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Six Steps to Creating Profit: A Guide for Small and Mid-Sized Service-Based Businesses

Six Steps to Creating Profit: A Guide for Small and Mid-Sized Service-Based Businesses

Patricia Sigmon

ISBN: 978-0-470-55425-8

Apr 2010

208 pages

In Stock

$34.95

Description

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.

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

"One theme that runs throughout.... is that small companies need to focus more on setting up integrated, user-friendly computer systems that can help them keep track of what they're spending and earning." (Crain's New York Review, 29 April 2011)

"...teaches you how to promote long-term growth through both economic and personal downturns by staying visible..." (Government Opportunities, May 2010)