The cashflow challenge

By: Fiona Clark

Being in business is exciting, no two days are the same, there is no income cap, and you can create your business and do it your way. And while there are different reasons you may have started your business in the first place, most business owners want to make money, have good quality clients and pay themselves a decent amount each month. It might sound simple, but there are lots of factors that get in the way of profit and taking decent drawings from the business.

One of the challenges is keeping your turnover and cashflow strong and consistent.  This includes filling your pipeline with potential clients and making sure you reach your sales target each month. If cashflow is a challenge and you need to get money in the door, here are a few strategies to help.

First of all, target your database. This means doing more business with your existing and past clients. They already like you and have done business with you, and are easier to get in front of when you have built trust and a working relationship with them. So think about your ‘A’ and ‘B’ type clients who have bought from you in the past, but you haven’t heard from for awhile. 

Secondly, think about an offer you could make to encourage them to buy again.  This is where you need to put your customer hat on, and focus on what would appeal to them. Do you have any new products you have introduced lately, or is there a new service you are providing customers now?  Or if there isn’t anything new to promote, what existing products can you package together to provide more value for clients and create more reasons to buy? Also ensure your offer is for a limited time, to help create some urgency and encourage clients to take action and buy now. 

Thirdly, tell people about it. You could use a variety of marketing methods, depending on your business and the best way to get in front of your clients. This could be via e-newsletter to your selected database, personal emails to specific clients or social media. Also direct mail can work as a strategy – research shows that posted letters have a higher open rate than email added to someone’s inbox – particularly because it is almost a novelty to get a letter nowadays! Consider some of the traditional forms of marketing, including advertisements in your community newspaper – they still work in a world of technology and can get your message directly to local customers, as well as providing online options.

So when you need to increase sales, turn to marketing and focus on getting back in front of your existing clients. Create reasons for them to do business with you again, and make them feel important and valued. After all, they’ve helped you build your success so far.

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