Skip to main content
Start of menu
Close Menu
American Express® for Small Business - Built for Business Owners
6 Tiny Tweaks That Can Help Your Business Grow
Sometimes it really is the little things that make a big difference. These 6 tweaks can help grow your business exponentially with little effort.
6 Tweaks to Grow Your Business

By Chris Guillebeau

Self, Chris Guillebeau, Inc.

This post originally appeared on OPEN Forum, an online community providing small business owners with information and advice to help them do more business.”





Want to make more money? Get more sales? Sign up more clients?


I know, it all sounds like a bad infomercial, but fear not—I’m here to tell you how you can do all those things without staying up too late watching cable TV.


The key is making minor adjustments to how you operate your business. Make one small adjustment, and then another, and then another, over and over as you work on your business each month. Savvy entrepreneurs know that the road to success is paved with tweaks—a series of small actions that can create big results. 


What kind of small actions? The options are unlimited, but here are a few ideas to get you started.

6 Business Tweaks

Use a tiered pricing system. By giving your customer a choice, you'll likely gain more money per overall sale. For example, if you're selling potato peelers at $14 each, try an experiment. Instead of the single product at the single price, offer a choice.


Your revised pricing might look like this:

  • Basic, bare-bones potato peeler, $14
  • Better potato peeler + two recipes, $16
  • Deluxe "Loaded" Potato Peeler Kit: Peeler + Recipe Booklet + potato masher + video instructions, $20

A lot of people will likely “trade up” to the $16 option, and some of them will likely prefer the $20 Deluxe package. Without eliminating the original pricing option of $16, all the higher-tier sales will create more money in your pocket.


Up-sell, cross-sell or make offers immediately after the sale. Just like Amazon's classic "People who looked at this item also purchased ..." option, you can build on your income by making an additional offer (or two or three offers) to people who already have their wallet out.


Hold a contest or giveaway. Promotions are a quick and easy way to increase traffic and engagement. A contest is where people have to compete in some fashion to receive the prize. For a giveaway, all they have to do is put their name down somehow.


The general rule is, if you want to receive more entries, offer a giveaway. If you want to receive a higher quality of participation, choose a contest. In my business, I've been amazed at how eager people can be over even a small prize. I sometimes receive 1,000 or more comments on my blog when giving away a book that costs $15.


If your business is service-based, consider offering a product to complement it—and vice-versa. A restaurant can offer a cooking class for its customers who like the idea of replicating the recipes at home. A designer, for example, can create templates.


Note that the best kinds of offerings don't cannibalize the existing sales of the business. Instead, they add to overall sales by serving a different group of people. In the above examples, most restaurant patrons don't want to make the recipes at home—they want to go to the restaurant and enjoy the service. People who need a high-end design service won't be able to make do with templates. Each of these provides something supplemental or otherwise different.


Encourage testimonials, then publish them far and wide. Customers want proof that your product is as good as you promise—and you have proof, right? You have happy customers who have benefited from your business.


Creating a "hall of fame" with comments from your top customers will provide reassurance to new customers—as well as those thinking about making the leap. Don't be afraid to show them off! It's a classy, disarming means of spreading the word. 


Raise your prices! Focus on the value you're providing (never the amount of time it takes to provide it) and base your pricing around that.


In one survey I conducted with design professionals, every single one said they were afraid to raise their price ... and every single one said when they did, almost all their clients stayed with them.


If you don't remember the last time you raised your rates, maybe this is a good time to consider it. 

How to Make Tweaks Work Every Day

A business can grow exponentially by focusing on tweaks like these. Keep an ongoing “continuous improvement” list, and carve out time to work on these things every day. Generally speaking, 20 to 30 minutes every day is better than a few hours spent catching up on the weekends. 


However you schedule it, fight against the natural tendency to get stuck doing the same things over and over again. Instead, tweak your way to the bank.


Photo: Thinkstock 


The opinions expressed in this article are those of its individual writer, and do not necessarily state or reflect the views of American Express Canada or Amex Bank of Canada. Third party web sites may have privacy and security policies different from Amex Bank of Canada. Links to other web sites does not imply the endorsement or approval of such web sites.

Talk to a Small Business
Sales Consultant
Fill out the form below and small business sales consultant will contact you within two business days.

This email address will be used only to respond in providing you with further card product information.

Language Preference

The information you provided will be used to contact you and provide you with information on our products and services.
Yes, you may use my email address to keep me informed of the occasional offer and promotion from American Express. You should only provide an email address that you are the owner of or have consent from the owner to use for this purpose.