When you start your own business, you want it to do well. That’s why it’s so important to build it on the right foundations. Those pillars provide stability for your business to grow on. And it’s no different for your financial system. It, too, needs to be built on the right foundations. Because without it, you’ll find yourself and your business floundering.
There are four key pillars to consider for a sound financial system to be put in place. Otherwise known as the 4Ps, these are pricing, profit, performance, and planning. So if you’re looking to get your business onto solid financial footings, keep reading to find out more about each of these pillars.
This is the main one I talk about the most because it’s so important. If you can get your pricing right, particularly in a service business, other things will follow. Getting your pricing right means you can pay yourself more, earn more, and pay other people to...
How can automation help with your pricing? If you think automation has nothing to do with pricing and the other financial aspects of your business, you’re wrong! Automation can help you get more for your time without working harder or longer. It enables you to automate some of your systems and processes so you can work more efficiently. And if you’re charging via fixed cost packages or retainers (as I recommend!), automation enables you to charge more for your time and not get penalised for being more efficient.
I recently had the pleasure of talking to business process automation specialist Kelly Goss. Kelly works specifically with a no-code automation platform called Zapier. It’s excellent for utilising different automations within your business and is perfect for any sized business. Here’s why you need to think about automation, how to get started and how it will positively impact your time and money.
In November 2020, I attended Janet Murray's annual event 2021 Sorted. Colin Gray talked all about how to start a podcast and it really appealed to me. With some pushing from Janet, I agreed to start a podcast.
Today (17th March) marks the launch of my new podcast "The Pricing Queen". I have 11 episodes all ready to go and I'm so excited to be out there with it.
For me, a podcast is perfect. I don't have to put on any makeup, I can chat away (I love a chat!) and I can choose when I do it. It can also be quite casual in style, as I don't have to be too corporate about it.
I have also loved having loads of guests for my first season. I've chatted to Osmaan Sharif (mindset), Janet Murray (online courses and memberships), Amy Mitchell (systems and productivity), Amy Caiger (niching) and Rob & Kennedy (email marketing).
It's a great way to show your authority in your chosen niche, and also to invite people you admire so you can chat to them. It should also open out my audience (I...
2021 has started off being a tough year. We thought we'd left behind some of the woes of 2020, but unfortunately, that's not the case. And lots of small businesses are struggling.
If you are struggling with managing homeschooling, your business and all the other demands at home, you are not alone. The uncertainty can make it very difficult to plan anything and balancing your energy can be really important.
Also, if you are just working all the time (maybe you don't have kids but are stuck on your own at home), there is a temptation to just work all the time, and never have a break.
Look at what brings in the most money with the most ease in your business. If you offer a 1:1 service, could you do more, rather than sell something like a course, which won't get you much, but a 1:1 would net you more.
Do short term things if you need the money right now. Go out to your "hot" leads - these are mostly existing or previous clients or ex-colleagues. Ask them if they know anyone who needs...
As my business turns 3 on 13th February, I've been reflecting on things I wish I'd known or done when I started out.
1) Outsource as early as you can
I waited for ages to get my amazing assistant Louise, and my web designer Lisa, but they have transformed my business. Don't wait until you are collapsing under work to outsource. Get someone to start small and grow with you as your business grows.
There is a saying that you should get someone when you can afford 50% of their fees. I think it's a good rule of thumb to get you started.
If you find it hard to delegate, just do a few hours or tasks to start with. I find I can't outsource email easily but have no problem with social media posting.
2) Don't be afraid to experiment
I've tried all sorts of things in my business. I started as a freelancer exchanging time for money (as most people do). Then I discovered online courses and email marketing, and I have experimented with various offers, some more successful than others.
It’s so important to have an accounting system in your business. It doesn't matter how small you are or how big you are, everything is made easier by having an accounting system.
I am Xero certified because I love it, and I highly recommend Xero. I find QuickBooks really clunky, so if you're choosing between QuickBooks and Xero, I'd say Xero every time.
Why do I need an accounting system?
Having an accounting system will save you lots of time in the long run. It will also save you time in the short term by having all your invoices sent from the system, help you collect money via GoCardless and seamlessly match it all. Plus If you have an accounting system like Xero, you can connect up your bank, Stripe and PayPal. This makes it very easy to keep track of your numbers, because every business needs to know what their numbers are.
You can also take photos of your receipts when you are out and about (when that can happen again!) and then all receipts and invoices are in one place...
Which product or service makes you the most money in your business? Do you even know this?
If you have lots and lots of products and services in your business, you need to really think about focusing that down, and knowing which ones really make you money. But do you know how much money they each make?
If you offer one to one consultancy, is that actually worth doing? If you do a course, is that worth doing?
I want you to think about how which products and services in your business make the most money. And then you can make some conscious decisions about the best way to manage your business.
Start by looking at the split of your revenue. Look at your revenue for the last 12 months ideally, but whatever you can pull out. Look at how much you made from each of your products, how much time they took you take you to deliver each time.
Let's say you have one to one consultancy. Look at how much one to one time you actually spent and how much revenue you...
I think all service businesses (and some product ones too!) should have a power hour as part of their portfolio. It's a chance for people to work with you at relatively low cost, and you can get a result in an hour for the client.
It also deters time wasters who just want something for free.
What is a power hour?
A power hour is an hour of your time where you solve a specific problem for that client. So for me, it is pricing a specific thing, or increasing your profit in a certain area. I can't solve all of your pricing problems in an hour, so it's best to pick a topic and be really clear about what you can (and can't) cover in an hour.
Why do I need a power hour?
Do you often get people "tyre kicking" or saying "can I pick your brains about....."? It can be hard to say no, but you can end up spending a lot of time for free and giving away lots of your hard won experience by doing this. And people will push your boundaries all over the place if you let them!
Is it difficult to set...
I talked in my previous blog about productivity and in this one I want to talk about more tools you could use in your business to make you more productive
Toggl - perfect for tracking your time on projects and knowing how long things take you to deliver a project or retainer. The free version is fine, but I use the paid version to give me billable vs non billable amounts.
Asana - I have everything in Asana these days - documents, workflows, projects and I love it. I can set due dates, share information and tasks with people and generally organise my life. Amy Mitchell has a great free training on getting started. Get it here.
Kajabi - I love Kajabi because it houses my website, courses and email marketing in one place. When I was looking at it, I thought it was expensive (I pay around £130 per month) but because I was paying for web hosting and an email list separately, plus having somewhere to host my courses, it wasn't much...
So today I want to talk to you about five ways to avoid discounting when talking to a client.
Picture the scenario, you send a proposal to a client and the client says they can't afford that. And the And you immediately offer to discount with no reason to do so. Instead, take a deep breath and do one of the following 5 things: