What to do if Profit First doesn’t work for you

What to do if Profit First doesn’t work for you

One of the game changers in my business when it comes to managing money was reading Profit First. I was so impressed I hired a Profit First trained consultant to set everything up for me within days of finishing the book.

Armed with the *very expense* formulated excel spreadsheet, I was on my way and ready to see my profits soar! The promise of two times the results with half the effort sounded too good to be true – I was in hook, line and sinker.

But it didn’t take long before it stopped working for me. And the first three times I couldn’t make distributions my spreadsheet was telling me to, I was ready to throw in the towel.

Luckily, instead of stopping altogether, I decided to adapt it to fit for me. If it worked for me, it might just work for you too.

Here are two aspects of Profit First that WILL work for anyone:

1. Separate Bank Accounts

A huge game-changer for me was setting up a separate account for annualised and regular payments. I added up the annual expenses (e.g. insurance, accountant, all monthly ongoing subscriptions, etc) and divided that by each fortnight to make sure there is enough to cover all those big bills when they come in. It’s been such a relief to know they are all covered no matter what my cash flow looks like at the time.

2. Twice A Month

Still doing this two years later. Every 1st and 15th of the month, I have blocked out an hour in my calendar to update and transfer my money, pay bills and update my cashflow spreadsheet. This discipline means that I am not missing anything, and it’s super time-efficient. 

Here’s are two aspects of Profit First that will NOT work for everyone:

1. Irregular Income

Most businesses have weeks or months with high income, followed by the same of low income. Even if you can rely on a similar amount of income each month, at times life throws us a curveball and one of two things happen:

  1. A sure thing becomes not a sure thing – a client cancels, life happens for them, a pandemic hits
  2. An unexpected expense turns up – maybe your laptop dies, you smash your phone, or heaven forbid, you become sick and can’t deliver your services

When the cash flow dip comes, the Profit First system doesn’t work because there is barely enough to cover expenses, let alone pay yourself first.

2. Income targets aren’t hit

Some businesses have a long lag-time between all the outbound marketing and sales and when that money shows up on invoices. When I worked in corporate, it could take months before the appropriate person signed off a proposal. I remember nurturing a lead for two years before he became a client!

When you focus only on the sales, and not on the things that lead to sales (like marketing, networking, etc), then your energy can get all out of whack and you send off needy vibes. That’s not a good place to be, especially if you’re freaking out about your Profit First distributions!

What to do if Profit First doesn’t work for you

If this is you, don’t despair! The solution is about finding what does work for your specific business and adapting the Profit First system to ensure you are still making progress. Here are a few suggestions on how to do that:

  1. When you are in a period of high income in your business, put aside a larger portion to cover the lower months (your cash flow forecast should be able to guide you here)
  2. Keep a tally of any amounts you weren’t able to transfer (e.g. to your GST savings account) so that, the next time you’re in surplus, you can pay that money back
  3. Build up a buffer of three months of expenses to cover those longer droughts. This account is separate from everything else. I call mine ‘Emergency Fund’.

Have you resonated with any of this? If so, it might be a great time for a deep dive into your business with our True North in Business Diagnostic. You will complete a business health check, understand your natural behavioural style and leave with a bespoke roadmap for your business. This roadmap outlines clear next steps for you to create your profitable, wildly successful business without having to sacrifice your time or your life. Find out more by adding your details below and I will be in touch.

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Abandon Pushy Sales Techniques and be Amazed at Your New Sales Results

Abandon Pushy Sales Techniques and be Amazed at Your New Sales Results

Do your palms get sweaty, your heart starts racing, you can’t quite find the words when you think about ‘closing’ a sale. 

Is there a sense of dread and avoidance when you have to talk price to a potential new client?

Chances are, when you think of selling and sales, images of pushy used-car salesmen come to mind.

You probably have memories of feeling forced into saying yes to something. Or have heard horror stories about icky salespeople using icky sales techniques. 

What if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way? 

This type of selling is very (unresourcefully) masculine in its approach. And it’s a one-trick pony that’s fast becoming out of date. 

Trying to be slick, hustling, smashing it… are all very push focused and as buyers, we’ve become more attuned to the BS in front of us. 

HEADS UP! Be aware you can go too far the other way from sheer avoidance of not wanting to be too pushy. This becomes too (unresourcefully) feminine in your approach to onboarding and signing new clients. 

You’ll know if this is you if you don’t like talking about price, you’re not asking enough questions to uncover the real need, you’re not working through the potential client’s concerns for fear of being pushy or overall, you’re not making it easy for them to say yes. 

What I’m about to tell you will change your world…

Think of sales like a dance. *Cue Dancing With The Stars visuals here.

An expert is leading the dance and a celebrity is being guided and learning as they go along. 

Mic Drop: You’re the expert dancer and your clients are the celebrities. 

As the expert, you want to make sure they’re taken care of, you’re moving at their pace whilst still guiding them along towards an outcome ie. the end of the dance. 

Consider what would happen in each of these scenarios:

  • You’re leading the dance too aggressively and quickly, so quickly that your celebrity partner can’t keep up. How does that make them feel?
  • You don’t start the dance at all. Do you end up just standing there staring at each other, waiting for someone to make a move? #awks Of course, they’ll be waiting for you to make the first move. You’re the expert, they don’t know what the first step is.
  • You start the dance beautifully together. You’re leading, your partner is having a great time and then just before you get to the end of the song, you suddenly stop. 

Top Tip: the last scenario is an example of you having a great sales conversation with a client and then not asking if they’d like to work with you or buy your beautiful product. 

If you think of sales like a dance, you’ll organically have the perfect flow of masculine and feminine energies to guide your potential clients to their ideal outcome. 

Sales can be really enjoyable when you focus on a win/win instead of ‘not being pushy’. In fact, focusing on not being pushy is a way of making it all about you, not your client. This is one of the number one sales mistakes people make. 

The problem is that you’re focusing on yourself when you’re worried about how you’re coming across, not genuinely understanding if there’s a need you can help fulfil. 

So ask yourself:

  • Does your potential (or existing) client have a need or problem they’d like solved?
  • Is your product or service a great fit to help with this?

If you got 2 yes’s, you’re doing your clients a disservice by not selling to them. 

Stop worrying about being fake and too salesy, and start focusing on how you can help them. In other words, start leading that dance baby 💃 

If you want to uncover what else could be holding you back from creating a wildly profitable business you love, without having to sacrifice life, let’s chat!  

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Stop the pattern that’s holding you back from more money

Stop the pattern that’s holding you back from more money

Ever got to a point where you reflected on where you are compared to where you think you should be when it comes to the amount of money in your biz bank account? 

2019 was an amazing year in business for me income-wise, but I was spending to match my income and without a plan or strategy to put any aside for future emergencies (hello 2020, which was just around the corner!). I just figured this good run was going to continue, then improve and I’d be in the ‘millionaires’ club in no time. 

Towards the end of that year, most of my contracts finished up, a major proposal I put in for was rejected and one of my long term clients literally ghosted me. (Like seriously, who even does that after 3 years?). Then when we went into lockdown #1 and all my booked work was cancelled within a week. 

Oh, the regret! My internal chatter sounded something like this:

  • should have saved more when I was earning good money
  • wish I didn’t spend so much on that Mastermind group in America
  • need to find money from somewhere, and quickly, maybe I should get a job?
  • hope this all goes away and life can just return to normal
  • don’t know what I am going to do to fix it

As you can imagine, there wasn’t a lot of abundant thinking going on! What my words were revealing was my scarcity mindset around money. In the words of Jen Sincero, “words are great truffle pigs to uncover your hidden thoughts and beliefs about money”.

So if you’re not where you want to be financially, you can be sure that your language needs an upgrade. After all, thoughts and language are the superhighways that lead you to take action. So when it comes to working out what’s holding you back from receiving more money, it makes sense that we start right there.

stop the pattern

When you pay attention to your language, you can make the decision to change it. Get rid of words like should, wish, need, hope and can’t.

Here are some replacements you can use to start to move the dial:

  • I have…
  • I create…
  • I’m grateful for…
  • I enjoy…
  • I can…
  • I choose…
  • I love…

Surprisingly, these small shifts in the words you use will make a big impact on your results. By honing in on my thoughts and words, then changing them to be more abundant meant the action I took was to lean into my strengths in managing money. And by the end of 2020, I had managed to save $90K – in the worst year of business I’d ever had. 

This is powerful stuff!

Over to you now… what thinking and language patterns can you stop so that you can be open to receiving more money?

If you want some additional help with shifting your language, let’s connect. Just fill out your details below and l’ll be in touch.

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It’s not hard to love Spring (as I’m sure you’ll agree, especially if you’ve seen Ness’ recent social media post about all the reasons to love Spring).

And just like the seasons of Mother Nature, our businesses also experience seasons and cycles.  

Winter months of hibernation and cave time.
Autumn shedding of what no longer serves us.
Spring blossoming and the smell of promise in the air.  
Summer of fun, laughter and lightness (or overheating depending on where you live… I’m looking at you QLD).

Some of these cycles happen in our businesses daily, sometimes weekly, monthly and they definitely happen over each quarter.

Fortunately, we have a some control (and a fair bit of influence) over the seasons in our business without having to rely on the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. Hot tip: Our B2 Virtual Strategy Day helps with this.

The current environment of lockdowns and travel restrictions have created some interesting impacts to our business seasons and cycles.

We’re all somewhat Zoom experts these days, and there’s a thing called  ‘Zoom Fatigue’ – have you heard of it?

I recently ran a full day online training session and I had someone say to me afterwards that it was the ‘best training they’ve ever been to’.

Ummmm hang on. What. But it was on Zoom?*

*Okay, it was Google Hangouts but you get the jist.

My point is, there’s a lot of people waiting to ‘get back in the room’ or for things to ‘get better’ or ‘back to normal’ (d’oh what’s normal again?).  

The truth of the matter is regardless of what’s going on in the world around us, our business world doesn’t stop turning.

We simply must show up for our business 
but do it in a way that we enjoy and that fulfils our core need for connection.

We’ve listened to the challenges women in business are facing, we see what’s missing when trying to create a business you love without sacrificing time or life, we know what it’s like to have a million balls in the air and feel like we’re ‘failing’ at them all.

Because of this, we’ve been able to create the B2 Virtual Strategy Day specifically for you.

Here’s a couple of reasons why we know you’ll love it:

  • Regardless where you live, it’s not impacted by travel or lockdown restrictions (yay!). In fact, it’ll give you a boost of energy to deal with… well life.  
  • We’ve literally created the entire format around the gaps and needs of business women like you.
  • It’ll be loads of fun and you won’t have Zoom Fatigue (we promise).
  • We’ve made it super cost-effective (seriously we’ve cut the investment down by half) and are making sure you’re covered for 3 months.

Our next B2 Virtual Strategy Day is on the 22nd September.

We’ve put everything you need to know here so you can check it out in more detail, at your leisure, to see if it’s for you.

Money management red flags you’re ignoring and how to fix them

Money management red flags you’re ignoring and how to fix them

When we just focus on the money coming into our businesses by measuring our leads, sales and profit, we are only seeing one half of the picture. 

A business could be turning over $1 million in sales but at the end of the year, the owner of that business still may not have seen much of it (or scarier still, any of it!) in their own bank account.

If you want to move from a state of cashflow chaos to cashflow calm, here are the 5 red flags when it comes to money management you need to pay attention to:

You’re not paying yourself a regular ‘wage’

This is surprisingly more common than you might imagine, especially in female-owned businesses. According to the Australian Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in a survey they ran “only a very small percentage (37%) of respondents believed they were paying themselves a market wage when they actually paying themselves a wage at all.”

THE FIX – Ask yourself the question what is stopping you from paying yourself first? If every decision starts with your money mindset, make sure you are aware of what’s stopping you so you can change your thinking and change your results. A great resource about shifting your thinking to pay yourself is the book “Profit First” by Mike Michalowicz.

You don’t know what your cash flow forecast is for the next 3 months

An American study into why small businesses fail, found 82% of business owners put it down to poor cash flow management skills or poor understanding of cash flow. If you want your business to succeed into the future and get off the roller coaster ride of feast or famine, then this is essential.

THE FIX – Most accounting software has cash flow projection reports built-in so check out the help pages in your software of choice. If that’s all too confusing, start with a simple spreadsheet. Your industry association or State Government website will have examples to get you started. I had been using a spreadsheet for the past 2 years in my business so when Nicky and I went into Business Together, we used that as the foundation and have adapted it to suit our needs. Be sure to yell out if spreadsheets scare you, I’d be happy to help!

You aren’t making the most of Accounting Software

Over time the ease of use of accounting software has improved dramatically. According to Xero chief executive Steve Vamos, “The past year has brought home to many people in small business the need to understand in real-time their financial position and how it may change.” Gone are the days of complicated excel spreadsheets that become a burden once your income increases. 

THE FIX – I was hesitant initially when a Bookkeeper recommended I set up the cloud-based accounting software system Xero, but I have to say I have never looked back! When Cam was a baby (nearly 20 years ago now!) I did quarterly BAS for a friend who ran a business and he would give me his quarterly receipts in a shoebox #truefact! Now I scan my receipts directly into the app on my phone and attach invoices so everything is in one spot. It’s easier at tax time too, my accountant just logs in to get all the data he needs to complete my tax returns. Check out Xero, MYOB or Quickbooks to see which software is best for you.

You haven’t reviewed your auto subscriptions and annual expenses for over 6 months

Our business needs change over time and we are fortunate to have so many solutions at our fingertips. The number of apps that help us is amazing, and some of them are so affordable ‘if we buy now!’ we decide to sign up for them thinking we will use them in the future. But are they still being used 6 months later? I remember signing up on an annual subscription to have ‘pretty links’ on a website I didn’t update in a year. Then it auto-renewed for another 12 months and I was two years into paying for something I NEVER used. Sound familiar?

THE FIX – Block some time out in your calendar each quarter or at a minimum every 6 months to review your subscriptions. Ask yourself whether you are still getting a return on investment for them. Or shop around to see if you can get it for a better price. I do this at least bi-annually for my insurance and have saved money every time I do.

You don’t have an emergency fund to tap into when the sh!t hits the fan

Hello, 2020! This was the year that we all heard about emergency funds and I’m not sure about you but until last year, it was something I was going to get around to ‘someday’. I kicked myself for not putting money aside in 2019 when my income was at its highest. Instead, I made big-dollar investments in other areas of my business which although were worthwhile, didn’t provide much security last year when all my booked work cancelled in less than a week and I was left looking at an empty diary and soon to be an empty bank account.

THE FIX – Figure out what your monthly expenses add up to (including your wage) so you know the target amount you are saving. Most experts recommend having at least 3-6 months of expenses covered for you to tap into when you need to (e.g. a global pandemic, getting sick, a slow down in business). The best way to save this is to set up a separate bank account and automate a set amount to transfer each month. When business is going well, increase the amount you put away. And remember, any amount is better than nothing. So keep your eye on the target and make small regular payments if needs be.

If you find yourself in a position where one or more of these red flags is waving at you, don’t despair! There is a way out if you have a plan. And if you don’t yet have a plan, we’re here to help.

We have created our unique business methodology for women looking to release the weight of expectations of how you should be doing business so you can thrive and create a business you love, whilst still enjoying life outside of work. The True North Wheel, which includes a focus on three key areas of business success – business growth, money management & prioritising life – is a powerful force of change for any business to not only survive but also thrive.

Get in touch to find out more.


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5 ways to ride the Covid roller coaster in business, without letting it break you

5 ways to ride the Covid roller coaster in business, without letting it break you

There’s no doubt about it… global sadness, fear, uncertainty is in the air these days. Across the world sh*t’s going down – in a multitude of ways. And I’m sure you feel it too! 

I’d call this h.e.a.v.y. 

I’d also call it current r.e.a.l.i.t.y.

As I watch the news, it blows my mind the ferocity and magnitude of things are happening yet, while the world seems to be imploding, our mundane routines continue. We still need to cook dinner, buy toilet paper, do washing, deal with IT issues, get up to date with our admin. 

Gagh! Somehow we’re still expected to carry on as though everything’s ‘normal’ and our business needs to keep running. 

So what can you do to make sure you’re not taking the weight and responsibility of the world on your shoulders throughout the day. 

Here’s 5 things you can start doing straight away

1. Only focus on what you can control and influence (hot tip – you can only control your own thoughts and actions). We waste a lot of time worrying about things we can’t do anything about. 

Ask yourself, what can I control and influence in this situation?

Do that and let go of the rest. Okay, so it sounds so simple when I say it. Sometimes these things are that simple. They’re just not always easy. 

2. Find small moments of reprieve and better yet, joy throughout the day

I call these micro-moments

What micro-moments can you introduce into your day? 

One of my faves is taking two mins in the middle of the day to stand barefoot on the grass in the backyard, looking up at the sky. 

Yes, this one is for my Qld friends. If you’re in Victoria your toes might freeze off if you do this barefoot. So go outside and let the cold air hit you in the face and help you come alive, look up at the sky and reflect on the vastness of things that are so much bigger than we are. 

3. Find your tribe. Don’t go through this alone. Stay connected to people who fill your cup and help you feel better. 

They could be business besties, family, friends. Ideally, have a combo of both work and outside of work connections and mix it up. 

I had a grand old time doing Zoom Trivia with my family (who are spread all across NSW) last weekend. It might not be as good as getting together face-to-face but the laughs are just as real and the connection is better than not seeing them at all. Trust me on this! Have family dinners with people on the laptop at the dinner table. Get creative. And hit Ness and I up if you’re still looking for your biz bestie community. 

4. Find gratitude daily. We hear about gratitude all the time and it can so easily be overlooked as making a real difference. Gratitude reminds us that even when things seem (and are) bad, there’s always something (even if it’s tiny) that’s not so bad.  

The best part? It doesn’t have to be huge. There’s a myriad of things to be grateful for, it’s just sometimes harder to see them. 

I’ll help get you started with things to be grateful for… living in Australia, clean water, shelter, bed, friends, laughter, love, grass, walking, health, clothes, the internet, technology. 

Take a couple of moments to think of 3 things you’re grateful for each day. Just before you go to sleep is a good time. Or maybe introduce it into the family conversation and have the whole family play along. 

5. Revisit your business strategy and put structures in place to adapt to the changing times. For instance, we know that wherever we are in Aus, there are looming and impending lockdowns. Even if you’re not in one right now. 

What can you put in place so that when (not if) lockdown hits, there’s minimal impact on your business? 

Depending on your type of business will depend on how impacted you are. Think about how you can minimise the disruption based on your unique business and needs. 

Some thought starters for you:

  • What services can you move to online?
  • Have you negotiated different terms with vendors and suppliers to offer more flexibility if needed?
  • What’s the new problem you can help your clients with in these modern times? Are you offering it?
  • How do you make the most of lockdown times ie. if you can’t deliver your service use the time to update your policies and procedures or up-skill your staff. You know, the stuff you never get time to do.

If you need a helping hand with any, or all of the above, you don’t have to go it alone. We’re all about thelping women in business break the cycles in business that are holding them back from creating a business they love (even in times of a pandemic) whilst still being able to enjoy time outside of work.

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