Looking for ways to increase your bottom line without alienating your clients? Try increasing your billable rates – if you haven’t already. Here are several ways to do so.

  1. Do Away With Hourly Billing

With the exception of one-off or small projects, hourly billing is never the best method to make more money. You see, billing by the hour is self-defeating because the more efficient your agency is, the fewer hours you will work. Meanwhile, another agency with a slower process may be able to charge more for similar results to yours. This means that you end up providing the same quality work for less than it’s worth.

Of course, you could always raise your hourly rates to cash in more revenue, but this is not exactly a good way to attract new business. And being less efficient is not a viable option either.

  1. Upsell

Every business has one product or service that it hangs its hat on. Whatever that is for your company, you can increase its value by building out related service offerings and upselling to your clients.

Not only will an upsell add a margin to your bottom line, but it will also expand your relationship with the client further. Don’t worry if you don’t have the manpower to provide the service – you can always outsource it to an expert whose rate is low enough that you can still make considerable profits from managing the account. This is a perfect solution if you are just starting out.

  1. Offer a premium service

There will always be clients are needier than others, and helping them would mean spending more productive hours. The good news is you can actually charge them for the additional time.

By offering a “white glove” type of service to clients who need the extra help, you can get paid for the extra time and effort they will require. This tactic has added benefits as well since it offers clients something they can’t get anywhere. If you do it right, then you can increase those clients’ lifetime value.

  1. Treat your service as a product

Rather than offering your service at an hourly rate, “productize” it. This strategy is ideal if the process and the end deliverable is defined.

Let’s say your service is built around web design. First, you figure out the number of hours it takes to design a website, taking into account the collective work of all people involved in delivering the outcome. Then, to figure out how much is the profitable rate for the productized service, you’ll need to calculate the hourly rate for the staff involved plus any extra costs such as software or design time – and then you mark that up with a reasonable margin.

It’s best to offer the productized service at a flat rate because it is less complicated for the clients. That way they don’t have to do the math and worry about the number of hours they will be spending each time they contact your business.

Before you adopt any of these techniques, take a hard look at how you are currently doing business. Figure out how you need to change and ease your existing clients into your new model. It might take time and you might encounter complaints from disgruntled clients, but change is necessary and it’s always well worth working toward a more efficient and profitable model.