The last quarter of the year is here, which is usually time to cue the hustle and buckle down to hit those financial goals you set at the beginning of the year. Right?
Nope. In fact, finishing the year financially strong isn’t about hitting that big (arbitrary) number.
Don’t get me wrong, I love to make money in my business. Without an income, I’d have a hobby. And I work way too hard for this to be a hobby.
There are so many other ways to measure the success of your business aside from your revenue. I’ll even go out on a limb and say that revenue doesn’t really matter at all.
What does matter? Your profits. And even more so, your happiness.
I spent the first years of my business chasing that $100k dream that everyone talks about. When I hit it, it felt like a big letdown. Sure, I was making great money, even exceeding the $100k early on. But I was miserable. I was losing out on time with my kids, my husband, my friends. And I. Was. Tired.
That’s when my husband took a stand and we had a Come to Jesus meeting. Because while I was home to take the kids to their sports practices and I wasn’t going to a 9-to-5 job (that I loved, by the way), I was physically present and mentally and emotionally somewhere else.
That wasn’t our dream when I left the corporate world.
And you know what? Neither was a $100k business. But there we were.
My husband questioning where I was in business and where I was going was an eye-opener for me. One I sorely needed. It allowed me to step back and reevaluate my business so it could be financially stable while allowing me the lifestyle business I truly wanted to build.
Business is never perfect and I don’t claim to have all the answers. But there are some things I’ve done that you can, too, to ensure your business is financially fit going into the new year–so you can start on fresh footing and strong, no matter where your revenue falls. Because remember, that number doesn’t really matter anyway.
Know What You NEED
You might aspire to have a 7-figure business and if you do, more power to you! But no matter what you think you want to earn, you need to know what you need to earn to ensure your business is profitable (and you can pay yourself). This is your bottom-line number, after expenses. It’s not your revenue.
Reduce Your Expenses
If you’re trying to improve that income goal, you may need to take a close look at your expenses and start cutting back on non-essentials. I’m not telling you to run a bare-bones business; I want you to look through your expense reports and find tools and resources you’re paying for that you’re not actually using.
Increase the Value of Your Offer
Hopefully you have a viable offer that you’ve been able to sell up to this point. If you’ve been wanting to raise prices but are hesitant, think about how you can repackage what you already have to add more value without taking too much more of your time or effort.
Service providers can simply spotlight the expertise they bring to the table, add a short monthly report to retainer projects or include Voxer Q&A sessions for high-level clients. Product-based businesses can create resources in multiple platforms (think video and pdf) to show customers how to use their product.
Know What You’re Doing With Profits
Does money burn a hole in your pocket like a kid in a candy store? You’re not alone. A common problem I see is business owners who have a fantastic month, an anomaly. And when the cash hits their business bank account, they spend it on coaching, courses and contractors they may not need right then. They feel like they have the money, it’s time to do something with it.
Instead, have a plan in place. This is where my strategic objectives framework comes in so nicely. You need to know where your priorities are… right now… so you can make sound decisions in your business.
Make Sure You Pay Yourself
Owning a business shouldn’t mean that all the money stays in the business. A business pays its employees, and as the CEO that’s you! This goes back to my first point about knowing what you need to bring home. Need, not want. Make sure all the hard work you’re doing makes it into your personal bank account and benefits your family. Because that’s why you’re doing this business thing anyway, right?
I don’t care where you business is right now; every single business owner has the ability to finish off the year with a bang, feeling ready to tackle 2020 with confidence. But that doesn’t mean you need to hustle your bootie off and lose sight of why you’re really here growing a business.
Let’s all make a pact that we’re here to build a business that suits our lifestyles and the goals we have for our families. Who’s with me?
Build the systems you need and get your business back-end in order so you can grow and scale in exactly the way you dream (without feeling you have to live up to the online business hype.