Look at your business. Is it running the way you want it to? Are you making the money you want? Are you doing the things you love to do every day? Are you balancing your work and family properly? Are you happy?
If not, it’s time to do an assessment… and make some changes.
Assessing your business regularly – and the things you do in your business – is an essential piece of being a great business owner.
Making sure that the things you do every day are working to build your business is essential, but making changes to those things when they aren’t working is one of the most important skills you can learn to master.
Let’s look at some examples of where you might need to make some changes:
1. Networking – this is a common time-sucker for many small business owners. You think of networking as ‘necessary’ and you probably try to justify the amount of time you spend going to business breakfasts or chatting on social media, because you think it’s ‘necessary’ to grow your business. But really look at how it is working for you. Do the numbers. How much time do you spend networking each week/month? How much new business have you signed on as a direct result of that networking? If it’s not working for you, you need to change it. Tip: maybe it’s your content, maybe it’s where you are hanging out, maybe it’s how you are presenting yourself. Figure out what you are doing wrong and change it.
2. Services – look at your billable time on a daily/weekly basis. Where are you making most of your money with your clients? Do you love providing those services? Are you charging enough for them? Do the math. Figure out what it is you love to do, and how much you are charging for it. Are there things you hate doing, but you do them because your clients have asked you to? (or worse, because you think you need the money?) Your business will succeed much more when you are a happy business owner, and that comes from providing services that you really love to provide. If you are doing things you don’t like, change it. Tip: Stop doing them. Tell your clients what services you love to provide, and do more of that. And charge for it. You’ll both be happier!
3. Organization – do you spend more time managing your task list than actually doing client work? Look at how you are managing your projects and your tasks (and your team members). This time is typically non-billable – meaning you don’t make money while you are managing these things. Is there a better way for you to streamline how you are collaborating or keeping things organized in your business? Trying to stay on top of things using a system that is not really working for you can cost you loads of time (and money) in your business. Assess it and if it’s not working, change it. Tip: Add up your admin time in your business as though you were a client. If it is taking away from your billable time, maybe it’s time for you to get your own VA?!
4. Work-Family Balance – does your family cringe every time you pick up your laptop or wander into your office on nights or weekends? How are you managing your business versus personal time? Are they running together? Do they overlap? Surely this isn’t the way you pictured your business when you started it. If you are working too much and still not seeing the financial returns, you need to make a change. Sort out what is taking all of your time, and figure out a way to change it so you can better manage it. If you are surfing the net at all hours to learn how to do something better, it’s not a service you should be providing at this time. You should only offer services that you do exceedingly well – so that you can get your client work done quickly and efficiently. If you are organized, but need help to complete the client work, then seek help in the form of team members or subcontractors. Tip: Schedule time for new learning and do that only when you are not supposed to be enjoying family time. Make the changes, and work smarter – not harder – and you will see your business grow exponentially.
You’ve probably heard the Thomas Jefferson quote, “If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.”
It’s true. And it starts with change.
Check out what you are doing that isn’t working for you. Change it, and start to grow!
If you want help identifying where you need to change and making it happen, have a look at my Virtual Assistant Bootcamp: Earn 50K as a VA.