What do Women Entrepreneurs do to keep themselves from the big revenue? This is truly worth asking! Let’s look at 12 ways that you could be ‘shooting yourself in the wallet’ – and how to fix that.
You could be working overtime running your business and be doing things that are stunting your revenue and not even know it. This is the case with many women entrepreneurs. Let’s make sure it is not the case with you and your company. Review these common silent revenue killers and make sure they are not lurking around your business:
Let’s get started and see what you can do to up your profitability now!
Not Considering the Time versus Dollar Equation
Sometimes a project comes your way and it seems like a lot of money for what you will be delivering, like what you might receive to give an hour speech or provide some short-term consulting.
Here’s the Rub, however. You have to consider all the time involved in making that client happy: travel time, preparation time, research time and, of course, all the costs involved in the delivery of your product or service.
Often, women entrepreneurs do not ask all the questions to figure these things out before quoting a fee. They end up taking a lot more time than anticipated to complete the work well and therefore don’t make a lot of money. Don’t let this happen to you.
Here’s the Solution: Take time to evaluate each opportunity and client to make sure it will be a profitable endeavor.
Doing Everything Yourself
Let me be very clear, your time is best spent serving your clients, connecting with your potential clients, doing business planning and developing your product or service. Everything else is not the highest and best use of your time.
Here’s the Rub. When you are doing things that others can be doing, you do not have enough time for selling, for serving your clients and for paying attention to your business growth. If you are not a webmaster, do not be building or maintaining your website. If you are not a sound engineer, do not be splicing audio snippets.
Regardless of what business you are in; do not be doing your own administration. All of this takes away from your revenue-producing activities and puts off new revenue.
Here’s the Solution: If you do not believe me, let me tell you, I see it happen all the time with my new clients. The more help they have, the more their revenue grows.
Playing in Safe
If you wanted to play it safe you would not have started your own business. Right?
Innovation, risk-taking, creativity and fresh ideas are the words that describe women entrepreneurs like you. Always be looking for the next big thing in your business and always be testing it. This keeps your enthusiasm and excitement high, which attracts clients. Plus, this keeps the buzz high about you and your firm in the marketplace and that keeps new clients coming.
There are three important ideas to review in your own business to make sure you are maximizing your revenue. Now, take a moment for reflection and ask yourself:
- Do you know your time versus dollar equation? B.
- Are you doing things that someone else could be doing? C.
- Are you playing it too safe?
If so, get busy with changes and watch your revenue soar.
Showing women how to succeed in business over the past twenty years, I have seen some things women do without even knowing it that makes it really tough to maximize revenue. Let’s look at some more and see how they affect you.
Running Your Business the Way You Have Always Been Running Your Business
Having your own business is a long-term course in personal growth and risk-taking. Have you noticed that?
If you think your business will run itself while you spend all your time on the beach, well, you are kidding yourself. True, you can get other people to do and run things for you. And you can take vacations and time for your family and still have your business run smoothly. Still, there are some constants that you want to have your attention on in every phase of your business.
You want to always be upgrading, always to be looking at how you can serve your clients better, be more efficient, increase automation, improve technology and cut costs.
Plus, your business always needs something different and exciting such as a new book, a new course, a new product, a contest—something. Staying on top of these things makes you and your company more in demand and that allows you to serve your clients from a place of abundance, instead of lack. This makes it a whole lot easier to ask for the business.
Not Having Attention on Cultivating Long-term and Life-long Clients
Look at what you do for your clients and ask yourself if what you provide can be provided year after year after year. Think of your insurance agent, your bookkeeper, and your chiropractor that all have clients that have been with them since they started their businesses and will be with them for decades.
Why not you too? Start to put together a plan to serve your clients for years and years and years to come.
Not Creating and Promoting a Referral Program
I am sure you want more clients like your favorite ones. They are the fun ones!
Then why not consistently reward them when they send you referrals? The more you let them know you appreciate and welcome their referrals and show them how they can support you, and the easier you make it for them to do so, the more clients they will refer to you.
The referrals come only after they have raved about you to people they are referring, which makes it more likely their referrals will do business with you. This results in many more clients for you. If you do not have a referral program, create one now and begin to reach out to your clients and make sure they know about it.
A referral program delivers you an ongoing, steady flow of potential clients who have already been pre-qualified and warmed up for you by your current clients. This makes it very easy to bring on these referrals as clients.
Get started on this to significantly increase your referrals today and every day.
Not Knowing Your Cost of Goods/Services Sold
Every company has a different cost of goods and services sold. If you are charging what everyone else is charging just because everyone else is charging it, then you may not be charging the right amount. You have to be sure to include a percentage of your fees for overhead, marketing, sales, and materials, to come to the number where you are charging enough.
And make this note, have a few percents in your fee for unexpected expenses because there always are.
This is always one of the first things I look at with my clients because I have seen way too much guesstimating rather than number crunching when determining fees. Also, it is okay to charge more than the other firms that do what you do.
You do not really want clients with you just because you are the cheapest. Before you take on one more client, figure out your costs to be sure you are making money with all you do, every time you do it.
Not Regularly Revisiting Your Fees
When women entrepreneurs tell me they are working really hard and not making money, I always ask if they have a full roster of clients. This too is the Rub.
The reality is you can be working hard at sales, marketing, operations, and finance and still be serving just a few clients. And you won’t be making enough money.
When women entrepreneurs tell me they are full up on clients, then I say raise your fees and do so while looking at how you can better serve your clients moving forward. When you raise your fees you may lose a few clients, however, you will still earn more and make room for better-paying clients.
You could choose to only raise your fees on new clients and tell your existing clients you are keeping their fees the same because you value their business. When you do this though, let them know that their fees will be going up in the future and tell them when that will be.
Now take a look at your fees. Are they overdue for a raise?
Charging by the Hour
A lot of women are still charging by the hour. If that’s you, let’s look at why that is not a good idea.
When you charge by the hour, each hour could be your last with that client. This is because, in many cases at the end of that hour, they have to make another buying decision if they want another hour with you. That means over the course of a year, if you were providing them one hour a week of service, they would have to make fifty-two buying decisions instead of twelve, or six or four depending on how you structured your fees.
Instead, provide service by the package, by the month or by the project. This way, they are committed to working with you for the long term and you won’t lose your clients depending on their mood on any given day.
Also, there are times of the year that are slower in many businesses. When you sell packages, you keep getting paid even if people are traveling or not coming to see you as often due to weather, graduations or other life events that can interfere with a steady flow of clients for many businesses.
I have seen many clients add to cash flow consistency to their businesses by moving to project packages instead of providing services by the hour. See if this would benefit you and your business.
Not Asking for the Business
Women love to visit, build relationships, connect, socialize and of course, converse. The Rub here is that none of this is a clear path to a sale.
Sales come from sales conversations that are required to sell something or add a client to serve with goods and services. Telling a potential client to think about it is not asking for the sale. Advising a potential client to take a look at the proposal you sent is not asking for the sale.
During a sales conversation, you are asking someone to hire you. You can say it more subtly, as in “Would you like to get started?” or “It sounds like I have what you are looking for, how would like to proceed?” However you say it, it is key that you ask your potential clients to become your clients. Dah, no kidding!
Falling Down on Follow-Up
Marketing is creative and can even be fun. It does not require talking to people. Marketing is everything your business does to let people know about your products and services. It is getting the word out about your business and how it can serve your clients. Marketing is only part of what is required to generate revenue.
As I mentioned, you also have to have sales conversations. The Rub again is that sometimes future clients do not make instant decisions to work with you, even when you are good at asking. This follow-up is you have to continue to stay in touch with them until they do. They may need to hear from you three, four or seven times before they become your client.
A lot of women entrepreneurs fall down on their follow-up because they do not have regular time blocked out on their calendars each week for sales calls, which include follow-up. If that sounds like you, here’s my solution. Start immediately setting aside three, ninety-minute time slots a week for sales that you have scheduled into your workdays.
The goal is not just to get sales or become good at sales, the goal is to become masterful at selling and this practice allows you to continue to improve while increasing your revenue. With many of my clients, I have seen this simple regular addition of a regular sales schedule to be the key to catapulting revenue.
Do not wait—implement sales schedule practice right now.
Not Dancing through Objections
Often, potential clients give you objections or considerations as to why they are not getting started with you. They might say something like, ‘they do not have the time’ or ‘the expense is not in the budget’ — these are the two biggest ones.
Here’s the truth is when you hear these or objections. You have not yet made the significant value of your product or service known to the potential client.
Here’s what to do. Ask a few questions and address their concerns. Ask a few more questions to determine what else they need to know or resolve before moving forward. By being willing to be uncomfortable as you explore the nature of your product if what you have to offer matches what your potential clients are looking for, you demonstrate your confidence in what you offer.
This gets you to the truth of why they are not working with you yet. Sometimes you get to that beautiful place where they change their mind and decide to hire you and your revenue grows.
Growing your revenue means increasing your number of sales conversations, being consistent in your follow-up and asking questions to discover why a client is not moving forward. The better you get at all of this, the more your revenue will grow.
Get busy with what we have discussed here to grow your revenue right now.
There are things that are often overlooked in the hustle of business that could be impacting your revenue growth. Take a look at them. You deserve profits. There are many ways to make sure you maximize your revenue in your business. Make any changes needed to grow your revenue and increase your satisfaction with your business.