Being a great surveyor (or having a team of great surveyors) isn't enough to make a successful business. You could be the best surveyors in the world, but your business will never truly prosper unless you understand how to maximise your profits.
And it's easy to get caught up on how much your clients are paying you, rather than the actual profit. To maximise your profits, focus on keeping your prices high and overheads low. And prioritise jobs with high profit margins.
Maximise Money In
Raise your prices. You're *probably* too cheap Competing on price is a losing strategy. Worried about raising your prices? Don't be. Our recent survey showed that work is generally won on customer service (59%) and reputation (54%), rather than being the cheapest (29%). 
"Land and expand" your deals. You've won the clients trust already, show them what else you can do Many asbestos surveying companies offer additional services like asbestos management plans or asbestos removal. Once you've landed a deal, you can expand the deal value by upselling these additional services. And since the client already trusts you, it may be an easy sell and a natural next step.
Offer "bolt-on" services like removal or reinstatement work; you'll outsource these with a mark-up, but manage the client experience yourself One of our clients makes 40% of their income from "bolted-on" removal and reinstatement work following a survey. You can offer these additional services by farming the work out to other companies. But keep everything within your circle of control. Ask removal companies to quote you for the job. Then mark their price up appropriately. Maintain contact with the customer throughout, so you can manage their experience and needs, from the initial point of contact to invoicing.
Work out your high-profit jobs, then ruthlessly prioritise them Calculate which clients, sectors, services, or teams are most profitable by looking at past jobs – you can't improve what you can't measure. You probably have a gut feeling about which jobs are most profitable, but it's worth confirming your suspicions using Business Intelligence (BI) tools within your reporting software. Once you've identified your high-profit jobs, prioritise them above all else.
For bulk sampling jobs, consider a fixed price that assumes you take one sample, and charge for additional samples Asbestos bulk sampling jobs are low in value compared to asbestos surveys. To make these jobs more profitable, you can charge a fixed price that assumes you take one sample. Then charge for additional samples. e.g. You may charge £99 for a bulk sampling job with one asbestos sample in your local area (your base cost). And £19 for each additional sample you take. So if you took five asbestos samples, you'd charge £175 (The base price of £99 + 4 additional samples). This approach covers your lab overheads and ensures you make a decent profit.
Cross-sell services in other compliance industries. You're visiting your client's sites already Now that your client trusts you to deliver asbestos services, could you offer additional services in other compliance industries like Fire Safety or Legionella? You'll be driving to those properties anyway to carry out asbestos surveys, so why not be a "one stop compliance shop" and kill two birds with one stone?
Reduce Your Overheads
Reduce your customer acquisition cost by moving towards low-cost marketing channels Consider your customer acquisition cost. Are you paying a high price for leads from paid ads on Google or Facebook? Moving from paid-ads to organic lead generation (e.g. creating high-quality website content) will save you money in the long term.
Save time and travel costs by performing back-to-back surveys at the same site If you offer different types of surveys (e.g. asbestos surveys, legionella inspections, and fire risk assessments) then carrying them out consecutively on-site will reduce your overall travel and fuel costs.
Shorten your report writing time; it will have the biggest impact on your job overheads You can't make significant job savings when it comes to job overheads like petrol. And you can't do much to speed up the site work. But you can free up lots of hours creating reports; it's the reason we started our business! Modern asbestos reporting software can reduce report writing time from two hours to ten minutes without sacrificing report quality.
Shop around for asbestos labs One of your biggest overheads will be getting samples analysed by a UKAS accredited laboratory. Can you find an alternative cheaper lab?
Greg Byrne, Managing Director at RB Asbestos Consultants has over 30 years experience in the asbestos industry. Here's what Greg says about being in control of your finances:
"Understanding your finances is the most important aspect of running a successful business. Without this, you're in a rowing boat with one oar and a leaky bottom. This knowledge was fundamental to our business turnaround. Understanding the numbers, patterns, etc., drives almost every business decision. Can we afford it? Are we making a profit with that element? We have our numbers to hand on every aspect of the business and meet regularly to discuss, right down to invoicing, marketing, sales etc."