Working from home is the dream of many professionals, but it can come with some unexpected costs. If you’ve been maintaining an at-home office for some time, you may have noticed some areas where you can increase your profit and save some costs.
The key to maintaining an effective business is to make smart, intentional decisions about your cash outflow while maximizing your profit potential. Implement the following 8 tips to keep your business running like a well-oiled and cost-efficient machine.
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Way to Make More:
Develop a Loyalty Program
If you want your existing clientele to keep coming back for more, encourage repeat customers by implementing a loyalty program. To develop a loyalty program, analyze your existing clients and determine their needs. What program would actually benefit and entice them? Once you’ve answered this question, it’ll be much easier to determine the most effective loyalty program. Keep in mind that a loyalty program will only work if you provide a quality product or service!
Once you have a strong clientele base, another way to drive business is by attracting new customers. While there are many ways to reach new clients, one of the most effective is to ask for referrals. If you are providing a quality product or service, you are likely already naturally receiving word of mouth referrals. But a referral program will help boost this even more. Remember that it’s best to ask for referrals in person but never when you are giving someone their bill.
Research the Market
The days of one-size-fits-all marketing are long gone, and the most effective way to run a business is by understanding your target market. It’s important to look at your company as a solution to your markets’ needs.
In order to do this, you must first identify what their needs are. Research demographics, desires, and purchasing power of your target market, then present your product or service as a solution to your market’s needs. To do this effective you must fully understand your market and focus your advertising on your product/service’s benefits.
Offer an Upsell and Incentives
There are a couple ways to encourage immediate sales and sales of greater quantity: Incentives and upselling. Incentives can come in many forms: Discounts, free shipping, free product, payment plan, etc. These offers will encourage people to buy while they have the opportunity to receive a bonus of some kind.
On the other hand, upselling is a way to sell more to someone who is already buying. Remember while upselling that there is a fine line between being annoying and actually being helpful. It’s important to always offer a service or product your customer may already need based on their original purchase.
Ways to Save More:
Cut Utility Bills
One of the biggest added costs of working from home is increased utility bills. Those who work in professional settings during the week only rack up utility bills at night and on the weeks, while those who work from home are using energy and gas all day long.
Save on gas by using a programmable thermostat, cleaning your HVAC filters, making your home airtight, lowering the water heater temperature, and possibly investing in new windows. While these measures may initially cost money, they will cut your utility costs each month, and potentially save you hundreds every year.
There are a couple ways to save on at-home office equipment. The first is to buy second hand. When in need of an office makeover, give yourself ample time to scour the internet for gently used furniture, computers, printers, etc. to save yourself some money upfront. If you are more concerned with long-term costs, invest in energy efficient technology to save money on utilities. While these devices will cost more initially, they will help you save overall.
Advertise on Social Media
Traditional advertising can be expensive and is slowly being replaced by advertising online, specifically on social media. After you have done the work of determining your target market, you will be in the position to begin utilizing ads on Facebook and Instagram.
When targeted properly, these ads can be incredibly effective and inexpensive. If you are looking to advertise for free, you can do so through establishing an Instagram account that effectively connects with your target market through interacting and using hashtags.
Bookkeeping is critical when it comes to running an effective at-home business. Anyone who runs their own small business will tell you that tax season is a dreaded time. Lessen the stress of your taxes by keeping detailed records of your business expenses. Remember that you may be able to write off your home office, office equipment, travel, and more. Stay up to date on what qualifies as a tax deduction and make sure to keep your receipts!