Topic: Business, Get Efficient
Time Investment: 10 minutes
Suggested Product: BizRevamp®
There’s nothing more overwhelming or discouraging when you are trying to figure out how to make more money without investing more time and money (that you probably don’t have) into your business.
You feel maxed out financially. Emotionally. Time wise.
Fear not. Some things you are already doing (or should be) in your business can maximize your profits by making some simple changes.
1. Go Paperless
Going paperless is a quick and easy way to maximize efficiency and profits. This bullet point requires an entire blog post. Read: Making your business more efficient by going paperless.
2. Offer Payment Plans
Inquiries coming in. Clients wanting to order more but don’t have the funds. Do NOT put a roadblock to your client’s wanting to hand you money. Offer payment plans. Having payment plans available to clients works wonders in a variety of ways. First, they can be a good response to provide your client if you receive the dreaded “we want to but we can’t afford it” line. Second, they also provide a way for clients who want to invest in you to be able to afford you without being embarrassed if they happen to not have the means.
Payment plans (also known as Installment Contracts) are so much more than picking when a payment is due and how you’re going to pay. The arrangement of payment is a contractually binding relationship that should be outlined in writing, as well as understood and agreed to by both parties. However, don’t let the fact that you’re “adding” on a contractual duty to the business relationship scare you away. It really IS as simple as arranging time and payment amount. If you are prepared. Before offering payment plans come up with the chosen methods of payment, how soon you want to be paid (balanced against the amount of the order), and any consequences if they aren’t.
Accompanying documents to a Payment Plan Agreement include Credit Card Authorization Forms and Invoice forms.
Situation #1 – Inquiry responds that Photog is “too expensive”.
Inquiry: “I looked over your prices, and we are unable to afford that amount at this time.”
Photog: “I can totally understand looking to hire on a budget. I have created a payment plan that is customized to each client. Let’s say you want X products/package, we could do # of payments at the amount of $XXX per every month until paid off. No interest. No rush. I would love to work with you.”
Situation #2 – Client has session but is unable to afford package they want.
Client: “We love ALL the images, but we can only afford X package at this time.”
Photog: “I can completely relate with having a certain budget in mind. I have created a payment plan that is customized to each client. Let’s say you want X products/package, we could do # of payments at the amount of $XXX per every month until paid off. If this isn’t something you want to work with, we can always do the package X that you expressed interest in and then look at adding on the additional products in the future.” (Consider an incentive for them to return for additional products.)
Situation #3 – Client responds that no payment plan offered is sufficient.
Client: “Thank you for the payment plan, but at this time we still can’t swing that.”
Option #1: Photog: “The proposed payment plan I provided was just an example, what monthly payment amount would work for you?”
Option #2: Photog: “I totally understand and look forward to you working with you in the future.”
3. Do Online In-Person Ordering Sessions
While in person ordering is the most optimal way to maximize profits, some life situations aren’t conducive to this (i.e. full time jobs, trouble arranging childcare, etc). Consider creating a system for yourself that allows for an online presentation of your products and the clients gallery.
Free resources such as ShootProof are available. Other avenues include slideshows through companies such as Animoto. The hill is a little bit steeper when attempting to upsell and boost profit over the phone/Skype with clients, but with the appropriate tools you find a happy step up from merely sending a link and holding your breath for them to order.
Think of it this way–by offering this online “in person” ordering, you can add value to packages by way of a “product ordering consultation” (remember, you have to take orders anyway) PLUS you can cut down the fifty emails and potential miscommunication by having direct discussions about the products and prices.
If you sell digital files you can incentivize your clients to recycle and have savings all at the same time. Moving from discs to flash drives or online cloud sharing sites will allow for a reduction in cost. For cloud storage there are a variety of places out there such as Dropbox. For flash drives you can incentivize your clients to return with a reduced product fee by returning with the same flash drive. You have then cut your digital medium cost in half AND encourage the clients to return.
If you aren’t selling digitals, check out this post on Embracing The Digital Era. Some food for thought. It isn’t for everyone. If you are completely against digitals, consider social media watermarked files as a way to “give” clients a gift. Again, food for thought.
5. Say Thank You
Simply thank your clients for being…well….your clients. No tricks. No gimmicks. Just a thank you.