5 Ways to Improve Business Profitability

Today’s business climate is more competitive than ever. And with the relatively slow economic recovery, small and medium size businesses are finding it more challenging than ever to survive. A recent poll by Gallup found that there are now more small businesses closing than opening for the first time in 35 years. In addition, the U.S. has now fallen to number 12 among developed nations in business startup activity. Business Finances

Though many businesses are struggling, it is still possible with the right strategies to boost profitability and carve out your unique niche in today’s competitive marketplace. Here are five practical ways any business can improve their bottom line:

Leverage your Existing Customer Base: The fastest way to improve profitability is to reach out to your current customers or clients. They are most likely to consider new or repeat product or service offerings because you already have an established relationship with them. When they do business with you, they know what they are getting and if you have treated them right, they are likely to continue doing business with you in the future.

One important note: do not go overboard soliciting to existing customers or the strategy could backfire. It is best to reach out to them via email, social media, texting, or other means and provide useful free information most often, with new product and service offerings occasionally mixed in.

Eliminate Unnecessary Overhead Costs: With constant changes in technological services, there is a strong likelihood you may have opportunities to reduce costs in some area of your business. Go over your phone, Internet, equipment leasing, utilities and other costs at least once every six months and look for ways you can save money and improve your overall profitability.

Train Employees to Go Above and Beyond: Your employees are the main ambassadors of your business because they are the ones your customers most often come in contact with. To build a satisfied customer base that will buy from you repeatedly, you must first train your employees to provide exceptional service. Along these same lines, make sure your employees are happy with their pay and work environment.

Establish your Brand: Branding is something many small and medium sized businesses largely ignore because they believe it only applies to major corporations like Coke and McDonalds. Nothing could be further from the truth. Every business, regardless of size, has a brand or image customers/clients have of who you are and what you stand for. There are many ways to build your brand within the market. Some of the most effective and practical include social media engagement (and other forms of online branding) and becoming active in your local community through sponsorships and participation in local events.

Minimize your Tax Liability: Taxes are a major concern for all businesses. The right entity structure, thorough bookkeeping and taking full advantage of available deductions and credits can go a long way in ensuring that your tax burden is kept to a minimum. However, many business people are not up to date on the constant changes in the tax code. For this reason, it is usually best to work with a tax professional that can stay on top of this for you and allow you to direct your focus where it belongs – on running your business.

As always, speak to a professional small business accountant to learn more ways to improve your business profitability.

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