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Dream Believe Create is an online magazine for women entrepreneurs, creatives and change-makers. It’s for women who want to start sustainable, mission-driven businesses or creative practices without sacrificing their principles and avoiding the profit-at-any-cost / business-as-usual model that we’re all so tired of.

Boost Your Revenue with these 7 Steps

Boost Your Revenue with these 7 Steps

{3 minute read}

Starting a business is exciting, and it can be all consuming.

In the early days, you’ll probably be kept busy developing a website, designing your logo, organising business cards and a whole host of other tasks that are part of establishing your new venture.

But after a while, once your website is live and your new business cards have arrived, the need to secure a steady stream of paying customers hits home.

This is where the busy-ness of the early days can give way to feelings of anxiety. To outsiders, everything looks wonderful. You have a fabulous website, your office is set up, and your social media posts are getting lots of love and support from friends and well-wishers; but on the inside, you’re starting to feel apprehensive. You’ve invested time and money in your business and perhaps given up your day job. Now, without a regular paycheck, your savings are diminishing and the pressure to make a decent income is growing more urgent by the day.

If this sounds familiar, then you're not alone. Many business owners experience this transition from optimism and excitement to anxiety. Fortunately, there are specific actions you can take to get your business on track. Follow these seven steps to start increasing your business revenue now:

1. Clarify your target market

Who will buy your product or service? What do you know about them? Do you understand their lives - what’s their stage of life, where do they live, what’s important to them and precisely what problem you will be solving for them?

If you haven’t figured out who your target market is, you won't be able to effectively engage with them so it’s definitely worth investing some time and energy in identifying them now.

Get to know and understand them, so that you’ll be able to provide the marketing, pricing, delivery and support services that best meet their needs.

2. Create a product ecosystem

Next, it’s time to re-think your product ecosystem, or create one if you haven’t already. Get started by providing opportunities for customers to get to know and trust your business. One way to do this is to offer a valuable gift. Perhaps your customers could download a checklist or guide from your website, or collect a product sample from your bricks and mortar store.

Freebies like this build trust and allow you to display examples of your product range or expertise. Once potential customers feel comfortable with you, they’ll be ready to consider their first purchase. Use this opportunity to provide an affordable introductory and low-risk {to the customer} offer such as a mini-service, a short consultation or a low-cost tangible item.

Next, design your core product. This core product should provide a  complete solution to your customer’s problem. To ensure it stands out from the competition, it will ideally be a remarkable solution that delights or pleasantly surprises them in some way.

3. Set critical-drivers

Critical-drivers are actions, such as making sales calls, posting on social media or meeting with potential customers, that when practised consistently, generate your desired business outcomes.

Decide which critical-drivers make sense for your business, and for best results apply them consistently by setting targets. For example, you may decide to make ten sales calls a week, or to post daily to social media.

4. Spread the word

No one will buy from you if they don’t know you exist. You've analysed and gotten to know your target market, and your job now is to connect with them in the places where they spend time. This may be through advertising, online via social media, at networking events, at trade fairs or by sponsoring a local sporting event or good cause. There are lots of possibilities, and many are low cost and easy to implement.

5. Seek feedback

Once initial sales are underway it’s time to ask for feedback. Whether you send out a survey or ask in person, finding out what your customers think about your offering is an immensely valuable exercise. Do they like your product or service, does it meet their needs? Will they buy again, if not then why not? Would they recommend your business to others and what suggestions do they have for improvements?

6. Refine

Customer input helps you to refine your product to make it even more appealing. Review your customers' responses and consider how you can improve your offering even further based on their feedback.

Once you’ve implemented any necessary improvements, it's time to go back and check that your product ecosystem and critical-drivers are still appropriate before re-launching your refined offerings via your advertising and marketing channels

7. Ask for referrals

Sometimes, we overlook the simple things, like remembering to ask for a referral. Satisfied, engaged customers can be a fabulous asset in providing new business referrals. If you know that a customer is happy with your products and service, why not ask her for an introduction to others who might benefit from working with you too? You could also ask for testimonials to share on your website and social media platforms.

By regularly revisiting these seven steps you'll be able to avoid flagging sales and to build reliable revenue in your business, now and into the future.

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