1. Pander to Your Existing CustomersAll too often, we see companies dumping loads of money into marketing campaigns to acquire new customers while forgetting their existing install base. It can be difficult to retain customers, that much is true, but it’s also a necessary element of any successful business. What are you doing to stay in communication with them? What kinds of services or promotions are you offering? How are you encouraging repeat business? What does your customer service program look like? Are your existing customers even happy? These are all questions you should be asking, and continue asking, as your audience grows. Never forget your existing supporters on the way up.
2. Invest in Your EmployeesDon’t undervalue your employees and partners. Not only are they responsible for supporting your business, but they are also your direct interaction and engagement with customers. If your employees are unhappy, especially the forward-facing ones, your audience is going to notice. To realize better profits, boost productivity, and increase customer satisfaction, you must invest in your employees. By improving their happiness, you’re building positive relationships all across the board. More importantly, you’re telling your most loyal supporters that they’re working towards something special, something that will reward them for all they’re doing. Introduce meaningful and beneficial rewards, like stock options, room for growth or promotions, regular care packages, and much more. Companies with consistently high employee engagement are 21% more profitable.
3. Strive for InnovationThere’s a reason why major companies like Google, Apple, and Microsoft are not only iterating on existing and popular products but consistently coming out with new ones. It’s because innovation is growth. But it’s also important to remember that innovation isn’t just about new launches or service releases. Instead, it’s more about evolutionary change. That change could be introducing a new opportunity your competition never dreamed of. Or, it could be about altering the way you produce, distribute, or deliver products. Ultimately, the idea is to strive for new ways to achieve success, and not necessarily through the development of new products or goods. As long as innovation is a focus, the business will continue its forward momentum.
4. Intelligent MarketingYou will undoubtedly hear how marketing will provide unprecedented returns, especially if and when you choose the right services or promotions to blast. The thing is, new-age marketing is more about offering genuine messages and experiences. That’s precisely why social media influencers are such a big deal these days. Whether their message is truly genuine or not, they are providing a unique viewpoint that’s aligned with authentic promotion. When you factor in what’s happening with the pandemic, alongside loads of negative current events and news, it’s clear that people just want to hear positive messages. Intelligent marketing in 2021 will take advantage of that sentiment. Put those positive vibes out into the universe, and it’s likely your profits will soar.
5. Improve CredibilityRunning parallel to the concept of intelligent and genuine marketing is the credibility of your brand and business. Do your products truly offer the value you’re promising? Are your products and services reliable? Do you have a long history of support, or do you have a negative history of moving on from products and abandoning services? More importantly, do you stand by your company’s mission, and do you keep the promises you’ve made to your customers? If you’re lacking on any of these fronts, it’s time to make some changes. Do what you can to improve credibility in the market, not just with your customers but also your partners and competition.
6. Mitigate Fixed CostsEvery business has fixed costs, but over time they grow, and many business leaders overlook the fact that they can be mitigated or offset. It’s easy to fall into a rut and continue paying bills or incurred costs without assessing the lay of the land. In reality, every business should be auditing fixed costs regularly. Are there ways to negotiate lower prices? Are there other suppliers or partners that offer a better deal? Are there costs you could eliminate? These are all things you should be looking at. When you do, be sure to confer with your teams. They can shed light on the situation. It may also be the perfect time to consider outsourcing various tasks or processes. There are several advantages to doing this. By outsourcing, you improve the scalability of your business while lowering overall expenditures.
7. Raise PricesIt’s a frightening prospect. The implications of raising prices often point to a loss of customers and maybe even a drop in revenue. However, raising your prices is always a safe bet for increasing profits, especially in today’s volatile market. A price hike influences gross margins, often boosting revenue streams. To reinforce that idea, it’s likely that you won’t lose customers, at least not as many as you’re expecting. Through due diligence, you and your teams can ensure a price increase is not out of the realm of what’s acceptable. Many customers may even relish the idea of supporting your brand and business, so long as you defend your choice and make them feel like they’re receiving something with enhanced value. There are ways to do it without alienating or frustrating customers. You might include extras with purchases, offer a more robust rewards program, or even a temporary discount for your most loyal supporters. Netflix has been raising prices slowly and regularly for years, and their subscriber count has not dropped off. In fact, quite the opposite is true.
It’s a Good Year for ProfitsDespite what you may or may not think, the year ahead is incredibly promising for the business world. People may be staying at home more, but retail spending continues to grow at a rapacious pace. As the pandemic slows and things start to open back up, we could even see a revolutionary surge in consumer spending. Whatever happens, it’s an excellent time to focus on growth. With the right strategies, you can lock in those profits or even double them.
Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.