How are things going in your part of the world?
We’re heading into summer here in Sydney as the rest of the northern word heads into winter, I’ve just had my birthday and that it’s not far to next year and the future looks bright for small businesses pretty much everywhere in the world.
My client sessions this past few weeks have included a review of the year 2018.
What have been your highlights? How many new clients? Client retention? Best sales month? Interesting partnerships/ relationships leading to new opportunities?
“How has your year been?” When I ask this question I hear a variety of responses “It’s been tough” or “Things are going well” Without data we don’t really know, we’re acting on gut feel and gut feel is not a business strategy.
It is truly beneficial to take the time, maybe make a cuppa T, sit yourself down and do an extensive review of your 2018 year.
Here’s what you need:
* your calendar
* your email list if you send out a regular email to your clients/ customers
* your financial reports – maybe sales report for products sold, or clients invoiced
* your customer reports from whatever system you use to record the interactions with clients and customers; some people refer to this as CRM software and some of us still use an Excel spreadsheet.
Gather together the things that can help you look deeply into what you have actually achieved this year.
Compare yourself to where you were this time last year, and potentially 2 or 3 or even 5 years ago.
If you have’t been in business that long, think about what you were doing 5 years ago and compare that to what you are doing now?
Answer some of these basic business questions:
1. How many new customers/ clients did you attract/ bring to your business this year? You may want to categorise by those who enquired, those who actually purchased.
2. Client retention: how many of those clients / customers are still wth you? We’d all love for this to 100% and reality is it won’t be. We do want this to be as close to 100% as possible
3. For those who are no longer current clients – do you know their reasons for leaving? Maybe they moved to a new area or are now going to yoga instead of Pilates – the important thing is to understand why some one leaves our business.
4. What was your best sales month? and what contributed to that? We may also find benefit in looking at the lowest sales month and understanding what contributed to that.
5. What new and interesting partnerships/ relationships have led to new opportunities? You may find that you started something and it fell by the way, this is a great opportunity to reignite any potential opportunities.**
These are just some of the questions to ask and to help analyse the numbers. If you get stuck please just click “Reply” and let me know where you are at.
Truly, I guarantee you will be surprised at just how much you have achieved
I love the quote at the top of this page and it keeps me going when things “get a bit tough.”
“I didn’t come this far to only come this far”
Inspirational quotes can only take us so far. Data and facts carry us forward.
So over to you. Trust me. Take the time to review your achievements for this year. You’ll be surprised what shows up from taking a good look through your calendar, your invoices, your customer reports and much more
** I find that lack of effective follow up system is one of the main reasons that a business does not grow as quickly as it might if it had an effective follow up systems. More on this topic in 2019! Stay tuned