If you are a computer business owner you likely are always looking for way to increase revenue in your computer business. Besides, increasing revenue is what we all want… right? The more revenue you have to more options you have and the more resources that become available to you.
There are so many ways to increase revenue but many aren’t all that easy. In this article, I will show you 5 easy ways to start increasing your revenue. These techniques are used in many business markets with great success. Put at least one of these to use today and see results very quickly.
Forget The New
As small businesses we are always looking to grow. Our pursuit for the next, new customer starts about 30 seconds after we just landed one. After all, if the business isn’t growing then it will stagnate and eventually die.
However, one thing that many small businesses owners do not consider is the cost to attain a new customer. The latest statistics show that costs to attain a new customer is at least 5 times (that’s 500%) higher than the cost to keep existing customers. That means roughly 65% of new revenue in your business will come from existing customers but you have to market to them.
Existing customers already know you and trust you. These customers are already comfortable using your services and giving you money. By tapping into the needs of your existing customers you cut through all of the setbacks that come with trying to gain new customers.
Grab your list of customers and your list of services and see which customers may benefit from services you offer but aren’t using them yet. This can be buying software, updating hardware or selling them something that brings in recurring revenue.
Here’s a hint… don’t assume! Pick up the phone… yes, the phone (not email) and give your customers a call and just ask them if they need anything. You may be surprised how often people will buy from you because you just happened to call at the right time. If they say they don’t need anything then be ready to give them a very short pitch about a new product or service you have. Maybe it is an existing product or service but you know they aren’t using it now and could benefit from it. Remember also to sell benefits, not features. People don’t want to know the features or specs of what you’re offering, they want to know what it will do for them.
Here is a sample script:
You: Hi Mr. Customer, this is David from Your Computer Store. I’m personally calling a few of our best customers as a courtesy. The purpose of my call is to see if there is anything you have a need for today or anything that I can help you with.
Customer: Thanks David, I really appreciate that. However, I can’t think of anything.
You: That’s great. We have seen a huge spike recently in virus infections and many customers are having us take a closer look at their virus protection and system security. Is this a concern for you as well?
Customer: Actually, I am not sure if our antivirus is even up-to-date. Maybe we can take a look at that at some point.
You: The security and protection of your data and systems is something we take very seriously. Let’s do this. Instead of taking the risk of waiting, I can come out and do a free security analysis this week. It won’t cost you anything to make sure you are well protected. I’ll put you down for Thursday at 2pm, does that work for you?
You: Perfect. I’ll see you Thursday.
See how easy that can be? Now you have an appointment to go out to an existing customer’s site and poke around. This will give you the opportunity to find out if there are other opportunities that they will be a great customer for.
But wait… you may only deal with individuals and not businesses… then what?
This same technique applies; you may just need to tweak it a bit. Call the customers and invite them to bring in their PC for a free security analysis or you may be able to simply do it remotely.
Whatever you choose does not matter. The point is that you are looking to your current customers to increase revenue.
If You Do It For Yourself, Do It For Customers
You put a lot of time and money into learning new skills. Everything from web design to email marketing to building gaming systems. Take a look at these new skills and look for ways to create other revenue streams around them.
Let’s dive into a couple of examples of how this might work.
Let’s say you are good at building custom gaming systems. Try offering a live class on building custom gaming systems. Instead of buying their systems in the usual way, how many owners would love the opportunity to build their own system? I bet you will find more than a few that would love the chance to have a pro look over their shoulder and help them build their own system.
Maybe you’ve really mastered a particular email marketing system and know how to use it well. There are a ton of small businesses in any local market that would be happy to pay someone else to take this task off of their plate.
Why would anyone pay you to do a task that is easy to learn and do? The answer is simple: you are offering them time in exchange for money. Time is a resource that you can’t get back and some business owner’s time is highly priced and very valuable.
If a lawyer is charging $200 an hour in his practice and has to spend two hours creating an email marketing campaign, how much has that task cost him? $200!
You may be able to do this in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost. Just because the task doesn’t seem that technical or difficult does not mean there are not a lot of potential customers for it. Just look at grass cutting services. Cutting grass is not technical or difficult but tons of people and businesses pay someone to do this for them.
I’m not sure if I can count how many times I’ve made money by taking something that I learned how to do for my own business and offered that service to others. In fact, I recently created an entirely new business by offering a specialized service that I learned how to do for my own business. In just a few short weeks that service has generated five figures in revenue already.
What’s better… getting paid once or getting paid over and over?
The subscription model of business is booming right now. Never before has it been easier to apply this to your own business.
The subscription model, otherwise known as recurring revenue, has been around for a very, very long time. However, it hasn’t always been well accepted for many services. There is always the argument of paying for something once and owning it versus paying for something monthly and never truly owning it.
However, with the mindset shift of today’s consumers, largely due to big companies selling Software-as-a-Service, it is not only commonplace to offer subscriptions but many customers prefer it.
There are certainly benefits on both sides. Clients don’t have to pay full price for something upfront and they aren’t (in many cases) tied in to a long term agreement. For you, the benefits are having a client that is now relying on you monthly, they tend to be a more valuable client over time and you have a steady, predictable revenue stream.
Take a look at the services you offer and see what can be converted into a monthly, recurring revenue stream. Here are a few services to consider:
- Remote Support
- Cloud backup
- Web & Email hosting
- Email filtering
- Email encryption
- Website filtering
- Website hosting
- Auditing & Reporting
Depending on your client base there may be many more services you can offer. Also consider “leasing” certain hardware items. For example, instead of selling a $300 security router device, lease it for $40 a month. There will be a number of customers that like the idea of paying a small monthly fee for the device and having the peace of mind knowing that if the device dies, you will replace it at no cost to them. Get creative and find what works for you and your clients.
Increasing By Decreasing
Usually, about every 6 months or so, I will sit down and go through all of my monthly expenses and it never fails that I find at least one thing that I either don’t need, don’t use or forgot I was still paying for.
It is no secret in business that you have two basic options to increasing revenue… increase money coming in or decrease money going out. It is just that simple (maybe not easy).
Before you run around working yourself into a panic trying to increase income, take a breath, grab a coffee and go through your expenses. It is often much easier to reduce an expense than to increase income.
Are you still using that subscription you signed up for? What about that software you’re paying monthly for? The list can go on and on but you get the picture. We all buy things that sounded good at the moment but you later discover it wasn’t something you could use or that you have time to use.
Schedule a day and time to do this on a regular basis, put it on your calendar and go through the process. It will help you more than you realize. You will have a much better understanding of where your money is going and your company’s spending habits.
Hire, Outsource & Delegate
If you are a solo-prenuer, you may be thinking that the last thing you can afford is to hire someone or outsource work. However, let’s analyze this concept.
First off, you need to realize that you can not do it all by yourself (unless you don’t want to grow). Secondly, you should understand that some people can do some tasks for your business better than you can. Lastly, freeing yourself up to work ON the business instead of IN the business is exactly what needs to happen to get massive results.
If you already have employees then take a look at things you can delegate to them. Maybe you’re still holding on to tasks that would be better served by allowing your employee(s) do it. God forbid, they might even do it better than you.
Hiring someone can be a daunting task. This one topic can be the subject of an entire article on its own, but for now here are some very quick and dirty tips to hiring and outsourcing.
Tips For Hiring
- Always hire up. It makes no sense to hire someone that knows less than you or performs less than you. Always hire people that are better than you are at the job you’re hiring them for.
- Put people in the right job. This is something that almost no small business does and most small to medium corporations do not do it either. In order to put people in the right job (or even know if they are right for your job) you must test and analyze them. I use Strengths Finder as a way for me to gauge the candidate’s strengths for just $10. I also use a free DISC Personality Assessment as well. Putting in the hard work and effort before you hire someone is much better than trying to deal with a bad hire.
- Hire slow… fire fast. A bad hire will cost you over and over and over. Take your time and hire based on analysis and thought. If you need to fire someone then just do it. If you’ve taken the steps in the previous tip and still made a bad hire then you need to evaluate your hiring process
- Get creative when offering a job to someone. You don’t have to come out of the gate with a $15 – $20 an hour offer, especially if you can’t afford to. Look at other ways to supplement the income with commissions and bonuses.
- When you become the boss and you have employees you need to strive to do one important thing… You need to make it YOUR job to make sure that your employee(s) have whatever they need to effectively and efficiently do their job(s). That’s right… you work for them (in a sense). The harder you work for them, the harder they will work for you.
Tips for Outsourcing
- I use Upwork for outsourcing. I’m sure there are others but oDesk and Elance became Upwork recently.
- Don’t choose someone based solely on price
- Pay close attention to the rating and reviews
- Make sure the person is well qualified for what you’re looking for
- Don’t be afraid to ask them to do a one-off project before you move forward
- Remember, firing from Upwork is super easy and doesn’t require all the red tape that comes from hiring someone locally
- Outsource a small job to someone first before you do big jobs
- It can take a lot of trial and error and luck but its very possible to find outstanding talent for a great price
- For smaller, one-off type jobs, check out Fiverr as well
So there you have it. Five simple ways to increase revenue in your business. Comment below if you’ve taken any of these actions and let readers know how it worked out for you. What other things have you found that were simple ways to increase revenue in your business?