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. Contact me for a discovery call and find out.

 

 

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?

What is Your Business’ Heartbeat?

Do you know the heartbeat of your business at any given time? You might even wonder sometimes, does my business even have a pulse?

Much like your heart emits a pulse every minute of every day for your lifetime so does the heart of your business. It’s universal.

Getting to know and understand your business’ pulse is instrumental to being able to grow, rely on, and steer your efforts so you create the experience and results you want.

This is not a 911 call to see if your business has a pulse and can be saved (although it can work for that too). This is actually about maximizing what your business can do for you.

Business Health and Profitability

photo credit: Neal. via photopin cc

 

When an athlete trains for optimal efficiency and fitness, she gets to know her heart rate intimately. What is the resting heart rate? What is the maximum? Where is that range of peak efficiency? What is possible when you push the edges of high heart rate efforts?

This is no means about “getting by” or rescuing the sick. This is about peak performance, making wise decisions, and getting results. It is also about creating an intimate relationship with your body, and in this case the body, mind, and spirit of your business.

When you get to know your business in this way, much like the athlete you can:

  • Push the boundaries of what you thought was possible to be of even greater service and create better profitability.
  • Know when it is time to sink into the natural cycle of rest.
  • Identify when you need to put forth more energy and resources and when it is best to conserve.

I know when I started training for bike rides this way suddenly I could do more and feel uplifted at the end of a long ride (instead of wrecked and ready to crash). I enjoy the journey more, go further, and ride stronger.

What I found when I replicated this process for my business was that I created more efficiency, ease, and profitability simply by following guidelines that indicate the wellness of my business at any given point in time.

When you know what’s what in your business you can make more effective decisions around:

  • Expanding to new locations.
  • Adding team members or staff.
  • What actions to be taking (and which to stop).
  • What services to offer and how to price them for profitability.
  • How to do things more efficiently and in less time.

And, because a healthy you with a satisfying personal life makes a healthier business, you get to finally take the time off to enjoy and disconnect that you’ve been yearning for.

All because you took just a few short minutes to take the pulse of your business.

If you’re ready to grow your business to that next level in a way that feels good, a business health checkup is just what you need. In less than an hour, you’ll get clear diagnostics and personalized attention that will give you a 10X return or better. Learn more and take the pulse of your business today.

3 Signs Your Business Needs a Health Checkup (And They Are Not What You Think!)

3 Signs Your Business Needs a Tune UpWhen was the last time you sat down for 60 minutes or less and gave your business health the checkup it deserves? If you’re like most growing small business owners, the answer is…. “It’s so long I can’t remember. Maybe, never?”

That’s because you’re so busy growing the business and juggling life, right?

It totally makes sense. Yet, regular checkups are the absolutely best thing you can do to ensure growth happens (continues) and that you actually thrive in the process. The images of entrepreneurs slogging away and dedicating life and limb to the business to “do whatever it takes” are a disservice to every small business owner. When I read these articles I cringe…because our businesses are meant to serve (and that includes serving us and our households!)

First, let’s be clear… when I talk about a business health checkup, this is not about a business that is dying on the vine. That’s more appropriate for a business triage or ER situation. That would be defined more as a business turnaround. What I’m talking about is taking something that is budding, growing, or even stagnating a bit and making it (and you) thrive. This is about thriving, not surviving.

Juggling Your Business

photo credit: Elvert Barnes via photopin cc

Much like with our physical health, the best time for a checkup is when there is nothing drastically wrong. You’re humming along. You might have a few complaints. You have some areas you’d like to experience more wellness, but overall, you’re doing ok. It is from this space that the most fruitful change can happen because you are not in crisis!

3 signs that now is the best time for you to do a business checkup and tune-up.

Your Business Has Grown “Just Enough”

Your hard work is paying off. You’re starting to grow. In fact you’ve grown “just enough” to make things different than they were before. You are serving more clients, making more money, and entertaining new, exciting opportunities. This is all good news, right? It is! And, you have grown just enough to need to start to do some things differently. You may or may not be sure what those things are… but you know that in order to continue to grow, you need to make a few changes in order to make the growth sustainable while taking time to have a life!  [Read more…]

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 many of my webinars I teach you exactly what you need to track (Go here to receive first notice of upcoming classes). 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?

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

And start there….

Learn exactly what you need to track, why you need to track it, and how to make it easy.  Free Webinar on May 28th (a $197+ value) to help you create more fun and profit in your business. Register here today!

photo credit: elias_daniel via photopin cc

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