A successful business requires a lot of work to keep up with the competition and ever-changing industry demands. In order to keep your business lucrative, avoid stagnating and losing money, there are a few key things you can do to help self-promote and improve your cash flow. 


You’ve heard the expression “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer;” this is solid advice when it comes to running your business. You have to keep a constant eye on your competition. Remaining competitive and keeping or maintaining your edge over them is only possible if you stay informed about how they're evolving. How are they attracting their audience? Watch what they're doing and learn from their mistakes without tripping over the same stumbling blocks. 


Ideally, both growth and profits should go hand in hand. If you find you're sacrificing one for the other, it's time to reevaluate your approach. Look into your finances and find where you can cut costs. Where are the majority of your expenses? Consider selling obsolete machinery or surplus inventory. If you're in the medical industry,

negotiate insurance contracts

. Examine your credit terms. If changes can be made in any of these categories, you will save money and increase your cash flow. 




Grow Your Business 



To keep money coming in, consider making some changes to the way you're currently conducting business. If you aren’t yet using social media to your advantage, you’re doing yourself a huge disservice. Visibility not only promotes your business but gives you the opportunity to forge alliances that can save you money. With a business that offers a complimentary product or service, you can save money by partnering up with advertising efforts.


Find services or products you can offer your customers that complement your current business. Add-on products can help to boost your profits. For example, if you run a tanning salon, consider offering tanning products your customer can use when they come in to tan.


Be money savvy. Investigate what you can offer in terms of discounts with prepaid accounts or subscriptions. When it comes to your accounts payable, are you being wise with your money by making payments on time? If not, you can be wasting money on late fees and other monetary penalties. If you have customers that consistently pay late, consider tightening your terms of credit. Lower the amount of credit you extend to less-than-ideal customers and consider using a collection agency to recover monies owed. 


When it comes to your liquid money, don’t just use any checking account for your business deposits. Look into accounts that offer a higher interest rate for the bulk of your deposits. Be sure to meet minimum balance requirements in accounts that have lower interest rates, as financial institutions may charge you for falling below an established threshold. Keep the rest of your money in a higher-yielding account. You could also ask customers to pay directly into the higher interest-bearing accounts to be sure you're earning that interest from day one. 



Examine Contracts 



When you have an agreed-upon contract with a customer, be sure you understand exactly what you're offering. If for any reason you have to provide additional services or materials, make sure you pass those costs along to the customer to avoid losing money for the sake of doing business. 


On the same token, offer your customers discounts for paying off their balances earlier than expected. Incentives to save money can influence those who can pay more to do so in order to get the best deal. 


To keep your income high and costs low, be sure to examine your current practices and notice where you can make changes to save money and put those changes to work for you.