Let’s have a little heart-to-heart for a minute. How are you feeling about the financial side of your business? Maybe things are going great — you’re exceeding your profit goals, staying on track with your expenses, and feeling excited about your bank statement numbers.
But what if that’s not where you are right now? What if you’re looking at the numbers and realizing they’re just not where you want them to be? What should you do when you’re discouraged about business finances?
First off, know that you’re not alone. I’ve been where you are — and most other business owners have too. It’s such an emotional situation, and giving yourself the time and space to process those strong feelings is important.
But the emotional side isn’t the only one to consider. There needs to be a balance — space for emotions and logic in your business. Once you’ve taken a little time to work through those big feelings, the next step is to focus on the practical aspects of the situation. It’s time to figure out what to do next.
What does that really look like? Let’s take some time to walk through this situation together. I’ll help you figure out how to handle those emotions and identify practical ways to improve profitability in your business. So grab a comfy seat and your favorite drink, and we’ll get started.
So, let’s start by figuring out what progress really looks like in your unique business. It doesn’t necessarily have to mean making six-figure profits or exceeding your goals every single month. Remember, progress is progress — and every small step counts!
Let me share a bit of a personal story with you to illustrate what progress has looked like for me and my business.
Back in January of this year, I went on a hiring “spree.” I outsourced most of my workload to give myself the time and space I needed to prioritize my health and regain the work/life balance I needed. It was the right move, but financially, it meant significantly increasing my expenses.
Around the same time, I had the chance to bring on a partner who would have brought in a big client list. It would have meant “explosive” growth for my business — but I turned it down. Sure, it looked like a great idea on paper, but it wasn’t the right fit for me and my business.
Right after that happened, I made the decision to raise my prices for the first time in 3 years. And then…I lost clients. It was so discouraging! I spent a lot of time questioning my decisions. But I still had those employees and contractors to pay, and the financial stress was high — for a while, I was just breaking even.
Fortunately, I had saved up some cash reserves, and I could use those to invest in things that would help me grow my business organically — and on my terms. Part of that meant minimizing my day-to-day work. I had decided to outsource the bulk of my workload so I had the time and mental capacity to make some intentional changes in my life. I spent some time evaluating my priorities and identifying the values that were most important to me:
For now, honoring these values means continuing to rely heavily on outsourcing so I can support my health and achieve the work/life balance that’s right for my family. Plus, I have the energy and creative space to develop a super-exciting new part of my business that I’ll be revealing soon ?
All of this long personal story to say — progress is about more than just month after month of high profits and growth. Sometimes, progress looks a little different. Remember, you’re the one who knows what’s best for you and your business. So even when you’re discouraged, focus on finding a way to improve your finances without sacrificing your priorities and vision for your business.
Once you’ve taken the time to work through the emotional aspects of your business finances, you can start finding ways to move forward. But remember, your path should align with those values and priorities you identified earlier. So keep those in mind when you’re making goals and creating plans to reach them. Once you’ve identified that “why” for your business, you can tackle the nuts and bolts of profitability in your business.
Where do you start? With your books of course! (And remember, I’m here to help if bookkeeping just isn’t your thing…). When your books are updated, you can see exactly what’s causing your finances to look (and feel!) like they do.
Maybe your revenue’s taken a hit recently. Or your revenue hasn’t dropped, but your expenses have increased. Or maybe there’s a different situation going on. Whatever it is, your books will tell you — and you can use that information to figure out what to do next.
When you’re feeling discouraged, it can be overwhelming to think about changing many aspects of your business at once. So…don’t! Instead, pick one aspect to focus on for a month, and go from there. It’s a great way to make small, consistent steps to get where you want to go. Here are some examples of a Monthly Profit Focus:
Choosing a Monthly Profit Focus allows you to make consistent progress in your business without getting overwhelmed or discouraged. You don’t have to fix everything at once — every little bit helps!
It’s easy to get frustrated and discouraged when your business finances just aren’t matching your goals. And it’s important to give yourself the time and space you need to process those strong emotions.
Once you’ve taken some time for self-care, take a beat to re-evaluate your priorities and define what progress means to you. Then, you can make the changes to meet those goals. Instead of trying to fix everything all at once, choose a Monthly Profit Focus so you can work on one thing at a time. It might feel slow at first, but every step counts!
Not sure what your first profit focus area should be? I’ve got a suggestion — start with your books! (You knew it was coming ?) But seriously, bookkeeping is a fantastic place to start because once your books are updated, you have the information you need to make all those other decisions. So make sure you’re tracking those transactions and reading those reports.
And if the thought of doing your own books fills you with dread, don’t worry. My team and I would love to help! And we’re not just going to maintain your records and send you some boring, hard-to-read reports every month.
Nope — we really care about each of our clients, and we’re here to give you the support and encouragement you need to reach those financial goals. That means informative reports that are easy to read (and beautiful!), ongoing support via Voxer, and quarterly customized Loom videos walking you through your business’s numbers. No generic training manuals or impersonal interactions here!