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I know that we’d all like more new clients and customers. However, there are two other quick and easy ways to make more money using the customers you already have.

Firstly, look at increasing the value of your transactions. This doesn’t necessarily mean increasing your prices or fees, although you should always ensure you are not selling them too cheaply. I am talking about confirming the needs of your customers and ensuring you are meeting those needs with products they actually want.

I understand that some people find it really difficult to say “No”, especially if it means turning down work. On the other hand, if you say “Yes” to everyone you leave yourself wide open to all sorts of problems.

You can soon find yourself bogged down with too many tasks to do, not able to prioritise them and ending up making a poor job of most of them. In the short term you may make plenty of money that month but longer term your clients and customers will be taking their business elsewhere.

I think we all experience this at some stage – I know I have. You reach a certain point and think that it is just too painful to go on.

Have a moment’s reflection and think about what you are doing. Are you doing it because:

• Everybody else is doing it so it must be right?
• You feel you ought to?
• Just for the money?

I have no doubt you understand what SEO is – it stands for Search Engine Optimization and if you get it right you will improve your search engine ratings.

So the theory is that if you use the right words you will appear higher placed in the popular search engines and so attract more people to your website.

You might tell me that you want more customers. I will reply, “How many?” If you in turn say “I don’t know”, then you’ve got a problem.

You can’t hit a target unless you have a target to aim for!

Just saying you want more customers is ineffectual because it doesn’t really mean anything without an actual number attached to it. Tell me instead that you want twenty new customers in the next year.

GDPR? Why, it’s only the single most important piece of legislation likely to affect your business this year, that’s all.

Seriously, if you are not aware of the impact the General Data Protection Regulations will have when they come into force on 25th May this year then you need to take action quickly.

Put simply, businesses will need to obtain explicit consent from all their clients to use their personal data in any way at all. In addition they will be required to provide clear information about what their data is being used for and how it is processed and stored.

So you’ve carried out your latest email campaign to your mailing list and are looking at the results. If you are getting few responses or your call to action is not being answered then there is the possibility that the email has not even been opened.

Put yourself in the shoes of your prospective reader. Was your email subject line “Our Newsletter Issue 12”? Not very inspiring is it?

Your reader wants to know what’s in it for him so you need a subject line that interests him enough to want know more. You need to give him something to pique his interest.

Lord Sugar shocked viewers and contestants alike at the end of the latest series of The Apprentice by appointing both finalists as winners for the first time ever. James White and Sarah Lynn shared the prize but one of them only scraped into the final after harsh criticism at the interview stage.

So which are you: dinosaur or smart bunny?

The dinosaur obviously knows that he has to have a website for his business. There it is, reading like an online brochure. He goes out looking for customers for his product or services, rather than finding products for his customers. The dinosaur still believes in wasting time, money and energy in dull advertising campaigns.

The smart bunny, on the other hand (or paw), is busy using social media to establish what people actually want. He uses instant access to online data to carry out research that used to take weeks and cost silly money. The smart bunny is not reliant on banks but uses crowd funding with Kickstarter and the like.

Remember last year’s resolutions? I bet you tore up your gym membership shortly after 31st January!

With your business, however, you have the chance to make a resolution that you can keep – or rather I will keep it for you. Resolve to get serious about growing your business and book a Dynamic Development Day with me.

I will dedicate spending a whole day with you taking a long, hard look at your business from the inside. Together we will consider where you are now, what you want to achieve and how we can get you there.

For the last ten years I’ve been a proud member of the Rotary Club of Gloucester, a very merry band of men & women who have a lot of fun socially, whilst also raising money for many good causes, not only abroad but the great county of Gloucestershire as well.

Christmas as you may gather is a very busy time for our club as it gives us many opportunities to raise much needed funds for local causes, our three main way’s are store collections at local supermarkets, the Tree of Light (more on that later) and my
personal favourite, street collections with Santa!

This is where we take Father Christmas around the residential streets of Gloucester, waving from his chimney on the back of a Flat Bed truck, that is blaring out Christmas Carols from the sound system.

I can already hear you saying “where did that year go to?”

Time flies, as we all know, and the end of 2017 is fast approaching. Everyone is frantically working to meet those Christmas and end of year deadlines in time.

Just pause and take a moment to think back to January this year. After your Christmas break I bet you returned to the office full of vitality and fresh ideas of how to make 2017 the year that you made the big break through and really built your business. You had a strategy for the next twelve months with plenty of innovative marketing ideas to push your business to the fore and leave your competitors standing still.

All you needed was some time to get the plan straight in your head and explain your ideas to your team.

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