14 Commonly Overlooked Methods For Increasing Business Profits

From boosting their marketing efforts to improving internal operations, there are many ways for businesses to increase profits. Even if you think you’ve exhausted all your resources, there are usually a few stones left unturned if you know where to look.

It’s not uncommon for leaders to focus on the aspects of their business that turn the highest profit and, in doing so, forget about some less obvious ways to bring in more revenue. Below, 14 members of Forbes Coaches Council share effective methods for increasing profits and revenue that businesses commonly overlook. 

1. Address The Cause Of Turnover

Turnover is often talked about, but the cause of it is not often addressed. Payroll is your biggest expense, and many times, it just takes a few tweaks to a systematic process or tool to make better business decisions and hire right. Turnover is the sound of your profits leaking out. Addressing it will immediately increase profits and top-line sales. – Shelley Smith, Premier Rapport

2. Increase The Size Of Customers’ Purchases

One way to increase profits and revenue is to increase the size of customers’ purchases. This can be done by bundling services and products into packages. For example, compare the fee for an oil change at 10,000 miles versus the fee for a 10,000-mile tune-up. If the customer is already in your facility or on your website, think of the steps you can implement to maximize the value of that visit and ensure repeat business. – Emily Letran, Exceptional Leverage Inc.

3. Upsell Your Existing Customers

Admittedly, this is one I often overlook. Going back to your trusted customers to upsell them can help you avoid the bright, shiny lights of focusing on the pursuit of a new customer. Get testimonials from those current customers and keep giving them value. Word will spread, and your business will grow without having to dedicate so much time and so many resources to acquiring those elusive new customers. – Mark Moyer, Mark Moyer


4. Ask Current Or Past Clients For Referrals 

One commonly overlooked method of increasing revenue is asking current or past clients for referrals. Many people we advise on business development strategy are uncomfortable asking their own clients for help, or haven’t considered it. We find that happy clients are eager to support companies that have made a difference for them; asking for referrals gives them a way to show their appreciation. – Precious Williams Owodunni, Mountaintop Consulting

Forbes Coaches Council is an invitation-only community for leading business and career coaches. Do I qualify?

5. Stop Overspending The Money You Have

One way to have more money is to stop overspending what you’ve got. If you find yourself saying, “I gotta spend money to make money,” think about this lesser-known adage: “I oughta save money first.” Take a close look at what you’re spending your money on and see if there’s a better buy. Cut out waste. Look for time- and money-saving tools. Measure the return on current investments and cut losses. – Robin Blakely, Creative Center of America

6. Offer Employee Development Opportunities

Treat your talent as your most valuable asset. Invest in your employees by offering professional development and the opportunity to work with a coach. A trained thought partner allows employees to recognize their values, identify their aspirations and leverage their strengths to build a more fulfilling career and life. You’ll win financial benefits thanks to the low turnover that results from a culture of growth, safety and health. – Deborah Goldstein, DRIVEN Professionals

7. Consider Why Prospects Aren’t Buying

Don’t just look at why your customers are buying from you. Instead, look at why your non-customers aren’t buying from you. Is there something the competition is doing better than you? Can you do it even better? Find the reasons, and you might just open up a brand new market for yourself. – Adrian Choo, Career Agility International

8. Return To Undecided Prospects

I can’t say enough about how important it is to circle back with prospects who needed to “think about it.” Too often, this is taken as a “no” instead of a “not right now.” After giving them time to feel the pain of missing this service or resource, a well-timed follow-up call can frequently result in ultimately landing the sale. You can make it rain through the follow-up! – Laura DeCarlo, Career Directors International

9. Implement Annual Price Increases Across The Board

Business owners overlook an option that at first seems insignificant, yet is a smart financial strategy: establishing a policy of automatically implementing annual 1% to 2% price increases across the board. It is an easy way to keep pace with inflationary pressures and helps maintain margins. The small increases are hardly noticed, as opposed to how noticeable it would be to wait until you must make a substantial one. – Rick Itzkowich, Vistage Worldwide, Inc.

10. Control Or Reduce Costs By Merging Functions

One way to increase profits is to control or reduce costs. A common way things can get expensive for companies is by having the same function in multiple parts of the organization. In my past experience, for example, one consumer packaged goods company had 80 unique supply chains across Europe. We saved so much money and increased efficiency when we created a single European supply chain. – Kimberly Janson , Janson Associates, LLC

11. Invest In Quality Leadership Training

Invest in a quality leadership training program for the whole management team. Managers have the greatest impact on the employee experience; when managers are ineffective, team productivity suffers and top performers leave. By empowering your managers with the tools and habits of effective leaders, you help them become coaches for all of their team members and unlock the full potential of the team. – Aaron Levy, Raise The Bar

12. Focus On Customer Service And Client Retention

One of the most overlooked ways of increasing profits and revenue is through client retention. I believe most businesses are so focused on growing their customer base, they forget that providing excellent service and retaining the customers they have is most effective. Having repeat clients not only increases revenue, but it also increases your profits because you’re saving money on client acquisition as well. – Lacey Sites, A Lit Up Life

13. Make Existing Clients Aware Of All Services

Be sure that existing clients are fully aware of all the services you offer, not just the ones you currently perform for them. Given that you’ve done a good job, it is almost always easier to get an existing client to contract additional services than it is to generate brand new clients. Be sure to talk about the other types of work you’re engaged in. – Kathy Bernhard, KFB Leadership Solutions

14. Repackage Tested Programs Or Ideas

Repackage tested programs or ideas, even if it creates a temporary controversy. To keep your company fresh, you don’t always need to totally reinvent. Look at the “old Coke versus new Coke” battle of decades ago. The drama surrounding the new Coke formula created such a firestorm that it helped generate excitement for a very old brand. Don’t be afraid to repackage tried-and-true offerings to create interest and demand. – John M. O’Connor, Career Pro Inc.

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