Ron Greenwood ex England manager once said "Simplicity is genius". He of course is right and sometimes it is an excellent excercise to go right back the basics and re-examine where we are leading our businesses and what we are making efforts to achieve. If, as most of us are, we are trying to build our business, then the framework below is a great way of focussing on the essentials. There are only four ways to increase the income generating power of any business. To increase the number of customers of the type you want to have.
This sounds obvious, but the sting in the tail is the 'of the type you want to have'. This forces us to profile our customers and really concentrate on what makes a good customer and what makes a bad one. Once this has been established the marketing becomes clearer as we are able to more readily answer questions such as, "where would these prospects congregate". To increase the number of times they deal with you.
Once we have a customer, we all know it is cheaper and more efficient to keep the customers we have than to be continually acquiring new customers. (A particular problem for wedding photographers if they do not complement that work with, for example, portraits) The above statement though is subtly different. It also forces us to think about additional services and products we can sell. To increase the value of each transaction.
Increasing the value (to us and our customer) is far removed from turnover, remember - turnover vanity, profit sanity. It may be entirely possible that we increase our profit by doing less and charging less. Our customers will only pay for what is of value to them.
To increase the effectiveness with which you do all of those things.
This is the Japanese 'Kaizen'. Not really a surprise that they have a word for "activities that continually improve all functions". This is really us, getting up each morning and asking ourselves - How can I do what I do, better, cheaper, faster?
The real trick is however, to do all of the above to achieve the compound effect. Dream a little, reflect on the possibilities If you were able to improve each of the above by just 10% and to then do that 3 years running? What are you waiting for?
Howard Butterfield of theimagefile... offers some more good advice
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