When I launched The Entrepreneurs’ Journey podcast, I knew it was because I knew my clients needed more than just efficient credit card processing rates. I wanted to be able to help business owners with more than just credit card processing as I could see there were more pressing issues impacting the success of their business than merchant fees. This sent me on a journey to interview people smarter than me in other areas of business so I could be a better resource for my clients. Like most decisions, the confirmation of my intuition didn’t come until much later, like almost 2 years. Recently, I had a client reach out because they needed 100k in capital for some investments they needed to make in their business. In less than 2 days, they received a deposit for the capital they need to execute their 2023 strategic plan. Their execution of their strategic plan will allow them to not only grow their business but allow them to restructure debt and eliminate the opportunity costs they were facing by not having the capital on hand.
As we continue to move forward in an uncertain economy, right now is the best time to position your company to be as profitable and efficient as possible.
When companies hire us to evaluate their merchant services, there are times when the payment processor asks for bank statements. Within those bank statements, we can see everything a company spends money on. Many times, while the expenses at one point were correct, there are times we see companies paying for payment processors that they haven’t used in years. There are other times when a company is paying for levels of service that are completely unnecessary. For example, when I started PaySuite, I was paid to consult with a large local convenience store chain that was negotiating with payment processors so they could reduce their costs. In looking through their proposal for the processor they chose, I was able to help them save an additional 50k over the course of the contract they were going to sign because I knew they were already paying for the service the processor included in their proposal. This scenario happens with almost every service you pay for as a business owner from your phone service, internet, payment processing, marketing services, payroll, software, and other services that are essential to running your business. You may be wondering; shouldn’t my accountant or bookkeeper be on top of this? Well, yes and no, when you hire a bookkeeper or an accountant, they are experts in properly classifying the debits and credits that hit your bank account, not necessarily experts on whether your vendor unscrupulously passed an incremental fee increase to you without telling you about it. That is where having an advisor working with your accounting team is helpful as they can work together to make sure you have the best vendor at the appropriate price for your business model. This is important not only from the standpoint of costs, but as it relates to productivity in your business environment. If you could add technology to your business to increase your sales by 20% without increasing your labor costs, then for the right price, it’s probably an easy decision.
Every business has people, internally and externally, and within that lies the opportunity to improve relationships. Improving relationships with your staff, partners, and clients is likely one of the most impactful things you can do as a business owner for a number of reasons. First, studies show that engaged employees drive 43% more revenue than their non-engaged counterparts and this alone would dramatically change the numbers on your balance sheet. Why? Because not only would your employees be more productive by getting more work done, but the interactions they have with your customers would also change how your customers perceive your business. Customers that have a positive perception of your business are more likely to increase their spending with your company, refer others to your product, service, or experience and are more likely to leave positive reviews on your website and review websites.
When it comes to growing your revenue, you have an endless list of possibilities to choose from to achieve your goals. You could increase your prices, establish strategic partnerships, or even create new products or services that are relevant to your brand.
Here’s a few questions that I want you to ponder:
- If you’re a restaurant, could you create a partnership with a local nonprofit to increase your impact and visibility? How is this a win-win? Well, nonprofits need help building relationships, demonstrating the work that they do, and need to be seen in the community as being more than an “ask”. The same goes for your restaurant. People are more likely to shop with local businesses that are more than just good food. All things being equal, they will shop with businesses that make an impact in the community.
- As an online store, could you partner with local retailers to do product placement and fulfillment? How is this a win-win? Well, as an online retailer, potentially competing with Amazon and big box retailers, having local retailers that can display your products and perhaps deliver friendly service to your customers is valuable. Especially with Amazon closing many of its retail stores. Why is it valuable to a local, non-competitive retailer? Many retailers struggle with competing for visibility online, so supporting an established eCommerce business may be a great partnership as your customers may choose to frequent their store for other items you don’t offer, making it a great co-marketing opportunity for them.
- As a home services company, could you create a strategic partnership with the local bank to have your information shared with everyone that gets a mortgage? This is a great opportunity for the bank and the local roofer, electrician, landscaper, and HVAC business. The bank needs help with several things, but their primary goal is to grow their deposits so they can provide loans and other financial products. The more customers the bank has, the more opportunities they have to earn interest from the financial products they sell. As a home services company, you don’t sell financial products, but your customers may need a credit card, home equity line of credit, short term financing, or other options to consider as they decide whether to use you or your competitor. Having a financial institution that can help your clients evaluate the most cost-effective way to pay for your service is a great value to the customers you meet with and would differentiate you from other home service providers and help you pick up additional sales. You win because you become a resource to the client by helping them get what they want, and you help the bank because they gained a new customer. This is something that you could set up with a bank with minimal effort and could be automated on your end and at the bank so there are no additional steps or work needed from either party.
These are just a few simple ways to increase your visibility and potential relationships that will lead to increasing your revenue. We haven’t even talked about pricing strategies, bundling, adding new sales channels, or the subscription services you could offer in your business. In a challenging economy, there are always new ways to reinvent how you do business to serve more people. It just takes taking the time to sit down with your key advisors to come up with a plan that will work for your business and goals.
If you’d like to discuss cutting costs and increasing your revenue, let’s talk!