How do I innovate to make more revenue?

Dear Aunty B,

 

We are in the communications sector and have been very successful for more than a decade. But I feel like we are falling behind. A few clients have pulled the pin and, for the first time, we are having trouble replacing them.

 

Staff like to do things the same way and I can’t seem to get them to think of new ideas or change the way they do things. This year our revenue fell and it looks like we won’t make a profit.

 

Any ideas?

 

Robin G,

East Melbourne

 

 

Dear Robin,

 

Innovate and strategise, are your answers.

 

It sounds like you have got into a lot of bad habits which happens when a successful company matures. People have the same way of doing things and need a jolt to change their habits.

 

First off, you need to have a strategy meeting with your key people.

 

You also have to let staff know that things are not OK. Show them some graphs and let them know that you have been in this situation before and with their help the downward trend can be turned around.

 

Ideas that you can throw around with your key management team are:

 

1: Secure your existing customers

  • What extra value can we add to our existing customer relationships to ensure they do not leave?
  • How can we persuade the clients to change their habit and use more of our products and services more of the time?
  • How can we make our customers pay more? Can we add events, special services, networking opportunities – what else could we throw into the mix to ensure our clients stay and give us referrals?

 

2: Innovate your marketing

  • Now is the time for a big marketing drive.
  • Spend more on search engine marketing and optimisation for a few months.
  • Launch a provocative advertising campaign.

 

3: Get new customers

  • What new features can you add to the product or service to gain new customers?
  • Can you sell the product in a different way?
  • Can you package your service into a product and sell it over the net?
  • Can you market your product in new states or suburbs?
  • How can you use other companies to onsell your products.

 

4: You have to tackle your existing culture.

  • Reward those staff who come up with innovative ideas and execute them.
  • Staff that resist any changes should be counseled and maybe encouraged to move on.
  • Bring in new staff who can see the new vision.

 

Finally, make sure you are networking, reading and thinking. It is very important not to go stale because if you are stale, staff get stale and innovation stalls.

 

Your Aunty B.

Aunty B - Your problems answered by SmartCompany's business bitch
What are you waiting for? Email your questions, problems and issues to [email protected] right now!

 

Cassandra Scott responds: Must say I took great pleasure in reading one of your responses today.

4: You have to tackle your existing culture.

  • Reward those staff who come up with innovative ideas and execute them.
  • Staff that resist any changes should be counseled and maybe encouraged to move on.
  • Bring in new staff who can see the new vision.

Love the thought of getting rid of staff that easily (is execution legal in Australia, or do I need to open an offshore office in some far flung region that doesnt take this form of dismissal quite so seriously?)

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