To paraphrase a famous author:
Consider any businessman at any period of his life, and you will always find him preoccupied with fresh plans to increase his profits.
Making more money starts with intelligent financial management – and in this article you’ll read 5 steps for your business to make more money:
Step #1 – Get work done for free where possible.
I wrote an article on Performancing on this topic:
You could apply this to any type of business, not just blogs. It comes to a combination of leveraging the resources available to you and minimizing expenses where possible. By having your customers double as your evangelists, you can reduce expenses and get more work done just by treating your customers the right way.
Step #2 – Monetize NOW, not later
I don’t mean this as advice to slap ads all over your site. Every niche and every website will have a specific model of monetization – whether it’s based on targeted referrals, mass traffic or newsletter / email-list based traffic.
Instead of waiting till – a) things are picture perfect, b) the site is older, c) you have significant traffic or d) whatever other reason you have for holding off on monetization that doesn’t warrant spending money on, you can monetize NOW and start benefiting from your site traffic today instead of some indeterminate point (date on a calendar doesn’t count) in the future.
Selling affiliate products? Setup your account, put in your links and write those reviews. Betting the house on CPM revenues? Put your ads in the right places FIRST, go after traffic later (with the obvious caveat being that you won’t be able to get into some CPM networks without having enough traffic – however, niche ad networks work fine as well, thank you very much).
Monetizing now focuses your efforts on your (at least one of them) end goal(s) – you might not be setting up every blog / business with the intention of making enough to live off on, but more often than not your business is there to feed you, and not the other way around. Without you setting it up and making it ready to make you money, it’s not going to make you any money.
Monetize now, get your structure in place, and then go after traffic knowing that increased traffic will, every day, earn you more money.
Step #3 – Find balance in monetization
More of a warning than a step – sometimes a business becomes over-dependent on one form of revenue or one source of customers. This dependence can have adverse effects on your business (discussed in more detail here) and because of this you need to ensure that your customers and revenue come from a variety of different sources.
Step #4 – Ask for more
Successful entrepreneurs have a habit of getting what they want. This may come as a surprise, but the primary reason they get what they want is because they ask for it in the first place!
Ask your peers for their help – they’ll be more than happy to oblige as long as you help them as well. Ask those working for you to continuously improve their work – even if you have to tie in incentives based on results. If you’re talking to advertisers, ask them to pay a higher price than they’re offering. If you’re providing copywriting services, ask for more than the industry standard.
It’s human nature to give when asked (as long as the one doing the asking poses no threat to the one they’re asking from) – ever noticed that kid in your family who always got more than he deserved, just because he kept asking for more?
As long as you have realistic expectations and you know how to ask, you’ll generally be better off by asking for the moon than staying silent and ‘expecting it’.
Step #5 – Build up capital like your life depends on it
To be brutally honest, it does. At least the quality of life that you’ll be living an year down the road.
Spend money where it’s most needed, invest in things that will give you maximum return and growth for your money. Shun everything else. Streamline your expenses and maximize your earnings. Tighten the belt, and keep it tight while you aggressively build up revenues.
Having money in the bank – whether it is to bail you out of emergencies, for investing back in your business or for buying / starting up new businesses – is perhaps not the most important thing you can have, but it will make your life OH so much easier. In some ways I was lucky to have built up some capital, but in other ways I had spent more in the last 6 months than I should have and that counted at the end.
Building up capital allows you to invest a large amount when needed – it also forces to cut back on unnecessary expenses and increases profitability which is always a nice number to quote to a prospective buyer.
If nothing else, try avoiding the urge to go Amy Winehouse and blow it all up in smoke (I’d have used a Lohan / Hilton reference, but bringing someone’s crack into a discussion on money isn’t — what? oh…).
Building your business and making a future for yourself and your loved ones (if any are left ) is a serious business – treat it with the respect and attention that you feel your life deserves. I know this is simple and foundational stuff, but if you haven’t got this right, you’ll always be under the risk of having it fall down faster than Britney Spears.
Over to you.