I know, it sounds silly to many, but in truth the savvy business owner knows where money goes and how fine the margin of profit is after operating expenses, insurance, paying employees, etc, are all factored in.
If you're in this situation, here are tips for giving yourself a raise. Although they might not all work for you, I would venture that at least two of these ideas could be a perfectly feasible way to give you the financial boost you need.
1. Find more tax breaks
- Deductions for advertising, insurance, car expenses, home office utilities, expenses for equipment, for your cellphone, for travel, for your IRA, as well as development training, etc - all of these and more are common deductions, reducing your tax burden at the end of the year, or each quarter. Talk to a good, recommended tax expert that has experience with small businesses and has the heart of a teacher, so you learn as you save!
- Here's just one list of potential tax deductions for the self-employed, to get the ideas flowing. If you can add even one of these to your tax strategy, it could mean thousands more a year in your pocket.
2. Increase your client base, or expanding it to a new niche, or more affluent market
- If you're a self employed consultant, or you're selling a product or service you always have the opportunity to employ marketing and positioning strategies that can increase or improve your client base. One of my online mentors, Dan Kennedy, was famous for sharing one of his best secrets for building a huge online empire - every day he followed at least one lead for a new client. I mean every, every day, before bed, he would pursue an opportunity to add a client he could serve, or a company he could consult for in the future. This simple daily habit almost guaranteed him more clients and customers than he could ever need in the future.
- Here's a list of 33 Ways to Get More Clients - check it out and see what one idea you can employ today.
3. Increase your rates or prices
- Already have more clients or customers than you can handle? Then consider raising your rates or prices. Generally having too many clients or customers can mean you're pricing too low for the market or for the value of what you offer. So in many cases, raising your price can have two immediate benefits - more time for you, and more money in your pocket. Use the extra money to invest in the business or pay off debt, and the extra time to take time for you or your family, or to work on expanding your business in new and innovative ways.
- Here's some guidance on When and How to Raise your Rates - there are many more reasons and strategies, but if you're unsure, test it on new customers only to get a sense of what works for you.
4. Identify a new niche or more affluent client base - a new or more affluent niche (having more money to spend) can be a quick way to hit the bottom line quickly.
5. Offer courses, training, or tutorials - online universities and programs are cropping up everywhere. You could develop and teach courses at your local university, or through online providers like Udemy.com or Coursera.com.
6. Provide consulting advice to another organization or online - as a business owner you have skills, strengths, experience and expertise that are valuable. In our global market, fully connected by the internet, your value can help not only local organizations with similar challenges but customers on the internet and abroad.
- To help you get started, here is a great guide for launching your consulting business.
- Or if you're experience and offerings fit more in the Freelance sector, try Upwork.com - a freelance exchange service that you can start making money on almost immediately.
7. Cut expenses - the flip side of making more money is wasting less of the money you already get. This sounds simple enough, but few business owners really take the art of subtraction and streamlining far enough - leaving lots of room for improvement and savings. A great way to do this is to 1. Map out your business processes and 2. Apply the Lean tool known as Value Stream Mapping. If you haven't heard of lean, it started in Toyota's manufacturing plants, as a method of eliminating every wasteful step in their processes, to essentially reduce scrap and excessive steps to the bare minimum, making them highly efficient and more profitable.
- Here is just one of many examples of videos that share tons of tips for reducing expenses and saving money.
- Also, here is a link to a challenge I've done to really give me perspective on my spending habits and the power of accumulating money by not letting it go - The Spending Fast
I could share more, but try these for starters and let me know what works for you.