Three no-cost ways to generate more profit

By: Katie Diacon

Date: 30 January 2012

British notes and coinsAs a business-owner, keeping your head above water during tough economic times involves cutting costs. Unfortunately, for many businesses, the first thing that goes is the marketing budget - just at a time when they need to attract as much business as possible.

Businesses might not be able to afford to outsource their marketing, so it's even more important that business owners learn how to generate as many leads as possible - and start adding money to their bottom line - without it costing a fortune.

That's where the three no-cost ways to generate more profit and make selling easier can help businesses flourish - even during tough economic conditions.

1 Set up a referral system

This is where another business continually refers clients to you. Sometimes they are incentivised (ie you pay them for each referral) but the best ones are where you provide a solution for a problem they had that saves them time or money. This sounds great, but how do you convince someone to send their customers your way? The best way is to make an introductory offer so they can trial your products or services. Then once they have seen how great it is, they will happily refer customers to you. Using this system enabled my business to generate more than £30,000 from one phone call.

2 Conduct strategic ventures

A strategic venture is where you and another business agree to send an email out to your database to promote the other. This is usually a one-off and you should think very carefully about what you want to achieve. The offer you give to your strategic venture partner should be enticing enough that you get people taking action and ultimately adding profit to your business.

For both the above systems to work properly you must approach businesses who already sell to lots of your potential customers and then think about how you can solve their problems.

3 Offer a full money-back guarantee

You would probably already do this if you had an unhappy customer, so why not advertise the fact and reverse the buying risk for your customers? It will also make selling far easier. Imagine you were trying to give up smoking and were considering using a hypnotherapist. If they promised you they could help you quit and if it didn't work within two sessions you didn't have to pay anything - it would be a no-brainer.

Katie Boost is a business author and runs seminars for small businesses

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