Do you have the financial foundations to set your business up for success?

Do you have the financial foundations to set your business up for success?

This week in our True North in Business Mastermind I ran a Masterclass all about the financial foundations that are essential to have in place to run a successful (and profitable) business. It was one of the most popular Masterclasses so far with many valuable take-aways and lightbulb moments for our clients.

If you’re anything like the women we speak to and work with, you might be able to relate to some (or all!) of these challenges:

  • Lack of cash flow
  • No clear planning
  • Unreliable financial data
  • Poor understanding of the numbers
  • Lack of time

If you said nodded along to any of those, then read on…

 

The 7 key financial checkpoints in business you need to nail:

  • Whether your business structure is best for now and will see you into the future
  • Making sure you have the correct amount of tax put aside so you don’t end up with any surprise tax bills
  • Starting out strong when it comes to setting up your cloud-based accounting software
  • Knowing the three most important financial statements you need to be across in business and how to interpret them
  • There are 7 key numbers to monitor in your business – how many are you currently looking at and where’s the gap?
  • What profit-building habits you need to implement in your business
  • Keeping your expenses in check with a simple plan to ensure they’re a part of a monthly system

Whether you’re in the early stages of business and setting up your foundations, or you’ve been in business for ten years and realise that perhaps those foundations are rocky, being able to feel confident across these areas is essential.

Because as the old saying goes:

Revenue is Vanity

Profit is Sanity

Cash is Reality

Need more help with this? You might like to consider joining our True North in Business Mastermind. Or perhaps you’re looking for a more hands-on approach to support? Reach out and let’s start a conversation. Book a chat with me by clicking the button below.

 

Ness is a money coach, helping businesswomen like you gain clarity over your financial goals, building wealth and financial security for your future.

What Is Hot Seat Mentoring?

What Is Hot Seat Mentoring?

Who do you turn to when you need business advice?

When you hit a challenge in your business – or an opportunity that is causing a challenge in trying to figure out what to do, who do you turn to for advice?

Often we ask our partner, family or friends for advice about our business thinking they will be able to help because they know us well and have our best interest at heart. But that doesn’t always result in the best advice.

So who to turn to?

Watch as Nicky and Ness talk through the concept of hot seat mentoring, a wonderful way of experiencing feedback from those who know how to answer your questions.

NEED MORE SUPPORT WITH THIS? WE ARE GOING DEEP INTO THIS TOPIC AT OUR NEXT VIRTUAL STRATEGY DAY IN THE TRUE NORTH IN BUSINESS MASTERMIND.

YOU CAN FIND OUT MORE HERE OR BOOK A CHAT WITH NICKY AND NESS.

Is your ego dictating your financial goal setting?

Is your ego dictating your financial goal setting?

If you’ve ever set a big financial goal and deep down know you won’t be able to achieve it then this video is for you.

If we listen to others, we can get sucked into joining the bandwagon of 6 or 7 figure business based on our ego rather than setting goals that work for us.

What this means is that although we have a big goal written down that we’re aiming for, deep down we know we’re not likely to hit it. So we link a negative feeling to that number and get frustrated when we don’t reach it, wondering what’s wrong with us.

At this stage, we start chasing this elusive number by trying to be like everyone else and get further and further into a rut.

Watch as Ness shares her insights into how to solve this problem so that you can set goals aligned so closely to what you believe that you will smash them!

Do these practical steps to never work with the wrong client again

Do these practical steps to never work with the wrong client again

Working with the wrong type of client can cost you time, money and let’s be honest it can be draining! 

The best time to say no to a client is early on before you’ve even started working with them. 

But how do you know if they’re right for you?

You qualify them!

In the early days of business, you might say yes to clients and work that comes in regardless of where it comes from. 

This can be an important part of figuring out how to improve your product and service or finding your niche. 

But once you’ve been in business for a while, there’s a point where it’s time to start saying no. And initially, this can be uncomfortable. 

Sometimes we’re not even aware that we’re still holding on to the wrong type of clients.

So my question to you is… 

Are you working with your ideal clients? And by ideal clients I mean those that light you up to work with and you can help them?

Because listen up… if they’re not right for you, you’re not right for them! It’s just the way it goes. 

I want to share a really simple process that helps you qualify your clients early on so you never have to work with the wrong type of client again. 

All you have to do is come up with a killer set of 3-5 questions and make sure you ask these of everyone before you work with them. 

Let me outline it for you below.

What do I ask? 

The best way to come up with your 3-5 qualifying questions is to think of your non-negotiables when it comes to working with (or selling your product to) someone. 

Then craft your questions around these. 

  • Non-negotiable: Must have a minimum of 10 staff members
  • Question: How many team members do you have?
  • Non-negotiable: A specific set of industries you work with
  • Question: What industry are you in?
  • Non-negotiable: They must be local to a certain area
  • Question: Where are you based?
  • Non-negotiable: They need to have a baseline level understanding of the work you do 
  • Question: Have you worked with a [insert service or product] before or what’s your understanding of [service or product]
  • Non-negotiable: There’s a minimum investment amount required
  • Question: Have you thought about how much you’d like to invest in this?
  • Non-negotiable: You want people to show up or be committed to your service/solution
  • Question: Why is now the right time for you to xyz or what do you want to get out of xyz and how committed are you?

Simple right? It is oh so simple and oh so overlooked. 

ACTION: Take a few moments now, to write down your non-negotiables and what the questions would be for you to ask them. 

Top tip if you’re an online or product-based business. You can follow a version of this process in your website copy and make sure you price accordingly so that you’re speaking to your ideal client. 

How do I ask them?

A barrier is sometimes not remembering to ask the questions in the moment or not knowing when to ask them. The solution to this is creating a process that becomes second nature.  

Depending on your business if it’s online, or in-person, selling will depend on how you ask them. Below are some examples for different types of business. If you get stuck on this and want to pick the brain of an expert in this space, book a complimentary chat with Nicky here

  • If you have a booking system in place (like acuity or calendly) you can add some questions for the prospect to answer when booking the appointment. 
  • Use Typeform or Google Sheets if you don’t have the above systems in place
  • Verbally when you catch up with your prospect, make sure you have your questions in front of you as a part of your sales conversation and record the answers somewhere… even a word doco is better than nothing. 

However you do it in, getting to ask these questions early on is key to saving you time and future headaches. And it doesn’t have to be complicated! In fact, the simpler the better!

What if they’re NOT the right fit….#awkward!

It’s pretty simple really. You can politely tell them that you’re not the right fit, or not the best person to help them. 

If relevant you can be specific about why, but you don’t have to justify your decision. 

You’re allowed to choose who you want to work with.

Read that again 👆

A great way to do this without feeling like sh*t can be to have some referrals in mind. If it’s not the right fit for practical reasons ie. they’re too big or small, you can pass on the details of someone else who can help. 

And remember, even if you don’t have a referral for someone else who can help, you can still end the conversation on a positive by wishing them all the best.

What about the “not now”?

Another common problem is that you overfill your cup, and your calendar, because you’re saying yes to the right type of client but you’re too busy to fit them in.

First, ask yourself, why do you keep saying yes? 

  1. Is it because there’s an underlying scarcity belief and you’re scared if you say no the work will stop coming?
  2. Is it because you feel bad and don’t want to let people down?

It’s okay to tell people you have a waitlist or to let them know what date works to get started in the future

Read that again 👆

I’ve had future start dates with clients six months ahead and clients keep saying yes! 

The biggest expectations we often have, we put on ourselves. And most of the time people will wait for you. If not, that’s also okay.

Qualify the right clients by making sure the price is right!

If you undercharge, your ideal client will overlook you for being ‘too cheap’. Understand who you’re wanting to sell to so you can price, package and communicate directly to them. 

If the concept of understanding your ideal client is new to you, check out my recent article here.

Nicky is a Sales & Business Growth Coach helping  women in business embrace the art (and heart) of selling.

Sales is at the heart of every successful business, without sales, your business is a hobby. And without scalable sales processes, your business will be stuck.    

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Can you separate your personal and business finances for better success?

Can you separate your personal and business finances for better success?

When we start out in business there are some big decisions to make when it comes to how we set up – sole trader, company, partnership, trust? It can be overwhelming when all we want to do is just get out there and do our thing.

So for many women in business I connect with, they are carrying over their financial set-up from the start of their business. This means juggling their personal finances and business finances in one account.

I’m a strong advocate for separating these out. Here are 3 reasons why:

1. It gives your money a purpose

For all income received in your business, it’s important that you’re purposeful about where it’s going. It’s about separating it into different groups, such as:

  • Paying yourself a salary – which includes Superannuation
  • Setting aside your tax obligation – Pay As You Go (PAYG) tax for yourself and your income tax for your business, plus GST if you’re registered
  • Expenses – separating the variable and the regular expenses allows you to have a closer eye on what you’re paying out
  • Emergency fund – 3 months of expenses covered for downtimes
  • Profits – making sure you can see the rewards of your work

 

2. Easier management of your finances

If all your money is sitting in one bank account when tax time rolls around it can be a nightmare trying to sort everything out. Understanding what a work-related expense is compared to a private one is usually something best left to the experts – your accountant. Having to pay them to sort it all out is a drain on your expenses you don’t need. Consider setting up a cloud-based accounting system for your business such as Xero, it will save even more time for you in the long run.

 

3. You can get an eye on your cashflow

As the saying goes, in business 

Revenue is vanity

Profit is sanity

Cashflow is King (we prefer to say Queen!)

Once you’ve set up your accounts so that your money has a purpose and you are aware of where your money is going, you can develop an easy to track cash flow system. This is important to help you overcome the ‘feast and famine’ way of working and helps you make savvy financial decisions in your business. Don’t have a system yet for cash flow management? I’ve created a Cashflow Planner for you, which you can get access to here.

Save time in your business by knowing how to attract your ideal clients

Save time in your business by knowing how to attract your ideal clients

The quality of your sales conversions comes down to the quality of your sales conversations. And this starts with knowing exactly who you want to work with and how you can get in front of them. 

If you’re finding that you’re wasting time on enquiries that aren’t converting to paying clients because they expect you to be ‘cheaper’ or ‘quicker’ or you just know they’re not the right fit…it could be because you’re not clear on, and therefore not attracting your most ideal client. 

Working with your ideal client is the sweet spot of finding the person you can help the best who is also the person you want to work with the most. 

Let me ask you this… if you were to hand over your sales and marketing to someone else in the team, would they be able to pick it up and keep running with it? 

Getting clear on who you’re targeting means you can put processes in place so that all the sales work in the business isn’t reliant solely on you. This saves you time, and money.

There are two key parts to making sure you’re being as efficient with your time as possible when it comes to reaching your ideal clients. 

  1. Be crystal clear on who your ideal client is and how to get in front of them
  2. Know if they’re cold, warm or hot (and I don’t mean in a sexy movie star kinda way!)

Be crystal clear on who you want to work with and who you can best serve and help.

Do you know these things about your ideal client?

  • Likes and dislikes
  • Needs and desires
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Pet peeves
  • Demographic 
  • Stage of life they’re in
  • How they’re feeling
  • What they want instead of what they have now
  • What keeps them up at night
  • The problem you’re helping solve for them
  • Why are they looking for you

If you don’t, take some time to map it out. If you want a hand with this, let us know as we have many templates and tips to help you go deeper with this! Email Nicky here. 

TOP TIP: Give your ideal client a name, it makes it more relatable and personable so you can really start to speak to them in your marketing and messaging. 

Now you can start to look at where your ideal client is hanging out. 

What media are they consuming, what social platforms are they hanging out on, do they go to in-person events? Can you see that if you position yourself in these places you’ll start to get noticed by the right type of people… your type of people. 

Cold, Warm and Hot Leads.

Now, to know if they’re cold, warm or hot is to first understand what the difference is and which of these phase’s people are coming into your sales and marketing funnel from.*Don’t have a funnel yet? Book a chat with Nicky and she can help make this happen. 

Cold… brrrrr oh so cold! These are prospects that either don’t yet know you, who you are, your brand or they’re not familiar with the type of work you do. What does a Coach do again…?!? 

They also might not realise that they have a need so they’re not yet in the ‘awareness’ phase of the buyer’s journey. 

Warm… things are starting to heat up! Now they’re starting to get to know you, trust you and like you. They’re familiar with who you are and the work you do, it’s just not the right time to work with you… yet. 

They might be getting into the ‘consideration’ phase of the buyer’s journey which means they’re aware that there’s a better way but they’re not quite sure what to do about it and they’re considering their options. 

Hot… we like it hot baby! Okay now, these types of leads (prospects) are either really familiar with you and/or the work you do, they’re hot and ready to buy. 

They’re not only aware there’s a better way of doing things, but they’ve also considered you as an option to help them and they’ve decided (yes this is the ‘decision’ phase of the buyer’s journey) that you’re the one to work with. 

This is the stage that your prospects (leads) become paying clients. And fingers crossed, if you’ve done the work above, they become clients that you adore working with who see value in what you provide them.. win/win! 

Understanding if you’re working with cold, warm or hot prospects allows you to manage your time efficiently and you can set up systems to move cold leads through to warm and hot without it being too hands-on… because let’s face it your hands are full enough running every other aspect of your business! 

If you want to learn more about attracting your ideal client or creating a funnel that speaks to cold, warm and hot leads come along to our Masterclass on the 8th March 2022. We’ll also be covering off ‘How to open and start a sales conversation with your ideal clients’ in the Masterclass. 

 

Nicky is a Sales & Business Growth Coach helping  women in business embrace the art (and heart) of selling.

Sales is at the heart of every successful business, without sales, your business is a hobby. And without scalable sales processes, your business will be stuck.    

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