Tip 1: Consider implementing value-based pricing rather than an hourly rate
One of the biggest challenges for business owners is getting new leads and customers, but there’s another challenge at the other end of the spectrum: generating a decent profit from the customers you currently have.
Kelly Exeter was working crazy hours in her design business, yet still wrestled with cash flow problems. In her article about being busy yet broke, she breaks down the three main financial foibles she and her team experienced, and the solutions for each.
Problem One: Having an unviable business model
Solution: They changed from an hourly rate to value-based pricing, and a flat rate structure.
Problem Two: No recurring income
Solution: Retainer-style arrangements. Kelly also suggests considering options such as evergreen online courses, monthly live events, selling a book, creating membership sites and developing software as a service.
Problem Three: Bad invoicing systems
Solution: They created a minimum job charge, invoiced promptly, had shortened payment terms, sent prompt payment reminders and took deposits for big jobs.
Tip 2: Temper your trust. You can be betrayed in business.
If your gut tells you something doesn’t feel right, it likely isn’t. In this revealing article, Jo Macdermott selflessly and honestly shares a personal story of betrayal in business. You’ll learn as much from her experience as you will from the many reader comments below the article. Her story is a priceless lesson on how to balance trust with caution.
Tip 3: Use low tech gadgets for high-yielding results
As technology explodes, it’s easy to forget that low tech gadgets can still help boost productivity and your bottom line. Thankfully, the cluey flower-essence-lady, Jayne Tancred, provides a useful list of her favourites:
- Year-at-a-glance wall calendar
- Textas, A3 paper and sticky notes
- A window
- Paper weights
- Rechargeable batteries
- Walking shoes
- A tray
To find out how these low tech gadgets improve Jayne’s business, read the full article.
Tip 4: Skyrocket your conversions by placing video testimonials on your website
If you’re serious about boosting your web enquiries then you’ll seriously consider putting video testimonials on your Home page. Video testimonials are even more powerful than written testimonials because they ooze authenticity. The downside is that they’re harder to get from clients, but Lucinda Lions* offers some useful tips.
* I’m Lucinda Lions, and for this article (as with the last one) I’ve decided it would be both effective and weird to talk in third person. J
Tip 5: Keep the faith!
Do you remember your first year in business? Or perhaps this is your first year? Either way, you’ll learn something from Shae Lalor who shared the following lessons from her maiden 12 month voyage:
- People are genuinely supportive
- Keep the faith
- I am responsible
- There are experts who are generous
- Flexibility is still a choice
- Every new job is a thrill
Tip 6: If you’re starting a business, get ahead of the game
As Vanessa Emilio rightly explains, “When it comes to starting your own business, most problems are caused by the things we don’t realise we don’t know”. Such as:
- Do I need to register a business name, company name or is a domain name enough?
- What do I need to consider when naming my business?
- What are my obligations with regard to refunds?
- Do I need terms and do my customers have to agree to them?
- What are the most important things to spend my limited funds on when starting my own business?
- How do I know when to quit my full-time job?
- Is it smart to outsource overseas when starting my own business?
All the exciting answers are here.
Hope you’ve enjoyed these tips! This year, whether you’re using your low-tech gadgets or you’re busy not being broke, enjoy making it your very best year yet!
Did you have a favourite Flying Solo article from 2016?