3 Practical Tips for Boosting Summer Income
Boosting Summer Income for Design Firms
It’s that time of year again. Summer is here and many design firms see a drop in income. Here are 3 tips for boosting summer income. Seasonal income for design firms sucks … but what can you do? Either you accept that this is just how “the business” works or you can do something about it and TAKE ACTION NOW. The first option is the most popular…don’t ask me why. If life hands you lemons, make a damned fine gin and tonic with a twist of lemon!
Here are three ways to boost your income:
- Sell more or additional services to your existing clients;
- Charge more for your current services and
- Get more clients.
Sounds easy, however, lots of other firms will be thinking the same thing. And that is where you have an advantage.
While many people think about doing something, most do nothing.
Sell More Or Additional Services To Your Existing Clients
Selling more to existing clients is the fastest way to boost your income. You already have a relationship so now is the time to build on. Look at how you can add value to your client. A great way to do this is to think of yourself as a consultant, how can you help your client with their business? Go through their marketing calendar with them and see what Fall work can be done now. Look at brand enhancement and consolidation, for example, bringing social media sites in line with their website; bringing consistency to all internal and external printed material such as case studies, proposals, and invoices. Make sure you offer favourable payment terms for the work undertaken now for future use. Do not offer discounts as this devalues your work.
Charge more for your services
Price and perceived quality go hand-in-hand. This is why people will buy a Rolls-Royce instead of a Mercedes and, a Mercedes instead of a Ford. The more you charge the higher the perceived quality. When I suggest raising prices to my clients, this is usually the option that receives most resistance. “If I charge more then I’ll lose clients.” If you double your prices and lose half your clients you earn the same but work half as much, leaving loads of extra time to find more clients willing to pay your new rates. Net result, your income goes up and not down. I’m not suggesting you rush out and double your prices unless you charge $30/hr or less. If you are charging around the $60/hr mark you should be able to raise prices by $10 to $15 per hour as long as you are providing a good service and are on budget and time.
Get more clients
If you are NOT using all of the four tried and tested techniques for getting new business you are missing out on opportunities:
- Advertising – start with a simple PPC campaign on Facebook or Adwords;
- PR – although this is more like social media now. Brush up your inbound marketing, get active on your preferred social media haunts (but focus on 2 to 3 maximum);
- Networking – go out for lots of coffee, lunches, beers; whatever takes you out of the office and meeting potential referral partners. Be specific about what you are looking for and DON’T be afraid to ask;
- Cold Calling – although I prefer warming up cold calls first. Flex your dialing digits and call your top 10 target prospects until they are either clients or say “No”. Then add a new one to your list and keep calling. Aim for 2 calls every day to someone who is not yet a client.
Refine Your Sales Process
One very serious note about getting more clients is to look at your sales process and see where you can make small improvements that add up to big wins. Example: if you generate 20 leads and you get to write proposals for eight of those leads and you convert two of those proposals into paying clients at an average project cost of $1,000 you earn $2,000. Your technical specs are:
- Lead conversion 40%, leads: proposals 20:8
- Proposal conversion 25%, proposals: contracts 8:2
- Average project price $1,000
- Total income $2,000
What if we challenge you to increase each step by 10%. What does this look like now?
- 10% more new leads, 2 new additional leads, 22 in total
- Lead conversion 44%, leads: proposals 22 : 9.68
- Proposal conversion 27.5%, proposals: contracts 9.68 : 2.66
- Average project price $1,100
- Total income $2,928
The compound effect of a 10% improvement in your sales process gives you new income of$2,928. That is a massive 46% increase in your income, just by making small changes to your sales process.
You don’t need a radical shift to boost our income in quiet summer months. Focus on the basics and challenge yourself to improve a little bit in every area and you will see a great improvement in your summer income.
Carry this through for the whole year and it becomes quite possible to double your income within 12 months or less.
If you’d like to learn more about how to improve a little bit in every area of your sales skills contact me here to find out more.