Are you taking a close look at the year ahead? Are you reviewing how the past year went? Are you where you want to be as the year end approaches?

I want you to reach your profit goals, I want you to succeed, and despite how hard it can be, I know you can. Allow me to help you with your economic forecast. Allow me to push you to reach the profit goals you’ve only dreamed of. Read here for my Top 10 Tips for more FUN and PROFIT this New Year:

  1. Stop Working IN your business 70 hours a week and work ON your business for 50 hours a week. Too easy to get stuck behind your desk pushing email, and studies have shown that once you’ve put in 49 hours, productivity goes to zero. When you step back from the minutiae, you will spot opportunities that you’d otherwise miss. And remember, all the fun & profit in your business is on the OTHER side of your desk – connecting with your customers, team, or community. To tame email for good and put time back in your day, access this complimentary download.
  2. Put the high touch back into our high-tech world. Get out from behind your desk and LISTEN to the real problems your customers are trying to solve, because they’ll pay good money to someone who can solve them. You will almost effortlessly create new business at great margins, and keep your customers longer. Just a 5% increase in client retention can increase profits between 25-95%!
  3. Create a Retention Plan for your most profitable customers (usually not your biggest according to revenue!) that goes beyond lunches, event tickets and T-shirts with your logo. Create a VIP program that lets them know you care, because when customers leave, 67% of them do so because they think you’re indifferent.
  4. Develop what I call a Ramp UP Strategy for your top 100 customers, because at any point in time between 5-30% could be doing more business with you. The most successful ramp up strategy EVER is McDonald’s “Fries with that? Large?”.
  5. Deal with your Vampire Customers – the ones that are costing you more than they’re worth. If you just return them to breakeven, you’ll increase your profitability by 100%, according to a Harvard Study. It doesn’t mean firing them… often the reason they’re unprofitable is self-inflicted wounds on your part, like providing deep discounts, failing to collect payment, or over-serving them.
  6. Win back the customers who’ve left you. The probability of regaining a lost customer is twice as high as closing a new deal, because the grass is not always greener. But you have to make it easy for them. Find out why they left, fix the problem if you can (note, “price” is usually an excuse, dig deeper) and give them a compelling offer to come back.
  7. Reactivate all the dormant customers in your database – NOT by sending them another email but by picking up the phone and seeing if they still want to hear from you and what’s going on in their world.
  8. Clear the sludge out of your business. Just like your oil gets dirty when you drive your car, any business builds up unnecessary costs over time, and they’re not the visible costs like travel and training that we were taught to cut. Instead, they’re all the little things that make our customers call our customer service lines to complain and ask for a fix. Those are costs that should never be in your business in the first place, and surprisingly, they boil down to just 5 categories of issues that account for 80% of those costs – ALL of them are self-inflicted wounds!
  9. Fearlessly price for value. Every 1% you can add to your prices can drop 16-38% right to your bottom line. Never gouge, but if all the great things you do for your customers aren’t worth an extra couple of points vs. your competition, you’ve got the wrong customers.
  10. Ask some tough-love questions about profitability in your weekly management meetings – when you change the conversations, you’ll change your results! Need inspiration? Download a complimentary copy of The 101 Great Questions Good Leaders Ask Their Teams.
#1 Bestselling Author, International Speaker, and Accelerator Anne C. Graham is on a mission to help 5 million business leaders and their teams double their profit per employee – or more – in less than one year, in less time per week than they’re spending on email per day. Her new book Profit in Plain Sight includes the 5-step proactive P.R.O.F.I+T Plan to do it.  Connect with Anne on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.