Double the Revenue without Doubling the Headcount

by Abhishek

Few months ago we decided that we want to double the revenue without doubling the headcount.

Today one fellow entrepreneur asked me on twitter whether our strategy is working or not.

Well I don't have the figures to prove that but it seems to be working right now. He was not interested in figures and just wanted to know how we are going about it.

So it prompted me to write this article. I am sharing some tips which I think are the core of our new strategy.

1) Start saying "No"
As a young IT service company it is very difficult to say "No" to new opportunities. You need more and more projects to keep rolling. Till a certain period it is ok to follow this strategy. More projects generate more references and more references generate more business.

But if you want to climb up the value chain, at some point of time you will have to say "No" to smaller opportunities. For e.g. Projects amounting less than US$ 500

You may have different definition of smaller projects for your company. But once you have that in place start saying "No" to projects which fall in that category.

2) Work only with your ideal clients

Make two lists of clients
1) For whom you love to work for
2) For whom you hate to work for

Stop working for clients in the second list as soon as possible. They are not your ideal clients and you are not their ideal vendor. You both are not doing justice to each other.

By doing this you will have more time and energy to work with your ideal clients. You will be able to please them more with your dedication and quality of work and you will generate more business. It means more satisfaction and more money.

Find out characteristics of your ideal clients and keep them in mind while adding a new client in your portfolio.

3) Stop working on loss making projects
This happens most of the times in fixed cost projects. It is very easy to underestimate the requirements and quote less to clients to get the projects. Generally when you realize this mistake you have lost lot of money and energy on that project.

Identify such projects today and stop working on them. Convince your clients that you can not work on this anymore as you are not doing justice to the project.

99% of time client will be happy with your decision. Why? Because in any case he/she is not happy with the way things are going. Client will be better off without that project.

4) Work with the best people
Above conditions are also true for the people you have in your team. One only likes to work with people who gel well with each other.

If your employees are not happy with the work and with each other, productivity is going to take a nose dive.

Get rid of difficult people to work with and reward the best talent you have.

5) Have a simple strategy and make everyone aware of that
Most companies have complicated strategies which nobody remembers, not even the management.

Having a simple strategy makes everyone's life easier. You can have policies and processes based on the simple strategy. When somebody is in doubt to let the decision be based on the strategy.

For e.g. One of the most successful airline company Southwest Airlines calls itself  a "Low Cost Airlines". That's it. "Low Cost Airlines". So now when somebody is in doubt whether to add one more Olive to the meal to make customers happy, he/she has to see whether it goes with the strategy of "Low Cost Airlines"!

So these are the few simple steps which we have taken to increase the efficiency and thus the revenue without increasing the headcount.

We are still learning and by no means is this list exhaustive or a sure shot way to achieve efficiency. It is a race to perfection which never ends.

If you are an entrepreneur please share your thoughts on this topic.

All of our strategies have come from recent books I have read or reading. One is "Made to Stick" by Dan and Chip Heath and other is "Book Yourself Solid" by Michale Port. Excellent books, must read for any entrepreneur or communicator.