Why I’m burning down my website, and what I’m doing next

It’s true… I’m making some big changes here and I want you to come along with me (but only if you want to!).

First off – let me tell you what’s up around here.

As I shared in a short video  this week,

I am firing up the pyrotechnics and burning down my current website and changing email marketing providers as well.

Why I am changing

Well, my child has been growing. So as you might have done with your children (or your mother did with you), you extend a little pant hemline here, take out a seam there, and make things work because you know that next growth spurt is around the corner. Except at a certain point you realize all this patchwork has overcomplicated things and left you with plaid pants that aren’t doing it for you. That is what has happened to my site in the last bit of time.

Another good reason to do this now is because I do this very work with my own clients and it is high time I stopped the “cobbler’s family has no shoes” effect and fixed things.

Why I am excited

I am excited (and to be honest a bit terrified) because what I am doing will radically simplify my online presence and save me money (and a few headaches). I’m also thrilled about how it will significantly change my website visitor’s experience making things clearer, easier, and more useful. Think more white space, more zen.

What’s Next?

You might also see a little herky-jerky communication and blog posting in the next two weeks or so because all this is happening on the fast-track. You can expect to see a new site and newsletter within this month. Call it super-charged, call it crazy, or consider it ripping off the bandaid quickly to get on with things… but things are happening around here.

Curious? Questions?

I always want to add value to you and your business. So, if you have specific questions about this process, hit reply and let me know! While I can’t answer all your questions real-time (moving all this stuff while serving clients takes time), I will do my best to answer as many questions as I can in upcoming blog posts and newsletters. Stay tuned.

Create a Great Day!

Paula

Do You Know or Are You Guessing at How Your Business is Doing?

  • Does your strategy look a bit like throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks? (And has anyone ever really thrown spaghetti at the wall?)
  • Do you keep doing what you’ve been doing even if you’re not 100% sure if it is working (for you)?
  • Would you rather do just about anything else rather than confront the sick to your stomach feeling you feel when you think about looking more closely at the return on investment of your efforts?

While there is a lot of inherent uncertainty in running your own business (like a LOT), there are also a good number of things you can actually know for sure.

Look at Your Business MetricsPhoto Credit: Flickr

Wouldn’t it feel good to know for sure?

I would think so, but I’m discovering that a lot of business owners would rather guess than know. Why is that?

Here are the top 3 reasons I find business owners avoiding the actions that would empower them with more certainty and business growth.

1)    Assume This Doesn’t Apply to Me

People make assumptions about everything; it’s the way you and I operate. Sometimes it works well (like assuming the rest of the cars on the road will also follow the traffic rules); other times it creates a gaping black hole in the way we make choices.

Whether you assume your business is too unhealthy or growing too nicely to take a look at what’s really going on, either way it is an assumption that limits your power and potential. Guessing isn’t knowing. Challenging your assumptions is a good thing. Challenging them doesn’t make you wrong, it makes you more confident and empowered in your choices because you have some data and knowledge to support your intuitive guidance.

2)    Feel Too Bad, Scary, Sick to Your Stomach, or Generally Icky to Take a Look

I’ve had more than one client tell me “it makes me sick to my stomach to look at my numbers”. In fact I’ll admit that there have been numerous occasions over the years where I would feel a pit in my stomach even thinking about looking at my financial numbers or business operations; that feeling where a root canal would be more pleasurable.

And do you know what? In the end it wasn’t remotely as painful as they (or I) feared. It created a sound starting point for strategy and action. Almost without fail it creates opportunities for income growth, saving money, and ultimately more profitability. If nothing else it gives you concrete clarity and certainty from which to navigate. That alone is worth its weight in gold.

3)    Don’t Even Know Where to Start

It can be hard to know where to start. When you’re in your business, you’re so close to it that you lose perspective. You may not have the business background or know-how to understand how everything works. There’s no shame in that! After all, most people start a business not because they love the business of doing business, but because they have a service, product, or skill that they are passionate about offering and want more freedom and flexibility from their career.

You start by looking at what is right in front of you (cash in and cash out for instance) and build from there by learning more or getting help from someone who finds this sort of thing second nature.

So What?

Business can be risky just like life is inherently risky. Calculated risks create growth (most of the time) but random guessing is a crapshoot. Which odds do you prefer when it comes to the viability and sustainability of your business?

Wonder what might be possible with a little “peek under the hood” of your business? This stuff comes second nature to me, which is why I created the easy to use business health checkup – it is applicable for all stages of business from startup to mature businesses because the basics never change. Go here to grab your copy and get started: http://bit.ly/bizhealth-pg

 

 

 

What if You Knew Then What You Know Now?

Have you ever said, gosh if I only knew then what I know now…? Who hasn’t right?

We know we can never turn back time (no matter how much Cher sings about it) and the full picture hindsight gives you is never quite possible while you are living the moment.

But, what if you could take just a bit of that wisdom and knowledge and use it now, not after the fact? How might that change things for you?

Business intelligenceA recent sad event made this clear for me. You see just a few weeks ago my beloved garden was producing cucumbers in abundance. I was happy to my core. Since we make green juice every day in our house, we blow through cucumbers in bulk. It was heaven. And then, all of a sudden, I noticed something very subtle about the leaves and buds. When I went to the local nursery to inquire, their vegetable specialist told me the plants had a fungus due to the extra rain we’ve had. She assured me it was nothing we did “wrong”.   She suggested an organic fungicide to try and preserve the new growth (old growth would die regardless).

So far, this remedy isn’t helping and I am just beside myself about the cukes. I think- if I only knew a few days or even a week beforehand, maybe I could’ve done something to prevent this? But I didn’t know what to look for, or how to assess what I saw.

You might not be a gardener or care about cucumbers as much as I do, but certainly you’ve experienced a similar moment in your business, right? Where you’re humming along, taking the days as they come, and then bam! You’re hit by surprise with something – an overwhelming tax bill, a quick exodus of clients, a sudden upsurge of growth that strains your team and systems (or makes you wish you had them). You wish you could’ve seen it coming.

Well, what if you could see it coming? Maybe not 100% of the time, but what if the vast majority of “surprises” could be predicted before they happen?

If you routinely look at data – of the holistic health of your business and what’s happening around you, you can. This isn’t magic. It doesn’t have to be hard either. Big companies use big data and predictive analytics to figure out what is going to happen in the future – on a macro level and with individual customers. This is how online stores like amazon know what you are likely to buy next. How big companies decide when to expand and when to wait.

Unless you’re a mega-corporation, you don’t have to get that complicated to reap the benefits of knowing NOW instead of in hindsight. As a small business you are more nimble and can make huge strides with less effort.

Here’s how you do it.

You do this is by simply taking time to look at the key indicators of the health of your business and then focusing on the one most important thing you need to do right now. Not 10,000 things. Not the 40 things you learned at the last conference you attended. ONE THING.

You do this at regular, consistent intervals and then repeat.

Success is determined by focusing on the right things at the right time. Wouldn’t you rather move forward with the power of knowledge coupled with intuition rather than looking back with a sigh of regret? I thought so!

Need help quickly assessing the 6 indicators of health for your business? Grab your business health checkup here.

You have my personal guarantee that you’ll get great value from this.

 

 

Noticing Changes Through the Seasons [Business Flow]

When you revisit something over time, you can notice the changes. I paddle Lake Nockamixon near my home through all seasons (well, all the seasons that don’t involve a frozen lake!). Because I revisit it during the different seasons I notice the constant changes – some subtle and some dramatic.

In your business, the only way you can measure the health of the enterprise is by noticing over time. You do that through measuring something (metrics). Then you can notice – what is growing? What is dying? What is different? How am I as a business owner growing?

This is one of the most valuable skills you can develop as a small business owner.


Meanwhile – let me know what actions you take so you notice the changes within the seasons of your business?

Navigating Obstacles [Business Flow Video]

What happens when you hit obstacles?

On the river, sometimes you have to portage because a dam or other obstacle which you cannot pass safely via the water stands in your way. In business we hit all kinds of obstacles. So how do you navigate them?

You need

  • Clear guidance from someone who can help.
  • A supportive team member who can help you.
  • Resilience so you can quickly recover from unexpected challenges and get flowing again.

Watch on to learn more…

Get in the conversation – and comment below… let me know what you do when you hit obstacles?

How to Know What Metrics to Track in Your Business

What Metrics to Track in Your BusinessI recently surveyed hundreds of business owners and posed the question “What is the #1 question you have about business metrics?” One of the top questions both new and experienced business owners had was:

“What should I be tracking?”

I can understand this since no one really teaches the small business owner what to measure and why.   Frankly this is one of the main reasons businesses fail is because they don’t have enough data to make wise decisions and then simply run out of money before they have time to succeed.

I am here to change this because numbers don’t have to be:

  • Hard
  • Intimidating
  • Only for people whose “brains work that way”

In my upcoming free webinar I will be teaching you exactly what you need to track. That said, I want to empower you to think clearly about your own business so you can start to understand what to track right now.

So, if you’re not sure what to track, answer the following questions.

What would you have to know/like to know so you could:

  • Make wise financial decisions?
  • Choose how to spend your time and energy most effectively?
  • Maximize your return on your marketing and client attraction efforts?

I pose these broader questions not to be vague, but to empower you to see and think as a CEO would. It allows you to reverse-engineer what you need to track so you can know what you want to know!   Ask yourself:

What do you wish you could know about your business that you don’t know now?

And start there….

 If you want to know exactly the 6 most important key indicators of business health, Learn more and grab your business health checkup here:

photo credit: elias_daniel via photopin cc

No Time to Do Your Metrics?

Find time for business metricsI recently surveyed hundreds of business owners and asked them what their #1 challenge was when it came time to tracking their business metrics consistently.

Do you know what the answer was?

“ I don’t have/make time to do it consistently.”

Fair enough. We all have limited time and can feel pressed for time on occasion. Yet, I want to ask you a few questions…

  • Did you brush your teeth this morning?
  • Did you pay your mortgage/rent this month?
  • Did you “find time” to go to the restroom today?

If you answered yes to even one of these (I don’t want to know which one if it was only one!!!)…you have proven two things:

1)     You have time to do your business metrics on a consistent basis.

2)     You are capable of building and maintaining positive habits.

We make time for what matters in our lives. If you own a business, knowing your numbers matters. If you don’t know your numbers, you are simply hoping and guessing. Hope is not a business plan!

You and your business deserve a stronger foundation than that. It doesn’t have to be hard.

It can be done in as little as 5 minutes a day. If you can stand with an electric toothbrush for two minutes twice a day you can do this!

Here’s what I want you to do (and I’ll give you options because I know every person has a different style of working). I want you to set aside sacred time to do your metrics. Consider:

  • 5 minutes each business day
  • 15 minutes a week
  • An hour a month

In that time I want you to track your numbers. If you don’t know what to track or how to interpret them yet, that is ok, I am going to teach you that. I want you first to make the decision, make the commitment to treat your business like a business and carve out this time.

Surely you could find 5 minutes a day if you were guaranteed that an activity would make you more profitable, right?

I know you would.

So today, commit to the habit and the time. If you can brush your teeth, you can do this!

Not sure what to track, how to track it, or how this could possibly be easy (it is, trust me….)? Join me for a free webinar on Thursday, June 26th where I will teach you exactly how to do that (even if you are not a numbers person). Register for free here:

photo credit: Indalo Art via photopin cc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Value of Extra Effort [Business Flow Video]

What happens when you put in a little extra effort and go where most people aren’t willing to?

Bliss… and results…

Join Paula G for this episode of business flow as she talks about the value of putting forth some extra effort and taking calculated risks during a recent kayaking trip. On the water it resulted in beauty and solitude on a busy holiday weekend (try THAT in a metropolitan area!)… so where might a bit of extra effort and calculated risk take you in your business?

Find out in today’s 1 minute clip from on the water…