9 Ways to Increase Your Profit Margins

9 Ways to Increase Your Profit Margins
Updated May 11, 2023
Julie Bawden-Davis
Written byJulie Bawden-Davis
Zachary Ace Aiuppa
Edited byZachary Ace Aiuppa
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Business is booming, and money is flowing into your company coffers. That means you're profitable, right? Maybe. While brisk business is certainly a good sign for your company, it doesn't necessarily mean that you're in the black — or as profitable as you could be.

Top-line revenue gets a lot of attention, as it should, but it's essential to also keep in mind that your profit margin is linked to how much money ends up in your pocket after sales are completed. As such, this is a metric you should continually measure and monitor. Your profit margin will let you know if you're barely breaking even or if you're going home with a nice income at the end of the day.

What Is Profit Margin?

Profit margin is a ratio used to see if your company is making money. This figure represents the percentage of sales that have been turned into profits. It generally refers to your net profit margin, which is what's left over once all expenses have been taken from revenue.

If your business is showing a 25% profit margin, that means that you take home 25 cents out of every dollar your company earns. If your profit margin is 9%, you only go home with 9 cents for every dollar your business earns. Given this, it becomes clear that raising your profit margin as much as possible is vital to your company's success, longevity, and viability.

The robustness of your profit margin shows if you're making money at your endeavor and how much. Your company's profit margin will be used by investors, creditors, and vendors to gauge your company's financial health and potential for growth. This figure can also be a clear indicator of whether you're pricing your products correctly and keeping waste to a minimum.

How to Raise Your Company Profit Margin

One indication of a successful company is a profit margin that continues to rise. Of course, there will be times when the profit margin dips because of unforeseen circumstances (like maybe a global pandemic), but you want to see a steady increase for the most part. Here are 10 ways to improve your profit margin.

1. Increase Prices

Raising prices can do a great deal to boost your bottom line. Of course, you will need to ensure that people will actually pay it. You want to avoid raising prices so much that you decrease sales overall, but even a tiny price increase can help you boost profit margins. To effectively raise prices, consider your customers, their buying habits, competitor pricing, and the state of the economy.

2. Let Go of Some Customers (and Hold On to the Ones That Are Worth It)

Some clients just aren't worth the extra time you put into them. You know who they are. This could be someone who constantly complains, returns items often, or always demands hefty discounts. Whatever the problem, such clients can hurt your bottom line.

As you let go of some customers, think about what types of clients you want to attract. Most likely, they will be customers that enjoy your products and are willing to pay what they're worth. Ideal clients are often willing to pay the going rate, providing you give them excellent customer service. Do whatever you can to retain these A-list customers.

3. Stop or Decrease Markdowns and Discounts

If you regularly discount products, think about pulling back on doing so or stopping altogether. Markdowns may bring in business, but net profits take a big hit in the process. To avoid markdowns, improve inventory management. Ensure that customers see slow-moving products, and discontinue products that routinely don't sell well.

4. Reduce Waste and Breakage

For obvious reasons, waste hurts your profit margin. If you're throwing away items that have spoiled or are no longer in demand, you are essentially tossing cash out the window. Item breakage is another waste that leads to less profit. Do an analysis to see where the waste and damage are occurring, and develop a plan of action to deal with the identified issues.

5. Increase Efficiency

The faster and more efficiently you and your employees can work, the more money your company will earn per hour, which leads to a higher profit margin. Do an efficiency check throughout the company and pinpoint areas where you can make improvements. Then drill down to ensure that all employees are delivering customers quick, high-quality results.

6.Empower Your Employees

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If you give your employees the latitude and the training to do their best work, they will bring in more business, which means higher profit margins. Ensure that your workers have the knowledge they need and the authority required to do their best work.

A chain of command is necessary, but if procedures and protocol lead to unnecessary delays, it can slow down business and negatively affect profit margins. Look closely at policies, procedures, and processes to ensure things run smoothly.

7. Add New Products and Services

Customers are always looking for something new. Adding product offerings is sure to create interest and spark an uptick in sales. Many companies offer new products and services on a monthly or quarterly basis. The best tactic is to ensure that your company offerings are just ahead of trends. That way, you'll pique customer interest and get those first sales that come out of the next new thing.

8. Manage Inventory

Having your products in stock and readily available is critical to keep sales humming. Consider using an automated inventory management system that does the management and restocking for you, but pay careful attention when ordering. Ensure that what you order is in demand and see that you order enough popular products. Analyze what isn't selling well and stop ordering in that area.

When ordering inventory materials, consider the cost and calculate what you'll make in terms of profit margins. Even if a product is popular, if your profit margin is too low, there is no point in investing in the merchandise. Don't be afraid to ask vendors for volume discounts or negotiate better payment terms for popular but high-priced products. Quantity discounts can help drive profits. 

9. Make Marketing a Top Priority

Focusing on marketing is something you always want to do to run a successful business. Effective marketing elevates your brand, which adds value and brings in more business, leading to higher profit margins.

Small Adjustments Lead to Larger Profit Margins

Minor adjustments to your business, when accumulated, can make significant changes to your bottom line. Try some or all the suggestions here for raising your profit margins, and you're sure to see an even better business forecast in the near future.

Given all the tasks involved in running a small business, it helps when you can leave some of the details to the experts. Let Swyft Filings' team of experienced business professionals help you establish your LLC so you can focus on increasing your company's profit margins and putting more money in the bank.

Originally published on October 20, 2022, and last edited on May 11, 2023.

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