Small business owners put in a whole lot of work to try to create a successful business.
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At some point, you will achieve a certain level of success and meet some of the goals that you have set for your business. So what then?
You’ve arrived at a crossroad: do you want to remain where you are or seek additional growth?
It’s perfectly okay to be happy where you are. After all, not every small business owner’s goal is to grow exponentially year-on-year, depending on their priorities and overarching motivations.
But if you’re persistent and passionate to grow your business and not quite sure where to start, then you’re in the right place. In this post, we explore four methods to upgrade your small business income further.
The silver lining? Carrying out these methods won’t take nearly as much effort as starting your business. You will need effort, but as you’ll see, you’ll learn to think about your business in a smarter way instead. Here’s how.
1. Increase your rates with new prospects
This may seem like a no brainer but a lot of the times, freelancers and small business owners are so focused on filling their pipeline with additional work, they overlook the strategy of increasing their rates. Sometimes they’ll even overlook this strategy out of fear that they’ll chase prospects away.
Many small business owners decide on a rate, falsely believing that this is the going rate in the market and continue to charge that rate for all future clients. Although there is no magic number, Ed Gandia suggests you increase it by 20% with all new clients. And if you think this is too much, go a little lower. So long as you continuously provide quality services that existing customers are happy with, then by all means test the waters.
We’re not saying you should rip people off, but what we are saying is that you should test your assumptions and get paid well for the services you provide.
2. Amp up your productivity
After working on various projects for your clients—whether it’s writing copy or designing a website, chances are you have a rough idea of how much time it takes to complete those projects. If you don’t, start tracking your time.
Now, imagine if can complete those projects in less time and still get paid the same amount. That’s the power of productivity. Here are some ways to amp up your productivity in order to upgrade your small business income:
- Try the Pomodoro Technique: 25 minutes on, 3-5 minutes off until you hit the one hour mark where you get a longer break (typically 15-20 minutes). These stages of planning, tracking, recording, processing, and visualizing is framed so that you force periodic breaks into your tasks and be more aware of your time and how you’re spending it.
- Outsource administrative tasks to a virtual assistant, hire contractors, or get extra staff on the team so you can free up time specifically for client work.
- Automate manual processes like your accounting and bookkeeping with Kashoo. In fact, Kashoo is continuing to rethink and rebuild how our software can help automate and simplify your accounting processes as we speak.
3. Up-sell to existing clients
If you’re going to up-sell your services or products to clients, try your existing clients first rather than seeking new ones. Why? Current customers are 50% more likely to try new products and spend 31% more compared to new prospects. For example, if you’re currently providing social media copy for a client, why not propose blogging services, or even crafting and writing ebooks?
You too can up-sell to your clients. Simply provide a better version of your work by creating different packages to offer, such as one at a low price and another at a higher price. Another great strategy is to propose additional services to help clients with their workload. If you already write copy and you know your client is looking to create assets for their upcoming ebook, you could partner with a designer who can create infographics.
4. Don’t charge per hour—charge per project instead
Charging per hour is simple and it works: you track the time you allocate to a project and send the client an invoice for those billable hours. However, there are flaws to charging by the hour:
- You don’t get rewarded for becoming better and faster at completing the work.
- Some clients could question your hourly rates and haggle for a “better” price.
- Too much emphasis is placed on the time it takes to complete the work and not on the actual value.
On the other hand, when you charge per project, you shift focus to the value and get rewarded for getting faster and better at your work. This is a fantastic way for those who are persistent and passionate about growing their small business income over time.
Rethink your business and upgrade your income in a smarter way
Not every small business owner is looking to grow year-to-year, and that’s okay. But, if you’re keen on taking your business to the next level, then the interest itself already means you’re halfway there. Try implementing these methods overtime, whether it’s increasing your rates, amping up your productivity with accounting automation or extra staff, up-selling to existing clients, or charging per project instead—these little hacks (or smarter ways) to do business will help you get there.