When I started out in business for myself, I always thought that when I signed another client – especially a high-profile one – or booked a big party to plan, that that was a sign of my success. And success naturally means that you're making money, right? Tons of it! Except that it doesn't. How busy you are and how much you work doesn't necessarily correlate to whether or not you're making money and being profitable. Maybe you figured this out after having your busiest-ever year, yet you still couldn't afford to upgrade to ________ (you fill in the blank here; for me, the answer is probably shoe-related).
Because I worked in a creative industry, I'd always gotten away with not having to know that much about money. I kind of flew by the seat of my pants when it came to the finance side of things. But I could only keep that up for so long! At some point, I had to stop winging it and take control. I needed to know whether or not I was profitable. So, I began the long process of self help that led me to develop my own system of job costing. It was painful and arduous – OMG it was awful! – but totally worth it.
Left brain, right brain: You need both if you want to be profitable!
The right-brain me loves to plan extravagant events, over-the-top parties, fun events that wow people. Life's a party, woo hoo! I felt that so much out-of-the-box thinking left little room in my brain for numbers, and columns that balance and money details. I'm an artiste! I just create! But that doesn't matter! It's my business, so I had to figure out a way to make room in my brain! Here's what I did: I arrived at what I eventually called Coding Your Way to Cash as a means of tracking all my spending. And I do mean ALL. Not just the money, but how I spent my time; and how my employees spent their time; how much time they spent on different aspects of each clients' project; how much I was charging my clients. ALL of it.
I started grouping my expenses into types – a more interesting way of figuring out if you're profitable. Then I broke the expenses into four different categories and began analyzing. I did a lot of that. The categorizing was the first step toward adding some method to my madness. And it went from there. I guess I could explain it all in detail... but not in one blog post! I wrote an entire book about it. (Were you wondering why Code Your Way to Cash had those capital letters? Now you know.) In my book, I explain this process and how I figured it out, which means it's described from the point of view of a non-finance person. Getting a handle on my business's finances was a game changer. It made it possible for me to know if all my ideas and hard work were translating into my business being profitable.
Be Oh So Quotable This Week!
Not too long ago, I said that owning a business means the work never ends! Ain't that the truth? I bet your to-do list is a mile long! Make sure that the items at the top of your list are the things that relate to being more profitable. Everyone is so proud of being so "busy"...But Are You Making Any Money? Don't be too busy to focus! And don't be too proud to put yourself out there when you're marketing your business!
This week, we've got a roundup of quotes from one of my favorite authors as well as yours truly to help you focus on how to organize and become more profitable. Some of the quotes are straight outta my book. Also, check out 21 Suggestions for Success from H. Jackson Brown, Jr. for more inspiration.
Check out the summary of last week's business tips and motivational quotes from my Instagram page which you hopefully got to see in real time! If not, let's make sure we're following each other on Instagram!! So...here is this week's roundup of Instagram images of My Top Business Tips and Motivational Quotes.
Being Profitable – Tip #1:
"At the end of the day, job costing helps you to figure out exactly which areas of your business are profitable and which aren't."
Being Profitable – Tip #2:
"Finding time to Code Your Way to Cash is essential – entrepreneurs don't have time not to be expense coding, as it leads to informed choices that increase profitability, fast."
Being Profitable – Tip #3:
"Discipline yourself to save money on even the most modest salary."
Being Profitable – Tip #4:
"Work at something you enjoy and that's worthy of your time and talent."
Being Profitable – Tip #5:
"When you Code Your Way to Cash, you can stop spinning your wheels once and for all on what aspects of your business really need your attention. Hamsters, it's time to get off the wheel."
Do you have methods or madness? I want YOUR stories on how you tracked spending to become more profitable!
I'm sure you have stories to tell about the different things you've tried to grow your business. Which tips above did you find helpful? I would LOVE to hear from you!
Anyhoo...I publish these business tips and motivational quotes to get you fired up for your work week! And, if you want more business tips, get my book, But Are You Making Any Money? or contact me to really take your business to the next level!
P.S. Of course that's not all we've got! Searching for more small business tips about how to grow your business?
Then definitely take a look at these:
I'd love to hear your ideas! So please comment below and then SHARE!