Business October 15, 2018 Last updated October 14th, 2018 571 Reads share

6 Ways to Increase ROI for Your Small Business

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Many business owners find it difficult increase ROI, yet it’s hard to put time or money behind something that’s not driving tangible results—and for good reason. With minimal time and a budget to match, you have to be intentional about every dime that comes out of your pocket. This mindset is critical to the success of your business:

If your ROI is low, it’s time to revive it with some fresh ideas. Use these tactics to increase ROI and get your profit where it needs to be.

“How you’re spending money, how much you’re spending, and what you are getting in return is critical to growing your business wisely. Success depends on keeping track of both expenses and profits on a continuous basis,” suggest experts at Summit Financial Resources.

#1: Tap Into Sales Insights

When you understand the trends and metrics behind your business’s selling activities, you’re able to refine and optimize boost ROI. Accumulating data, however, is just one piece of the whole equation. You must also empower your sales team by letting them own the data and the tools used to collect it.

When the sales team is actively participating, and yielding their own conclusions, they’re more motivated to reach—and even surpass—the targeted sales quota. “The magic [of this approach] is the combination of getting insights to the frontline in a simple, easy-to-digest way, while allowing reps the freedom to explore some of the underlying input which lets them develop their own ideas,” suggest the global business consultants at McKinsey & Company.

This collaborative system allows you to get the most from the data and your sales team, while encouraging them to uncover their own best strategies.

However, if you don’t have a sales team, and you sell products or services online as a solopreneur, use your sales insights to consider where changes need to be made. For example, your checkout process may be causing potential customers to click away without purchasing. To change this, consider the three golden rules from 5 Secrets to Selling Products Online:

  • Don’t require visitors to register or sign up when they first visit your website.
  • Don’t make them overthink; make it easy for them to find what they want to buy and check out. To do so, keep your navigation at the top of the page and make it consistent.
  • Don’t make buying process long. More importantly, don’t ask for too much information from customers. The more steps to complete, the greater the friction, the lower your ROI.

#2: Repurpose Your Content

Creating content can feel like a waste of time. You spend all this time writing a blog post, designing it and publishing. But then what? You promote it on social media and an email newsletter and then it just sits there. To drive more ROI from your content, turn to repurposing.

Repurposing is process of extracting quotes, statistics or case studies from the article and turning them into new pieces of content. In this way, you can create new content in half the time—and get more from the content you’ve already put a lot of time into. Dive into repurposing, and how it can boost your ROI with this 30-minute Skillshare course, How to Boost ROI With Content Repurposing.

Next: track progress. Which piece of content is getting most traffic? Which one is driving the most leads? Use this information to create a plan for how you’ll continue to create and repurpose content over and over. As you spend less time, but create more, you’ll find your ROI gets a nice boost.

#3: Trim Your Contractor and Vendor List

Most businesses outsource certain jobs to independent suppliers whose area of expertise is that particular function. This is normal and beneficial to an extent, but it can diminish ROI if you’re not careful. It’s easy to start working with numerous contractors and vendors, then stop using them over time, but forget they’re still doing work in the background.

“If you are paying for services that you haven’t shopped around for in awhile,” or you are unsure whether it’s even a task you still need to outsource, “take another look and get a bid or two. Merchant fees are one of these areas where companies tend to overpay,” says Jennifer Barnes, co-founder of Pro Black Office.

Luckily, this is an easy fix. Make a list of all your vendors and contractors and what they’re doing—are they providing value? If not, add them to the “eliminate” list. If so, follow Barnes advice and get bids. You may find you can pay less for the same output, boosting overall ROI.

#4: Refine Social Media and Set Goals

In this digital economy, social media marketing has become a necessary evil for businesses. But a common mistake is to have a presence on all the channels. The principal makes sense: the more networks you’re on the better chance you have at being found.

Unfortunately, this ends up spreading you too thin. Instead of doing really well one just one or two sites, you’re doing poorly on four or five. That’s bad for your brand and your customer service if customers are reaching out to you on each and every platform. Not to mention, this just adds to the stress you’re already feeling to “do it all.”

Instead, refine your process with goals. What are your goals for social media? To drive traffic to your blog? Boost your brand? Earn leads? Now focus on the sites that are making that possible already by heading into analytics. Which sites are already moving the needle on these goals?

The rest should be put on the back burner, while you focus on being more effective with social media.

#5: Invest in Live Chat Software

A growing trend in online business is the live chat feature on e-commerce websites. This technology can take your customer service to the next level, without bringing on more employees. The idea is simple: the chat software facilitates instant communication between your website visitors and representatives. This makes the shopping experience feel more efficient, personalized and convenient—three elements that generate positive feedback and secure repeat customers.   

The value is in being immediately available, right when potential customers have questions. This allows you to make the sale, and even upsell: “With a richer and more immediate method of interaction with the customer, your sales reps have an easier way to come up with additional products the customer might be interested in,” according to the experts at Small Business Bonfire.  They continue, “With a more efficient customer service system, you lower the chances of frustrated and unsatisfied customers who leave without making a purchase.”

#6: Create Better Company Culture

A happy team is always better for ROI. According to HR experts at ProSky, happy employees are more productive, which leads to greater performance, driving higher revenue and increased retention. The cost of hiring a new employee alone is enough to turn your focus to company culture and ensuring employees are happy and successful.

A study conducted by business change expert Dr. James Kotter and his colleague Dr. James Heskett found that organizations that invested in their culture fiscally outperformed the competition. This research argues that when employees, customers and business owners are valued equally in “corporate cultures that facilitate adaptation to a changing world,” the financial return is significant.          

Increase ROI Now

Maximizing an ROI is crucial for any entrepreneur and small business owner, and can make or break your business. Get social media on track, use analytics to empower your sales team, and make sure your company culture is keeping everyone happy. Track progress, continue tweaking as needed, and get read to watch your ROI grow higher and higher.

Jessica Thiefels

Jessica Thiefels

Jessica Thiefels is founder and CEO of Jessica Thiefels Consulting, a small business focused on content marketing. She’s been writing for more than 10 years and has been featured in top publications like Forbes and Business2Community. She also regularly contributes to Virgin, Business Insider, Glassdoor, Score.org and more.

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