Business Management Tips

To Make More Money, You Need More Than Pretty Colours

Make More Money

The ultimate aim of any business is making money…otherwise it would be classified as a Charity or an NGO. If you already have a business, you probably want to make MORE money. Ka ching. But sometimes, especially in a corporate environment, it’s easy to get caught up in such silly details that you miss the true, raw BASICS of marketing strategy.  Smart marketing strategy, means you spend less time on which colour and font you should use on your advert, and more time focused on big picture strategy and that’s:

  1. Sell to more customers
  2. Make them buy more often and
  3. Make them spend more money each time they buy

Boom. Simple. Ask yourself, every single time you are doing anything….. “Is this working towards one of those 3 things?” and, because you can often justify anything to yourself… an important follow up question, “Is it going to make a significant impact towards these things?” If the answer to either of these is NO, then rather do something else with your valuable time. Let’s talk about what you can do…


1. How to sell to more customers

I’m often amazed at how many new companies open, having spent months getting their premises beautifully decorated….but left finding actual paying customers as an afterthought. There are basics to simply finding customers that have worked for centuries – advertise, use flyers, get out there yourself and meet people, network with magazine editors, bloggers,  use social media, use your existing friends/family/customers by introducing refer a friend programmes.  A lot of people are simply too shy to ask for a referral. Well, to be honest you’re probably going to battle in the long run. I can only say #TTFU.

Think like direct marketers – it really does work, especially in getting new customers: “Limited time offer” “Buy one get one Free!” “Free mystery gift when you buy/sign up this month”.

And keep asking yourself, is what I am doing going to significantly move the needle towards more customers? Daily posts to 100 facebook fans is NOT. Shift your time and energy to things that will make a difference.

2. How to make them buy more often

Now this depends on the product or service you are offering. It is hard to make someone buy more dog food each month (unless you start selling puppies! LOL). But we’ll cover off on how to solve that below. If however you are selling another product or service, work on making that offering perfect. The two most important aspects of marketing in my opinion are product strategy and customer service….. Make them want to come back more often to eat at your restaurant, get your consulting, take another class, buy your socks. And don’t overlook the obvious….My favourite classic marketing gem to get people to increase the frequency of sales is from shampoo manufacturers. On most labels you will find “For best results use twice”.  I often try to picture the scene when someone came up with that…I imagine the CEO having a meltdown shouting… “how can we double our sales?!”.. and some little intern squeaking “tell them to use more”….And bang their sales doubled.

3. How to make them spend more money each time they buy

This is a fun area with many options. The simplest answer here is increase your prices. Especially if you charge by the hour. There are only so many hours in the day and you are going to hit a ceiling. I know plenty of guys running small businesses in this situation and they are too afraid to upset old loyal customers. Well, if you have worked hard on your customer experience and you care that much about your clients, then they will care enough about you to accept your prices.

Or you could upsell. Think about the classic car wash services. Each package just adds on an extra option, often with small discounts as incentive. Remember Direct marketing here again…”Buy both the Kettle AND the Toaster and, this week only, you get a Free coaster!”

If you’re in the service space, this is actually a nifty way to repackage skills you already have. Consider that you are an online sports coach – your clients already upload their sports watch data….so offer to analyse it on a monthly retainer as an upsell to their current training programme. It takes time to do, so why shouldn’t people pay for it? You are offering VALUE and building loyalty. Your customers will actually love you more for it.

How about a cross sell? Find a complimentary product like puppies or conditioner  (following on from the examples above) and again don’t be shy to offer it. Someone buying a training programme? Why not tell them about the great new garmin watch you have in stock that will revolutionise their training (and allow you to upsell the analysis if they “don’t have time to do it themselves”).

I think you get my point. Keep your head above the daily brain drain by constantly checking yourself. Is what I’m doing working significantly towards getting more customers, making them buy more often and spending more each time?


I’ve spent the last 10 years working in digital marketing and ecommerce. I’ve been the agency, the client, and lectured and trained 1000’s of people. I have a passion for training and development, smart, simple marketing...and running and wine...not at the same time :)

  • Fernando Hurtado

    Great Article Claire! thanks for sharing.