Five Ways to Make Your Small Business More Profitable

by Tom Egelhoff

The Beatles used to be known as the “fab four” during their heyday in the early to mid sixties.

Four musicians working together that changed the face of music and influenced others for generations to come.

Due to today’s shaky economy there are many businesses that are changing their ways of doing business and discarding the tried and true traditions of the past.

Here are five ways companies are evolving and increasing their bottom line by throwing out the old rulebook.

Fab Five One – Narrow your focus

Today’s most profitable companies have ceased trying to be all things to all people and are aiming at a much smaller target.

Companies like Apple have zeroed in on a small group of high end, high margin electronics and have seen sales, market share and stock price skyrocket.

How many other products can you name that people camp out for? What are your five most profitable products and services?

What five things produce the biggest bang for the buck? These are the items that are going to produce positive cash flow in the shortest amount of time.

Fab Five Two – Narrow the market

There are two kinds of customers - Valid and invalid.

Valid customers have the need and the resources to acquire your five most profitable products or services. Jose Eber provides $400 haircuts to Hollywood’s rich and famous on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.

Obviously, not everyone is his customer, but never the less there is a need for his service by those whose occupation demands a certain look.

It’s a good bet Supercuts will spend more on advertising than Jose does.

Fab Five Three – Narrow the message

As a customer, I have one question. Can you solve my problem?

I’m very happy that you have a long company history, great customer service, or that you have a highly trained courteous staff.

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. What’s really important to them? Your convenient parking, or the solution to their problem?

Successful businesses know their advertising and marketing should concentrate on what the customer needs not on the merits of the company.

Fab Five Four – Narrow the delivery

Narrowing your focus on your five most profitable products and services and refining your target market will result in lower ad and marketing costs.

How? Because you are using the rifle approach to reach your market as opposed to the shotgun approach.

You can appear in fewer publications, mail fewer pieces, that are going to result in more actual sales than just leads, that require time and resources to process and may go nowhere.

Advertising somewhere just because you’ve always advertised there is the worst reason to be there.

There must be a demonstrable reason to advertise anywhere.

Fab Five Five – Expand your delivery system

You've identified your five most profitable products and services. If I use one of your five services is there a possibility I might need one or more of the others?

Follow up after the sale is a no brainer for most companies. However this is the perfect opportunity to alert me to other services I might need now or in the future.

Don’t look at it like a “hard” sell. It’s simply additional information to benefit your customer. A sale should never be lost due to lack of information.

Fab Five Final Thoughts

Successful companies review and refine their business practices based on their ideal customers.

One or more of your fab five products might change over time. Due to 24/7 communications, customers are more informed than ever before.

Something your customer felt was critical today maybe obsolete tomorrow.

Keeping your finger on the consumer pulse is critical to your small business success.

Become a “Fab Five” fan and watch your bottom line improve.