This Month's KPIs
To read more about these KPIs and why we track them, as well as see a live progress feed, visit this page here.
How My Clients Did This Quarter
Needless to say the pandemic is playing its part and having an impact on many businesses.
Monthly Leads: 765
More consistency in lead generation is something that all of my clients are working on.
New Revenue: £104,500
The lockdowns we have had during this period in the UK and the festive season has meant that for some businesses this has been mostly a season of maintenance and preparation. That said, across the board, with all things considered, revenue has exceeded expectations.
Profit Margin: 37%
Margins have been very variable - the average for all clients varies between approx 25 and 50%. With some reporting 75% profit margin in some months and others reporting a negative. Some of this will be due to the seasonal variations in businesses.
Genius Days: 25
Performance in this area has been very inconsistent. For some clients this has been constrained by lockdowns and pandemic restrictions.
Days Free: 35
Performance here was variable and this will partly be influenced by the season the business is in. One client showing more consistency in enjoying business free days, and not surprisingly all clients enjoyed more free days over the festive period. There has been an improvement since we started tracking this.
Client wins for the quarter:
- Completing the first FTN fix - Sales level - lifestyle congruence.
- Setting up a good customer feedback system.
- Finishing a good customer avatar and establishing their problem language.
- Booking 8 out of the 30 weddings booked in 2020 during the last quarter.
- Establishing a micro wedding package (which has been booked several times).
- Completing the updates for the business website (adding new packages and holidays).
- Successfully implementing a content marketing strategy which is already producing results and increased engagement.
- Successful mini shoot day and 5 other client shoots, which under the various restrictions during the quarter due to the pandemic, the client was SUPER pleased about.
- Achieving email list growth target for the quarter.
- Planning 2021 goals and big picture goals for both businesses in a new partnership.
- Running a successful live course.
- Commencing work on an online course.
- Developing new partnerships with businesses that serve the same market and seeing results from that.
- Using time in lockdown when can't work with clients to work on the business and get things off the to do list.
- Good sales and photo shoots when restrictions permitted this.
- A whole 48 hours without turning the computer on.
- Exceeding the goal for leads and clients for two brand new businesses.
Key Takeaways & Learns
The following are the takeaways and learns reported by clients this quarter:
- The importance of having clear targets.
- The importance of having a good amount of data from actual clients when working on your avatar
have been concentrating too much on getting positive feedback from clients for marketing purposes and not paying enough attention to their "real" detailed feedback that can be used to improve the business.
- The importance of having good, honest data from your business so that you can make better decisions.
- Celebrating the small.
- The importance of getting the foundations right before moving on to the next steps.
- The importance of consistency in asking for the sale.
- That context switching is bad - focusing on one task rather than flitting is far more productive.
- The importance of working on the right things rather than chasing shiny objects.
- We often over estimate how many people will respond to our requests - across all areas (marketing, giving testimonials and feedback).
- The importance of tracking metrics within your business so that you have a clear picture of what is happening in your business and you can make better, informed decisions.
- That planning out your day is important to keep you focused and minimise distractions, whilst keeping you on track.
- That it can be really difficult to have a complete day off, even just once a fortnight.
- Building habits and consistency makes doing things that we don't find easy easier - eg content creation and writing every day.
- The importance of having down time away from the business to recharge, especially during this past year.
- Reviewing the "vision" for the business and realising how much progress has been made in the past 5 years.
Don't prejudge where the next booking will come from.
- How hard it is to have a proper day off, not even thinking about work, and not just say "I'll just quickly do this"
It's easier to make hard things happen when you are not stressed.
- Asking what you need to do right now to succeed is a great question to ask every day.
- How important it is to surround yourself with people who believe in big, crazy dreams and who are ready to put in the work. Not doing so led to limiting my dreams.
- Mindset is hugely important, more so than the tactics and strategies.
- The importance of time to recharge.
- Showing up is more important than being ready, or having everything perfectly in place.
- Physical activity helps with mental capacity.
The following are the main sticking points that clients encountered during the quarter:
- Consistency in marketing via email and social media.
- Time management and being able to reasonably estimate what is feasible in a week, month and quarter.
- The day to day business work takes more time than allowed meaning that the work to move the business forward, working on the business, gets put off.
- Waiting on third parties to complete work often causes delays
The following are the things that helped clients move forward during the last quarter:
- Training in the client portal engaging and inspiring.
- Setting aside time for tasks/ to knuckle down and just do it.
- Visualising the long term benefits of the foundational work that is so important.
- Clarity and constructive feedback from Louise.
- Having a target to chase - gamifying the business.
- Knowing that the foundational work will make marketing much easier and simpler.
- Getting ahead with content creation and scheduling helped with consistency.
- Being part of a group of business owners who understand the challenges.
- Taking time to schedule the day and be clear on the intentions, what needs to be done.
- Eating the frog - getting the task you aren't looking forward to out of the way early in the day.
Things Clients Avoided
Things that clients put off or avoided:
- Speaking to customers for feedback.
- Jobs that seem big, but could be broken down into smaller steps.
Observations and Recommendations
Reviewing all of the above, and working with my clients, here are my recommendations for business owners...
There is a tendency to be a bit ambitious in what can be achieved, both on a monthly and weekly level. Learning to reasonably plan what you can achieve in a given time is a bit of a skill and most of us do not schedule enough time for running/working in the business on a week to week basis. Some clients set themselves unrealistic amounts of work which leads to unnecessary pressure and stress. Having a big to do list is overwhelming and intimidating, which leads to procrastination.
Create projects to achieve your desired outcomes and break these down into smaller tasks. When planning your week and month, estimate that everything will take twice as long to do and plan accordingly. It's far better to schedule fewer things and then fill in any extra time with tasks from your project, than to consistently have outstanding tasks that are being rescheduled.
There can be a tendency to overthink what we are doing and make things more complicated than they need be which leads to inaction and putting things off.
Always ask what is the simplest and easiest way that I can achieve "XYZ". Break jobs down into smaller tasks and start by giving yourself a quick win to gain some momentum.
Having a routine really helps with productivity, however maintaining a routine and getting back to it can be difficult.
Keep your routine as simple as possible. Use triggers - if this happens then this happens next. Accept that sometimes life happens and your routine will be broken. Just start again, and don't use it as an excuse to give up.
Momentum is so important in business. I can see the difference when a client has momentum - in terms of their enthusiasm, efforts and results.
A lack of clarity will result in putting things off and procrastination
Sometimes we tell ourselves stories that lead to us not taking action and putting things off because the story we have told is negative, based on no evidence and is often proved untrue - for example avoiding checking emails in case there is one from an unhappy client..
There is a lot of optimism for 2021, even if it is going to be a difficult start.
What has been your biggest takeaways or learns from this review? Share in the comments below...