So you’re starting to wonder if it’s time to audit your business, eh? But how to you *actually* know when the numbers matter?
Well, first things first, the numbers always matter. In fact, it’s never too early to start watching the numbers and start building in a habit of regular check-ins and reflection. That said – the reality is that when we’re hustling away, and we start to finally feel traction, it’s easy to not think about the numbers.
The general trend? Business is moving forward. You’re going in the right direction (you think?), so the numbers and the data and the checking in feels less of a priority. In fact, that’s when the data matters even more. Why? Because you’re bringing in MORE of it.
Instead, you stop checking how many people read your blog, how many people liked your post, how much money you invested (if you ever even checked that), how much profit you made… and then, your business becomes an automatic machine that does not change speed or rhythm. It’s there; it does the bare minimum of what it needs to do but nothing less and nothing more.
It starts to feel comfortable.
But you’re not in this to feel “comfortable”. You’re in this to fucking soar. No one buys a Ferrari to run it at 60km/hr, right?
Well let’s build you a Ferrari, and let’s help you put the pedal to the floor.
You need to audit your business every quarter
Although every 3 months may feel like a bit too much, believe me, it is the healthiest and smartest thing you could do. If at no other time, your quarterly audit date is the one time that you quiet things down and listen closely to the heartbeat of your business.
What to look for when auditing your business
If you’re thinking that auditing your business is seeing how much money you made in the quarter, well… that’s only a part of it. The truth is that there are 6 essential areas that you should (regularly) analyze:
- What are your goals?
- How are you planning to reach them?
- What elements do you need?
- Are they simple, direct and relatable?
- Are they aligned with your client’s needs?
- Is your pricing fair – for them and for you?
Your Client Experience
- Are you making working with you easy for your clients?
- Are they happy with what they’re getting?
- Are you making them feel special (enough to come back for more)?
- Are you being consistent?
- Is your message clear?
- Are you communicating what’s needed to connect with your clients?
- Are your expenses justified?
- What do you need to invest in?
- Did you reach your money goal?
- Are you all accountable for each other?
- Are you there for them?
- How well do you communicate with them?
So, the question is: how to make auditing your business fun?
I know, I know. Running an audit doesn’t sound like the most fun, sexiest activity in the world, and it will slap a whole bunch of realities in your face that you weren’t seeing. Some will be good – yay! – and others not so much… but what is important here is to make the entire experience of you (as the CEO) doing it enjoyable.
Why? Because business is a journey, not a destination (can I get a bumper sticker?), and it’s time to shift the mindset that looking at data is boring. So, try this:
Bring it all into one place — one document — so that you don’t have to have a million tabs open and waste time searching around for things. Keep it as stress-free and streamlined as possible.
Make a day out of it
How does it sound to make a small retreat of one or two days in a lovely Airbnb or a boutique hotel to go through all the work? Music, candles,
sometimes always wine, sometimes always coffee, comfy clothes, the view, you and your laptop.
Bring your team into it if you can
If you haven’t read Traction by Gino Wickerman yet, do it now! In it, he talks about The Scorecard. Basically, The Scorecard allows leaders (that’s you) to have an accurate pulse of their businesses with the help of their team. Each member is accountable for their own numbers; there is an established goal for each measurable, and if the goal is not hit for the quarter, you drop it down and focus on finding the solution later in the meeting.
You’ve audited your business. Now what?
Build an action plan based on the data
Yep, that’s right. You know we love a good action plan around here, and yours should be based on the information you’ve collected during your audit. Now is where alignment and information come together, so that you can build an action plan that WORKS for you and your business. Set up goals, realign actions, establish due dates and ensure consistency.
Reflect and adjust where required
Basically, there are 3 things that can happen. What works well stays the same or, quite frankly even if it’s working, there could still be an opportunity to elevate it. What needs improvement becomes a priority. And what is no longer serving you, your business and your community gets kicked out. See ya.
Schedule your next audit
From now on, integrate this into your life. No postponing, no skipping. From this moment on, you’re auditing your business at a regular frequency for as long as your virtual doors are open.
If you feel like you need someone on your side to go through all this, let me tell you, I’m your gal! With the Data Deep Dive Work Party, we sit together and audit your strategy, brand identity, offers, experience, financials and content. The best part? You get our proprietary spreadsheet that you can use over, and over, and over again to your hearts’ content. AND it’s customized to your business.
Let’s revolutionize the way you make business decisions. Book your Data Deep Dive Work Party here.