We all make mistakes. If there was a way that you could avoid making a mistake – especially a costly one – I know you’d love to learn all about it.
So I’ve decided to pull a Clint Eastwood and “make your day”!
I’m going to give you the skinny on how to avoid a huge mistake…and a potentially costly one. Many entrepreneurs put limits on their own incomes. Now, you’re probably saying to yourself, “Seriously, who does that? I don’t know a single person in business for herself that does that! Why on earth would anyone want to make less money? That makes no sense!”
And you’re 100% right. Nobody does this intentionally.
There are five things women entrepreneurs do that make it difficult for them to make more money in less time. I’m going to tell you what they are so that you can look critically at your business and see if you’re doing them. If you are, you can stop – right away – and start making more money.
1. You Lack Concrete Goals
Remember when you were in elementary school, and the catchphrase was “Reading is Fundamental” It still is, but there’s another fundamental you need to embrace. This one pertains to the world of business. GOALS are fundamental. Without clear, measurable goals for your business, you won’t be able to maximize your income. You need to answer some important questions before you attempt to set your goals so that you know they’re really guiding your business to where you want it to be. Ask yourself these questions:
- How much money do you want to make in a year?
- How many customers do you need to meet that number?
- What is your ultimate lifestyle like? How do you want to live?
- What does your exit strategy look like?
- Who is on your dream team?
If you know how much money you want, and how hard you’ll have to work to make it, you’ll have a blueprint that will help you build a foundation for your business.
Add to that the number of hours you want to work, the work/life balance you’d like to achieve, and whether you want to be merely comfortable or over-the-op rich.
Then think about how you’ll leave your business when it’s time. Will you sell it? Pass it on to a family member? Train and promote some great employees to manage it for you when you retire at the beach and sip margaritas. Whatever option works for you is the option you need to work toward.
Lastly, you need to think about the people you’ll need on board to get your business to this point. You’ll need to identify their skills, learn where to find them and master the art of training them.
Once this is done and your goals are set, you can move on to the next mistake you may be making…
2. You Don’t Have a Time Management Strategy
I also call this “Shiny Object Syndrome”. You’re all over the place, looking for the “next big thing”. Your focus is scattered instead of tight. You’re easily distracted by something that looks better than what you’ve got. You don’t buckle down and work hard toward a key objective.
Establish time blocking.
If having everything in your life on a fixed schedule, makes you cringe…stay with me. That isn’t what we’re talking about here. You need to build some flexibility into your schedule, but you also need to establish some firm guidelines and stick to them.
Choose a schedule creator (I love Google Calendar…Google Calendar is my boss!) and set a block of time aside for certain tasks. Make this consistent. On Mondays, block out three hours for lead generation. Tuesdays, block out three hours for accounting. On Wednesdays, block out three hours for sales calls. This is the kind of pattern I’m talking about – making sure that there’s a specific place in your schedule for the essential tasks that need to be done and that makes you money. When you do this effectively, you’ll see that your bank account mirrors what’s on your calendar. What you focus on expands…so focus on the right things that drive revenue in your time blocks.
3. You Don’t Have Set Systems or Processes
To fix this mistake, you’ll need to establish step-by-step processes.
- Develop operational standards for your business – Create manuals or guidelines that establish how your business will be run. Set the bar high and always surpass your standards.
- Establish a clear sales funnel – Know where to find your customers and learn what marketing strategies work best to reach them.
- Identify and use tools that help you manage your sales process – Streamline your sales pitch and improve your closing skills.
- Lay out a profit model – So you know how many sales you’ll have to close to meet your income goals.
Most of all:
BE CLEAR ABOUT HOW YOU WANT TO DO THINGS AND HOW YOU WILL MAKE YOUR MONEY.
4. You Don’t Value Your Time
Know exactly how much an hour of your time is worth. To do this, take the amount of money you want to make in a year and divide it by the number of hours you’re willing to work in a year. This will tell you if an hour of your time is worth $15, $50, $350 or $500+.
5. You’re Not Thinking Like a CEO – You’re Acting Like A COE
A CEO is a Chief Executive Officer. She functions at the highest level of the organization, delegating, facilitating, and managing. A COE is a Chief of Everything – a flustered, frazzled, overworked, and overwhelmed person who feels that she is solely responsible for anything and everything that needs to be done in the business. From taking out the trash to driving sales numbers.
Or perhaps it’s messy, disordered, and over-full, so the door doesn’t shut and mess spills out everywhere for everyone to see. You can’t find things or take care of your priorities because there’s so much else in the way.
So, how many of these mistakes are you making?
Until next time…