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Business Building Blocks

By Angie Patrick

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Simple Business Strategies

Begin to implement these tips today to maximize your income and delight your clients.

If you are a business owner, no doubt you are always looking for ways to maximize your income and please and delight your clients. It might be surprising to learn that making improvements can cost little to no money, save you time and effort and allow you to do what you love most - helping others.

First, let's look at your business as if it were a rose bush. While it may be thriving, it requires pruning on occasion in order for it to become the best it can be. Take a long look at your client list and identify any clients that have issues with chronic lateness or are repeated no-shows. These people are adding stress on your business and you.

Additionally, they cost you money, as in order to accommodate the late arrivals, you may feel forced to go past the original allotted time, throwing you off the remainder of the day with other clients. Even if another client is not impacted, you are.

Simple Business Strategies - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Your peace of mind, your client relations and your bottom line are all impacted by these types of clients, and it is best to take corrective action and maybe peacefully part ways. If after a conversation about tardiness or no show does not bring the desired result, it is okay for you to release a client. While not desired, it is a natural progression if they are unwilling to respect your time. Making these strategic cuts can allow you to focus on other things that will enable your business to thrive.

Next, let's take a peek at what your day looks like. If you are the main revenue generator for your business, you might want to prune back some of your responsibilities that are non-revenue generating. Outsourcing some of these things may make sense and allow you more time to build relationships valuable to your business, and ultimately see more clients. An example of something you can outsource would be booking. There are a host of applications and software that can enable online booking. This can take you out of the line of fire and answering calls for appointments, and make this easier for everyone by doing this online.

Simple Business Strategies - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark What about your accounting processes? Are you crunching numbers, saving receipts, filing taxes, etc.? Wouldn't it be nice to have someone do this for you? I know what you might be thinking, hiring an accountant sounds like a luxury, when in fact, it is just simply smart business. This saves you time and potentially money, as an accountant will be able to find every possible deduction for your business and keep up with your taxes. With the time you now have free, you can be networking to grow your business instead of sitting with a calculator and pulling your hair out. You also get the added peace of mind that comes with having this professionally handled, so you don't have any surprises come April 15th.

So, now that we have taken the opportunity to save ourselves a bit of time and money, let us consider how we can enhance the way people can find us. Being easily found is paramount to gaining new clients. Perhaps you haven't yet made sure you are easily found on frequently searched goods and service directories. This is not difficult and does not cost you a penny. When someone is looking on either Google or Bing, you should make sure your business comes up in searches and your contact information is readily available. You can add relevant information about your business to these popular search engines in a few minutes.

No doubt there are other directories relevant to your local area. Check with your Chamber of Commerce and ask if there is a directory you can be added to, and while you are at it, find out when the next meeting is, and plan to attend. This brings me to networking, and this can pay off big if you do it right. Think of businesses in your area that your target client may frequent. Maybe it is a gym, a salon, a nursing home, a doctor, or any other business you can think of. Reach out to them and ask if you might be able to work together on promotions or marketing ideas to one another's clients. For example, perhaps you offer a new gym member 10% off their first visit with you. Conversely, someone coming to you for a massage may well be interested in receiving an offer for a discounted gym membership. Each of your businesses get visibility to your target markets by serving your clients and offering a special discount or deal for that loyalty.

Another idea would be to ask to leave business cards at the salon, offering patrons a special deal for coming to book an appointment with you just for being a client of the salon. You can offer the same to the salon and offer their card to your clients. Everyone loves a referral and it is a wonderful way to build your business while building your network.

And lastly, I would suggest you expand your target market. Perhaps you are currently focused on sports massage. Your bookings are regular, but you could see more clients. Give some thought to expanding your offerings. Sometimes all you need to do is take a continuing education class or gain a certification. CEU's are a must anyway, so why not make these CEU's help you earn more money. Maybe you add taping or massage cupping to your arsenal of tools you can employ to help your clients. These are very popular, and thanks to the Olympics, very much in the eye of the consumer right now. You can certainly ride that wave of popularity generated by these athletes to provide an outlet for those seeking information, and quite possibly, an appointment to see what it is all about. When you expand your knowledge and understanding of various modalities, you can work to add revenue by utilizing what you have learned and applying it to your business.

With a little delegation of work, a little more exposure, an  alliance or two with other businesses and a little education, you can certainly have a great impact on your ability to retain more of what you earn and bring in new business. Just as with a garden, proper maintenance, upgrade, and pruning can lead to spectacular results.   

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