An insightful look at how you can put net profit income at the forefront of your small to mid-sized business Enable you to make changes that will create a profitable, sustainable business future, Six Steps to Creating Profit authoritatively shows you how to maximize profit for your small to mid-sized, privately-held, service-based business. Shows how to avoid the business model where all income is devoured by expenses, leaving a valuation that would not render any measurable sales revenue if the business should be sold Discusses how to create a company where actual profit generation is one of the primary goals Provides the steps necessary to create "true" profit Features coverage of rules of operation, visibility in the marketplace, marketing, cash flow, and management costs Demonstrating how measuring the results of change is vital and part of the ultimate, ongoing, profit-based solution, Six Steps to Creating Profit reveals how the before and after of each operational area is as important to evaluate as the intended change itself.
PATRICIA SIGMON is the founder of LPS Consulting, which helps companies manage IT systems through their entire lifecycle from planning to the introduction of new systems and integration with existing ones while providing training and in-house support. She is also the founder of David Advisory Group, which meets the needs of CEOs and business owners, whose excellence in service and product development requires expert practice management assistance to reap profits and sustain longevity.
Foreword ix Preface xi Acknowledgments xv Introduction 1 Chapter 1 Changing the Rules of Operation 7 Increasing Sales 9 Cross-Selling 9 Relationship Selling 10 Vertical versus Horizontal Selling 11 Expanding Your Market 12 Using Loss Leaders 14 Brand Extensions 15 Replacing Yesterday's Stale Successes with Today's Winners 16 Decreasing Expenses 17 The Office 17 Cost of Goods 19 The Workforce 20 Streamlining Administration 21 Computerizing 22 Outsourcing 25 Standardizing 26 Revamping 28 In Summary 29 Chapter 2 Staying Visible and Connected 31 Increasing Credentials 33 The Basics 34 Awards 37 Employee Recognition 38 Growing Affiliations 40 Traditional Associations 41 Strategic Alliances 42 New Tactics 44 In Summary 45 Chapter 3 Maximizing Cash Flow 47 Keeping the Cash Flowing 49 Retainer Plans 49 Maintenance Contracts 52 Working with the Calendar 53 Managing the Workload 54 Scheduling Vendor and Cross-Selling Income 55 Credit Planning 57 Knowing Your Budget 58 Including All Possible Income 59 Including All Known Expenses 60 Working to the Bottom Line 62 Job Costing 62 Time and Billing 65 In Summary 66 Chapter 4 Streamlining Management Costs 69 Changing the Back-Office Focus 71 Accurate Information for Ultimate Value 71 Guarding the Bottom Line 76 Information Sharing 78 Managing for Profit 81 Fixed Pricing 82 Hourly Billing 83 In Summary 85 Chapter 5 Raising the Marketing Bar 87 Networking 89 Online Networks 89 Blogs 90 News Columns 91 Web Conferencing 93 Forums 94 Webcasts and Podcasts 95 Covering All Bases 96 Laying the Groundwork 97 Blatant Advertising 98 Subtle Message Spreaders 101 Referrals 102 Direct Contacts 103 Strategizing 105 Starting at Ground Zero 105 Measuring Your Efforts 106 In Summary 108 Chapter 6 Making Everyone a Salesperson 111 Enlisting the Troops 113 Spreading the Message 113 Breaking the Mold 115 Being Excellent 117 Creating a Mantra 120 Knowing What's Working 120 Finding What's Wrong 121 Making It Right 122 Joining the Club 123 In Summary 124 Conclusion 125 Appendix A: The How-To Guide to Creating Profit 131 Deciding What Changes Should Be Made 132 Step 1: Changing the Rules of Operation 132 Step 2: Staying Visible and Connected 140 Step 3: Maximizing Cash Flow 143 Step 4: Streamlining Management Costs 149 Step 5: Raising the Marketing Bar 153 Step 6: Making Everyone a Salesperson 159 Appendix B: Scheduling the Changes 163 Checklist 164 Step 1: Changing the Rules of Operation 164 Step 2: Staying Visible and Connected 169 Step 3: Maximizing Cash Flow 171 Step 4: Streamlining Management Costs 174 Step 5: Raising the Marketing Bar 178 Step 6: Making Everyone a Salesperson 182 Worksheets 184 Reevaluating Each Area Over and Over Again in the Future 185 About the Author 187 Index 188