What Can My Small Business Do Right Now To Make More Money?

I frequently get asked by small business owners, “What can I do to make more money, now?”

When I’m asked this question, it is often delivered with a sense of desperation and/or exhaustion. Organic marketing methods (aka activities you don’t have to pay for) like social media posts, blog articles, and search engine optimization on your website, are all super important, but results from these efforts are rarely instantaneous or quick. On the contrary, sales from these methods can take months. So, let’s discuss two ideas that can start bringing in sales in days or a few weeks, rather than months.

Freelance Platforms

One of my favorite revenue generators are the online freelance platforms. Sites such as Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer, Guru, and the like can be a real boon to small businesses looking for sales. You’re basically using these sites as a lead generation tool. My favorite is Upwork. I find a larger selection jobs and better paying jobs on this platform. The other factor in this system’s great appeal is the fact that you can actively search for contracts to bid on. Some of the other platforms only allow you to have a passive stance, where you have to wait for a potential customer to come to you, instead of going after them.

You do have to be accepted into most of these systems, but the process to apply, fill out your profile, and get accepted and verified can happen in less than 24 hours. That means you can actively start looking for work and applying to jobs quickly.

Not every business has a service that can easily be sold through the online freelancing platforms, but every business owner has knowledge of their market. If you really need to make money fast, consider writing about your expertise or consulting in it.

Google Adwords

Another suggestion I give to my clients is Google Adwords. I prefer Adwords over Facebook because of the intent of the searcher on Google. They are looking for whatever it is that your company has, right now. Some are doing homework to find out information and some are ready to purchase.

On Facebook you’re putting your message in front of people that might have an interest in a few weeks or months, but not necessarily today. When you turn on a Google Adwords campaign, you can be in front of your potential customer in a few hours.

Adwords will allow you to focus on exactly what you want to sell in a precise geographic target area and to demographic profile that matches your ideal customer. Small businesses can even zero in on prospects that have already been on their website or have behaved in a certain manner through retargeting campaigns. You do have to pay for performance in this arena, but the results can be well worth the investment.

The key with Adwords or any other pay-per-click marketing effort is to have a clear understanding of what your target customer spends on average for that first order and what their lifetime value is. You need to spend less to acquire them than what they are going to spend with you. This is not a set-it-and-forget-it effort. You need to monitor your results and make changes to your campaigns as you see how potential customers are reacting to your ads. If they are purchasing on certain keywords and not others, you’ll want to increase budget on those keywords or Ad Groups that are generating sales and either turn off or alter the ones that aren’t.

There are numerous ways that a small business can make money in the digital age, but online freelancing platforms and Google Adwords tend to offer a quick turnaround without weeks of setup. Both methods of lead generation can take place online, from the comfort of your home or your office. Searching for jobs within the freelance platforms is more labor intensive than Adwords, but Adwords doesn’t involve paying a percentage of found business back to the platform in fees, which can be as much as twenty percent of the total contract. Regardless of which method is utilized, sales can be generated with potentially faster turnarounds, that can add positively to a small business’s bottom line.

CARES Program blog contributed by:

Kim Merritt, founder of The URL Dr, is a marketing expert empowering brands through holistic strategies through authenticity and a unique voice.

Learn more about about Kim’s seminar:Effective Online Strategies for the 21st Centuryand about how to access customized consulting through theCollin SBDC CARES Program.