Any entrepreneur will tell you; there is just one indicator of success – revenue. Increasing revenue is always the number one priority of any business leader. If the company’s revenue doesn’t grow, the bottom-line number, that is the profitability, will slow down, and your business will stagnate or worse, die. The aim of any business, after all, is to get more business. So as an entrepreneur, the question that you constantly look to answer is, how do you get your top-line revenue to grow rapidly and steadily?
Josh Kaufman, one of the top 100 business authors, highlights in his book, The Personal MBA that there are only four ways to increase revenue:
- Increase the number of customers
- Increase the average transaction size
- Increase the frequency of transactions per customer
- Raise your prices
Here are some ideas elaborating how you can achieve the above, resulting in growing revenue, as identified by various experts.
1. Leverage your existing buyer relationships and what they have to say about you
No recommendation works as well as one that comes from someone who has already paid for your products or services. A positive testimonial coming from an existing client carries more weight than any other marketing tactic you decide to deploy. Your customers can talk about what value they got from you and why working with you was a pleasure. Such feedback builds up your credibility in the industry. Unbiased, third-party opinions, especially coming from already existing customers, helps establish trust among new prospects who are considering buying from you. This helps in speeding up your buying cycle and increases conversion rate, culminating in more revenue, much faster.
2. Invest in thought leadership
As an entrepreneur, your expertise is your biggest asset. While you may want your knowledge to remain exclusive to a few select clients, building yourself as a thought leader and offering opinions on industry trends, is what will help you leverage your brand. You can choose to publish whitepapers or conduct seminars to appeal to a broader set of audience. Contribute as a guest writer on websites, blogs or industry publications that are most relevant to your niche. Use public speaking opportunities to disseminate information. It provides additional avenues for networking with your industry, among your peers, partners and media. You will be able to build a more intimate relationship with your existing clients, while attracting new prospects, increasing revenue generating opportunities.
3. Sell using case studies
While marketing collaterals, product features and functionalities and demonstrations of your products are an excellent way to introduce your product to a prospect, nothing sells faster than narrating how your product has already benefitted someone. Sell the story of your product’s success. New prospects can relate themselves to case studies better, and they find it easier to identify exactly how your product will add value to them, making revenue realisation much faster.
Outline your case studies using the below structure to get maximum impact:
- What was the problem that your existing customer was facing?
- What did he want to change about his current situation?
- What challenges stopped him from achieving his objective?
- Why did he choose your product?
- What benefits did your product add to your customer?
The power of case studies lies in demonstrating measurable benefits. Did your customer double his client base by using your technology? Did your product increase operational efficiencies for your client? Did your product make it convenient for someone to order food, or travel, or be entertained? Highlight such value using quantifiable metrics and your success stories will increase your fan base and have more people demanding your products or services.
4. Think like a buyer, not a seller
The marketplace is defined by two very distinct sets of players – the one who sells a product or service, that is you, and the one who buys the product by paying a certain price, that is your customer. By definition, you are a seller, but you must think like your buyers if you are to succeed consistently. What motivates your target market? What do they struggle with every day? Why would they want to pay a premium for your product instead of choosing something that your competitor offers? Most importantly, if you were on the other side of the table, and were being offered your product, what would make you choose to pay for it? Will it be the design, or the convenience factor, or the features bundled together or the affordability? Answering these questions is critical to understanding the psyche of your customers. Once you know your customers and understand their lifestyle, attitudes and buying behaviour, you’ll automatically be in a much better position to appeal to their interests and thus maximise your revenue.
5. Cross-sell using complementary services
You have a product or service that you sell and cater to a niche in the market. That is what you focus your attention on. But to truly exploit the opportunities that exist in the market and penetrate deeper, and maximising your revenue, you should attempt cross-selling other services. Adding advisory services and complementary products to your portfolio will help you generate more revenue per customer, and also attract new ones who perceive greater value to be gained from you, at little additional cost. It also acts as a differentiator, helping you stay more competitive in the industry.
6. Partner with other players
While being the only player in the market that offers a certain unique proposition is tempting, capturing a greater market share and in turn, wallet share is much more appealing. Partnering with other niche experts or local players exposes you to a wider market and helps your business expand into other regions. Partner with those players that have a business sense similar to yours. Does your product complement or add value to theirs? For instance, your company could be a technology firm developing software, but you may need the skills of an integration player to deploy your software onto your client’s site. Such channel partnerships are mutually beneficial to both parties. It is vital to choose a partner that can scale as you do.