Keep an eye on your money, honey

Most people (especially women) have a bad relationship with money. They feel judged about how much they do or don’t have. They want more, yet they do not feel that they deserve to earn more.

What if you could remove emotion from money, and think of it merely as a number? Your business gives you the opportunity to step back and be quite cold and logical about “numbers” and money.

Business and earning money is not about the day-to-day – it is bigger than that. It isn’t about surviving; it’s about thriving. It is about making our dreams real.

If you have a baby and have just started your business, don’t have too-high expectations for your earning capacity at this time. Make your business profitable by having realistic expectations and by focusing solely on higher-income-generating activities that don’t require a lot of your time or energy.

As business owners, we need to put a monetary value on our time. When people buy you, they are buying your experience and the value you can add to their lives. Determine your value by looking at the depth of your industry experience and what pricing the market will bear, and factor in how much you need to earn to have a profitable business (and, ultimately, how much you would like to earn to live the lifestyle you desire). Note that you also need to consider your overheads – computer, printer, internet, superannuation, insurances, office space and so on.

Once you understand how much your business needs to generate per hour, and what your money values are, you should have no fear about earning what you deserve.

You have a lot to manage when you are in business – money (revenue) is one area that can’t be ignored. Think of it as the oil that spins the wheels of your entire life. What happens when there is no oil? It all stops.

Many business owners will quickly jump to the conclusion that their marketing is not working if their sales targets are not being met – this is not always true.

If you are not meeting sales targets, it could be because you do not understand who your customer is; your product/service is not a right fit for your ideal customer; your leads are not managed properly, and sales are missed; your sales teams are not responsive or are under-resourced; your sales targets are too high and are unrealistic; or you are unable to deliver and you over-promise.

You do need sales targets. You also need to be able to measure the effectiveness of your sales process. This enables you to evaluate your marketing and to develop your product or service. Importantly, you need to measure and put a dollar value on every lead that is generated from different activities. Once you can do this you can clearly see what aspect of your marketing is leading to sales.

If you are meeting your sales targets and your business is still not profitable, you need to consider the cost to produce your product or service; your business’ operational costs; the effectiveness of your marketing spends; whether all members of your sales team are suited to the job; and the turnaround times for delivery and for receiving payment.

So, business mum, treat your business like a business – not a hobby. Put on your big girl panties and face your negative money beliefs, and take emotion out of the money picture. Dream big, budget like a bad-ass, and get financial planning advice. Remember that you’re in business to make money, and that you need to know your numbers and the value of your time. Be realistic and do not put pressure on yourself to perform at your pre-baby level. Business is not easy – get out there and “work it, baby”! Do it for your business, do it for your why, do it for your children, do it for yourself!

Rachel Allan, marketing consultant and author of “When Business Meets Baby”

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