The Three Biggest Money Leaks in Your Service Business

There are dozens (and maybe hundreds) of ways your business can leak money. In this article, I’ll visit three ideas that are fairly simple to implement and may be some great goals for you to consider for 2012.

1. Multi-tasking.

It’s so interesting how multi-tasking makes our brains feel like we’re accomplishing more. But scientific studies show how inefficient multi-tasking really is and that we’re accomplishing quite a bit less when we multi-task.

The quintessential example is driving while talking on a cell phone, which is actually so life-threatening that we have laws against it in many states. In life or death work settings such as hospitals and airplanes, multi-tasking can also have fatal effects. In the typical workplace where lives are not at stake, then multi-tasking is simply a waste of time, money, and energy.

Taking steps to move from multi-tasking to developing superior time management practices in your business workflow will allow you to plug this common money leak. It’s a habit we need to consciously work on breaking.

2. Marketing on the fly.

In many service businesses, it’s feast or famine when it comes to clients. That’s because when you have work, you’re too busy to market, and when you don’t have work, you may be reacting to the next marketing idea that falls in your inbox. The result is a money leak that has you paying way too much for marketing that often does not return your investment.

The answer is twofold. One is to get enough marketing training so that you know what marketing investments are going to return the most value for your business. The second is to create a year-round plan to smooth out your marketing efforts.

3. Lost customer opportunities.

In just about every business I’ve worked with, there are opportunities within your current customer base that have not been harvested. When you offer multiple services or products, it may even be that some of your clients do not know everything you do.

Here’s one of dozens of quick “aha” exercises I provide in my Accountant’s Accelerator program that is bound to uncover some revenue opportunities for most of you. Open a clean spreadsheet to get started. In the rows, list each current customer you have. Along the columns, list your current service lines. In each cell, drop in the revenue you received from that customer. The blank cells should reveal some opportunities for 2012 revenue.

Get started on the right foot in 2012 by plugging these three money leaks in your business.