Whether you clicked into this blog to hear about the inner workings of Cheers, or you’re hoping to take away some tangible tools to increase your business revenue, we’re here to deliver answers (and tea).
And before we get going, I’ll mention that we actually doubled both our GROSS revenue (total dollars coming in) as well as our NET revenue (total dollars in profit after expenses).
It is also worth noting that 2021 was Cheers’ first FULL official year in business. It was a year of establishing our services, building our team, and seeing where our greatest opportunities might be.
Profit wasn’t the goal.
If you just read that line above and rolled your eyes, let me also make it clear that we DID have profit, and in my opinion, a small business *almost always* should. Period. We paid our team, we paid our bills, and I also had a salary. (It wasn’t anything crazy, but it was a salary that I was happy with after 1 year in business with a goal of growing and investing). While I do think every business is different, I’m not an advocate for building a business at your own cost for a long period of time. By the time our first year in business had come and gone, I wanted to be making money. By the time our first year in business had come and gone, I wanted to be paying myself and my team well, and we did just that.
This is what 2021 looked like from the standpoint of our services, our team makeup, and our investments:
- We offered Social Media Management + Marketing Services as well as One-Time or Ongoing Coaching Packages
(For context and the sake of transparency): At this time, our pricing started around $800/month, but depending on the needs of our clients, we were willing to be flexible since we had the capacity to take on more!
- Towards the end of 2020, I began to outsource, and by the middle of 2021, we hired our first full-time employee. Additionally, we had 2 part-time contractors who worked minimally, but would step in more depending on our projects and workload.
- Like I mentioned, this wasn’t a year that we were striving to make millions. And because we were in our beginning days, that wouldn’t have been possible even if we tried. We poured a lot of finances into coaching, programs, setting up our website, hiring, hosting a team retreat, and testing out softwares that could benefit our workflow.
Now, let’s dive into 2022. We have learned so much, and are still learning, but we’ve been able to maximize profits in order to better compensate our team, diversify our offerings and revenue, and further develop ourselves as the agency we want to be.
- We offered social media management, project and launch management/strategy, email marketing, and CMO/COO Services.
(Continuing on with context and transparency): Throughout 2022, our one-time projects started at $2000 and ongoing retainer prices usually started at $1500-$2000/mo. A lot of our clients outsource occasional projects based on their needs, so on any given month, we usually have at least 1-2 clients hiring us for an additional project or task which can be anything from $100 to $2000, depending on the project.
- We now have 3 people on salary (including myself) as well as 2 part-time contractors, and an assistant. Both part-time contractors, as well as the assistant came on in Q3/Q4 of 2022. During the summer of 2022, we also brought on a paid, part-time intern.
- Throughout the entirety of 2022, the goal was to expand and nurture our team so that we could continue to build a solid foundation that would allow for excellent work and a very reliable team. We did this through hosting another team retreat, purchasing 2 education programs for our team to take to develop certain skills, having a professional copywriter training, and giving raises and bonuses to our full-time staff. Additionally, at the end of 2022, we explored the possibility of opening a studio in Dallas, which ended up being a hefty investment during November-December, with a goal of opening in February-March.
SO… What allowed us to double our revenue between these two years?
Here are the top 3 things that I can pinpoint that contributed to the substantial revenue growth between these two years:
- Identify your strengths, and then pursue more of that. So many times we look at our weaknesses and try to strengthen them. This is totally valid, but don’t put too much of an emphasis on the things that you aren’t good at. Instead, own and hunker down on the things that you ARE really good at. Market that. Showcase that. Pursue that.
For our team, this has looked like pivoting our ideal client from someone who needs their social media managed to prioritizing clients who are looking for holistic marketing strategy and implementation. We’ve found that we’re really good at bridging that gap, and it has supported our joy (as well as our revenue).
- Invest, but be picky. There are a lot of options when it comes to resources, coaching, courses, softwares, and opportunities to spend big bucks investing in your business. While it’s incredible, it’s also HARD to know what is worth it and what isn’t. When we decide to invest, we make sure the investment aligns with our core values. Because while we can never know for sure if something will have ROI, we can at least make sure it’s something we need and it’s something that aligns with our goals.
For our team, this has looked like pouring less money into education and more money into hiring a solid team. We’re simplistic in our workflow because we’ve realized we don’t need 200 different softwares. The areas that we had “splurged” for 2022 were our team retreat (core value: people first), the programs we purchased to help us better complete the new services we’re offering (core value: excellence), and the preparation and investment for our studio that opened at the beginning of 2023 (core value: innovation).
- Have confidence, and price yourself accordingly. Pricing your product or service is a beast in itself. There is a lot of information online about how to price, and if I’m being totally honest, I prefer to tune most of it out. Ultimately, you know your business the best, so as long as you’re keeping in mind your time, experience, expenses, your clients ROI and availability, you’re off to a great start (as an FYI, this specific list of considerations applies more so to service providers).
For our team, we grew a TON in our skillset from 2021 to 2022. One year of being immersed in the digital marketing industry, learning new skills, working with a wide variety of clients, and giving them results was enough for us to realize – “We know what the heck we’re doing & we want to do this for more people!” With this realization, we brainstormed ways to add value to our clients businesses, our services, and slowly throughout the year began increasing our package pricing to reflect our experience and increased efforts for each client contract.
Business growth takes time, energy, money, and patience. Both 2021 and 2022 were foundational years for us, and we’re excited to see how the trend continues for 2023.
In case you’re wondering: Do we have plans or projections to double these numbers once again? As of right now, we don’t! We’re continuing to grow, but have a workload that is pulling us into our client work which means slow, positive expansion.
Hopefully this post was a helpful peek into our world, as well as informative for you to take away some tips on how to increase your business revenue.