The “Business” side of having a business is often viewed as boring or a scary. (If, you’re like me and find some elements of it fun then this may not be too relevant to you as you’re probably already on top of things. Just keep going and remember we’re awesome, not weird 😊). Whether you view it as a necessary evil or enjoy that element of your work isn’t important. The important thing is that you don’t ignore it.
So, what do we mean when we talk about “business”?
Normally this is made up of:
- finances (making sure you pay your bills, receive your income, complete tax returns and other legal obligations, knowing what your key numbers are e.g. income, expenses, profit, cashflow, client numbers, retention numbers..),
- processes (how you consistently handle leads, onboard clients, provide your ongoing service),
- admin (administering your processes e.g. adding people to systems, sending cards, checking in with clients, following up if clients go AWOL, managing your diary, administering your marketing strategy …),
- strategy (having a goal and a plan to get you there),
- marketing strategy (knowing what you are selling and having a plan to make sure your target audience know what that is, how you can help them and why you are the right person for them),
- legalities (making sure you are compliant with laws such as data protection, up to date with insurances and licences…)
- Staff management and development if applicable.
In the same way as our clients often know the basics of what they need to do in order to move towards their goals, we normally know some of what we need to do in order to improve our business processes or take control of our finances. In both cases the challenge is in actually doing it.
The reasons for not doing it are often the same as for clients; too busy, requires a move out of our comfort zone, a belief that we can’t do it or don’t know how. The results are also comparable; procrastination, avoidance and sometimes a deterioration in the situation.
The great thing is that this means the answers are the same!
Do what you already know will help. Our weight loss clients could probably get some results from adding in an extra walk every day, upping their veg intake and being aware of what they are eating. We can move things forward by writing down what we currently do, tracking our finances, managing our time and being aware of what we are and are not doing in our business. Pick one of the areas listed above – ideally the one that has the most impact on your business and / or life generally – and take steps to get it under control. It doesn’t have to be perfect or “best” but it does need to be a step in the right direction. Writing down what you want to do or things you think you should do won’t do anything on its own though, you have to take action.
Just as one or two “good” days doesn’t lead to weight loss, jotting down your expenses for a day or two isn’t going to change anything. Consistency is as important to a successful business as it is to a healthy life and, although it can take some effort to get going, it can also become a habit that requires minimal effort to maintain.
As with weight loss, all the information you need is available online if you look for it. If you genuinely don’t know ways you could sort out the business side of what you do then start looking for reliable information on the areas you don’t understand. There are loads of books, blogs, videos and podcasts that can help. The key is that you don’t allow the learning process to be an unending source of procrastination and that you action what you learn and move towards your goal of an organised, professional business.
Find someone who can help you learn and apply what you learn. Just as we, as trainers, can speed up the journey for our clients, having someone you can learn from and bounce ideas off of or get feedback from can make a huge difference when it comes to getting yourself organised. LTB has courses available on all these subjects and 2 membership levels including different levels of support and accountability, for under £40 or £100 a month, but if that’s not for you then there are other options out there. It may just mean getting a friend or partner to hold you accountable to a business meeting once a month or you may decide to do a bookkeeping course at your local college. Identify what you need and then find someone that offers that.
Getting on top of the business side of things will free up time and mental energy and allow you to focus on the fun coaching stuff that is the reason you got into the industry in the first place. Ignoring it may well be the reason you end up leaving the industry. It really is worth making a priority and, like our clients, sometimes it’s a case of having to make time for things when we’d rather be doing something else.
Check out the courses available as part of the 2 week free trial for LTB membership here