When you first started your business, it was exciting. You had big dreams, big goals, and a plan mapped out to accomplish them all. But, then as you set to work on growing your business, you discovered that making money with your business is not going as well as you had hoped for. You’re not making the kind of money you need to sustain your business. So, what do you do when your business isn’t making money?
If you’ve asked yourself, “Why isn’t my business making money?” have you really taken time to think about this? In many cases, we know why weren’t not making enough money (if we’re really honest with ourselves). But there are a few common issues that businesses have when it comes to making money. Here are some things that might be keeping your business from making money.
Why isn’t my business making money?
1. You’re not focusing on lead generation and new sales
Every business makes money the say way, using the same basic formula: sales minus expenses equals profit. Your business can’t make any money if you don’t have leads, customers, and sales.
Entrepreneurs often start off working on lead generation and sales, but then they get some clients and stop dedicating time to finding new clients. Pretty soon, they run out of customers and stop making money.
If you want your business to be profitable and grow, lead generation and sales always have to be a priority. You might need to invest in advertising, search engine optimization, content marketing, creating sales funnels, or email marketing.
2. You’re attracting the wrong clients and customers
Are you attracting broke people and price shoppers – customers who will leave you as soon as they find someone cheaper?
Your marketing should be targeting the right audience. It’s important to understand who your ideal customer is and what they are searching for. One way to do this is by creating a buyer persona. A buyer persona is a virtual character that represents a specific type of customer you want to attract.
I created buyer personas for my own business, and when I did I quickly realized what I was doing wrong with my marketing. I was getting leads from exactly the clients that my marketing was targeting, but I was targeting the wrong ideal clients.
Think very carefully about who you want and need as a client. If you are trying to make more money, targeting clients who can afford your services is the first step. Stop targeting window shoppers, bargain-shoppers, people with a tiny budget, and people who aren’t in the buyer’s phase of their journey.
Instead, work on attracting people who are looking for what you have, can afford your product or service, and are ready to buy. This might mean targeting an entirely different niche or ideal customer.
3. You’re spending your time on business tasks that don’t make you money.
When you start a business, especially if you’re a solopreneur, you’re in charge of everything – the social media, the bookkeeping, the blogging, marketing, and all the client/customer work. Running a business successfully means you have to learn how to delegate and outsource so that you can work on the tasks that generate revenue.
Start being real with yourself and evaluating where you are wasting your time and energy. Phase-out any tasks you are doing that aren’t making you money. If you can’t find someone to do the task, evaluate whether or not it needs to be done at all.
4 You need to raise your prices. (Don’t skim past this one ladies).
Stop right here. If you’re a female entrepreneur, I have a good feeling you have heard this before. Why? Women struggle with this more than men. As an SEO consultant myself, when I read the numbers on how much men charge for services compared to women, it really made me think. Men charge 67 percent more for SEO services than women.
These are the excuses women make for why they don’t charge more.
“It’s supply and demand. I don’t have enough clients to begin with. How am I going to charge more?”
“I don’t have enough experience. I need to be better first.” Or, worse. “I need to build my portfolio. I’ll do this for you for free.”
“Other people are overcharging. I am not that kind of person.”
There are a few reasons that I believe women do this more than men. It’s the same reason why men are more likely to apply for jobs they’re not qualified for, and women usually apply for jobs only when they feel completely qualified for them. Our mindset is often what holds us back.
If you think to yourself, I wouldn’t pay that much for my services, you are projecting your own insecurities onto your customer. That is what is really holding you back from charging more.
We also feel compassion for people who can’t afford our services and try to accommodate them. These are admirable qualities, but at some point, you have to ask yourself: How much more money could my business make if I was truly working with clients who were the right fit for me? Who valued me enough to pay me what I am worth?
If you know deep down inside that you are undercharging, this is the first thing you need to fix.
5. You’re not tracking your money
Many business owners aren’t great bookkeepers. If you aren’t tracking how much money you’re making and spending, it will be hard to tell if your business is profitable.
Your business could be making money, but you might not have enough cash to pay yourself or your bills. For example, you may make a lot of sales one month, but not get paid on those sales till later. This is often the case with service-based businesses. This can affect how much money you are able to pay yourself, but you may still have a profitable business.
If your business has outgrown what you can manage by yourself, you might need to consult an accountant or a professional to set up a bookkeeping system for you. This will give you better control of your business finances and help you determine what you can change to improve your cash flow.
6 You’re in the startup phase.
Sometimes the reason why your business isn’t making money is simply that you’re just getting started. You might just need a pep talk, badass entrepreneur. When I started my first business, I didn’t make a single dollar for the first two years. The first check we received was a whopping $21. However, after three years of hard work, we started making money – big money. Sometimes you are actually doing everything right. Sometimes you’re just in the startup phase and your business just needs time to grow.
What to do if you’re business isn’t making money.
Get crystal clear with your goals.
If you’ve been winging things or figuring everything out as you go along, you need to change how you are doing things. Lack of planning and clear, strategic goals can be the death of many small businesses. Your goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound).
Your goals can’t just be about what you will do, but how you will make money. In other words, goals like “I will post 5 Facebook posts”, or “I will talk to 5 prospects this week”, might be easy to do and track, but it won’t necessarily help your business to make more money.
Create specific financial goals for your business. Write down how much you will make each month, each week, or even break it down into daily financial goals. Then determine how you will achieve each goal, and when you will achieve them by.
Get some help.
You might be resistant to getting help. You want to run your business your way, without having someone tell you what to do. That’s probably why you became an entrepreneur in the first place – to be your own boss. It took me a really long time to realize that every entrepreneur needs a mentor, someone to go to for guidance, support, and advice.
If you’ve ever thought about hiring a business coach, now would be the time to do it. I don’t sell coaching services, so this isn’t me self-promoting. A coach or (business mentor) can make an enormous difference in your business. They can help you set better goals, teach you how to get more clients or higher-paying clients, and be a support system when you need it.
According to a survey by Kabbage, 92 percent of small business owners agree with me on this. Having a mentor directly affects the growth and survival of your business. One of the reasons people like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg were so successful is because they had a mentor.
Make lead generation your #1 priority.
The best way to generate leads in the digital world is through search engine optimization – in other words, being findable in a Google search. While social media is a great marketing tool for promoting your business, Google is the best place to get leads. These people don’t need to be nurtured or coaxed, they are already on Google looking for you!
If you have no idea how to get your business found in Google, set up a strategy call with me. It doesn’t cost you anything. I can take a look at your website, your search engine ranking, and what you’re currently doing for marketing. Then we can discuss ideas to help you attract the right clients for your business and get consistent leads from your website.
Drop the time-sucking clients and low-profit products.
We’ve all been there. We all have dealt with low-paying clients that suck up all of your time and drain your energy. These low-end, easy-to-get clients may be what’s keeping you from making money. They end up taking up so much of your time that you don’t have time for higher-paying clients. It ends up being a vicious cycle.
It’s time to evaluate where your time is being spent and whether it is providing you the income you need to grow. It may be difficult to drop low-paying clients, especially if those are the only clients you have. But, by saying no to the wrong clients, you open yourself up to finding the right clients. You’ll never make the money you want (or have the clients you really want to work with) if you aren’t willing to walk away from clients that aren’t right for your business.
Improve your sales skills.
Finally, let’s talk about why you’re selling low-profit products or services. Is it because the only way you know how to sell is by offering discounts, bargaining, or lowering your price? That’s not sales. If you want to make more money in your business you need to improve your sales skills.
The sales process is not just transactional, it’s emotional. When someone contacts you, it’s because they need your help. They are calling you because they need whatever it is you are selling. They want you to help them decide what to do. This is where learning more about the sales process – such as asking qualifying questions, explaining the benefits of your product or service, or how to handle objections – can help you make more money in your business.
Sales is a skill that anyone can learn. If you want to be better at it, pick up a book or take a course. Improving your sales skills is one of the best ways to make more money in your business.
Schedule a strategy call with me today
I have been told by clients that I am the most “real” person they’ve talked to. When I write my blog posts or talk to clients, I try to give them practical and useful advice they can use to grow their business. If you’ve just stumbled across my post on the internet, and wonder who is this girl? I am an ordinary entrepreneur just like you. I started my first business on a shoestring budget and learned a lot along the way. If you are looking for someone to help you get more traffic, get more leads, and finally start money from your website, click the link below and let’s have a conversation.
I am Patty Malowney, the creator of Badass Web Goddess. I am an Albuquerque SEO and digital marketing consultant. I started my first internet business in 2004 with a $40 garage sale computer and a whole lot of determination. I sold my first website, JustMommies.com to the dating company eHarmony.com in 2008. My website was acquired by another company where I worked as a consultant and editor until July, 2019.
After encouragement from friends and family, I decided to branch out on my own and start my own consulting business. I offer advice and services to local businesses on how they can rank better in Google.
In addition to running Badass Web Goddess, I am an avid blogger. I run several blogs including my internet marketing blog here at Badass Web Goddess. If you love my blog, Follow Me on Facebook or Twitter!
1 thought on “When Your Business isn’t making Money: 6 Things to Look at”
Hello and thanks for the insights. As a small business owner myself, I know how challenging it can be to achieve financial success, especially in the early stages.
I appreciate the way you break down the common reasons why businesses may struggle to make money, from lack of clarity in their business model to failure to market effectively or differentiate themselves from competitors.