The basic path to success: increase sales and reduce expenses in order to improve profitability. The goal is definitely one and the same, but how you reach each milestone may vary. I would like to share random thoughts on ways to open doors to profits. These items usually elude our attention during our every day running of the business.

The small details can erode the owners’ bottom line. Theft and shoplifting will greatly upset your day but have you consider yourself the grand thief of your profits when your products are underpriced? When was the last time you checked your pricing? It is a common mistake with huge profit losses. What about missed chances to up-sell a product or service? Do you understand that you are robbing yourself? Have you elevated your customer service to increase loyalty and profits? Excellent service should differentiate you from the competition.

Are your products current and trendy; commanding demand by the public and enjoyment by you in selling? Are you advertizing? When hording promo dollars, you are missing sales of potential customers. Build lust and trust with your target audience, use promotion to let them know you are the one to deal with in the market. Why are you continuing to buy instead of leasing when possible to save money or for that matter outsourcing? Change habits and open door to hidden treasure chests of savings.

I would like to go a step further and suggest that you are possibly preventing yourself from generating profits by not educating yourself on what is new in your niche. Have you attended trade shows or conferences? Why are you not planning to open new windows to profits by attending shows in order to meet new suppliers and your competition? Business shows are a great way to network with others and explore the new products and ideas.

May I point out that most owners are hesitant to increase prices? Most customers or clients purchase on value or at least value as they perceive it. Not a new idea, but certainly not understood by many; you could increase your profits leaps and bounds by simply combining an increase of your average transaction value paired with an increase of your average number of transactions for the same period of time. A 10% increase of an average transaction value of $100 paired with the same increase on 100 transactions per month, for example, could yield you $2,100 extra the following month.

In today’s cyber economy customers and clients prefer the convenience of the auto-pay system. An extremely efficient way to do business is to draft the customer’s or client’s checking at the close of the sale. Industry statistics clearly support the claim that customers or clients on an auto-pay type system remain faithful customers in excess of 90% of the time; delinquency could be minimal. It is an incredible retention tactic, too. Products and services that come at a high price can also be easily afforded by dividing the total amount over a payment term. Owners are in control of the sales and their payments. Consider the savings spent on invoicing, mailing, bookkeeping and all other billing expenses, month after month.

Dive in and explore one or more of the profit platters. Enjoy!

Remember – Just Say No to the Status Quo TM

Donna Marie Thompson, PhD

Author's Bio: 

Donna Marie Thompson, PhD is a Small Business Profitability Expert and Founder of Expert Profit Solutions. She is a two-time best-selling author who has spent most of her career problem solving in international management consulting.

Donna Marie has helped businesses meet their profit targets under challenging circumstances. She was a Director at PricewaterhouseCooper's Consulting, and has worked at Booz Allen, as well as local consulting firms. This wide range of experience in businesses of all sizes uniquely qualifies Donna Marie to guide small businesses to discover their hidden profit potential.

Donna Marie earned a PhD from George Washington University, an MBA from Virginia Polytechnic Institute, a CPA in the state of Maryland, and is a Master Practitioner of the Energy Leadership Index.

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