I wonder if you can tell me how well you are doing in your business? If I met you in the street and asked you as you were doing your shopping- could you tell me? How much of that knowledge is with you? And where does that knowledge come from?
How do you measure that success to actually know if you're doing well or not?
The only real way to know is to measure your growth and processes, record it, and repeat. All. the. time.
My biggest tip is to do your accounts monthly. I use a spread sheet in excel and at the end of each month can fill in my income and expenditure, and file all my receipts, whether from the pile in the corner or printed off from my web purchases. Yes, its time consuming when you have other jobs you'd rather do, that are infinitely more fun, but you will find that you can have a quick summary that tells you how each month has gone down, and when it comes to tax time, you can bash it out in one day. DONE!
Pin those monthly totals somewhere you can see them, and take note. Assess what the seasons do to your income, and the number of hours you put it. Spot the patterns- see that August is dead because your numbers bottomed out but you spent the whole time on social media speaking to them? Why not try next year to have a social media rest, catch up on new designs and a rest yourself, and share some high lights? Spot your financial patterns and compare them to your workload and make a plan.
Other ways you might like to measure is to write down your monthly social media followers. If you note them every month, and calculate your % growth (I'll be posting about this soon!) then you might find that you spend 80% of your time chasing only 3% of your growth. And that isn't worth your time. Only by noting the numbers down, will you be able to see the real growth and learn from it. (I do say this with a caveat though- numbers can be deceiving, and 100 great loyal interactive followers are better than 1000 non committal silent ones!)
Other ways to measure your success are running surveys, whether by a call out post on Facebook, or by asking your customers to fill in a questionnaire. Try to consider questions that will give you an answer that you can work with and use the information. So instead of 'did you like the item you purchased' try 'did you find that you use your item you purchased, and if not, why not'. Every scrap of feedback, especially negative or constructive can help you either gain insight into your product in their eyes, or an insight into your customer and their traits.
The last thing I would recommend, is to block out one hour somewhere in your week, to just have a look at your numbers, look at the week, and see how it feels. Was it a good week, was it rubbish? Did you get all your jobs done or are you adding jobs over to next week? You might even find that just one half hour is enough to review the week, and tweak any working processes to make next week a better one. Giving yourself permission to stop working, and mull over the last week with a cuppa (or wine!) will really begin to make your weeks run so much more smoothly. After all, we are the CEO of our own company, and so often we always act like just the employee, and putting our CEO hat on at least once a week will do wonders.
Thanks for joining me today! If you'd like to join a free community where you can get support, and be held accountable when you need it- feel free to join the Sheldon & Co network- free business advice and networking opportunities, over on Facebook. www.facebook.com/groups/sheldonandco