The idea of growing your profits can be pretty intimidating, not least because it sounds like a lot of hard work!
And how are you meant to find the time when you’re not only the owner of your design business but also the client manager, accountant, project manager and general dogsbody to boot.
We understand your need for practicality and workable advice – you won’t find any ideas here that require a business degree.
Here are 5 practical ways to grow your profits, approved by our own designers who know what it’s like to be in your shoes.
Optimise your most profitable customers
The first step to growing your profits is understanding what your clients think about you so you can use that information to your advantage. Check out their comments online and compare your customer reviews with those of your competition. Think about what you can do to differentiate yourself further from your competitors and influence people’s perception of your brand.
Once you know what people are saying, identify your highest spending clients and try to link them by their shared characteristics. Are they from a specific area or demographic? What does their online activity have in common? Then do the same for your least profitable clients. Segment them into groups so you end up with one key group where you focus most of your energy and budget.
Operate efficiently to decrease costs
If you’re struggling to manage your costs and maximise your operational efficiency, don’t feel like you’re alone. When you start a business, especially if you’re a one-man band or small group, the sheer volume of work can be overwhelming. Often designers have all the talent but no real experience in how to set up interconnected systems that optimise your workflow.
As a result, things slip through the net, deadlines are missed and clients are unhappy. The first step to taking control is to review your current systems and identify any processes that are too manual and time-consuming. There are plenty of systems out there that can manage your proojects, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t shamelessly give our all-in-one project software solution a punt here. ProjeX was created for designers by designers to do everything that we know you need it to do. Sign yourself up for an obligation-free, one year trial right here.
Manage your tax and compliance activities
Learning the ins and outs of company tax and compliance can be a beast. Not only is it complicated for the beginner, but the rules and regulations are constantly changing. Making a mistake can be costly either in profits or in time.
Use technology from the get-go to streamline your HR and financial reporting and if necessary, employ a tax consultant to manage your affairs. Pick someone who has a track record working with small business and knows all the (legal!) tricks for saving you as much money as possible.
Upsell and cross-sell to your existing customers
Here’s a fun fact for you: it costs five times more to attract a new client than it does to keep an existing one. Even so, 44% of companies in the US focus more on acquiring new clients than they do on retaining an existing one. Here’s the headline: you have a 60-70% chance of selling to an existing client versus a paltry 5-20% chance at a new one.
So, how to sell to existing clients who already know your product offering? Start by delighting them. Take every opportunity to make them feel amazing, whether they’re in the process of buying from you or not. Upsell higher-margin services that they’re not aware of. Investigate their purchase behaviour and come up with offers and ideas that are timely and in the right context for their needs, like a 20% discount on outdoor design services 2 months before summer.
Sell through more channels
This one is simple. If you have a great website but you’re not promoting your services on social channels, what are you waiting for? If your Insta account is going off but you’re not using any other online marketing platforms or your website is embarrassing, get right on it and fix it.
Selling through multiple channels diversifies your revenue stream and increases your brand exposure so that you’re seen by more clients.
Got questions? Get in touch and chat with an experienced designer about anything. No charge, no tricks, no obligations.