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10 Practical Ways to Improve Small Business Profitability

Practical advice and tactics to impact your company's financial picture and improve small business profitability.

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6. Review your pricing strategy.

“Raise or maintain your product price. We live in an environment with competitive pricing available at our fingertips; finding a lower priced competitor may cause panic and an urge to drop your prices. Many small companies fail because they do not generate enough revenue to maintain all [of] their operational expenses and have money left over to invest in growing the business. Study and understand pricing and build out projections based on sales and volume. Can you really afford to run the business for 3 more years with a lowered or discounted price?”

– Matt Peterson, Owner of Big Shot Bikes

7. Take a hard look at your business model.

“Being small has its advantages. Small businesses can adapt on the fly without the need for committee meetings, approvals, and the others wastes of time known commonly as “red tape.” If your business is small, then you need to leverage your unique flexibility. Keep an open mind and be ready to completely change your business model to meet the needs of customers. You may find great success, but it may be in a different business than you first anticipated. PIXAR started out as a hardware company, but they were small. When they saw they could make animated films better than others they completely changed their business model – they’re worth over $7 billion now.”

– Benjamin Patton, CEO of Integrity Transitional Hospital

8. Focus on your ideal (and profitable) customer base.

“Not all clients are profitable.  Price-sensitive clients are the most demanding and difficult to serve as they expect maximum returns for every dollar they spend.  To increase profitability use price to filter out these clients.  You can then focus your energy on serving those clients who are profitable.”

– Cheng-Wah Fong, Principal Consultant at CW Fong & Associates

9. Think creatively about your products and services.

“[Don’t] pigeon hole yourself or your brand. Think creatively about what services, products, collaborations, and partnerships your business can embark on to build awareness and sales while still maintaining its core mission and values. Sometimes the ideas and successes will surprise you. Social media makes this a much less risky concept to embrace.”

– Nicole Giordano, Founder of StartUp FASHION

10. Track customer acquisition cost (CAC) and define metrics for every marketing activity.

“How much does it cost you to acquire each new customer? Cost to Acquire Customers (CAC) is an essential metric you can optimize to drive profitability. Determine your sales, marketing costs (and overhead expenses, when applicable) and divide that figure by the number of customers you acquired during the same period (e.g. you can also calculate CAC at a campaign level to measure the true costs and effectiveness of any given marketing activity). If you’re spending more to acquire a customer than what they’ll net your company, you need to revamp your marketing efforts.”

– Erica Nicole, Founder and CEO of YFS Magazine

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