Do you feel like you’re on track for your 2018 goals?
This is such a challenging time of year. Especially if you are like me, summer is upon us. If you have children and schools are being let out. Our schedules are being shaken up.
Things start to slow down and as an entrepreneur it can be one of those times where if you’re not paying attention, then you might find yourself in that summer slow down where suddenly your business takes a back seat for the next two or three months.
By the time fall rolls around and you’re ready to really go after those goals you’ve lost out on this amazing opportunity in front of you to just make it happen.
I know that for myself, sometimes those goals that you set at the beginning of the year shift. Sometimes you write down something at the beginning of the year and it changes as you go through the next few months.
I’ve already experienced this in my own business. So every time I get to June I go through this process that I call a mid year review.
I think it’s so important every once in awhile to just press pause, take a little time off. Take a little CEO date for yourself and check in with your business to see if you are on track to achieve your big goals.
This is a process I take myself through and I take my clients through because it is so important to just press pause and actually reflect on your progress so far.
If you don’t take time to get strategic then you can lose several months of momentum.Even though summer is upon us doesn't mean your business needs to stop.Click To Tweet
The first thing I do is monthly review. And this is looking month by month for the first six months of the year. What we want to do is get a play by play of how did those months go for you and your business.
There are three things I’m looking for in your monthly review.
- What is your total monthly revenue? What is that top-line revenue money? How much money did you actually make that month?
- What drove revenue?
- What were you focused on with your sales and marketing strategy?
When I say top-line revenue I mean how much total revenue came into your business? I’m not talking about any fees that you might pay. I’m not talking about taxes. I’m not talking about what you pay yourself.
That’s a really important metric to be tracking month by month. We want to know how much is actually flowing into your business.
Once you have that top-line revenue there are two follow-up pieces of information you really need to have.
What drove revenue?
Where is that revenue coming from? You might have a month where all of your revenue came from your one-on-one clients. You might have a month where 50% came from one-on-one clients and 50% came from a workshop you taught.
Break it down into percentages of what products, programs, and services that you offer actually sold and where that revenue came from.
This is so incredibly important to track because over the course of the year, you will probably see trends and the 80/20 rule still applies. In your revenue, it applies in your sales and marketing.
80% of the results will come from 20% of the effort, right? So when you’re looking at sales where is the majority of your sales coming from?
Where was your focus during these last few months?
What were you actually marketing and selling to your audience? It’s important to sit down and think about where you were spending your time and energy and where your focus was.
We want to make sure that the actions you were taking actually drove results.
If you’re just guessing your business strategy each and every month you are not going to achieve those goals. So we want to be setting a plan, charting that plan. Mapping it out and then tracking if it worked.
There are a couple of key questions we wanna ask now that we have this monthly review.
What has worked so far for you in 2018?
Looking at the first five, six months of the year what has worked?
- What offerings have been the most profitable?
- What marketing strategies have gotten the best results?
- Where has your time and energy been focused that led to new clients, new sales.
What did not work as well as I had hoped?
- What did not sell?
- Were you promoting something and you just didn’t get the sales you were looking for?
- What marketing strategies did not work the way that you anticipated?
You wanna think about if something didn’t work, why did it not work.
- Could we improve this?
- Could we make this better?
- Do we have the data to make sure that our assumption is correct?
I can give you an example of both from my business:
Something that worked. We saw that the CEO retreat was a huge success. Something that didn’t work. I announced another one in April and I only gave three weeks’ notice.
I went on spring break with my family. We were gone for the whole week. And when I came back I had just a couple of little things telling people about the next upcoming CEO retreat.
It was a virtual one, which I thought would be easier. But I didn’t give people time to block off a Friday to sit with me on Zoom. So realized, okay what didn’t work about this?
It wasn’t that the offer wasn’t good. I knew people loved it. I knew that everybody who attended last time really enjoyed it. The challenge was I did not give myself a long enough time frame.
The next question to ask yourself is, “what got in way?”
We are entrepreneurs which means we are the driving force behind our business. So if something didn’t work was there something else that got in your way?
You want to be thinking about what are these things that could be holding you back. Maybe you had crazy weather. Maybe you were like me and you got snowed in a lot this winter. Maybe you got hit with the flu and your whole family was sick for a couple of weeks.
You want to pay attention to this because these little things can really throw off your plan and some of these things we can actually build in buffers in our plan to make sure that when those things happen again you don’t get so off course.
What is the leading metric that drives revenue for your business?
You’re going to want to look through your numbers here. And again I’m talking about numbers a lot and we’re going to be talking a lot more about tracking numbers and what you should be paying attention to this month.
Because a really important part of being the CEO is making informed decisions. Not just guessing about what is or isn’t working in your business. So a leading metric is something that predicts a lagging metric. A lagging metric is revenue.
Once that hits, there’s nothing else you can do to impact how much revenue you have coming into your business. But if you know what drives revenue, then you can take actions now to make sure that you’re doing the things that will move the needle for your business.
“Am I on or off track for my goals this year?”
You might decide your goal has changed. And that’s totally okay. But you wanna ask yourself, am I on or off track? And you want to figure out what is the gap in order to hit your end of the year goal.
Looking at your year-to-date revenue.
- How much revenue has come into my business and what is the gap?
- How much additional revenue do I need to generate in order to hit my revenue goal?
This is such an important thing to know because now I can make a plan based on real numbers. Based on real information.
Once I have that revenue goal I can start reverse engineering it.
Let’s say you have $50,000 left to make this year. Your goal was six figures. You made just about $50,000 so far this year and $50,000 is the remainder that you’re trying to make up this year.
At this point are you on track?
Then what do you need to do to continue getting another 50K this year. Especially if summer’s going to impact your business. Now let’s say that you’re goal is to make $50000 this year but you didn’t hit that goal yet.
Let’s say your goal was to make $50,000 this year. You made $20,000 so now you still have $30,000 left to make.
You should have been making closer to $25,000 by the end of this month. So how are you gonna make up that gap? That extra 5K that would have put you on track to your revenue goal.
Maybe that means you need to take time right now this month to sign an extra client or two.
Maybe it means you need to put together a promotion for your products, programs, or services to make sure you don’t fall further behind to reaching that goal.
Once you know the gap, what you need to make between June and December to achieve your yearly revenue goal.
You can also figure out “do I need to catch up?”.
- Is there missing revenue here that I need to account for?
- That I need to figure out how to make up.
- Do you need to adjust your plan to do that catch up?
- What can you do to close that gap?
And if you’re in the situation where you’re closing that gap I want you to know that this is totally normal. We all go through this.
We all go through months where we are a little short of our revenue goal.
Revenue is never something that is consistent across the board unless you run a retainer-based business model where you’re just billing out the same number of clients all the time.
For a lot of us, revenue is gonna ebb and flow a little bit and that’s why you have to track it. You have to know what is going on in your business. And when you have those down months you have to have the game plan in place in order to make up that revenue.
In order to close the gap and get back on track with your revenue goal. So once you have this information. You know the gap, you know how much revenue you need to make through the end of the year.
Now we can actually map out what we’re going to do for the remainder of 2018.
We don’t wanna make the same mistakes again. We want to make sure we’re focusing our time and energy on what actually is working and driving results for your business.
So one thing I really want you to think about as you’re planning the second half of your year. As you’re putting in what you’re gonna be doing. July, August, September, October, and November, December.
Is that you don’t have to recreate the wheel.
If something worked earlier this year it will likely work again. And I see so many entrepreneurs creating more work and more stress for themselves because they are constantly starting over.
They’re constantly trying brand new marketing strategies. Brand new sales strategies. Creating brand new offerings. When instead they could take something they’ve already sold an existing product, program, or service, and just offer it again.
If you watch my business you know that I offer the same things again, and again, and again. My signature program is sweet spot strategy and I have been running it since 2011.
We are always making the program better and I’m always growing it with new amazing students. So this is how you actually build an asset for your business.
You create it and then put it to work for you.
Instead of constantly creating new things that just kind of sit on a shelf and don’t generate any revenue for your business.
What worked in the first six months of the year that you can actually rinse and repeat in the next six months?
As you go through the end of the year plan what you want to map out for each and every month is first what are you selling this month?
What product, program, or service are focused on?
This is so important because if you are not actively offering people your products, programs, and services chances are you are not seeing clients.
You want to have a plan for where your time and energy is going to be. You want to know what you’re focused on each and every month so you can put that energy behind it and get the results you’re looking for with the least amount of effort.
So first thing you gotta know about each month the rest of the year, what are you selling? What product, program, or service are you selling?
How are you marketing that offer?
How do you plan to attract new people to that offer? How do you plan to engage them and start this conversation and then help them decide if this is a perfect fit for them?
How are you actually selling this to people?
You have a goal, I want to sell X number of private clients or I want to enroll X number of people into this program. But how are you getting them into it?
You have to decide how you are extending that invitation. If you’re hoping that they’re going to click around on your website and find it you will be hoping for a very long time.
It does not work very well. What does work is for you to decide right up front how are you going to be inviting people into that program.
- Are you having conversations?
- Are you doing a webinar?
- Are you just doing an email promotion?
- How are you actually inviting them into the next step?
Mapping this out will make your year so, so much easier. And because you have done this year in review that we’ve been walking through it will make it easier to rinse and repeat and avoid the mistakes you might have made at the beginning of the year.