Generating steady revenue isn’t always easy. No one knows this better than business owners whose sales are inconsistent, despite their best efforts.
Sometimes, it takes a more creative approach and a little troubleshooting to identify the problem and set your business on track for stable, scalable growth.
To help, we asked the members of Forbes Coaches Council how they advise their clients who want to create steadier revenue for their businesses. See 12 of their best answers below.
1. Expand Resources That Deliver Success
Inconsistent revenue is often the result of a lack of capacity to market and fill the sales pipeline while the client is delivering products or services. To solve this, they’ll need to expand the resources they have for delivering services or invest in additional marketing support so that they can even out their revenue flow and scale the business. – Jennifer Wilson, ConvergenceCoaching, LLC
2. Identify Complementary Products Or Services To Sell
When revenue consistency is the issue, figure out how to increase the need for more frequent purchases or identify another product or service to complement what is offered now. Both require intimate knowledge of the customers and their lives beyond your offer. Think like the auto dealers: They sell you a car every few years, and in the meantime, they sell regular service, repairs and merchandise. – Kelly Tyler Byrnes, Voyage Consulting Group
3. Establish A Consistent And Aggressive Business Strategy
A consistent and aggressive business strategy must be established, working with the current customer database to retain them and generate stable and recurring income. Accompany it with actions that increase prospects, improve the conversion rate, increase the average ticket and improve the profitability of the products sold. – José Luís González Rodriguez, ActionCOACH
4. Identify What The Marketplace Is Lacking
My first questions for a client are, “What pressing customer issue does your business address? And are the products and processes focused on satisfying the voice of the customer?” Many times, businesses focus on bringing what they want into the marketplace instead of what the marketplace is lacking. Trying to find clients for a solution is a lot harder than finding a solution for your clients. – Curtis Odom, Prescient Strategists, LLC.
5. Create Many Organic Touch Points
There’s no one universal answer to this question. Depending on the business type, nature and audience, it could be any number of things. General principles to keep in mind are, whenever possible, try to do a subscription or retainer model so that you have predictable income on a recurring basis. Also, try to create as many natural and organic touch points with your clients as possible. – Dhru Beeharilal, Nayan Leadership, LLC
6. Develop Flexible Income Models
Diversifying income from within a niche is difficult for many companies. This is why flexible income models that also generate recurring income are important. The smaller the business, the more flexible the business model should be in order to be able to adapt quickly to changes in its niche. – Michael Thiemann, Strategy-Lab™
7. Consistently Engage Your Most Profitable Clients
Be unwavering in building and maintaining your customer relationships. The 80/20 principle is effective in determining your most profitable clients, and then it’s about being consistent in engaging with them. In order to generate sustainable income from these clients, understand their businesses and challenges so that you can be creative in applying your business model to them. Agility is key. – Linda Aiyer, InfinitU Consulting
8. Build A Recurring Revenue Model
Businesses will always have cyclical sales periods and cycles, which will cause unsteady revenue. The best way for a business to create steady income is through a recurring revenue model. This occurs in memberships, subscriptions, service packages, etc. Look for ways to build a recurring revenue model into your business to create steady and predictable revenue. – John Knotts, Crosscutter Enterprises
9. Uncover Why Your Biggest Fans Refer You
Find out what would make your biggest fans and strongest current buyers refer you. I know that I cherish my company’s top fans so much that I often will not ask them to refer us or ask for referrals from them. Why not? The times I do, they often remark that they are happy to help in any way that they can. Of course, your most successful clients are busy, but they are not too busy to help you. – John M. O’Connor, Career Pro Inc.
10. Focus On Your Most Predictable Source Of Revenue
Focus all marketing efforts to make the most of existing clients and add new qualified leads for your most predictable source of revenue. Don’t deviate from that focus until revenue consistently covers your overhead for three to six months, demonstrating a sustainable pattern. Diversifying without first having a predictable source of revenue dilutes focus and impact, delaying the stability you need. – Dodie Jacobi, Fun and Profit™
11. Diversify Revenue Streams To The Extent Possible
While one area of your business may take a hit during turbulent economic times, you can shore up your business by expanding in another area. The reality is that all successful businesses need to frequently pivot and adapt to a changing economic environment. If you are relying on a single source of revenue, it will be much more difficult to pivot. – Jonathan H. Westover, Ph.D, Utah Valley University & Human Capital Innovations, LLC
12. Follow The ‘Five Whys’ System
I love using the “Five Whys.” This is a system for diagnosing the root cause of issues and finding the best possible outcomes and solutions to your challenges. Essentially, you start by asking yourself or your team, “Why are we not making consistent revenue?” That first answer is typically not the only answer, so ask yourself that question again and go a few layers deeper. The solutions lie in the questions. – Denise Russo, SAP