“What questions do I ask myself in a review? What do I do when I sit down to check my progress? How do I adjust my plan?”
We’re almost at the midway point of the year which is the perfect time to do a review of your business. But not everybody knows where to start when it comes to doing a review, and these are the types of questions I get when working with clients.
What if you’re not sure if you’re on track with your goals? Don’t worry! With my framework, you can figure out whether or not you’re still on pace to meet your goals for the year.
In this episode of the Promote Yourself to CEO podcast, I walk you through a mid-year review. You’ll learn the questions you need to ask yourself to help you determine what is and isn’t working in your business and how you can start planning for the second half of the year.
On this episode of Promote Yourself to CEO:
5:00 – Look at each goal you set at the start of the year and ask yourself these questions. I discuss a couple of mine.
10:39 – What goal am I not currently on track to reach? Here’s one I’ve been struggling with lately.
14:42 – The next step in the mid-year review process involves digging a little deeper with a month-by-month review. Answer these key questions.
25:22 – What has worked so far this year? (And what has flopped? I reveal why something going wrong isn’t always because you did something wrong).
33:28 – Your leading and lagging metrics are two of the most important things in your business to wrap your head around.
36:10 – Is there a gap in your revenue at this mid-way point? If so, here’s what you can do.
38:17 – Plan for the rest of the year with these four questions to ask about each month remaining.
44:22 – So many entrepreneurs struggle because they overcomplicate this! To wrap up, I offer this one final piece of insight.
Mentioned in How a Mid-Year Review Can Help You Achieve Your Goals
We are at the midway point for 2023. That has me thinking, are you on track with the goals that you set at the beginning of the year way back in January? If not, have no fear. We are going to press pause today, do a quick mid-year review, and determine what's working, what's not working, and how you can move forward and plan for the final half of 2023.
Are you ready to grow from stressed-out solopreneur to competent CEO? You're in the right place. I'm your host, Racheal Cook, and I've spent more than 15 years helping women entrepreneurs sustainably scale their businesses. If you're serious about building a sustainable business, it's time to put the strategy, systems, and support in place to make it happen. Join me each week for candid conversations about stepping into your role as CEO, the hard lessons learned along the way, and practical profitable strategies to grow a sustainable business without the hustle and burnout.
Hey there, CEO. Welcome back to another episode here on Promote Yourself to CEO. It is the beginning of June, my kids are about to be out of school for the summer, and I find this time of year is the perfect time to press pause and do a mid-year review. It's not perfectly the middle of the year, but I know that if I wait until July, I am already deep into summer mode with the family. I'm on vacation, we're going into the Fourth of July, there's too much going on, I won't actually have the quiet time I need to do a mid-year review and reflect.
This is one of the practices that I feel entrepreneurs often just forget to do because we get so in the day-to-day of our business. We're in the weeds, working with our clients, growing our business, and we forget that we made a plan, we set goals at the beginning of the year. But if we're not regularly checking in on that plan, checking in on those goals, then it's really easy to find yourself off track or not even know where you are in relation to that plan that you've created.
I want to walk you through this process today of doing a mid-year review and I do have a special download to go along with this episode where you can get the workbook. Just head over to the link in the show notes and you will be able to get the workbook that goes along with the questions I'm going to walk you through today.
This process is one that I have gone through myself for years and years and years on my own. I have found that the secret to really achieving your goals is in the pressing pause and reflecting on a regular basis, checking in, tracking your progress, and course correcting as you need to. It takes a little bit of discipline to make yourself do that, which is why I'm showing up here in your earbuds to help you press pause and see where your business is so far this year.
This is one of those practices that I've developed for myself and it's become such a habit, such an ingrained habit for me that I didn't realize how other people may or may not be tracking their progress on their plan or towards their goals until I am working with clients and my clients are saying, “Hey, what questions do you ask yourself in a mid-year review? What do you do when you're sitting down to check on your progress? How do you adapt or adjust your plan?
I realize not everybody knows where to start when it comes to doing a review. Today I want to just give you a framework, a series of questions to help you determine whether or not you're on track with your goals for the year.
The good news is even if you're a little bit behind or if you have deviated from your plan a little bit—because that happens, a lot of us have to adapt and adjust our plan, especially when the economy is up and down, when there's so much going on in the world, there's a lot that can impact our business. As small business owners, we are usually the first ones to feel the impacts of the economy being uncertain or the recession that we are likely in now, we are the first ones to feel those pains—I want you to know going into this mid-year review that it's okay to pivot. It's okay to adapt and adjust. These are things every business is going through whether they're huge companies or itty-bitty small micro-businesses, and there's time to get back on track.
The first thing we want to ask ourselves, as we're looking through our mid-year review, is what were the goals that you set for the beginning of the year? What were your goals? Now, one, if you aren't sure what those goals are, I want you to get in the habit of writing down your goals and ideally, writing them in a place where you're going to review them again and again and again.
If you went through the Plan Your Best Year Ever Challenge with us at the beginning of the year, end of last year, then you have workbooks from that challenge where we narrowed down after five days your top five goals for the year ahead. I really recommend limiting the number of goals that you set for your business. I like five as the maximum.
I think that's so important because if you have more than five, it is very easy to spread yourself way too thin. If you set too many goals, you can get off track or find yourself not having the focus, the time, energy, attention, the bandwidth, the capacity to truly go all in on just a few goals.
If you have taken the Plan Your Best Year Ever Challenge, pull those workbooks out and review your five goals that you set for yourself. If you have been following along with me for a while and you have a CEO Planner, if you've gone to my website and purchased a CEO Planner, I want you to pull out your planner because your goal should be written in the worksheet at the beginning of your 90 Day CEO Planner.
This is one of my favorite tools when I'm doing a review. In fact, The CEO Planner was created because this is a process I have been using in my business for over a decade. Every quarter, every mid-year review, I pull out my planner and flip back through the pages to see what I've been working on, to see how I've been progressing towards my goals. Go ahead and pull up your goals. Pull them up, get them in front of you.
If you do not have any goals set, I want you to go check out the Plan Your Best Year Ever Challenge. It is absolutely free. You can adjust it to start in June or July versus January. But that process is a game changer when it comes to identifying the goals that are going to move your business forward.
Let's say you have your five goals in front of you, or less, five or less, your top goals for the year, and you're going to ask yourself for each goal: what is this goal? Did I achieve it? Or am I on track to achieve it? Why or why not?
Let's look at this past year to date for me. A big goal that I have inside of my business The CEO Collective is I'm always working on my different marketing priorities. One of the big goals that I have is to publish 52 episodes of Promote Yourself to CEO, essentially an episode a week. I'm asking myself as I'm looking at it, “Am I on track with that goal?”
Now this is a process goal. This is something I'm constantly chipping away at. My goal by mid-year isn't to have all of them done—I could, that would be amazing—but I'm really just looking to see, “Am I on track with this goal?” I'm checking in, I'm looking at how many episodes have been published, how many episodes have been recorded, how far ahead am I on my podcast?”
Personally, I like to be two to three months ahead on my podcast recording because that gives me a bit more wiggle room in my calendar. But also if I decide to change something, I still can do that. I would say I'm on track with my podcast goal. I'm still two months ahead in my podcast. I have a game plan for the second half of the year with my podcast. I am on track for this goal.
Another goal that I'm tracking is interviews. Every year, I use podcast interviews as one of my favorite ways to get in front of other people's audiences and grow my business. Last year, I did a huge amount of interviews. I had hired somebody to support me with that and I ended up doing over 50 interviews which was quite a lot and my calendar was really, really full.
This year, I decided I was going to pull back on the interviews so that I could work on some other priorities. My goal is to do 18 interviews a year. Well, so far I've done eight. I am pretty much halfway there. I feel really good about that. I already have a couple more lined up. They haven't been recorded yet. I think I'm going to hit that goal without too many challenges.
As you're going through, looking at each of your goals, I want you to ask yourself, “Did I complete that goal?” There are some goals that are project goals that are check-offable. Once you get them done, they're done. They're now created, you've created the thing, you’ve published the thing. Then there are some that are process goals where you're constantly chipping away at it.
As you're looking at your goals, did you achieve the goal or are you on track or not? As I'm looking at some of the other goals that I have in my business, one of the things that I am not on track with, I'm behind on this goal, is that I wanted to do more live video content.
I've been pretty good about batch recording content, especially short-form video for TikTok, which I started that experiment last year. But I have been really struggling to find the bandwidth, to find the energy, and even just the focus to sit down and create more in-the-moment video content.
If I'm looking at what I want to adapt and adjust for next year, that might be something I look at because I have not achieved the goal. I'm not on track with what I set for myself for doing live videos. I was going to try to do at least once a week.
By live video, I mean showing up live on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, or doing Stories or something like that. But I've really been struggling with that. I'm going to reevaluate that. I'm actually going to dig in and ask myself like, “Is this something that is going to make or break anything in my business? Is there a simpler, easier way for me to achieve this goal? Or can I just let go of the goal altogether?”
That happens sometimes, especially if you are finding that you just don't have the bandwidth for something. Sometimes you realize there's something getting in the way that is a little bit beyond your control, and you just have to put a pin in it until later. You have to wait until later.
Knowing that I have been struggling the first half of the year to do any live videos and them going into the second half of the year where most of June, July, and August is all with my family, the kids are home, we're doing vacations, all the things, trying to get myself on live video the next few months is just going to be really, really challenging. I'm going to have to reevaluate that specific goal. I’m going to reevaluate that and see if it still makes sense for me to focus on that, if that is a nice-to-have versus a must-have.
Chances are you're running into this too. You have things that you wanted to do, but they're not actually essential to achieving your overall business things. That's what this comes down to for me. I'm on social, I'm publishing on social pretty consistently. I use batch content and batch recording to get those things done when I have the actual energy and capacity to do it.
Sometimes I write on these extra things that I really would like to do, but I just don't have the bandwidth, and that's okay. That is okay. This is why these reviews are so important because you get a chance to reevaluate if the goal actually still makes sense.
As you're going through your goals, one reason I absolutely love The CEO Planner is because every quarter, I look at my annual goals, I look at my quarterly goals, and I track as I'm going. I'm tracking every single week on my CEO date, I'm tracking how I'm doing toward these specific goals.
For example, if my goal is to publish five times a week on TikTok, I'm actually doing a little tick mark in my planner for each video that I publish. If I am tracking my podcast being published, I'm writing a little tick mark for each one of those. If I'm tracking how many interviews I'm doing, I'm making a little tick mark next to that goal, so that I can see whether or not I am on track. That is really, really helpful for me to see there because then I can ask myself, “Am I really taking the action I committed to taking?”
Once you've reviewed your goals and asked yourself, “Am I on track with this goal, am I off track with this goal?” then we want to dig in a little bit deeper and do a month-by-month review. I think this is super important because when we are in the day-to-day of our business, we often are dealing with big feelings, our emotions about how things are going on in our business.
But as time passes, we forget what was happening. We forget what was going on in our life, in our business, on our family, or in our health. It is really helpful to be able to press pause and ask yourself, “What did that month actually look like? What was really going on?”
In the workbook, make sure you've downloaded the workbook from the show notes, I'm asking myself three key questions every single month. First, I'm asking myself, “How much revenue did I bring in that month? What was the total top-line revenue, all the money that hit your business, that came into your business each and every month?” This is a crucial number to be tracking.
I'm always encouraging women to get more comfortable looking at the numbers of your business, get more comfortable looking at your revenue, tracking your revenue. This is one of the most important numbers to be paying attention to. Don't wait too long before you're actually checking in to see what you are making that month, how much money is coming in that month.
In fact, every single week, the first thing I do on my CEO date is I look at my year-to-date revenue, my month-to-date revenue. I'm looking at how revenue was flowing through my business. I want to know exactly what I closed each month with, how much came through my business.
Then we need to go a layer deeper. We need to ask ourselves what drove that revenue? Where did that revenue come from? What revenue sources did that come from? What was selling that month? What was the offer that was selling that month? For some businesses, this is pretty straightforward. Maybe you only sell one thing and so all your sales are the exact same offer.
If you have multiple offers, you want to break down and look at what is the difference between all these offers because you have a percentage of sales for each offer. I think this is really important because often we will put a ton of time, energy, and attention on offers that bring in a fraction of our bigger signature core offers.
We have to pay attention to how much revenue each offer is bringing in, in order to make sure that each offer is actually profitable, in order to make sure each offer is actually worth the time, energy, and attention you're putting into it. What were you selling each and every month? Track for each offer you have the percentage of sales that came from each offer.
You might also drill down more and think about what were you actively promoting that month in your business. This is another thing that's really important to track in your planner and your CEO Planner. What are you actively selling this month? In fact, if you have The CEO Planner, you know that each week in your weekly planning spread, I'm asking you what are you inviting people to this week.
That's really important because sometimes you will have sales coming from the thing you're actively promoting, sometimes you will have sales coming in from existing clients who are just paying on their payment plans, sometimes you'll have sales come in from different areas that you aren't actively promoting but it is available on your website. You want to be thinking about what were you actively promoting that month.
This is important, again, because it's another piece of data that lets you know whether or not that offer is actually profitable and driving revenue for you. how much revenue did you bring home that month? What drove that revenue and what offers were you proactively selling?
The final thing I want you to think about, and you may need to pull out your planner, your calendar, your project management system, wherever you're tracking the work that you're doing, is what were you focused on each month? What were you focused on in January? What were you focused on in February, etc?
Now why is this so important? It's important because I want you looking through and really identifying where your time and energy is going. The business you have today is the result of the work you did three to six months ago. We need to be able to flip back three to six months or further and figure out are we putting our time, energy, and attention on the activities that are actually going to move us forward?
I don't want women entrepreneurs to be beating themselves up anymore about how hard they're working, that they can be further along, or that they're not doing enough because most of us aren't just running businesses. We're raising families. We're caregivers for parents. We're trying to remember to drink enough water every day and sleep a decent amount.
We have a lot on our plates and we don't need to beat ourselves up by not being far enough ahead in our businesses. But this is one reason why we need to track what we're focused on. Again, I'm pulling out my planner, I go through my planner, I look week by week, and I've designed the planner to give you plenty of spaces where you can ask yourself, especially in your weekly review, “What are the wins from this week? Did I hit my top three tasks for the week? Did I hit my CEO Score? Who am I connecting with? Who am I supporting? What am I looking forward to next week?”
Every single week, I'm writing things down in my planner to let future me know what was going on. That is so incredibly helpful. I can't tell you how helpful it is to have the notes from past me in my planner so that when I'm doing this review, I can go, “Oh yeah, I wasn't feeling well this week. I was sick with something, my kid was not feeling well, I had a family emergency, or I was traveling,” because that's how you learn how much buffer you need in your business.
That's how you really start to understand the capacity you have, the time, energy, and attention that you have to invest into your business goals. I go back, I'm looking at things, and asking myself, “Where do I need to put in more buffer? Where am I not getting enough accomplished because I didn't give myself a long enough timeline here?” I'm always reflecting back to see what has actually happened.
This is one of the reasons why I am able to work so far ahead is because now I know how much buffer I need. I know how much time it really takes to do the types of tasks that my business needs to do on a regular basis. You want to be thinking about that. Do you need to build in more buffer? Do you need to build in more space? Do you need to give yourself longer timelines?
I also want you to ask yourself what kind of marketing activities have you been focused on. This is one of the reasons in The CEO Planner and The 90 Day CEO Operating System that I teach inside of The CEO Collective, we are built around the marketing, sales, and delivery systems that move businesses forward.
It is crucially important because I know how easy it is to get buried in the busy work, client work, or creative work and then you realize, “Oh, I didn't do any Attract marketing this month, I haven't sent out any newsletters, posted on social, or followed up with people who are requesting more information. I forgot to create content. I forgot to connect with people.”
We want to make sure we are checking in on our Attract, Engage, Nurture, Invite, Delight every single week. If you're doing this mid-year review, and you're realizing that you haven't been making time for your marketing, sales, or delivery strategies every single week, then chances are, I'm going to make an educated guess, that you are also seeing inconsistent clients. You're not seeing a steady stream of clients. You're still feeling like you're doing that revenue roller coaster, constantly going between the feast-or-famine mode.
One of our biggest goals is to eliminate that for you. We do that by consistently, week in and week out, putting a little bit of time, energy, and attention on our marketing, sales, and delivery systems. We want to ask ourselves where are we spending our time, energy, and attention every single month.
Once you can answer those questions for your month-by-month review, again, all in the workbook, go grab it from the show notes, but you go through for January, February, March, April, May, and June, or at least you'll be able to get in June once the month ends, you'll know how much revenue you made each month, you'll know what percentage came from each offer, each product, program, or service where you were proactively selling things, so what you were doing that drove revenue, and you are going to see some interesting trends.
What I often hear from my clients is that they start to see that what I tell them is true. The business you have today is the result of the work you did three to six months ago. That is one of the biggest reasons why we teach the 90 Day CEO Operating System because if you're not consistently doing the work, if you're not consistently doing the marketing, the sales, the delivery, then you will be in that feast-or-famine cycle.
We've done our tracking each and every month, all the way up through June 2023. Now that we've gotten all the data, we've pulled all the information, we know where the revenue is, where it's coming from, the percentage of revenue for each offer, etc., now we actually want to pull it together and get some insights that we can use to move forward.
First, what has worked so far this year? What's worked in your business for you? What offers were the most profitable for you? You might be surprised when you look at your numbers, when you start looking at your percentage breakdown of where revenue comes from. Did you have an offer that performed really, really well? Did you have an offer that makes up the bulk of your revenue? We tend to call this our bread-and-butter offer. Do you have something like that? Something that really is like the foundation that your business is built on?
Then you also want to ask yourself what marketing strategies or sales strategies produce the best results for you. I think it's so important to track this on a regular basis so you're really, really clear because once you land on a marketing system that is working, a sales system that is working, then you don't have to reinvent the wheel anymore. You don't have to add more and more and more, you just have to go all in on it and optimize it.
I've shared that in the past year or so, I've been experimenting with TikTok, I started last year with a six-month experiment of publishing five videos a week on TikTok, and within the first month, I saw results coming in. I started seeing my audience was growing. I started seeing people come in actually applying to work with us inside of The CEO Collective.
I realized that this is a format that really works for me because I don't have the bandwidth to go live or to create videos on the go. I just can't physically and energetically do that with the chronic health conditions that I have. But I can double down on this strategy by building some systems around it, by hiring some support to help me make it happen. What are you going to double down on based on what you're seeing so far?
You also want to ask yourself what flopped so far this year. What offers didn't work well? What marketing strategies didn't work well? What sales strategies didn't work well? I think it's important to ask ourselves because sometimes we do things we feel like we have to do and not because it actually generates results for us. We want to be discerning about where we are putting our energy.
I will also say that there are times when things are shifting, especially right now we are in a shifting economy, and you do need to get in community and ask other people what trends they are seeing. Because it's really easy for you to believe, “Well, I did something wrong. I didn't get the result I was looking for,” but if you start talking to other people who are in a similar space serving similar audiences, you might find that yeah, the economy changing has impacted how people are thinking about purchasing things like this.
Maybe that impacted how effective your marketing and sales strategies are. It might not mean that your marketing or sales strategies need to be completely thrown out. But it might mean there's more to this than you might initially have thought. As you're asking yourself these types of questions, as you're going through the mid-year review workbook, I want you to be really focused on what is working and how you can be more discerning about where you're putting your time, energy, and your attention.
As you review your marketing strategy, as you review your sales, as your review your notes from the year to date, I want you to ask yourself, “Is this really getting results for me?” If you are not sure if all your activity is getting results for you, one, we need to track and figure out if all the effort you're putting out there is actually turning into paying clients. Because if it's not, then you're creating work for yourself that you don't need to do.
A great example of this is I have a lot of clients who are, really I mean, higher-end service-based businesses, agency-based businesses, professional services, they're working with more B2B or corporate, and a lot of my clients run businesses that thrive on referrals, on word of mouth, on networking, on connection-driven marketing. These are the people who feel the most like they're not doing marketing right because they're not creating a ton of content.
But when we dig into the numbers and we dig into where did their last 10 clients come from—another great question to ask yourself, where did your last 10 clients come from—we realize that most of their clients are coming from word of mouth, referrals, networking, community, and connection and not from jumping on the content creation hamster wheel.
This is important information because if you don't need to do something, then don't do it just because you feel like you have to. That's not a real business reason to spend time, energy, and attention on something that's not getting results. I want to make sure we're really, really clear about what is or isn't working.
Finally, as we are looking through our mid-year review, I want you to ask yourself what got in your way. Be gentle with yourself here. Is there anything that held you back from seeing the results that you wanted? Was there a circumstance or something outside of your control? Was there a demand on your time that you didn't account for when you are creating your plan? Was there a lack of resources? Was there a lack of time? Was there her lack of energy? What held you back?
I often find, for my clients, unexpected things happen like life lifes: there's a diagnosis, there's a family emergency, there's a period of just not feeling well. I feel like health emergencies take up so much bandwidth. Maybe that's just because I'm in chronic pain world so when I have a health emergency, it's pretty intense and it does really hold me back. I think it's really important to ask yourself these questions and align your business to support you even when you're going through those challenges.
If we only plan for success in a scenario where every single thing is perfect, where you have the same amount of time, energy, and attention every single day, every single week, we aren't really planning for success because nothing is perfect. Our life is never going to be perfect. Our families are never going to be perfect. Our health is never going to be perfect.
There are always going to be blips that can throw us off. There's a glitch in the matrix. Suddenly you get a call, you got to pick a kid up. Somebody has something that you need to jump into and take care of. We want to make sure that we're paying attention to that and that we are starting to learn how to build more buffer into our plan so that we're actually working ahead and giving ourselves that wiggle room, that buffer so when things go wrong, when life happens, we have a little bit of bandwidth there. Our business doesn't shut down because we actually need to step out for a little bit.
As we're reviewing, I really want you to think about this because too many women entrepreneurs find their business backsliding, because the minute that they have to handle something outside of business, they have to take care of life, health, family, or what have you, the entire business comes grinding to a halt, so we want to be giving ourselves buffer, we want to be giving ourselves more bandwidth.
As we're finishing our review, I want you to look at what is your leading metric that tells you what your lagging metric is. Your leading metric is the one that predicts revenue. Your lagging metric is your tracked revenue in this particular workbook. I'm tracking my metrics on a regular basis. All my clients in The Collective track their metrics.
I don't want you to get too in the weeds of tracking your metrics here, because some people really go overboard on this but your leading metric and your lagging metric are two of the most important things to wrap your head around. We want to know how can we predict whether or not we are on track to make the sales that we want to make.
What is the metric we're tracking that is the indicator that sales are going to come, that people are entering your marketing ecosystem, and that you're getting your message in front of enough people to create the sales that you're looking for? Now in my business, email subscribers are my leading metric. I know that email subscribers are the best predictor for future sales. I know that when we are sending people to a specific opt-in to get into our email list, that then translates into applications which then translates into new clients.
There are other leading metrics depending on your type of business. Some people might have a leading metric of referrals or a referral-based business. Every single month, they need to track how many referrals are coming in and have a goal for how many referrals they want every single month. For some businesses, this could be a request for a proposal or a request for a consult, that might be the leading metric that you're tracking.
You want to pay attention to where your clients are coming from and start tracking that so that you'll have a better way to predict whether or not you're on track or off track to getting the revenue that you're looking for.
It's amazing when you know, let's say your goal is to get four new clients a month, well, let's say you get 10 referrals and 6 or 7 of them book a call with you, then four of them become clients, if those are your conversion rates and you know exactly how many referrals you're looking to get every single month, now you can proactively go out there and ask for referrals, create a referral rewards program, or do something to proactively bring those in. We want to make sure we're thinking about your leading metric to help you better predict and be more proactive about achieving your revenue goals.
Final question, gap in your revenue, is there a gap between the goals you set for the year and where you are right now? Now if you're ahead, amazing. Go celebrate, honestly go celebrate. If you are on track, go do something fun for yourself. If you are behind, I want you to know it's okay to be behind on some of your goals.
In fact, I would expect it. If you were hitting 100% of your goals 100% of the time, that usually tells me that you haven't set goals that are really stretching you and pushing you into that growth zone. It's normal to not be 100% on top of all your goals. I'm not 100% on top of all my goals, there's always going to be a little bit of ebb and flow here.
I do want to ask you, how are you going to catch up on those goals? How are you going to catch up on that revenue? What is the gap between your goal revenue by this time mid-year and where you want to be? How are you going to close the gap? Do you need to close the gap? What's the simplest, easiest way to close the gap?
You might need to just do another promotion. You might need to take on a few clients. You might decide you're okay with that gap and you're going to instead focus on having a bigger promotion later in the year. These are all decisions you get to make 100% based on your definition of success and what works for you.
You might also decide, as you're looking through your mid-year review, that maybe some of your goals need to be back burnered for a little bit. Maybe you simply don't have the energetic capacity to go all in on that goal. Maybe it is a nice-to-do versus a must-do so it needs to hang out in an idea parking lot for a little bit.
You will be amazed how much relief you might bring to your life if you just decide, “You know what, this is not the time for me to do this as well. I need to take a little bit of a break.” That's okay. I want to give everyone permission to take the time you need and take better care of yourself.
Before we finish up our mid-year review, I want you to look ahead to the second half of the year. We've reviewed everything, we've looked at some data, we've looked at the overall picture of how our business is doing, and we want to make sure that as we're moving forward, we're not repeating mistakes, and we are refocusing on what we want to spend our time and energy doing.
For each month for the rest of the year, I want you to ask yourself these four questions: first, what are you selling that month? What offer are you selling? What offer are you focused on? For a lot of us, it might be selling the same thing again and again and again. You just have one core product, program, or service you're selling.
But then I want you to ask yourself, even if you have the same thing you're selling, what is the promotion I'm going to use to sell that thing? What are the deadlines? What are the timelines? What are the periods of promotion that I'm blocking out to sell to proactively promote this offer? You might find that you have a few different angles. Each month, you can have a slightly different promotion even if it's for the same offer.
In my business, I often will alternate between what I'm selling. You'll see me one month promote The CEO Collective, then I might promote The CEO Retreat, and in the in-between months, I might talk about the CEO Planner, I might talk about the Marketing Strategy Intensive, I might talk about something else. But every single month, I have something I'm proactively telling my community about and giving them different ways they can work with us.
I think this is so crucially important because it's really easy to get, again, in the weeds of your business, then you get to the end of the month and you are looking at your revenue, you're looking at clients, and you're going, “How come I didn't make as much as I usually have? Oh, yeah, I didn't have a single plan in place to get more clients in the door in some way, shape, or form.”
Once you know what you're selling, then we can reverse engineer and we can ask ourselves, “How are we marketing that? How are we attracting, engaging, and nurturing potential clients toward that particular product, program, or service?” This is the beauty of this whole process, it gets rinse and repeat, very rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat is the goal.
The goal is to have a business that is super profitable and super predictable. That means not creating whole new promotional strategies, whole new marketing strategies, whole new sales strategies every single month. It means finding what works for you and then doubling down on it. It means doing the same strategies again and again and again and looking at how can you just continuously improve what works so you don't have to be starting over all the time. We want to be rinsing and repeating what does work for you.
I'm always doing podcast interviews. That's always been one of my primary Attract strategies. Now I've layered on TikTok as another Attract strategy. I'm running ads, which is another Attract strategy but I've only added things as those particular strategies have really done well and we've got a system behind them. Pick one core way that you're going to be attracting new potential clients and commit to it for the next six months because it will take that long to really see the results.
Then where are you sending people? How are you engaging them? If you don't have a way to collect somebody's contact information, you need a way ASAP because most people are going to come to your website and not buy anything right away. In fact, 98%-99% of people who land on your website are not buying anything the first time they visit so you've got to get a way to follow up with them, whether that's through your email newsletter, having a consult call or discovery call, or what have you.
We want to make sure that there's a way to get their email information so that now you can continue to follow up with them. Then you want to nurture those people. How are you doing that? Are you nurturing with connection, very high-touch connection? Or are you nurturing with content? Then how are you getting people excited about the next thing you have to offer? What does that sales process look like? What is the mechanism to sell your product, program, or service to people?
If it's in the middle of the summer, and I'm selling a program that is an on-demand program, it's going to be pretty simple. I'll send a few emails out, I will have a sales page, I don't need to make it overly complicated. We have waitlists and when the doors open for The CEO Collective, we let people know, “Hey, doors are open. Applications are open. Come learn more. Come talk to us.”
That's the sales process in my business. It's very, very simple. It's not complicated. There's no 47-step funnel. It's emails to content with an option for sales calls. Yours might be a little bit different. You might have a proposal process, you might be delivering life pitches, everybody's sales mechanism might be a little bit different depending on your specific business but you want to make sure that you have standardized that and created a real process that you can follow again and again.
I want you to ask yourself what's your revenue goal for each month. Remember, things will change month to month. It's rare to have a business where every single month is bringing in the same amount of revenue unless you happen to be someone who is working on a retainer, you're running a SaaS business, but it's normal for your months to ebb and flow a little bit.
It's normal for your months to go up or down depending on if you have a big promotion that you've been running, you have a big bump in revenue because you made some extra sales, a lot of people paid in full, or what have you. But go ahead and use the workbook that I've created to plan out the second half of 2023. Use review to make sure you're on track to reach your goals.
I want to wrap this up by saying you can rinse and repeat what has already worked. One of the reasons I think people get exhausted by their business is because they think that each time they're planning, they have to come up with a whole new plan, a whole new strategy, and you don't.
I would rather have you have a business where you do the hard work upfront, you do 80% of the heavy lift upfront, then it's only 20% the next time you run that marketing promo. It's only 20% of a lift when you're going through the sales process because it's just a few little tweaks.
If you're keeping it simple, and you're looking for the rinse and repeat, if you had something that worked really well in the first six months, it got great results, run that promotion again, zhoosh up a couple of emails, make a few little tweaks, maybe you layer on another little sales strategy on top of it.
But if you had emails that worked really well, use them again, if you had a sales page that worked really well, use it again. If you have pre-sales education content coming out, use it again. If you had content that performed well, put it in a different context in a different format.
You will often see us repurpose content that we have. We’ll take podcast episodes and we'll chop them up into smaller videos. We'll take them and turn them into blog posts. We'll take them and turn them into newsletters. We have assets in this business that make it so much easier to run so we're not constantly recreating the wheel and just churning out content for the sake of churning out content. I look at everything as an asset, meaning it can be created once and then produce value for us again and again and again and again.
If you liked this episode, now that you've gone through this mid-year review, one, go grab the workbook, two, get the planner, get The CEO Planner. You can come grab it at theceocollective.com. It is only $35. We will mail it directly to you. We even mail internationally.
This is a great jumping-off point to understanding our 90 Day CEO Operating System. It will help you to start looking at your goals differently in context of this bigger operating system. It'll help you get clarity on your marketing, your sales, and your delivery systems in your business, and as you follow through with your 90-day planner each and every week, it's going to help you develop the CEO habits of following through with your plan.
The second thing to come check out is The CEO Retreat. We host The CEO Retreat every single quarter. The next one is coming up soon. We will be having a virtual CEO retreat on June 23rd. This is a one-day workshop where we're walking through our 90-day planning process to help you define your 90-day goals and turn them into step-by-step weekly action plans.
When you have that weekly action plan, you'll show up Monday knowing exactly what your must-do action items are and you'll start to see so much more momentum in your business because you're not always scrambling to figure out where you left off. You'll have clarity and you will learn the tools and habits for radical self-accountability.
Tickets are now available for the upcoming CEO Retreat. You can join us virtually from anywhere in the world. We will also ship out a planning bundle for you if you decide to join us. I hope you enjoyed this week's episode and I look forward to talking to you again next week.