21 tips

21 Tips for a Profitable and Enjoyable Year

The New Year is on the horizon, it’s time to say goodbye to this year and hello to your future. There is always LOTS of excitement and motivation in the air as one year completes and another year begins. It’s a time for you to spend some time looking at your past year and dreaming of what the new one will bring.

The following is a list of tips for you to review the year past and the year ahead in both your personal life and in your business. These 21 tips are crucial for you to follow if you want to set yourself up for a crazy successful, happy and profitable year. 

Tips for your most profitable and enjoyable year:

1. Separate your business money from your personal money. You don’t want to commingle your money because when you commingle, you lose control and you can’t easily assess how your business is doing.

2. Start tracking your sales the first week of January and develop a habit of reviewing your numbers on a weekly basis. Create a spreadsheet that has all of your sales totals for the previous year listed by month and pay attention to your company’s performance on a weekly basis. This may sound like common sense but rarely when I speak to business owners can they tell me what their year to date sales are at any given time. If you want to increase profits, you need to know how much you’ve sold. If you don’t know how to do this, do it with me on this New Year Planning Day.

3. Start reviewing your bank statement monthly. Print your statement, look at the total debits and credits and identify whether you are spending more than you are depositing. Review each transaction line by line and ensure you know what each expense is. Cancel any expenses for subscriptions and or memberships that you do not use. The goal here is to always deposit more than you spend.

4. Keep your business expenses isolated to one credit card or to your business credit card. Review your credit card statement monthly as well and ensure you know what each charge is for and again, cancel any recurring charges for services you no longer use. You’d be amazed how much profit leaks happen here.

5. Set up monthly or quarterly meetings with your bookkeeper or accountant to review your numbers. Speak up and ask questions when you don’t understand things so that when they review profits, expenses, retained earnings etc. you know what they are talking about. Become skilled at asking them to show you the breakdown of what is lumped into certain categories so you really understand where money is going in your business.

Reviewing the year in your #business and #personal life is really important Click To Tweet

6. Increase your fees – chances are it’s been a while since you did this. It doesn’t matter if you have a service or retail business, you can still increase your price points.

7. Review all expenses from the previous year and see where exactly you spent all your profits. YES, spent your profits. It’s not reinvesting in your business, it’s spending your profits. As a business owner, if you WANT a profit, you have to choose carefully how you invest your money. If you haven’t read the book, Profit First, I highly recommend it.

8. Hire a coach or join a group coaching program like Profit Pods to help you stay accountable, on track and focused on accomplishing your business goals. Don’t hire just any coach though – find someone who walks their talk, is aligned with your values and has demonstrated their ability to really help you. A key question to ask this coach, is “Have you done this before?” Then, stay quiet and listen to them explain.9 Great Reads

9. Read more books. The more you know, the better you do. Reading books is no substitute for a discussion around a topic with an expert or having a coach show you how to implement what you’ve read, but it will significantly add to your knowledge base and credibility. If you’d like to read and learn with me this year, consider joining Thought Readers, a 2018 business book club.

10. Keep a log of all your wins. The reason you should do this is most entrepreneurs suffer from impostor syndrome or low self-esteem. When you track your wins, you become more consciously competent of what works, and the by-product of knowing what you do well, is increased self-confidence.

11. Itemize what you sell so that you can track your sales by product type and then determine where most of your revenue easily comes from. Too many people are working far too hard trying to move the low hanging fruit that they fail to see where the bulk of the income comes from in their business. Know your numbers. If you haven’t read my book, read it – I talk about numbers a lot.

12. If you own a retail store, and you always seem to be struggling with cash-flow, reduce your inventory levels. Stop buying more stuff, and instead, create a plan to SWAT (Sell What’s Available Today) to recoup some of your cash-flow and stabilize your inventory levels. This will put more money in your bank account than you ever imagined.

13. Exercise, meditate, sleep and eat well. When you feel better, you do better. You have greater energy, clarity of mind, and overall you feel better about yourself. This lends itself to being a better CEO, leader and decision maker in your company.

14. Curb your cell phone addiction (I’m still working on this one). Facebook and email are not the most important activities you have in running your business. You may get leads from Facebook, and want to be responsive to emails but chances are you are bleeding hours a day mindlessly staring at screens and being driven by other people’s agendas instead of your own.

15. Invest in relationships more. Spend more time having quality attention focused conversations with people versus fragmented social media distracted interactions. You’d be amazed at how a powerful network built on solid relationships can help you rapidly accelerate your business profits.

16. Show your clients that you care. Be mindful of nurturing relationships with present and past clients. Often these people are the source of referrals and typically when clients leave it’s because of a perceived lack of indifference. Don’t leave them wondering if their business matters to you, let them know.

17. Start a gratitude practice. You can use a journal to record daily gratitudes, and you can also buy and send notes/cards out to other people to show your gratitude. Everyone appreciates being the recipient of gratitude, and when you focus on the gratitude you have for the good in your life, you feel happier. And because you are happier, you attract more clients.

People like to do #business with positive, happy people. Click To Tweet

ray-hennessy-29962018. Reward yourself when you attain your goals, reach a set cash-flow or profit level. It’s important that you set goals in your business and that you reward yourself when you reach your goals, otherwise you may lose motivation over the long haul.

19. Stop trading four quarters for a dollar. When you do this, there is no profit left over. Don’t look to break even, look to generate a profit. When you have the mindset that you need to break even, you’re basically working and building your business for free and giving away your profits by undercharging.

20. Say NO to Free. Stop doing side deals and agreeing to do work for free because you think you need exposure or because”it’s a great opportunity” – you don’t. This does not help you increase profits one bit. Instead, learn how to tell people exactly what options you have available for them to work with you and charge them for it.

21. Don’t lose sight of the goal. In Profit Pods, one question I regularly ask is “what is your main thing?”  It’s easy to lose sight of what you really want when you stop paying attention to what the primary goal is. Don’t lose sight of your goals, set a recurring reminder on your phone, put a post-it-note on your computer, frame your goals and place them on your desk. Do whatever it takes to keep your goals front and center all year long. What you pay attention to, you attract into your life.

21 things that absolutely ANYONE can do that can have a huge impact on how the year will turn out Click To Tweet

If you’d like to kick off the year in a really strong manner, I’d like to invite you to join me for the Planning Day I’m hosting on December 18th. You can read all the details here: lisalarter.com/plan. Remember…failing to plan is planning to fain, and I want you to plan for your success. 

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