Increase Your Hourly Income by Focusing on Increasing Your Sales
Episode 141 – The Local Small Business Coach Podcast
Here is what we discuss in today's episode:
Using Sales to Earn More Per Hour:
[Make More Money Series]– Using Sales to Earn More Per Hour
In part 2 of our Make More Money Series on increasing your average hourly income, we will dive into the role that sales play in driving this number higher.
Since we need sales to create profits, we always start with sales. In this section, we will go over the 3 buckets of sales and a variety of ideas to generate more revenue per hour which in turn will pull up your average hourly income rate.
Our goal is to make sure you plan on setting aside some time to brainstorm some sales ideas and creating a game plan to execute as well. But before we do, let’s recap why you want to know your average hourly income rate.
WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY INCOME RATE?
Just to recap from the first part of our series – [Make More Money Series] – Increasing Your Average Hourly Wage, your average hourly income is what you earn an hour while working on your business, regardless of what task you are working on. This is different than what you charge for labor hours. Plain and simple, it is the amount of take-home pay you make divided by the number of hours you work during that time.
For example, if you were to work 60 hours a week you would basically work 3000 hours in a year assuming you take two weeks off for vacation. If you make $50,000 a year in take-home pay, that means you are earning $16.67 an hour.
Now let's just say that you have a goal to earn that $100,000 I’m always challenging you with and you want to stick to 10-hour days, 6 days a week, you will need to bump that from $16.67 to $33 an hour.
Now, remember, your “time” is based on all time you spend working on your business. Both the doing of the products or services but also the task side of when you are working “on” the business. Such as bookkeeping, email, sales planning, marketing, etc.
NOT ALL HOURS ARE CREATED EQUAL
Now you might think that you need to spend more time on the “doing” but keep in mind, if you focus on driving sales, even putting together a sales gameplan like we are doing today, can be very profitable for you.
Avoid the temptation to think these are wasted hours. They actually are some of your most productive hours. The time you spend working on sales ideas and putting the gameplan together, plus working on the processes to make them happen, will lead to even more sales. It allows you to increase your sales without having to necessarily work more hours. Work smarter, not harder. This is how you scale your business.
Let’s face it, you can’t go from 60 hours a week to 120 hours a week. So it is important that you maximize those original 60 hours you are already working. This is why it is critical that we focus on increasing your hourly income. You do this by increasing your profits. And in order to increase your profits, one area you really need to drive our sales.
Time to start brainstorming some ideas for sales! So, let’s dive it.
THE 3 BUCKETS OF SALES
There are three ways you can drive sales. You can either A) Increase the Number of Customers You Currently Have or B) You Can Increase their Frequency of Using Your Products or Services or C) Increase Your Average Ticket. In most cases, you will look for a little bit of all three.
The best way to brainstorm is to focus on one bucket at a time. This will allow your ideas to flow more easily. Don’t get lost in “HOW” you will do them. Just capture them. The how will happen later. For now, you just want to find ways to increase those sales!
INCREASING YOU CUSTOMER COUNT
You increase your customers by doing a few things. You can find customers that currently do not know you and your business exist, you can “steal” them away from your competition, you can let them know you can solve their pain points, you can make sure that they can find you. You get the idea.
Step back and take a look at the marketing opportunities you have. Start jotting down how you can be “found”. Do you have a web presence? Your own website? Have you claimed your business everywhere? Do you need some flyers or postcards? Can you do car wraps or signing? To help you out, don’t forget to check out these 33 Free of Low-Cost Marketing Ideas.
Don’t forget the #1 way to get new customers or clients is through word of mouth and referrals from existing customers/clients. These are your little soldiers. They are the best way to get new folks since they will sing your praises and new customers are more likely to trust these people they know vs a postcard for example. Think about it, people trust their family, friends, neighbors. Best part? It doesn’t cost a dime!
You can also add products or services that pull in new customers. Now, this can be tricky, you don’t want to add stuff just to add stuff. There needs to be a demand for them. Typically, this is great during the slower times of the year to fill in the slower times. For example, a landscaper who does snow removal during the winter months or a painter who power washes homes on the side. If they don’t add more customers or increase sales, feel free to let them go.
INCREASE CUSTOMER FREQUENCY
Another way to increase your hourly income is to increase your current customers' frequency. How can you get them to come back more often? Grocery stores and fast-food places build their business module around theory. They are dependent on you coming back over and over.
For many service-based businesses, you can set up a reoccurring business model with your clients. Pros at this are landscapers, cleaners, pool maintenance, pest control, etc. Instead of trying to always chase new business, you just focus on a core group of 30 – 50 customers you can do weekly, bi-weekly or monthly.
If you can find a way to capture your client’s email or find another way to remind them to come back and use your services, the better. A great example is oil change folks. They stick that sticker on your windshield that reminds you every day that when you hit either 3,000 miles or a certain date, it is time for you go back to that business. So, when you brainstorm, is there a way you can do something similar?
Getting return folks is a great gateway to more sales. So make sure you spend some time in this bucket!
INCREASING YOUR DOLLAR AVERAGE
Our final bucket is increasing your dollar average. Here you will want to brainstorm ideas that will get more money out of each transaction. You can do this several ways. For example, let's say your average ticket is $7 how do you get it up to $8 – $9? If your typical sale is $45 how can you get that up to $50?
You can do this through a variety of ways. Maybe you can create new services or products as we mentioned before that are great items to add to other products or services. Think complimentary, next level type stuff.
You can find basic items that you can add. Think of Walmart, Home Depot, etc. All those cheap $1, $2, $5 items you find at the registers. Think batteries and candy. What can you get folks to toss in their cart if you will? If you have a service business, what can you do as an upsell?
For example, if you clean carpets, is there some cleaner you can sell that they can use in between cleanings? If you do pool cleaning, is there some chemical or toy you can sell? Be creative.
Another option might be warranties you can add to your services or products. Maybe you offer a current warranty for 1 year, can you add a 2-year option? In most cases, warranties are great profit makers as well since rarely are they used. Are there products that you sell that you can also add a warranty or do an extended warranty on?
One way to also increase your average sale is through pricing. You notice I didn’t put this first? I don’t want you to automatically think “raise prices”. Before raising prices, you want to make sure you are seen as a top provider adding tremendous value, great customer service, and quality products or services. If you are, then you should be able to creep your prices up and people traditionally will stick around and pay for that reputation and treatment.
Remember, you don’t have to be the lowest price, while this might work to get folks in the door, people stay for how you treat them and provide them.
So, when brainstorming how to raise your average ticket, be creative.
THE ROLE OF CUSTOMER SERVICE
I want you to keep in mind when you're thinking about increasing your sales, the role that customer service plays in what you are earning an hour.
Take a hard look in the mirror at your customer service. Are you providing top-notch service? Are people saying that you are offering the best service in town? Would folks rate you a 10 out of 10?
Think about it, you want people to brag about you and your business to others, nothing gets them bragging quicker than great service. Even if you did nothing else, if you did no brainstorming in our buckets, and if you focused on just the best service in town, I bet your average income would jump dramatically due to folks recommending you left and right and you could charge more for your service and products, which would cause you to have more business than you could handle.
DEVELOP A GAMEPLAN
Once you have a great list of sales ideas, time to put the gameplan together. You don’t have to execute all of your ideas. You want to pick out the best ideas and put a plan together. Since you will want to do this exercise on a regular basis, pick the ones that work well in the next 6 – 12 months.
However, there might be some great nuggets in there for a year or two down the road, so keep them on your radar and what tools or resources you need to execute them in the future. Some of our best ideas come from the times we are “blue sky” thinking so enjoy the exercise and just let the ideas flow and don’t over think them.
Once you have your short-term ideas and long-term ideas, develop your marketing plan if needed, identify the tools and resources you will possibly need to execute the plan. Do you need some funds? Will you be doing postcards? Flyers? Will you be hopping on Facebook for 15 minutes a day? Do you need to hire any help?
YOU DON’T NEED MORE HOURS TO DO MORE SALES
I know some of you are thinking there's no way you can do more sales without working more hours. This isn’t the case. It is about working smarter not harder. You can do more sales when you have great processes in place. When you have a great team in place. Over the next few parts of the series, we will discuss further how you can bump those sales doing the same hours you currently have.
Remember, in order to increase that hourly income, your sales need to grow during the hours you currently work. So, step one, get that brainstorming session scheduled, get a great list together and then in the next few parts of the series (see below) we will boost that profit with these new sales and leveraging the existing ones.
Don’t forget to check out the other parts of the series as well.
Here are the links to the next four parts of the series. You don't have to do them in a specific order, but I do highly recommend that you do all four.
By the way, even if you do not have employees if you have anyone that works for you or helps you out then I would definitely take a look at the people one as well.
So, if you're ready let’s figure out your hourly income goals and dive in!
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Also, don’t forget to shoot me an email on any topic or question you would love for me to cover in an upcoming episode of the show. Just send your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Two Great Books to Help You With Your Small Business:
Highly Recommend all Local Small Business Owners Read the eMyth by Micheal Gerber. You will learn some critical things about running your business.
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