The start of a new year is exciting; the sense of possibility about what the year will hold can be invigorating. We don’t know what the next year will bring, but now is the time we hope and plan for big things to happen. One of the most common hopes for a new year is to be more profitable. Usually, a rate increase is one of the best ways to make that hope a reality.
But for many, the end of 2009 won’t result in a boost in pricing, due to a number of factors. So does this mean if you’re not raising your rates, you’re stuck at the same level of profitability over the coming year? Of course not! There are ways to increase your profits other than raising your rates…here are a few.
Make the coming year a time for getting on top of your business expenses. You will have to gather your financial data anyway in order to file your taxes, so take some time to analyze where you spent the most over the past year and consider what can be cut. Some possibilities may include monthly services, telephone service, and online memberships.
Outsource Administrative Work
It may seem counterproductive, but you can increase your bottom like by outsourcing some of the day-to-day activities that bog you down and don’t directly bring in income. Consider a bookkeeper to handle your monthly invoicing, or a virtual assistant to manage your marketing campaign.
Diversify Your Services
If you look at the type of services you provide for your clients and explore what their needs are, you may be surprised at all of the new ways you can support them. Expand your current service offerings so you’re in a better position to continue working with existing clients in new ways. Some diversification ideas include social media management, competition monitoring, blog customization, and online marketing management.
Become an Expert
You have a lot of experience under your belt, so it may be time to start sharing your expertise. You can find new business opportunities and expand your network – both of which can lead to increased profits over time – by writing a book, speaking at conferences and becoming a mentor in your industry.
Your competition is probably facing similar challenges to yours, and they share your unique understanding of what it takes to succeed in your industry. Consider starting a joint venture with a colleague for double the marketing impact and increased profits. Plus, you will likely be in for a great learning experience when you begin to work closely with a competitor, and that can benefit your business in a number of ways.
Some of these activities will make your business finances increasingly solid, and others may eventually allow you to charge higher rates. The key is to continue to consider new activities that have the potential to boost your profits throughout the year.
How do you plan to increase your profits in 2010?
Image credit: wagg66