Like most businesses, you probably begin each new year with a fresh set of goals to grow your business’s revenue. Unfortunately, as the months pass by, you realize that you’re not quite hitting the numbers you’d hoped to by now.
So how can you turn things around before the end of Q4?
Small Business Trends talked to a variety of business leaders to learn more about how to make it happen:
1. Conduct a Top-to-Bottom Business Audit
A professional audit can improve your company’s efficiency and profitability by providing a better understanding of your working processes and financial procedures.
According to Connor Gillivan of FreeeUp, companies that aren’t reaching their projected revenues throughout the year should take a step back and examine all aspects of their business—from sales funnels and onboarding to customer retention, online reputation management and content marketing.
Businesses should spend one to two weeks analyzing everything, then use that information to draft an action plan to improve.
2. Enhance Inbound Marketing Endeavors
“Marketing = getting people to know, like and trust you,” says John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing
As Diego Orjuela of Cables & Sensors points out, “Inbound marketing encourages customers to come to your business instead of your brand trying to search for the customer.”
He goes on to say, “Have a solid understanding of your ideal customer and then create your website to attract them with resources and useful, searchable content. Become the solution to their problem with inbound marketing.”
3. Maintain a Narrow Focus
Because customers have diverse characteristics, interests, values and beliefs, knowing which customers you want to target is crucial. Targeting a smaller, more focused audience helps you attract the right customers so you can maximize your sales potential.
“Companies attempt to expand into too many revenue streams by adding ancillary products and targeting new demographics. It sounds great on the surface, but it takes resources from what matters most.
~ Brian Greenberg, True Blue Life Insurance
4. Reevaluate Goals
If your daily actions aren’t bringing you closer to your goals, you can’t expect your business to change. But while setting goals is essential to your business’s development and success, it’s important not to aim so high that you set yourself up for failure.
“If your revenue is off the mark, there is a good chance your goals were not realistic. Go back and reassess those financial goals and make sure they are attainable. You may find it to be more about your metrics being off and less about your revenue being down.” ~ Zach Binder, Bell + Ivy
5. Cut Costs Whereever Possible
From insurance and office rent to vendor price hikes and payroll, small businesses are constantly being squeezed by increasing expenses. That means controlling costs whereever possible is crucial to the success of your business.
“It’s important to adjust your financial outlook and cut costs where you can at this stage, assuming it’s a prolonged revenue drought . . . . Focus on your bread and butter for revenue, trying to grow there . . . . Pause all other unnecessary projects.”
~ Andy Karuza, FenSens
6. Listen to Customers
Making customers feel important and involved is a good business move.
Here’s what Syed Balkhi of WPBeginner has to say about listening to customers:
“If your sales are faltering, you may want to consider listening to your customer base. The reason business owners are successful is because people buy their products. When you notice sales declining, take to social media and send out feedback forms to find out why. Ask consumers how you can improve and set realistic expectations the following quarter.”
7. Review & Improve Lead Processes
In order to reach your revenue targets, you must pay due diligence in lead generation. That means you need to evaluate your lead qualification processes to see how you can improve them. One way to do this is to make sure your content is targeted towards your ideal leads.
Another important aspect of lead gen is the follow-up, suggests John Turner of SeedProd LL. “If your team isn’t following up with leads, you may not be able to reach your revenue targets. Most sales aren’t made in the first communication. Make sure you coach your team on how to properly follow up with leads at the right time in order to have a better chance of meeting your revenue targets.”
8. Focus on Customer Retention
“Customer retention increases your customers’ lifetime value and boosts your revenue,” says The Daily Egg. “It also helps you build amazing relationships with your customers. You aren’t just another website or store. They trust you with their money because you give them value in exchange.”
Your odds of selling to an existing customer are 40% more likely than trying to convert someone who’s never bought from you before.
“As important as it is to acquire new customers, it’s also crucial to focus on the ones you already have because they’re willing to spend more. Study the drop points created by customers during the buying process to see where they fall off instead of purchasing. Is there a noticeable pattern taking place? Is there more you can do to meet their needs?”
~ Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights
9. Invest in Employee Training
Training expands the knowledge base of all employees. Unfortunately, many employers view development opportunities merely as added cost to the business. Yes, staff members attending training sessions miss out on work time and may have to delay the completion of other projects.
Despite this, training and development provides individuals and organizations with benefits that exceed the cost and time involved. In fact, the return on investment from training and development of employees is pretty much a no brainer.
“Aside from evaluating financials, implementing new sales training can help improve declining revenue. For businesses that sell digital products only, the best way to improve declining revenue is to determine where customers are losing interest in your sales funnel and then optimizing the cycle based on specific data.”
~ Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC
It’s easy to fall into the day-to-day routine of running your business. But once in a while, it’s a good idea to take a step back and seriously evalute why you’re not meeting your revenue goals.
Use the 9 expert tips above to monitor your progress so you can make the necessary changes and end your Q4 on a profitable note.
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