What Financial Metrics Matter Most for Your Business?

which financial metrics do you need to monitor

If you’re anything like I was when I got started, the very idea of tracking business financial metrics makes you want to curl up in a ball and hide under the covers. You are not alone! At least 80% of my current clients are scared of their metrics and feel overwhelmed when they think about ‘crunching numbers’.

Yes, numbers can be scary. But there is no better way to get a clear picture of the health of your business than to begin tracking your numbers on a monthly basis. Remember, numbers don’t lie. They don’t sugarcoat. They tell you what’s working, what’s not, and what’s a waste of your hard earned time, money, and energy.

Besides, you’re a mompreneur! You balance parenting and running a business. You can definitely handle balancing a spreadsheet. So, if you want to feel empowered and in control of your business and your life, you will have to put on your big girl boots, pull out your excel spreadsheet, and get ready to crunch some numbers. You can do it, and I have some ideas for you to get started.

This is by no means a definitive guide, but I promise you that keeping track of these six essential metrics will help equip you to make great decisions for your business going forward. We’ll start with the easy stuff, and move on to the more complex material.

The Easy Stuff:

Revenue

Revenue is just a fancy word for the amount of money our customers are handing over to us. Most of us keep track of our revenue because we like this number. It makes us feel good to be able to say: “I made three thousand dollars in sales this month.” If you’re not doing so already, make a simple spreadsheet for keeping track of your revenue on a weekly or monthly basis. Analyzing your revenue will help you see when your best sales season is, what your customer buying patterns are, and a wealth of other beneficial data.

New Clients or Customers

You should track this on at least a monthly basis. Knowing how many new customers you are getting can help you understand if your pipeline is healthy. Did you get more clients this month than last month? How about more customers this year than last year? If your numbers are trending downward, it’s an indicator that something isn’t connecting correctly.

This doesn’t mean you are failing. It could just mean that you need to make an adjustment in the way you market or promote your business. Tracking new customers can help you make an informed decision.

Sales Leads

I ask all of my clients: where are you finding new people? Effective lead generation is absolutely essential to a business’s long-term success. Every month, ask yourself these questions: What are you doing to find new clients or customers? PR? Marketing? Networking events? Partnering with other companies? Social Media? What’s working? What’s not? You want to track this and compare your notes monthly. You can save yourself time and energy by putting

  • What are you doing to find new clients or customers? PR? Marketing? Networking events? Partnering with other companies? Social Media?
  • What’s working? What’s not?

You want to track this and compare your notes monthly. You can save yourself time and energy by putting the pedal to the metal on your most effective forms of lead generation.

If you did nothing but kept track of these three metrics, you would already be on the path to making great decisions for your business. But there are three other numbers I also encourage my clients to keep track of so they can really be in control of their business finances. Let’s call this the bonus round.

Bonus Round

Sales Conversion

Your sales conversion percentage is the number of people who complete the desired action after receiving a special offer. Say for example you offered a webinar. How many people signed up for the webinar? Out of the people who signed up, how many bought the e-book or signed up for your masterclass? A healthy conversion percentage is 20% or higher and depends on what the conversion is.

Customer Retention

It’s always more expensive to get new people in the door than it is to retain the people who are already there. If you don’t have good customer retention, try to figure out what you can do to let existing customers know how much you value them.

Profit Margin

This is really important. What is it costing you to be in business? To figure out your profit margin, subtract your cost of goods sold from your revenue. You should always be left with a positive number.

These six simple spreadsheets will help you take charge of your business finances and make excellent decisions for your business. And if all of this still feels overwhelming to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

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I Didn’t Make My Goals, Why Bother Making More?

Goal-setting. This is the final topic in our mindset buster series, and it’s a great one to talk about. I was speaking with a client and she was telling me about how she sets goals for her business and her personal life every year, like I’m sure many of you do. She, however, was saying that she always feels like a phony and a fake when she sets these goals because she can never achieve them.

Does this sound familiar? This was me for many years. I hated goals. They felt rigid and prescriptive. I was much more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants type of gal. You
might be the type of person who can just live in the present and pull things off. If you’re happy working that way, rock on.

However, if you’re a little frustrated about how your life is going or feel like things are a bit out of control, then we should talk. Goal-setting can definitely help alleviate that feeling. The problem isn’t so much in the idea of goals; it’s actually in creating the goals themselves.

Scared of not reaching your goals

My client didn’t see herself as good enough to achieve her goals. She felt like she wasn’t doing it right. She had totally developed this stigma that she was not one of those people who could set or meet goals. She had developed this mindset where she didn’t want to set any more goals because she felt she could never meet them. Like with all of these mindsets, they are hard to see. They are hard to acknowledge. It becomes our way of being. So let’s take a moment to break this one down. Maybe you can find a nugget that might be helpful to you.

My client didn’t see the point of setting goals because, in the end, they didn’t get done and they just made her feel bad. It’s like when you’re a kid and you touch a hot stove and get burned. You remember that and you don’t touch the stove again. It’s good that you learned from the experience. So, it made sense that my client didn’t want to set more goals. It’s a normal, healthy reaction after a negative experience.

Look at why you aren’t meeting your goals

My question for you today is to ask yourself, “What is happening with these goals? Why is it that I’m not reaching them?”

I know most of you are not slackers. It’s probably not just because you’re lazy and not doing the work to meet your goals. There’s something else going on. What I’ve found is that most people struggle with setting good goals or SMART goals. SMART is an acronym that reminds us goals must be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound in order to be great goals.

For example, if you set a goal of doing something “better,” that’s not specific enough. What does that mean? The same applies to setting a measurable goal. What does that mean to you? Does that mean more money? More time with children? You have to specifically define what that means to you.

Are you setting achievable goals?

I’d like to focus on the third point: achievable. This is the component of the SMART goal setting that seems to be the most difficult. Someone may set a goal of earning $20,000 a month. My question is whether that’s achievable or not. In order to figure out if a goal is achievable, you have to look at a few things.

First, consider the cost of your widget or whatever you are selling. I have a client who is a sleep and breast-feeding coach for new moms. If she sells her services at $25 per hour or at $100 per hour and can work so many hours per month, it will affect how much she can earn in a given amount of time. The first step, then, is to simply do the math.

Second, you want to consider your personal circumstances. If you set a goal of working out an hour a day, but you have twin infants and a toddler, no family or friends to provide support, and no extra money to spend on childcare, you simply cannot achieve that goal. If you set a goal of losing 20 pounds the first two months postpartum like a celebrity, but you don’t have someone measuring and cooking your food, a personal trainer telling you what to do each day, and someone managing your schedule and your image like that celebrity, it’s probably not going to happen.

The point is to move you forward

Remember that goals are supposed to help motivate. Sometimes people set goals that are not very motivating. They say, “I should do such-and-such.” If you hear that word “should,” get rid of the goal. It’s probably not worth achieving. Remember you want to be able to get behind your goals. They should keep moving your forward. They should excite you. If you find yourself dragging your feet, your priorities may have shifted since you set your goals. Take some time to revisit them and make sure the goals are helping you achieve the successful, happy life you deserve.

Not sure about goal-setting? Don’t even know where to start? Get in touch, I love helping you find clarity on your goals and priorities!

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I’m not a quiet person

shhhh-mom-biz-coach
I’m not a quiet person. So when I get quiet, it usually means there’s something going on. Well, I’m excited to say that there is a lot going on right now, and I’ve been quiet (or out of communication) lately because of it. It’s good to finally share some of what I’ve been up to with you again.
The start of every new year brings me renewed energy and a strong focus. Last month I created my Business Plan for 2009, and almost as soon as I wrote down my goals, I took off and got into action to start making them happen. Seeing my goals on paper just sets me on fire and off I go! That’s not to say that I do all this planning and accountability on my own–I can’t say enough about how important my Coach has been for keeping me focused and on track.
I am creating a lot of new offerings for mom entrepreneurs that I can’t wait to share with you. One of the biggies is a new teleseminar series that will give mom entrepreneurs all the advice, tools, resources, mentoring and coaching they need to love their life and business! The other is the formation of Biz/Life Coaching Groups that allow working moms the chance to learn from and share with a community of their peers. It’s a great way to take the edge off the loneliness of being an entrepreneur and to get the support and accountability of other women who really get you and may have already “been there, done that.”
I’ll share more here when I have some of the details finalized. If you just can’t wait to hear more about them, you can email me right now.

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