Has your business stagnated? You’ve gotten to a certain point and just kinda plateaued? This is totally normal to happen from time to time, but if you are ready to step up and do things a little differently, this episode has lots of practical tips to help you uplevel.
In this Episode:
03.43: Getting super clear about where you are heading and how to get there
08.37: Marketing and selling your business
11.33: Tackling your fear and working on your mindset
13.50: Getting across your numbers and what that actually means
15.33: Using your numbers to leverage your business growth
Today’s episode is called leap to your next level. And the reason I wanted to create this episode is because so many times in business, what can happen is you can reach a level and plateau. And what I wanted to talk about today is when you reach one of those plateau’s and you are being called to take your business to the next level, what the steps are that you need to take, to get to that next level are. I hope you enjoy.
You’re listening to the Clare Wood podcast, where we talk all things business, finance, marketing, and mindset for entrepreneurs, sharing practical tips, and actionable advice to help you take your business to the next level. Introducing your host: me! I’m Clare Wood, I’m a numbers geek, a travel lover, and a reality tv addict, and I’m here to empower you to create an extraordinary business and an amazing life, because I believe you don’t have to choose between the two. Now let’s dive right in to today’s episode.
Before I get started in the nitty gritty of today. I wanted to talk to you guys about my brand new program that I have just launched, called Money & Marketing Makers. The reason I created this program; I’ve been coaching one-on-one for nearly 4 years now and I know frustration that small business owners face. The biggest reason clients come to me is because of their marketing, they don’t know where to find customers or they feel like maybe they’re doing all the wrong things because somethings not coming together and it’s not translating into sales. The other reason is their money. Now this is multi-faceted, because as I mentioned, a lot of people think sales is the key driver, but the reality is, is when you increase your income, at lot of time you might not see more money because you are spending more money, or perhaps you aren’t managing it correctly. And you end up in a cycle where you chase you chase your tail with back-payments in tax. Whatever the reason is, these two biggest things that I find are challenges that business owners face. If any of this is resonating with you, well you are not alone.
And this is why I created the Money & Marketing Makers. The program is going to be over 12 week with lessons every week, weekly live group question sessions with myself to expand on the lesson of the week, I’ll be pulling in trusted experts if there is a topic we need to expand on more I’ll be bringing some of those in to some group calls, there’s an exclusive Facebook community, and, I’ll be providing the exact same templates I use with my premium coaching clients. The program I’m talking about, is current at October 2019, and by the end of this month, the program will be closing until 2020. So make sure you jump in and join us. If you would like to learn more about the program, it is live now and you can check it out on clarewood.com.au/makers and there will also be a link in the show notes for today’s episode.
Let’s get into today’s episode. I want to talk to you guys about leaping to you next level. And if you are listening to this episode it is because you are ready, you are ready to take your business to the next level. You are ready to move out of that current stage of stagnation that you are at. So what I want to do is give you some practical ways that you can go and uplevel your business.
Getting super clear about where you are heading and how to get there
The first way is to get super clear about where you are heading, and I know I you may have heard me talk about this on the podcast before, but it is honestly, the biggest mistake that businesses make. They don’t have a clear idea of where they are actually heading. If you are listening and thinking, I kind of do, well I am going to ask you right now, boom, “What is the vision for your business” and if you couldn’t answer straight away with crystal clear clarity, then this needs some work in your business.
The other thing I like to overlay over your business, because that’s the big picture thing, is your goal. What’s your current goal? What’s the current one big thing you are chasing? And again, if you can’t tell me that straight off the tip of your tongue, then perhaps you need to spend some time in this space, getting super clear about where you are heading. Even if you have gone through this exercise before, as this gorgeous client of mine, Rachael from the copywriting business, Franklywrite, she mentioned recently that your vision can change over time and this is absolutely true. Just because you have set a vision, doesn’t mean it is set in stone, however you can’t spend your time and life avoiding setting one for fear that it might change over the time, you just need to go for what feels right for you at any one point in time. This is always the first thing I do with a new client, is to work out where they are heading. And underneath that is to figure out what the number one goal is that they are currently working towards. So I really suggest that you do the same. The reason why, setting where you are heading is so important, is because you can’t hit a milestone if you don’t even know what it is. And when you are setting your goals, make sure they are super specific. For example if you energetically put out their I want to be rich or I want to be successful, you aren’t being really clear about what it is you want, so you aren’t going to energetically attract that, so make sure when you set these that they are super clear.
Marketing and selling your business
The next thing to do, once you are super clear on where you are heading is to figure out how to get there. It’s funny because, I say this to people again and again and again, about setting a business plan, setting a market plan, and the reason is, is because planning is so underrated.
My boss, when I was in a corporate role, he use to say to me, “Clare, have some time just to think… go and sit in an office and just think.” And I would think, I don’t have time to think, because I’ve got so much work to do! He was obviously more senior and a lot more important than me, and I’d watch him go take some time think, he’d go to the pub or the park sometimes, or just go sit in a meeting room. And the reality is, is when you take the time to work on your business, when you step back, you do some thinking and planning, it’s more important than action because so often you can get so caught up in the doing, that you aren’t being strategic about where you are heading. And I know that when you take this space it allows you to get super clear about ways to get to where you are heading. So following on from step one, if you don’t know what you are trying to achieve, and you haven’t thought properly through the how you are going to get there, then things are likely to get a little off track.
I do want to throw in a disclaimer here, because there is planning, and there is planning, right. And we all know that person who overdoes planning, who plans and plans and plans, and well they never actually do anything because they are spending so much time thinking and planning, that they are not actually implementing the plan.
So I believe there is a reasonable point, between the two extremes of not planning and doing a heap of planning and not doing any action.
Now I want to give some examples; with this very podcast or my new program the Money & Marketing Makers, if I had waited until everything was perfect, until I had it all planned out, there would be no podcast and there would be no program. Equally, if I had just winged it and just stuck a post up on social media, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have launched at #2 in the Apple podcast charts. So I’m a big believer about doing things at a high standard but not perfect. So when you are doing your planning, it’s about making sure you have a plan, that you have thought through these steps and have got a sequence, but you don’t have to plan everything to the full-degree. At some point you need to stop planning and start doing. Implementation is key.
Ok, next when it comes to upleveling your business is to start selling and marketing your business. What this looks like, is different for every business. But let me tell you something, every business has to be marketing and if you are listening and thinking this isn’t relevant to you, well I hate to say it, but you are wrong. When you think about marketing, it might bring up all kinds of things, and maybe marketing for your business doesn’t look like Instagram or running Facebook Ads, but in some form you should be marketing your business. Even well established brands like Coca-Cola and McDonalds, still invest millions in marketing every year, so as a small business owner you can’t afford to get complacent. I’ve shared this before, but truly I was awful at marketing in the early stages of my business. You can ask my clients, I was helping them to produce regular newsletters, grow their social following, and the breaking point for me was, I was listening to a well-known podcast and my client was on there, and I thought, I totally told her to do this, and I thought why am I’m not doing this for my own business. But so many service-based small business owners like yourself, are doing the same. I know graphic designers who are embarrassed to say that their logo is terrible, social media managers who rarely post on social media, and the list goes on. But it’s not good enough to say I spend my time looking after everyone else, and yet not looking after you own business, because ultimately, that’s what you own. That’s your real estate, and future revenue stream.
Something that I’ll tell you that might inspire you to get moving in this space, is that it’s not necessarily the person who is best at something that makes the most money, it is person who is marketing their business, who’s business grows the fastest. I myself have stood back in the shadows and I’ve seen first hand that the person who is marketing and selling themselves, and showing up is the person who’s business really moves to the next level, and the same for you, you really need to invest that time in growing your business and that’s when you’ll see the results come, that’s when you’ll see your business really start to uplevel.
When it comes to marketing you have to do the work. Fact. But working out what marketing looks like for your business is a whole other conversation. If you want some help in this space, my new program the Money & Marketing Makers, will be working through this process and I’ll be using the process I use with my clients, so you can do the same in your business.
Tackling your fear and working on your mindset
The next thing about moving out of a plateau and uplevelling a business to the next level is tackling the fear, and the stories you are telling yourself. So what is your story? I bet no matter where you are at in your business you have fears or stories you are telling yourself. Some examples I can’t get on Instagram Stories, because I’m not pretty enough. I can’t post on LinkedIn because all my old work colleagues are there and they’ll think I’m a show off. Or even, I can’t grow my business because there is no business model which allows that. Or I can’t increase my prices, because I’m at the top of my market. Tackling fear, is all about mindset. It’s about upgrade and shift and changing the way that you think. So I want to ask you, what is holding you back right now? I want you to look inside and think about that thing, that you go, “I can’t do it because….” And really whatever comes out, it’s just an excuse. Perhaps you get triggered by your competitors or those doing well. Ask yourself, why is that that? And then push through this fear, push through whatever is holding you back, instead of looking at them and getting jealous, why not use it as a springboard for inspiration. Afterall, if they can do it, why can’t you?
I know I used to look at mums in business and think they are superwoman, or showing off that they are running a business successfully with all these children, but instead of having that mindset around it, of scarcity and fear, I started looking and thinking, I wonder HOW they do it. And I started to find small and incremental ways to implement them into my business and my life, so I could start uplevelling. So do the same for yourself. Find out what that fear is, find out what the story is, and start to challenge yourself around it. Say why not, or how?
The final thing that I think business owners need to do to get to that next level is to get right across their numbers. Answer honestly, if I was to ask you right now, what both your sales number and profit number was for the past week, month, and year, could you tell me those 6 numbers?
In my experience, it is extremely rare that someone is right across their numbers, yet this is the biggest opportunity to I find to increase the amount of money that you are making. Because once you know the numbers, you can identify trends, you can identify sales opportunities, or perhaps identify leaky expenses that are hemorrhaging your bottom line, and stopping you from having money to invest back into your business.
Getting across your numbers and what that actually means
So what does this look like? What does being across your numbers really look like? Well as a starting point, do you review your profit and loss statement every month? Do you look at all the transactions to make sure they are correct? Do you make sure the number of sales tie up with the total sales number? These are some really basic things you can do to get started. And the next thing, that I highly recommend for everyone to do in their small business is to create a budget, and then, to track your numbers against your budget every single month. And you can actually break your budget down, every week my clients come to me with their sales number for the week, so actually break down that big number into small weekly buckets.
In my opinion, knowing your numbers is just as important and as powerful in uplevelling your business, as marketing is, because once you know what is going on inside your business, you can start to make changes in the way that you are doing business.
Using your numbers to leverage your business growth
If you are listening and thinking, but Clare, how do I do it, well you can talk to your accountant. You can start to educate yourself around numbers, and how to manipulate numbers in excel, learn how to analyse profit and loss statements, and you can learn how to create a budget. These are all topics I’ll be covering in my new program, I mentioned earlier, the Money & Marketing Makers, so if you do want some help, make sure you check it out.
So to sum up today, if you are ready to take your business to the next level, here are the things you need to do. Firstly, get super clear about where you are heading, then figure out how you are going to get there. Then start selling and marketing your business. Tackle the fear and stories you are telling yourself and really do the work on your mindset. And lastly, get right across your numbers, into the nitty gritty of them, learn them, then use them to leverage growth in your business.
If you are interested to learn more about the Money & Marketing Makers program I mentioned, there will be a link in the show notes for today’s episode which is clarewood.com.au/podcast/episode18. And as always, remember that Clare has no ‘i’ in it, so it is CLARE. If you do want to learn more about managing your numbers, I will be doing an episode on the podcast soon so make sure you hit that subscribe button and you’ll be notified when all future episodes are launched.
I hope you have a wonderful week and I look forward to seeing you guys back here again next week.
Thank you so much for joining me today, if you enjoyed this episode, please make sure you subscribe to receive future episodes, and I’d be so grateful for a review on apple podcast! If you’d like a copy of the show notes or any of the links mentioned today, please jump over to clarewood.com.au/podcast and remember that Clare is spelled CLARE, have a wonderful week and look forward to chatting to you again soon!