Revenue isn’t just about making a sale or setting a price to make a profit. As seen in the music industry, taxi industry, retail and even professional services, technology can either make or break a business. The turning tide of what customers want and how they want it can cripple you if you’re not open. The most dangerous thing anyone can say is “but we’ve always done it this way”.
Even McDonald’s is paying attention. Sure, to you it’s hamburgers and happy meals. Drive thru or walk up to the counter. But they’ve been paying attention to their customers and the evolution of delivery. They started using apps, kiosks and “fast pass” ordering. They knew they were leaving money on the table by not meeting the needs of their busy consumers. You know, the folks who don’t have time to wait on long lines. A 6 minutes or less drive thru wasn’t cutting it.
What are you missing? Where are some areas where you can bring in additional or increased revenue? How are you maximizing opportunities?
My 3 Tips:
- Use change as an opportunity to create more revenue where others can’t see it. What’s going on is an evolution. As people become more impatient and look for instant gratification, you have to understand those needs, anticipate them, and deliver. Don’t be afraid of what you don’t understand. Challenge yourself to learn more about it…then take action!Take Lyor Cohen (CEO of 300 Entertainment) for example. While the music industry and artists fought streaming services, Lyor saw opportunity. He knew that if he understood how customers consumed his clients music, he could meet them where they lived. He didn’t see streaming services as just a way for the service to make money on the backs of artists. He saw it as just another source of revenue. Even if the artists didn’t make as much through streaming, the exposure they received was incredible.
I know I said “exposure kills”. But in Lyor’s case, he used the activity and revenue from the streaming services to build bigger marketing strategies to capitalize form and work in conjunction with the streaming service. Much like with Amazon and the war with publishers and authors, don’t let this be the major or sole source of revenue. You can maximize every single revenue opportunity if you do it right.
- Use analytics to pinpoint where your real buyers are. Do you understand the buying patterns of your customers? Have you invested in analytics? There’s a reason why some people seem to always get what their customers want. Birchbox is one example. They took a step back as they saw increasing competition in their space and focused on studying their customers- their buying habits, social media activity, how they preferred to do business with and consume content from Birchbox.Listen, analytics may seem like just another expense to you right now. But what if you could understand you customers in a more deep and revealing way? Wouldn’t you jump at the opportunity to enhance your current offerings and create new offerings for customers that would bring in more revenue? Think about it. The more you understand, the better you can tailor the experience, and the more customers will spend with you. Don’t be lazy or cheap. Invest in analytics and research!
- Experiment with more. Did I lose you on that one? Let me explain. When you focus on what has worked or your one or two signature products or services, you box yourself in. You’ll have to either continue raising prices or work harder to get new customers. You are creating more work for yourself. But if you try introducing new products and services (after you’ve determined a legitimate want and need for them from customers), you open up new revenue flow. Another way to look at this is trying new things. When Uber came about, it was split. Many people were uneasy about riding in a stranger’s car and opted to stay with traditional taxis. While others were tired of paying outrageous fares, waiting extremely long periods for a car to come and riding with rude cab drivers. So for them, this new ride sharing was a great value proposition. I push a button, get a ride, and pay less. And on top of that, they can see in real time how far away their driver was and identifying details before the drive arrived so they knew who’s car they were getting into.
Just think about it. If traditional taxi’s and car services had taken any of riders’ concerns into consideration, they too might have been able to benefit from Uber’s model. I’ll go back to the Amazon example. When I first decided to publish a book, many authors and publishers warned me of the perils of working with the evil Amazon. And I agreed with most of the sentiments. But if I had closed myself off, I would have missed out.
That first book being on Amazon allowed me to capture the attention of Forbes editors. That lead to me writing for them. That lead to me writing No You Can’t Pick My Brain. And you know the rest. My point is I stepped out on faith and aligned myself with Amazon. But I also made sure that as I developed as an author, I also learned every single way I could maximize one title, one book. I know many ways to take a book and stretch it into many different streams of revenue.
I took a chance on experimenting with more. Don’t let opportunities to bring in more revenue slide by because of fear or hearsay. At worst, you won’t make much and you can retire the product or service. At best, you’ll create additional streams of revenue.
Founder, Mogul Chix, LLC
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Adrienne Graham is the Founder of Mogul Chix, LLC (www.mogulchix.com), a global company and community for female founders and women entrepreneurs. She works with female-founded companies to grow, scale & making them investment ready. She is CEO of Empower Me! Corporation, a growth strategies consultancy for high growth companies. She provides Strategic Business Growth advisory services to companies with high growth potential to assist clients in creating processes and strategies to effectively scale, run, grow and position their business for success. Adrienne is an author, serial entrepreneur and avid techie dedicated to promoting inclusive diversity in the tech, VC and startup community. She is steadily building her empire one company at a time. She is also a Mentor for the Straight Shot Accelerator in Omaha, NE, which helps guide startups into successfully launched ventures.