is it that you have used so far to increase your revenues?
What has worked the best for you?