So, show of hands, how many of y’all have been reviewing your last quarter numbers and only looking at the revenue and profit boxes? [raises hand]
I would not be shocked if it’s 95% of you. In this business space in this climate, we have been inundated with these milestones of 10k months, six-figure years, etc. that it’s become the precedent in many of our heads.
It sets up this narrative that if we aren’t hitting these numbers at quarter, then we haven’t “made it’ in our business
Here’s how this hurts us:
This causes us a reactionary response in our decision-making. We see we made or missed our income goal, and it triggers us to either a. Leave things as they are because hey we made $10k just do it again next quarter, or b. We panic and start making several investments, changes etc. to help us make that mark next quarter.
Both don’t account for:
1. Your capacity (do you have the time and energy to do this?),
2. Your business model (‘consistent’ for you could mean large client accounts where you are paid yearly, launch model where you have high revenue months, and low revenue months in a non-launch month), or
3. Your goals (Would my getting this $10k infringe on the goals I have of what business looks like for me?)
This leaves us feeling STRESSED to eventually have to fix the holes in our ship, selling more through bro-marketing tactics, look desperately outside of ourselves to tactics, programs, or other investments that overwhelm our plate, and drive us further from our goals in Q2. Decision fatigue is real, and making decisions from revenue alone is not enough for you to work off of.
There are a plethora of factors that go into the decisions we make for the next quarter, but what we want to look at here is what are other factors to help to show you have your growth.
This is why we need to have key performance indicators to tell us what exactly we need to plan for accordingly.
Where to audit in your online business?
Knowing how to audit your business is more than just revenue and profit. It’s creating a report card for how your business is progressing you to your long-term goals.This means looking over your operations, your customer service, your marketing, and your own enjoyment in your business.
Here are 5 areas you can take a look at for your quarter review beyond the cash flow:
Energy Management: How was your energy management this month? Did you feel like you were desperately having to find breaks where you could? Or did you feel pretty confident in being able to close your laptop and turn off social media for a weekend and fully enjoy it?
Client Experience Process: How is the client experience overall? The client experience process is your ability to move people from stranger to client and beyond. Do you have a defined process to make this more efficient? How much of that had to be done by you manually? Were there any areas that felt like it would be too much to handle beyond a certain cap? If so, this would be a great place to explore, experiment and tweak in order to have a more effective experience clients will rave about.
Client Retention: Your client retention rate is the amount of current clients who continue to purchase or re-use your products and services. The rate for this may or may not be that high depending on your business model, but it takes less energy to sell to someone whose worked with you before, than trying to acquire a new client. For example, while my new client intake in Q1 was low, I had 2 clients re-sign with me. This honestly means a lot more to me, because it means my clients felt I met (or exceeded) expectations and decided to reinvest in me. I don’t take that lightly, and neither should you. If your business model doesn’t provide an opportunity for clients to rework with you, this may be an area to look at for Q2!
Lead Generation: Regardless of whether you made your Q1 revenue goals or not, how effective were your efforts to bring leads in? What did it feel like to continually bring leads in from the channels you utilize. Did leads increase? Decrease? How much energy did it take to bring them in on your end (think content creation, design, ideation, etc.). Are the platforms you are using the best ones or is there someone where else you need to be that would be easier for you to obtain the same amount of leads? This could be a matter of tweaking a strategy, introduce another platform, or experiment with other ways of lead generation based on your capacity to do so.
Offer alignment: Finally, do a check on your offers! Do they still make sense given your capacity to take on new clients? I recently closed my 1:1 until the end of June, despite it being my biggest money maker. Why? Because I had no space to be able to work 4 months with a client, while also keeping up with growing areas of my business (like my digital products, my intensives and my paid collabs). Plus, I was finding my clients were thriving just as well in my short-term coaching programs and they wouldn’t suffer because of the 1:1 closure. What would that look like in your business? Have your clients given you feedback on an offer that you could upgrade? Has your gut told you it’s time to retire something?
When you’re a solopreneur, especially a creative solopreneur, where you have so many ideas and the way you move is with your creativity. When you look in this business space and see huge numbers and growth happening, it can be easy to ONLY focus on the financial numbers, and not the overall health of your business. Even in this blog, these are only a few of the many areas you can audit to help you make your business feel and operate more like YOU, and the way you envisioned your business when you first started.
If you need more help with this, I have resources available through the blog here, templates to save you time in your client experience process, and services for you and I to work through this together. You can join my email list to gain access to more bis ops advice, free resources, and first dibs on services to help you build streamlined support in your business that help you grow sustainably. In the meantime, be sure to Pin this post and share with a friend!