Paul Beaumont column: Increasing the revenues your business generates

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In my role as a hands-on business advisor and coach, the most common requirement that I hear from business owners is to increase the revenues that their business generates.

There are several techniques to increase revenues in a business from adding new products and services to simply increasing prices. However, the most practical way to increase your revenues is to sell more of what you already sell or do. This requires you to find more prospects which can then be converted into customers. Finding more prospects requires you to increase your level of lead generation and this is what I want to concentrate on; there are many different techniques for generating leads and not every technique works in every business. One technique is to generate leads from cold calling, commonly called telemarketing or telesales.

Most cold calling is carried out by specialist third party companies but more companies are creating telemarketing teams in-house.

If you are contemplating using cold calling you will need to research who in a target company will buy your products (the IT director or office manager) and then to procure a marketing list giving you the contact details of the desired contacts in the type of business sector that you select (retailers or engineering companies) that are in your desired geographical territory (Yorkshire and Lancashire, the UK or Europe).

So you might end up buying (or renting) a list of all IT directors in engineering companies in the UK. Often lists will include an email address and it is always advisable to send out a personalised email to people giving information on your products or services prior to ringing them; this will provide you with a warmer type of call than simply ringing someone out of the blue.

People do not understand the power of social media and how relevant it is to businesses of all types operating in many different markets. I am aware of engineering businesses, distributors of heavy specialist products and service businesses that have seriously increased revenues as a result of a systematic approach to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

If you build up a large number of followers there is no more effective way to launch new products, advertise special offers or indeed to disseminate success stories about your business. If you don’t use social media at the moment, I strongly recommend that you consider looking at it. There are a number of companies that will manage your social media activity for you.

Adding a shop to an existing website can cost as little as £1,000 and selling your smaller or commodity products that you have on-line will bring you new customers who you can then telephone and ask if they use the bigger products and services that you sell.

There are many ways to generate new leads that can be converted into new customers and sales; use your imagination and try to approach the task from a different angle to your competitors.