Improving the profit margin of your business is arguably the most important aim of your business. While your intentions for starting the company were no doubt noble, you are not running a charity or a non-profit, so deriving a healthy income from the business is of paramount importance.
Not only does chasing a healthier profit margin lead to a healthier bank balance for those with shares in the company, but it creates a productive atmosphere within the organization. When every employee, executive, investor, and board member are combining their efforts to seek a more cost-effective and efficient way of running every aspect of the enterprise, the whole business becomes more productive, sharp, and intelligent.
Seeking a certain increase in profits over a set period is a concrete target to aim for and can lead to you achieving other, smaller goals in the process. For example, if you are looking for a way of reducing material costs on your production line, then you are likely to find an innovative solution that both benefits the product and your bottom line.
Forcing yourself to look deeper into every detail of your business – from material acquisition to production and delivery, as well as improving your marketing campaigns and polishing your customer service, will ensure that your business is lifted to a new level of accomplishment. The net result will be the continued increase in profits, which will hopefully become an ever-increasing spiral of success.
However, achieving an increased profit margin is tricky because your efforts can easily undo all the hard work you have already invested in your business. Sometimes, using cheaper materials, sacking seemingly superfluous employees, and streamlining the production process can lead to lower quality products, an unhappy workforce, and a business that is operating on the bare minimum that it needs to survive.
Therefore, you should aim for a balance between the two extremes in order to maintain a productive and profitable business that rewards customers and employees alike:
Analyze your current finances
The first step to achieving a healthier profit margin is to create a statement of profit and loss. This will help you to ascertain where your business is currently at financially, where you are gaining money and where you are losing it.
As a result, you will have a clear platform to work off, and you can implement immediate changes if necessary. Without a clear understanding of your corporate finances, you will have no idea how or if you can make your business more profitable in its current form.
Of course, depending on the size of your organization, you may either be doing all the financial calculations yourself or employ a team of accountants to do it for you. If the answer is the former, then be sure to refresh your financial education with a basic accounting or finance course that can teach you the fundamentals of how money functions within a corporate structure. You will be able to make far more informed decisions off the back of it.
Reduce your expenses
One of the most tried and tested ways of increasing your profit margin is to reduce your expenditure. After all, the less you are paying in overheads, the more money you have left over to pocket.
Of course, if you want to reduce expenditure, then you have to do it carefully. A common mistake made by business owners looking to quickly extract more cash from their company is to slash overheads without analyzing why they currently pay a certain amount in regular payments.
This can result in severe instability and even force your internal workflows to grind to a halt. If your staff aren’t being paid properly, you are no longer paying rent on corporate real estate, or if you shut down entire departments in the name of profit, then you could quickly lose your organization altogether.
Instead, carefully analyze each payment you make within your business – whether it is to contractors, material suppliers, staff salaries, rent, and accompanying overheads, or even insurance to make sure you are handing over the fair amount.
It might be that you must renegotiate or find an alternative solution. This can be a positive for your company if you manage to source a more innovative way of solving a particular problem.
Increase your customer base
Another great way to increase the profit margin of your business is to expand your customer base. This is a common-sense solution because the more customers you have, the greater number of sales you will accumulate over time and the more profit you will take home.
To increase your customer base, focus your efforts primarily on improving your brand identity. By establishing yourself as a distinct leader in your industry, you will find it easier to attract customers on a regular basis.
Once you have expanded your customer base using a targeted marketing campaign, you should encourage your customers to refer their friends or family to your business (perhaps through discounts or vouchers), as well as reward regular customers with lower prices.
This process should be set on an endless repeat, working to keep increasing your customer base and your profits as a result.
Offer related services that require minimal resources
Increasing profits is all about selling more products or services without drastically increasing your expenses. To do this, reflect on your current product or service offerings.
Ask yourself, are there related offerings you can provide off the back of them?
A culinary example of this would be cooking your own garlic bread if you already have the pizza oven on. It has next to no impact on your expenses but can provide a healthy increase in the restaurant’s profit margin.
You could even offer these additional services on the back end as customers go to buy their products. Naturally, this works best if the additional offer complements the product or service they were originally bought.
By producing additional products, you may even find more efficient ways of making your existing ones, further increasing your profit margin in the future.