Three Ways to Increase Business Profits

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article | Three Ways to Increase Business ProfitsEvery entrepreneur wants their business to grow and generate a profit. Fortunately, there are many ways to increase your chances of business success, save money on your cash flow budget, and grow a successful business.

With this in mind, here are three simple ways to increase business profits.

Invest in recruitment strategies

It’s important to keep in mind that employees are the backbone of every successful business. A productive workforce will have an obvious positive impact on your profits and overall business success. For that reason, it’s vital that you invest in recruitment and focus on strategies to attract and retain the best quality staff.

Some simple ways to attract top talent include offering job perks such as bonus schemes, generous holiday allowances, flexible working, and free gym memberships. In today’s candidate-driven market, many companies struggle in their hiring efforts. Unemployment is low and job seekers have increasingly high expectations which can make recruitment a challenge for any business.

One way to improve your hiring strategy is by outsourcing your recruitment to a HR consultancy. For instance, London HR consulting offer expert guidance on recruitment strategies and can help you attract top talent to your business. Investing in recruitment and hiring strategies is definitely worth it in the long run, considering the many benefits of having a highly skilled and productive workforce.

Focus on your marketing efforts

Marketing is one of the key ways to increase profits in your business. Effective marketing strategies will improve brand awareness, generate more leads and conversions, and ultimately increase sales and profits in your business. For that reason, it’s vital that you invest in advertising and marketing efforts and have this as a core focus in your business plan.

Companies use a huge range of different marketing strategies and it’s important to find what works best for your individual business. One of the most effective marketing tools in the modern business world is social media. These platforms allow you to interact with your customers on a more personal level, expand your target audience and advertise your products and services to a global audience. Business owners should not overlook the power that social media can have on business profits.

According to experts at Business2Community – “Social media marketing is perhaps the most powerful brand-building tool of all – but only if it’s managed correctly.” If you’re struggling to maintain an active presence on social media, then you should consider hiring a social media expert to manage your accounts for you.

Maximize your cash flow

Cash flow is the money that goes in and out of your business. Finding ways to maximize your cash flow is a simple way to increase profits within your business. Fortunately, there are many ways to achieve this, including:

  • Focusing on increasing sales within your business and encouraging customers to pay upfront or pay deposits/repayments.
  • Establish good credit management practices which includes sending invoices out promptly, repaying any credit on time and in full, and chasing any outstanding accounts.
  • Buying stock in bulk in order to negotiate better prices and take advantage of cheap deals.

Improving Your Company Starts with You

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article | Improving Your Company Starts with YouMany leaders wrongly attempt to improve their companies with a bottom-up approach, focusing on the smallest issues and hoping to work their way up. And while this can work in a relatively stable organization without any significant leadership issues, it’s the wrong approach if you’ve never put any thought into your own leadership capabilities, as well as those of other people in important positions. There are many ways to make yourself a better leader, and if you’re struggling to improve the performance of your company, it may be because you’re lacking in that area yourself.

Advanced Leadership Methodologies

Leading a company is not just about giving orders and delegating tasks. You have to know how to optimize the performance of every unit of the organization, seek out opportunities for sustainable growth, and perhaps most important of all, know how to talk to your employees in a way that allows you to understand their concerns. Many of these things – and more – are described in detail in methodologies like lean and Six Sigma. If you’ve never heard of them, it might be a good idea to familiarize yourself with what they have to offer. There’s a reason why experienced specialists in these fields tend to be very highly compensated.

Do You Understand Finances?

Another aspect that many leaders can often stand to improve about themselves is their ability to handle finances. Many wrongly believe that they are doing fine in this regard, when they are actually making mistake after mistake that anyone with more experience would immediately spot. Some people even go as far as to learn accounting just to be able to lead their companies better. And while it might sound like overkill, it can actually be relatively straightforward to prepare for CPA exam on the side, and obtain many useful skills that you can immediately apply to your organization in its current state.

Leading a Growing Organization

Last but not least, the other common problem that many leaders tend to face sooner or later is their inability to handle rapid growth. Even if you’re fine controlling the different branches of your company now, this will sooner or later become all but impossible if you start growing fast. And pretty much any company’s goal is to grow constantly. You should familiarize yourself with the common challenges faced by companies and their leaders in these situations, and be prepared to put a lot of work into preventing the development of major issues. Uncontrolled growth has killed many companies in the past, and yours is going to be no exception if you don’t pay attention.

If it seems like a lot of work, that’s because it is. Leading a company to success is not a straightforward task, and requires a lot of personal sacrifice. But in the end, that’s why the position of the leader is so important in any organization – because few are willing to step up to the task and do what has to be done. And if you want to comfortably retire with a nice savings account some decades from today, you need to start paving that road now.

Want A Better Strategy? Don’t Talk To The Same People.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article |Strategy|Want A Better Strategy? Don’t Talk To The Same People.Alan Gozdalski has taken care of the landscaping on my property for over 20 years. He treats my property like his own. When a devastating fall storm hit Buffalo, NY in October of 2006, Al was one of the first people who called me to check on how his (my) yard fared. I am pretty sure that we both had tears in our eyes when we walked the property and found ourselves shoulder-high in a sea of broken trees.

Al is one of the most creative entrepreneurs I know. He pioneered residential ponds in Western New York, and since 1997, he has installed over 1,000 ponds in the area, including one in my yard. Every year I host a holiday party at my house. I invite clients, friends, students and interesting people who have become friends. Al comes to the party.

I was at Al’s store recently, and he introduced me to another customer. He made a point of telling them about my parties. “I met a plethora of interesting people at Roger’s party. In five minutes, I talked to five different people with different ethnic and work backgrounds. I met a nun, a cardiologist, a rock musician who is in the Buffalo music hall of fame, a Pilates instructor, farmers, branding experts, website designers, entrepreneurs, corporate presidents, college professors and some of Roger’s graduate students who are different ages and nationalities.”

Al loves my party. Why? Because at the party, he is exposed to people who don’t think the same way he does.

One of the most effective ways to get creative is to interact with people from varying backgrounds who have a variety of interests. This isn’t always easy to do, for most of us find it more comfortable to spend time with people familiar to us. To our own detriment, we often don’t make the time or effort to meet new people.

I am pretty sure that we violate the fire code by packing so many people into the house at the holiday party. You can’t help but meet new people when you come. And, if I know two people who would enjoy talking with one another, I make a point to pull them aside to make an introduction.

Research conducted on communication networks determined that the best source of new information is NOT from the people you see regularly. Why? Those people usually have the same information that you do.

The best source of new information is from other networks — people who run in circles different from your own. In technical terms, this is known as non-homogeneous groups. To stimulate your creativity, it is important to tap into groups of people with whom you usually don’t interact.

I offer a program called Breakthroughs Lab, designed to help clients work through tough problems. When I’m hired for these projects, my clients are stuck and facing an obstacle that even their most competent people can’t solve. They often tell me, “We need to have all of the technical experts on this.” I ask them this — “If the technical experts haven’t been able to solve the problem, then why would we have more technical experts work on the problem??

Instead, a Breakthroughs Lab consists of a client and five to seven “creative catalysts” — industry experts who are also highly trained in Creative Problem-Solving. I find people who know very little or nothing about the client’s problem. By nature of being new to the problem, they will have new information that the client does not have. It’s sort of like coming to my holiday party, but the focus is on creating a breakthrough.

The same is true for developing strategy. You will get a much richer result if you include people who are NOT working the business all of the time. They bring the fresh perspective that can set you apart from your competition.

Seek out those people who you might not usually connect with. Talk to them. Learn from them. And if you are in Buffalo, NY in December, give me a call. There might be a party brewing.

About the Author

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article |Strategy|Want A Better Strategy? Don’t Talk To The Same People.Dr. Roger Firestien has taught more people to lead the creative process than anyone else in the world. He is senior faculty and an associate professor at the Center for Creativity and Change Leadership at SUNY Buffalo, author of Create in A Flash: A Leader’s Recipe For Breakthrough Innovation and President of Innovation Resources, Inc.
For more information please visit:

How I’m Retiring In Style and How You Can Do It Too

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article |Retirement Planning|How I’m Retiring In Style and How You Can Do It TooToday I am one of a small group of investors that owns several Commercial Real Estate (CRE) properties valued at over $50 million.

The First Leap to Financial Freedom: Starting my own business

In August of 2003, I made the great leap into the unknown when I went into business for myself. It turned out that starting Marshall Commercial Funding was the single best career decision I have ever made.

Financially, things changed quickly and dramatically.

For the first time in my life I was making good money. I was able to sock away money into savings which was good because we all know what happened in 2008 – The Great Recession. I was able to weather the economic storm because I had enough money in savings to make it until the real estate market turned the corner. And when the economy improved I was able to pick up right where I left off before the recession hit.

The Second Leap to Financial Freedom: CRE Investing

So in 2007 I made the next biggest and most financially rewarding leap in my career. I approached one of my long-time clients to see if I could invest with him.

He had everything I was looking for in a real estate sponsor: He was competent, he was trustworthy and he had a proven track record. I asked him if he would be willing to take me on as an investor when he purchased his next rental property and he readily agreed.

Do you remember where the real estate market was in 2007? It was at the absolute peak of the last real estate market cycle. My timing couldn’t have been any worse. Nevertheless, I have invested with him nine times.

Retiring In Style Is My Goal

Today, not only could I retire at this very moment, I could retire comfortably. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to retire comfortably. I want to retire in style. I want to see and do all the things I’ve always dreamt of.

Currently I have seven sources of passive income generated from my real estate investments. I estimate if I wait a few more years I may have as many as two or three additional sources of passive income. And when the passive income from my rental properties coupled with my future Social Security checks consistently and significantly exceed my monthly personal expenses, then and only then, do I plan to retire.

At that point I’ll be able to retire in style. And although I haven’t quite gotten their yet, I’m ever so close to doing so.

If I can do it, so can you!

Why am I telling you about my journey from financial distress to hopefully retiring in style? Because I believe that 90% of you reading this, if not more, are in the same predicament I was in. You’re either currently in financial distress, as I was for the first 24 years of my CRE career, or you are financially prosperous but realize that unless things change dramatically you’re not going to retire well.

I’m here to emphatically tell you if I can go from serious financial distress to being on the verge of financial freedom, SO CAN YOU!

Follow the Road Map to Financial Freedom

Simply put, by investing in commercial real estate you can slowly, but steadily build real wealth and grow passive income from your rental properties. It’s not a myth. And it’s not a get rich quick scheme. It actually works.

About the Author

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article |Passive Income|How I’m Retiring In Style and How You Can Do It TooDoug Marshall, CCIM, founded Marshall Commercial Funding, Inc., a commercial mortgage brokerage firm located in Portland, Oregon in 2003. He has more than four decades in the commercial real estate business. His new book is Mastering the Art of Commercial Real Estate Investing: How to Successfully Build Wealth & Grow Passive Income from Your Rental Properties. For more information visit:

Asking For Help For Your Business

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article |Business Advice|Asking For Help For Your BusinessUnless you’ve gone into business with a partner, friend or relative, then you’re going to be feeling like you’re a little bit alone in your new business. Rome wasn’t built in a day. However, you must ask for help whenever you need it, whether that’s hiring the right people for the work that you need to do within your business. Or whether that’s asking a relative to pick up the kids from school once or twice a week while you can get your work done. You do not want to burn out in your first year of business, so here are some ways in which you can get help, stay ahead of the game, and ensure the best results for you and your business.


This is likely going to be something that you would’ve thought of before you even start your business, you have no doubt completed your market research, spoken to people in your field, and maybe also completed courses and online training. But once you’ve started the business and you’ve begun to realise where your weaknesses, and strengths are. You can then begin to speak to people to find out about specific help that you can receive for yourself and your business. Don’t forget many people before you would have started businesses and come across all sorts of obstacles. So it makes sense to be able to draw from their advice and their experiences. Not everybody is going to want to help of course, but if you ask around speak to people in Facebook groups, go to networking events, and find people that are happy to help you along the way. You will find you’re in a much better position. No matter where you are in the world, there will always be somebody, either a friend or relative or an organisation that has been set up purely to help new businesses.


You really don’t want to get the balance wrong between your home and work life when you set up your business. It can be easy to become submerged in everything that you need to do to reach your goals. But if you’re working too late or you’re not keeping up with the basic how’s work, then you may need to reassess what you’re doing and when. It doesn’t hurt to hire people to do certain things for you, such as cleaning, or making sure that your shopping is delivered on time. If you’re keeping everything running smoothly, how are you doing that is entirely up to you. There is no shame in asking for help from friends or family on occasion either.


Asking for a bank loan isn’t just about not having enough money or bad management. Having a cash injection at a certain point in building your business will ensure that you’re able to reach your goals quicker. If you talk to the bank and they give you a low-interest rate then as long as you aren’t paying a tremendous amount of interest, this can be an excellent business decision. It can feel like you’re asking for “help“ however, it is a business transaction like any other. It isn’t difficult, and you can even use websites that compare business loans, and give you all of the information that you need to make the best decision for you and your business. Marketing can cost a lot of money, especially at first, so people do put a large budget towards this, especially when hiring professional services such as a marketing consultant. Depending on your business type, you may even need to hire a consultant for the business side of things such as cannabis consulting nationwide, of course, this goes into your budget as anything else. And you must consider your finances carefully when making such decisions.


Various different businesses have different needs, but essentially most need a team of people, some companies only need one or two people, and some businesses need a large team even to get the necessary work done. This would have all been in your business plan to start with, but it is essential to make sure that you have the correct people in the correct places. Hiring staff isn’t necessarily asking for help but making sure you have the right people that can help you; it’s going to make your life a lot easier. Training the staff and making sure that they are comfortable and happy in their role will undoubtedly help you in the short and long term. A lot of staff members who feel appreciated and cared for will go over and above and also go out of their way to help you.


Certain aspects of running a business, will be time-consuming and not always easy for you to get your head around it first, that’s not to say you can’t get them done however it’s still good to outsource certain aspects of the admin. To free you up to do more important things within the role. An accountant is usually the first thing that people choose to outsource, finding a great accountant can be a lifesaver, ask around and find out who people recommend in your local area, and see if they can provide you with excellent bespoke service too!
Other things people tend to outsource our social media management, web design, graphic design, marketing and unless your business is created based then most of the creative side of the company is headed up by someone else.

Once you overcome the initial fear of asking for help and realise it isn’t actually feeling it’s just making sure that you’re able to keep on top of everything, then you will find the help and support comes from various places. Do you want to help people yourself in the past and being able to return the favour is something that most people are keen to do, so let them have the chance to repay you, and don’t see accepting help as any sort of failure. The best business people have a great team of support and are thriving because of it.