What do all businesses want? To make more money, and make it quicker. Is it always possible? Maybe not, but it sure is worth some serious thought. Even though you might have constraints with your market or your product, one big constraint you can remove right now is your ability to think outside of your own box.
It's time to get creative! If you've got customers, they're buying things from you, and you've certainly proven your ability to sell to them. Gaining the trust of a person to do business with you is most of the battle. Keeping them around and getting more of their "wallet share" is what you need to do next.
Now, that doesn't mean selling them lollipops if they're used to buying software from you, but it could mean selling something that complements the software! Here are some nifty ideas.
Identify Other Things Your Customers Pay For & Offer It
Your job is to make life easier and better for your customers. So what other "like-minded" things can you offer that they'll pay for? It's up to you to leverage the trust they have in you already and make it easy.
For example, an advertising agency might see that their customers are using multiple dashboards to track their web metrics and KPIs. Agencies come to companies like ours, Dasheroo, and use it on behalf of their clients. Then they're able to upcharge their clients for "data management and reporting."
These same agencies may perform other marketing tasks like email marketing for their clients using a tool like Hubspot or Infusionsoft. Then they can upcharge hourly rates to manage the email campaigns.
Sell An Annual Membership With Perks
Memberships can be a great revenue line, but to get the word of mouth going you really need to provide a huge value. Done properly it's can really add to your bottom line.
OneMedical, an terrific network of doctors, charges a membership fee to get access to their suite of services. They offer same-day appointments that actually start on time, and the one I like is direct email access to your doctor, online scheduling and prescription renewals. How much? $150/year that goes directly to their bottom line.
The Exploratorium in San Francisco offers a $79 annual membership with a ton of member-only benefits. They boast that it pays for itself with just two visits vs. the $29 one time visit fee.
Costco was built on the notion of lower prices but you'll pay an annual membership!
Offer a Feature That Only People That Pay More Get
This sounds obvious but it's not always.
Do you offer customer service for free? As you know this can be an expensive cost center. However you might be able to charge for a higher level of customer service.
Email marketing company Campaign Monitor offers a $49 premier package which includes "priority phone and email support" vs. "priority or basic email support" in their cheaper packages.
Hootsuite offers a series of reporting for your social media marketing campaigns but not all are free. Certain reports will require you to pay extra, and for a lot of businesses, they're worth it!
It's not only online services or e-commerce companies that can do this.
Stubbs BBQ sauce had a huge success that started out of a BBQ shack. From their site: "At the urging of his friends and restaurant patrons, Stubb began hand bottling his sauce in Joe and Sharon Ely's home using jam jars and whiskey bottles corked with jalapenos."
At Carl Von Luger's steakhouse in Scranton, P.A. they made a delicious sauce in-house for their steaks that was so popular they bottled it. Now they sell it online and patrons can't get enough of it!
Chef Spencer O'Meara created amazing BBQ sauce and spice rubs while working at a San Francisco-based restaurant. They were so delectable he and his partner Sarah Burchard now sell their BBQ sauce and rubs full-time wholesale and online as S&S Brand.
What else do you have the you can make some extra money with? It's time to get creative and start thinking about different ways to get that revenue stream up and the right!