Increasing revenue streams is the goal of every business owner. In tough economic times, that goal can seem out of reach for struggling small and mid-size businesses. Whatever your company’s operating budget may be, there are plenty of strategies out there to keep your cash flow positive. Here are five tactics that any entrepreneur can use to grow revenue.
1. Have multiple streams of income
It’s tempting to build your entire revenue stream around a certain product or service. Unfortunately, this can lead to massive losses if demand falls or customer preferences shift. Business leaders vacillate between recommending focusing on a single niche audience or diversification. The truth is that both strategies can be valuable as long as the timing is right. This means having sound knowledge of your company and its goals. Keeping all products and services united under one coherent brand is critical.
Don’t forget that business loans can also be a workable short-term source of capital. For smaller businesses, the U.S. Small Business Administration offers an array of grants. Banks and B2B lending platforms are available for diverse needs. For example, if you’re trying to build a company vehicle fleet, consider shopping around for auto financing. The bottom line is that savvy entrepreneurs should keep an open mind to all funding options.
2. Utilize omnichannel marketing
The most important way to grow your revenue is (of course) to grow your customer base. This means reaching customers where they prefer to interact with a brand. Social media offers an unprecedented opportunity to engage with consumers across multiple platforms. Omnichannel marketing involves giving customers a chance to learn about your offerings in ways that resonate with them. You could showcase your product via an influencer on YouTube, then do a detailed tech writeup on your blog while linking customers to promotional codes on Twitter or through SMS marketing. Let customers control their own experience with your brand.
3. Leverage technology
Infrastructure is a major source of costly overhead for any business. Making business processes as efficient as possible is necessary. Enter automation. Advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning are making a range of new automated tools available to businesses. Consider using project management systems like Basecamp as a replacement for traditional conference rooms and meetings. Use customer relationship management (CRM) systems to help coordinate email marketing campaigns. Anything that maximizes outcome while minimizing effort can help grow a business.
4. Emphasize customer service
Many business processes contribute to the overall customer experience (CX). When it comes to CX, the little things tend to matter most. Employee attitude statistically correlates to customer satisfaction. Consumers, especially younger consumers, are demanding a commitment to sustainability from brands across all industries. Possibly the most important contributor to CX is customer service.
A study commissioned by Zendesk found that people who had a bad customer service experience were 50 percent more likely to share it on social media than those who had a good experience. Yes, in a hectic world, making customer service hassle-free is that important. What is good customer service? Research also shows that phone operators, email, and live chat topped the list of customer preferences. Getting a personalized response from a caring human lets customers know they’re respected, and it earns their trust.
5. Minimize loss
Creating revenue is all for nothing if that money gets lost in a disaster. One of the greatest threats to businesses today is cybercrime. A Security Magazine study found the average cost of a data breach to be $36,000 to $50,000 for small companies. Much of this potential loss can be prevented by teaching employees to recognize common attacks like phishing scams and malware. Downloading software patches and other updates is also a good habit. The most important defense is to have antivirus and firewall programs installed on all user endpoints. Stopping digital threats requires proactive thinking.
Increasing revenue means focusing on customer needs and the needs of your business. Keep these strategies in mind when planning your growth in the next quarter.