It’s all too easy to let our emotions take over the development and operations of our business. I mean, you love what you do, right?
You’re passionate about the hands on work and your clients love being cared for, nurtured and supported. The fundamental principle of your business is making people feel better, correct?
And when you blend the synergy of your client basking in the service experience and the emotional fulfillment you receive in return...it’s a feel-good love-fest!
Well... reality check: using your emotions to run your business is, well...just bad business.
From what I’ve witnessed (and experienced myself) most entrepreneurs in the salon, spa & wellness industry are great at giving services & but completely drop the ball on the structured operations & systems of their business.
Structured operations & systems...very dis-passionate & un-feely, yes?
Business for our industry is composed of two parts: the service we provide + the structured operations and methods we use to give those services. Knit the two, well developed systems together and you have some seriously functional synergy. New clients come in effortlessly, existing clients return consistently and your business is organized and running smooth (read: you HAVE profits AND a personal life).
Leave those dis-passionate & un-feely operations & systems out and you will eventually have a disaster: your client retention sucks, you have a severe lack of cash flow and you’re exhausted from working crazy hard without seeing any real profits.
Running a successful business takes time to develop & maintain. LOTS of time. And when you slow down and channel part of your energy into cultivating your business in a well thought out & organized manner, you’ll be setting yourself up for some serious success.
The saying that knowledge is power is not quite true. Used knowledge is power, and more than power. It is money, and service, and better living for our fellowmen, and a hundred other good things. But mere knowledge, left unused, has not power in it.
-- Dr. Edward E. Free
For example, one of the biggest missing links in our business is to understand how our numbers work (again...not very interesting..but bear with me).
The reason why really understanding how your financials work is this: YOUR NUMBERS WILL NEVER LIE TO YOU. Never.
Your numbers will tell you the absolute truth about your company. Think of them like your old great-auntie that doesn’t have a filter on her mouth: “Looks like you put on a few pounds!” *Sigh* The truth hurts sometimes.
For those of us who already have a business, when we are able to read our financials correctly (without our eyes glazing over) it’s actually quite facinating! And although it may tell us a very sad and desperate story at first, at least we know what’s not working and can apply some really workable strategies to fix it.
Why must you pay attention to your numbers? Knowing your fiscal stats will allow you to MEASURE your business.
TRUTH: if you don’t know your numbers, you don’t know what to measure. If you don’t know what to measure, you don’t know what’s broken. If you don’t know what’s broken, it stays broken. A very sad, but real, story.
For me, the most pivotal moment in my business is when I was taught to how to use a cash-flow worksheet. I’m sure my instructor literally saw the light bulb beaming above my head as I started plugging in numbers. Now, one thing you need to know about me: I hate math. HATE IT. But this was different. As I started working out my cash-flow worksheet (my best guess as to what my revenues & expenses will be month-to-month for a full year), I felt more in control of my business than I had ever felt before.
I’d like to point out that point I had already been, what I thought to be, a fairly successful entrepreneur for 5 years. But I was stunned to discover how much I didn’t know about my business and how much valuable information this cash-flow worksheet was giving me.
When I finished my worksheet I had one year of financial projections and I was shocked. Shocked that I was able to draw a much bigger paycheck than I had been, thrilled that I now knew how to plan my marketing in relation to my slow times (rather than waiting until I was slow then scrambling to get clients) and ecstatic that I had some really workable goals & strategies to get there. Totally do-able stuff here folks!
I was a changed business woman from that point forward! My only regret was that I didn’t know about it sooner. Now when I coach up & coming entrepreneurs, one of the first things I teach them is how to create a cash-flow worksheet. Sometimes I have to reign them in from planning websites & marketing because first, they need to know where they want to be: how much money do you want to make and how much money do you need to bring in to pull that pay check? Only then can they create effective marketing and financial strategies for attracting clients and profits. It always goes back to building a firm foundation.
All it really takes is time & a commitment to learning. Unfortunately, nearly our whole industry relies heavily on hope that our company will generate enough income to live on. The truth is, you must understand the complete story of your business...the hands on service plus the structured numerical measurements.
So what should you be measuring? Cash flow, sales, client retention, average ticket, marketing campaigns, Facebook reach, are a few to look at. If measuring is completely new to you...you’ll probably need some help to decipher the information and what to do with it. For now, I simply want you to be aware that measuring your business is your true power as an entrepreneur.
Do you feel like you’re ready to start measuring in your business? Don't be scared. Well…you can be scared and uncomfortable…but push through it. As I mentioned before, creating my very own cash flow worksheet was a game changer and I’d recommend you start with that.
This is an opportunity for you to begin really understanding where your money goes and how to stop the financial hemorrhaging that may be occurring without your knowledge.
Knowing how to measure your business is simply another skill-set you need to learn. No different than learning your hands on skills. Only NOW you have one more ingredient to use in your business success recipe. Take what you know and re:power your business. It works.
Want to continue this conversation? Contact me…I love talking about this stuff!
Much love & success,