When searching for strategic methods to increase profits, many small businesses tend to focus on new ways to attract customers and boost sales—but this is only one part of the equation. In order to set your company up for continued growth, it is equally important, if not more so, to continually seek ways to work smarter. Investing in tools for a more productive workforce, retaining top talent, controlling low-value costs, and delivering a superior customer experience will have long-lasting impact on your bottom-line. Here are four tips to help your small business focus on bottom line growth:
1. Focus on Customer Retention
Negative customer experiences have a harmful impact on your brand, making it difficult to retain current customers. By improving relationships with existing customers, it’s easy to find ways to deliver more value to them. According to Marketing Metrics, the probability of selling to an existing customer is up to 14x higher than the probability of selling to a new customer.
Foster current relationships by providing transparent communication channels through social media, live chat, or an online community. Providing personal, empathetic responses to your customers’ questions and concerns will help to build credibility improve retention. According to Bain & Company, businesses that grow their customer retention rates by as little as 5 percent see profit increases of up to 95 percent, showing that a customer-centric strategy has tremendous influence on earnings. By focusing on superior service, your brand will work for itself, holding onto current customers – while also capturing new ones.
2. Streamline Costs With Automation Tools
Business software and office supplies are a costly aspect of running any company, but they can have an especially negative impact on small companies with a limited budget. Saving on supplies and bundling digital services is a key technique for small businesses looking to have a positive impact on their bottom line.
Consider working with a cloud-based workflow automation partner, such as OnTask. Business process automation software can act as a single solution to drive efficiencies across departments. OnTask, and other workflow automation platforms, bundle several automation tools that help small businesses save by leveraging an all-in-one solution that delivers efficiencies for growth:
- Approvals: With a cloud workflow solution, documents, forms and approvals can be completed quickly and digitally, from anywhere at anytime – so they never get lost in the shuffle of papers sitting on someone’s desk.
- Digital Signatures: Ensure the quote or contract is signed as soon as possible with a digital, legally-binding signature in order to close deals quickly and earn revenue fast.
- Compliance: Complete and store required information for areas such as tax reporting and insurance policies. You can even set up reminders for when it’s time to update forms, re-submit documents, and more.
According to The Paperless Project, U.S. companies spend more than $120 billion a year on printed documents, most of which out date themselves within three months. Incorporating a workflow automation software not only promotes efficient process management but also greatly reduces paper costs–giving small companies a boost in bottom line.
3. Hire & Retain The Right Talent
A company is only as productive as its team members. When building your bottom line, it’s important to hire and retain the right talent. According to Harvard Business Review, the result of poor culture fit due to turnover can cost a company between 50 to 60 percent of the person’s annual salary. When recruiting, work to ensure a candidate’s fit with company culture and that they will serve as advocates of your brand and mission. Also, make efforts to retain employees through engagement techniques,like offering opportunities for personal development and encouraging collaboration, as well as promoting a healthy work-life balance. (And we can’t forget about the occasional “Pizza” or “Bagel Friday.” A few carbs never hurt anyone!)
4. Make Everyone a Salesperson
Sales should not be limited to your sales department. Transform every employee at your company into a salesperson through training and incentives. If you hired based on company fit, employees will possess a natural desire to promote your company and can be further molded into excellent lead generators. Motivate employees to sell your mission by hosting roundtables, conferences and webinars. Companies can also consider monetary incentives for de facto selling, further driving employees to share as much about your company as possible. By ensuring all employees are brand advocates, you’re on a fast track to improving that bottom-line.
As small companies look to increase profits and reach company goals, sometimes the solution comes from within. When strategizing your techniques to drive growth, focus on your customer experience, controlling costs, and maximizing your team’s potential to see the greatest impact.