Article #52, December, 2006
Does Your Income Reflect Your Effort?
The one thing almost all the women I meet have in common is that they are too smart for their own good! This is probably true for you, too!
If you have great ideas all the time and are very passionate about what you do, and you can never seem to get everything done when you want it done, congratulations - this is you.
I understand that you don't want to give anything up, and coming up with the brilliant ideas makes you happy - so don't stop doing it. Instead, you need a tool to keep you focused so you can complete the highest priority items so you can have the ca'sh flow you deserve.
Determining your priorities and sticking with them is a systematic approach. You need to know how you are getting the clients you have had. Try this exercise: look at all the clients you have gotten in the last 18 months. Add 2 pieces of information for each - where did they come from and how much revenue did you make from them?
After you have these pieces of information, do an analysis of where the majority of your customers came from, then put them in numerical order according to how much revenue they contributed.
Start editing the list - take out your least favorite customers. Then, really look at the amount of work it takes to get one customer and draw a line in the proverbial sand. Any clients who contributed too little revenue to make it worthwhile, remove them.
As you look at the edited list, is there a story that these numbers tell you? Where did the highest ticket customers come from? Why did they pick you? What did you say and do to attract them?
Do more of that!
Women have a tendency to be nice in business - that's a good thing. However, when we are so nice that it becomes detrimental to our ca'sh flow, then it becomes a problem. Once you have discovered an action that is not bringing you a positive return on your investment of time and/or mo'ney, you need to stop doing it - even if it is difficult. Cut your losses.
Find those actions that bring you customers - higher-paying customers - and do those things only. Put those actions on your written business plan. When the new, brilliant ideas flow, put them on your LTP - long term plan. That way you won't lose the ideas, but you don't have to do everything today.
To start, pull out this list (the beginnings of your business plan) and use it once a week to plan your work. After you complete the plan and feel you are ready, then look at it once a month. Really look at it - analyze everything on it strategically to see if your actions are in alignment with your plan.
You should already be feeling less overwhelmed!