The goal for most small business owners is to build up a consistent and steady level of income that is sustainable for a long period of time. But, even if you achieve this, there may still be times when you need a larger than normal influx of cash.
Imagine that you need to update your technology, or buy new equipment, or invest in education and skill development. These are a few possible situations when you need access to money you may not have in your regular budget. In order to make it work without falling behind financially, you will need to plan in advance for your upcoming investment by building up your cash reserves.
Here are a few ways to boost your bottom line relatively quickly.
Take a look at your most popular products and services and consider where you might be able to add complementary services that will increase your income. If you've been collecting client feedback (and you should be!), use the information you've gathered to identify additional areas where you can diversify.
You may also want to increase your knowledge and skills in certain areas to make yourself more marketable to a larger or different target audience.
It may seem counterproductive to pay someone else to complete work for you when you're trying to boost your bottom line, but it can actually be a very effective approach. Think about the necessary tasks that eat away at your time -- bookkeeping, social media monitoring, contact management, other administrative tasks. If you were to outsource those tasks to a virtual assistant or a part-time employee, you would reclaim time that you can spend on doing what you're good at -- pleasing clients and customers and selling more of your products and services.
Do a Financial Audit
When was the last time to reviewed all of your business accounts to see what you're spending on ongoing expenses, and exactly where those funds are going? Conduct an internal financial audit to see what you can cut immediately to save on your bottom line.
Keep an eye open for recurring payments; they can be easily forgotten when they automatically hit your account every month or every year. Some services allow you to pause your subscriptions temporarily, or leave and come back at a later time, so you may want to explore those options as well.
Consider Open Source
Most of us use the best software available for what we do, and those top-of-the-line options often come with a big price tag. While I wouldn’t recommend replacing all of your brand name software with free alternatives, there are some great open source applications that make adequate alternatives -- perhaps on a second computer.
Open source software is attractive for many business owners because it typically requires no financial investment and frequently has the flexibility to fit perfectly within your needs. One of the most popular open-source tools available is OpenOffice.org, an office software suite with word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more.
Raise Your Rates
Raising your rates is not necessarily a quick fix to money challenges, but it can be one way to achieve a fiscally healthy business. Assuming you have the skills and experience to justify a rate increase, you can raise your rates across the board, or incrementally starting with new clients, in order to increase your income.
Money is something you have a lot of control over in your small business. When you give yourself enough time to identify your financial goals, and develop a plan to increase your income, it is entirely possible to boost your bottom line quickly by using the approaches above.