Here’s my top 14 strategies to drive the bottom line forward. Take just a couple of hours and work out how you can implement the majority of the following and you will be thrilled by the results.
1. Put up prices by 5% or more. This creates more profit (per sale). So even if you sell exactly the same number of products as before, both your turnover and your profits have increased.

2. Decrease direct costs by 10% or more. Go to all your suppliers and ask them for a better price… you will be amazed at the response you will get by just asking. And the impact it can have on your bottom line profits.
3. Fire underperforming suppliers, customers and staff. In other words STOP THE SABBOTAGE. This will create a better working environment for you, your team and allow you to focus on delivering great products and services to the customers that really count.
4. Get and use testimonials. This is THE most powerful social proof. Create a mechanism to harvest testimonials all of the time and use them on your web site, social media, email – everywhere!
5. Sort out your proposition. Be crystal clear about what business you are in and be able to articulate the ‘why’ and ‘what’ in a way that is powerful and compelling.
6. Define your AVATAR. Spend time understanding who your perfect prospect is, where they hang out, what are their goals and indeed objections to the sale. This will give your sales and marketing a laser focus.
7. Turn your profession into your passion. Do this and it will make you un-stoppable. No day will ever feel like going to work.
8. Get 40% more leads. Go networking, implement a digital marketing plan, ask for referrals, definitely get up earlier, and talk to more people. And watch your bottom line profits grow.
9. Never reduce targets or pricing – ALWAYS be adding value. Welcome to the age of Always Be Helping, where the most successful salespeople act like consultants – not sellers. Make sure you’re providing value from day one. And this means real, objective value.
10. Get customers to buy at least 10% more products. Once they have bought what they usually buy, suggest they purchase an additional product or service.
11. Get customers to buy at least 10% more often. Encourage your customers to come back more often, start sending out a newsletter or social media campaign to get them to visit more often.
12. Create premium products. 10% of your customers will buy a product or service with is 10X more expensive than anything you offer right now…because they can and you need to offer it to them.
13. Stop them leaving. I promise you, just talking to existing and past customers will generate more business. Most ex customers are happy but someone else came along who wanted their business more than you did …
14. Collect money quicker, 30 days quicker. Sharpen your terms and incentivise fast payment. You can then devote less time to debt collection and more time to making sales. A simple step but it will have a huge impact on your bottom line now and going forward.

Don’t delay. The faster you make the tough decisions and get on with it – the sooner you will start to generate more profits.
Create simple, easy to understand plans and communicate them with clarity and passion.
Stop reading, take massive action. Now.

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Black Box Thinking by Matthew Syed 

Columnist for The Times and best-selling author of Bounce: The myth of talent and the power of practice, Matthew Syed argues that the key to success is a positive attitude to failure. What links the Mercedes Formula One team with Google? What links Dave Braisford’s Team Sky and the aviation industry?What is the connection between the inventor James Dyson and the footballer David Beckham? They are all Black Box Thinkers.

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