Planning for Success

How to fix overwhelm in your business right now

If you’re feeling overwhelmed right now, it’s normal – there’s a lot happening.

Home schooling kids, partner working from home, you working from home, running your household, running your business, leading your team and trying to get in a bit of “me-time”… no wonder you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Many business owners are feeling the emotional effects of the world at the moment. The most important thing is to release it as soon as possible.

What to do if you are overwhelmed:

  1. Self-care is important: Be sure to do the things that relax you and make you happy. Make sure you get that walk or exercise time in, have a bath if you need it and lock yourself in your room away from distractions at home if that’s what you’ve got to do to get even 15 minutes of mind-quietening time.
  2. Get a plan together for your next 3-6 months: This might mean reworking your plan or working with us to get a strategic plan in place so you keep your business afloat and making money.
  3. Get a cashflow forecast together: We can help with this, but essentially you need to know where your money is coming from, especially if things have changed drastically in your business. One of the best things you can do for your business right now is to understand your numbers and know what’s coming in in the next few months.
  4. Set your priorities: What’s important to you, what do you need to get done daily and weekly, and what can you do to get more hours in the day. Do you need to outsource, delegate more, automate or organise. Can you get any extra help in your business at the moment, even if just for a little while. There are many people who have lost work and jobs, and businesses who need support right now.
  5.  Ramp up your strategic marketing: If you have had a dip in sales, you need to make sure it doesn’t keep dipping! I’ve got some tips below on what to do when you have “seasonal” dips in your income. I’d call the effects coronavirus has had on the economy and small business a “seasonal dip” – wouldn’t you? So let’s fix that for you.

Planning for seasonal dips in income

 

“Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.” – Stephen Hawking

Any dips in your income can be highly challenging when you’re a small business. But there are proactive ways to predict, plan for and overcome seasonal or unexpected dips in revenue.

Every business should have a back-up plan in the case of an unexpected event. Now, the thing with an unexpected event is that it’s “unexpected” – and sometimes the contingency plan might be to get a job or to have time off. Whatever your plan, you must plan your income, so putting some money away for a rainy day will be one thing you can do to help get yourself through it.

The key to dealing with seasonal dips is to know when they’re most likely to occur, and to have measures in place to spread your income and revenue pipeline over the course of the year.

Now, at this very point in time, you might not have it in your calendar as a “seasonal” time, but having that extra income is certainly going to benefit you, wouldn’t you agree?

Understanding dips in your business and industry

If your business is seasonal such as pool supplies, or a ski gear specialist, you’ll be used to the peaks and troughs, but many ‘non-seasonal’ businesses experience times during the financial year where sales and revenue peak – and, on the flipside, where sales and revenue experience a pronounced dip.

So, what are the key ways to plan for dips?

  • Forecast your dips – it’s vital to know WHEN you’re most likely to experience any dips. Looking at benchmarking reports for your industry is one way to predict the seasonality in your niche or sector. But you can also use your own accounting data to great effect. Look back through your profit and loss reports and spot where the peaks and troughs have occurred over preceding years.
  • Charge a premium in peak time – one straightforward approach is to apply premium pricing for your products and services during the busy season. Right now, some businesses are booming and some are even putting their prices up. By increasing your pricing, you boost your overall revenue, giving you more working capital to see you through the leaner months when sales and income are at their lowest. This might not help you right now, but now is the perfect time to get your plan in place.
  • Offer additional peak-time services – offering added extras and other additional service lines during peak time is another way to maximise the season. In the months where customers are most engaged, look to upsell these premium services and offer more value. Satisfied clients will be more inclined to pay for added extras, giving you an increased revenue stream from the same number of customers.
  • Target other markets – exploring other related markets is another useful tactic. When you’re experiencing downtime, look for other ways to monetise your existing assets, products or services. For example, if you’re a hotel where sales peak in summertime, offer discounted conference space in the winter months to boost revenue.
  • Diversify your products/services – if one product/service has a known seasonal dip, look at adding an additional product or service to offset this downtime. For example, a ski resort could promote bike-riding or hiking breaks during the warmer summer months to keep revenue constant. Likewise a pool-maintenance business could establish an outdoor fireplace business for the colder months.
  • Have a regional e-commerce strategy – if you’re dependent on a small local market, broadening your marketing and e-commerce strategies can help to attract a wider customer base – and bolster sales. Paid advertising through Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter can easily target new geographical markets, bringing in new customers and giving your revenue a much-needed uplift during seasonal troughs.

Talk to us about planning and get rid of overwhelm

If your business is struggling with dips, and the resulting impact on cashflow, come and talk to us. We’ll help you identify the timing of your seasonal downtime, and come up with a clear strategy for stabilising your income across the year.

 

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Planning for Success

There’s never been a better time to innovate

“Innovation is crucial to the continuing success of any organization”. (Source: Innovate or Die)

Never a truer word spoken.

Especially right now.

If you’re in business, getting through the next 6 months is going to take courage and commitment – at the very least.

Business isn’t an easy option at any time, and right now you might find yourself questioning why you’re even doing it, but you’re in business because you had a vision.

And it’s going to be that vision that gets you through it now.

There’s no magical overnight solution to building a more successful business but there is one thing that can help.

Innovation.

And now is the perfect time to innovate. But you also need to look at yourself and your vision.

Your success on the other side of the coronavirus and what else is to come from it is about taking small steps every day to get better than the day before.

So, what should you do to build yourself a more successful business? We’ve broken it down into 10 essential steps:

  1. Get clear on exactly what it is that you want.
  2. Be open to change and new learning – this is huge right now.
  3. Define where you are now (warts and all).
  4. Make a plan.
  5. Get your organisational structure right.
  6. Be a better leader.
  7. Be held accountable by someone independent.
  8. Build strong networks.
  9. Monitor your progress.
  10. Keep your well of happiness full.

Re-Build your Vision – Now you can recreate what you really want!

“Success isn’t overnight. It’s when every day you get a little better than the day before. It all adds up.” – Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson

To build a compelling vision of where you want to be in the next 12 months, consider the following questions, and write down your answers.

  1. Who do you need to be right now?

Instead of having a mindset of ‘when I have this, I will do that, and I will be this’, think about who you need to be right now. By focusing on who you need to be, you’ll start acting in a way that’s consistent with that person – doing what you need to do to get what you want to have.

  1. What do you love doing outside of work and at work?

Define the things that you love doing most. We all have tasks we don’t enjoy doing and likely put off for as long as possible. Determine which of these can be delegated so you can stop doing them.

  1. How many hours will you commit to the things you love doing?

Write down how many hours a week you’ll spend doing what you love. Commit to doing this – tell someone so they can hold you accountable. Setting aside time to do things you love doing is a great way to start taking back control of your life.

  1. What holidays do you want to have?

Write down where you want to go and when. Be specific so the image is implanted in your mind. Book the holiday now or block out the time in your calendar.

  1. How much income do you need to deliver on this new life?

Write down a figure. Don’t worry about how you’ll achieve this right now, just write it down.

You now have your own personal plan for what you want to get out of your business. Make this visible and start working towards it now.

It’s about Repositioning Yourself

Here are five ways to learn more, positioning yourself to run a better business:

  1. Read more

Turn off your technology half an hour earlier each night and spend that time reading. Mix it up with recreational books and business books. As a bonus, it will help you sleep better.

  1. Resist the urge to hang out on your phone

Unless you’re learning something new. By the way, you’re unlikely to learn on Facebook. Try an eBook, audio book, podcast, or learning app instead!

  1. Enrol in courses or workshops

These can be online or in person. Choose topics that interest you and will help you in your business.

  1. Turn off your TV

Unless you’re viewing TED talks on YouTube or content that is useful learning.

  1. Keep a journal of your learnings

Review your journal of learnings regularly. Remember, you don’t really know something until you can teach it to someone else.

Small, incremental changes can have a massive effect on your success.

We’re here to help you, every step along the way. Get in touch!

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Planning for Success

Will your business survive the next 6 months?

It’s a question many (many) business owners are asking themselves right now.

And the answer might be very simple…Only if you innovate.

Almost every business in the next 6-12 months is going to change, if they haven’t already.

This could mean changing your services or having your team work from home or changing the entire structure of how your team works. It could mean taking your events online, like we have, or introducing new products and services. It could also mean a completely new business.

Whatever it means for your business, now is the time to make the changes.

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new. – Socrates

The Five A’s of change breaks it down simply:

  1. Awareness

First we must be aware of what needs to change. Perhaps we want to work smarter, not harder, so we can have more family time and better financial returns.

  1. Acceptance

We have to accept that in order to work smarter we will need to do things differently. There is no magic bullet; effective planning is critical to achieving change.

  1. Action

Once we have a plan; we must actually implement it. Taking action can be simpler than imagined; one step at a time, the momentum for change will grow. But, if we don’t act, planning is pointless.

  1. Accountability

Having someone independent to hold us to account is typically a foolproof way to ensure we act. A bit like going to the gym before work… we’re more likely to show up if we’ve committed to a friend or paid for a personal trainer.

  1. Acknowledgement

Humans are habitual creatures. It takes 21 times to change a habit. By celebrating the success of taking action and forcing change, we help to reinforce that good behaviour. The reaction is a chemical one.

So I ask you this: What innovations are you making in your business at this time?

How to get more profits in your business right now

As well as looking at what you can create and build in your business right now, you also need to look at how your business makes a profit.

Making a profit isn’t something that happens overnight and right now everything could have changed for you.

To create a good return from your business you need a clear focus and a well thought-out strategy for increasing profitability.

This means reviewing your business model and looking at every area of the business, to see where you can cut costs, increase margins and maximise revenue.

Focus on your key drivers

Having surplus cash at the end of the year allows you to invest back into the business, fund your growth plans and increase the size of your own dividends and drawings as the owner. And, yes, you can still finish the tax ear on a high.

To achieve these profits, it’s important to focus on the key financial drivers in your business.

To drive profits:

  • Boost sales – the more sales you make, the bigger your net revenue, so investing in marketing, sales activity and business development will be key to a better bottom line.
  • Increase prices – by setting a higher price point, and keeping your ‘cost of goods sold’ number low, you create a larger profit margin on each sale – upping your profitability.
  • Cut costs – operational costs and overheads eat into your potential profits. So spend management and cost reduction are vital to creating a more profitable model.
  • Reduce taxes – tax liabilities will be one of your biggest costs, so sensible tax planning and use of tax reliefs will help to reduce your taxes and ramp up your end profit. There are plenty of tax reductions and subsidies right now too.

Talk to us about boosting your profits and making changes within your business right now.

Conclusion:

These powerful tips are simple and effective. Consider the things in your business that you would like to change and what stage in this process you’re at. What is your next step? Whatever your current situation, empower yourself and make a commitment to real change.

If your business goal is to increase profitability, we’ll help you review your business model, identify your key financial drivers and proactively drive your profit performance, even in our current times.

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Planning for Success

3 Tips to Survive when things go to Sh*t

You know those days/weeks when the universe seems to be conspiring against you? Well I had just had one of those weeks and it was shitty!

Murphy’s law – anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

Last week my fur baby got sick and I had to make that awful decision to put him at peace, Just as I was reeling from the loss of my beautiful fur baby I find out that my 20 yo son is in the emergency department 700km away after an accident! And then all this on top of trying to expand my business by taking on a new team member and renting out new office space making my cashflow very tight. Aaarrrgghhh I just wanted to curl under my blankie, cry and hide from the world! So I did! Well at least for a few hours…. then I gave myself a little slap, pulled up my big girl pants and told myself I can do this!

You know what, life is hard and at times it sucks. So what do you when things go to shit?

1. Take time out, cry, sleep, take a walk, meditate, catch up with a friend, whatever you need to do for you.

2. Get out your business plan and remind yourself of your goals and visions (your why). Do you need to re-assess or do you just need to make some adjustments. Does your business plan have an action list? If yes then decide which action you need to tick off next. If no, then create your action list!

‘Planning without action is futile, 
action without planning is fatal.’
Cornelius Fichtner

3. Check in with your business mentor. If you don’t have a business mentor look at getting one! Being in business can be lonely, a mentor can provide you with support and keep you on track with your goals and visions.

So after I had my little cry, (actually it was more of a howling snorting bawl!) I pulled out my plan and looked at the actions that I could get a start on to get my mojo back and get me back on track. I added a few and put some of them in motion, including this, my very first blog! (You see I’m great with numbers, not so great with words…) Now I had already connected with my current business mentor Liz Campbell so I knew what I needed to focus on which helped prioritise what actions to attack first. More about Liz and why I chose her as my current mentor in another post!

Did you know we offer a one on one complimentary business review?  This is an ideal opportunity for you to meet with us on a no charge, no obligation basis  for you to set and review your goals and gives you clarity around the actions you need to take to achieve those goals.

Rest in Peace Smokey – Mumma loves you and misses you x
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