How To Do an Honest Assessment of Your Business

Denise Duffield-Thomas (Business Heroine Magazine)

I was motivated to share my process because whenever I’ve hit an income plateau or when things are not doing well, I start to make up stories about it. Maybe you do too.

Things like, “Well, my success so far has been a fluke and I’ll never be successful again.” Or, “This is the most I’m ever going to be able to earn. That’s it.”

Or, even worse, you start to tell yourself stories like,

“Well, I’ve lost my mojo. No one likes me anymore. I may as well quit and go get a job. I’m not meant to be successful in business.”

You’ve got to shut that thinking down. And FAST.

If you’re evaluating your business success on those stories, you’re going to feel down and out and that becomes a negative downward spiral. And seriously – business is tough enough.

You want to get out of that attitude as quickly as possible. The purpose of this business assessment is to give you a very black and white, honest assessment of where you’re at, what you can improve and where you can go from here.

The very first thing I ask myself is

… how many people I have touched lately?

That sounded a bit dodgy. You might think, “But I work from home, Denise, I don’t touch anyone.”

I mean, how many people have been affected, influenced, inspired by you in the last month, quarter and year. You can find that information a few different ways.

Unique visitors

A very black and white statistic. How many people have actually seen you? How many people have visited your website?

That in itself might bring up some stuff like, “I need to get a little bit more visible because only 10 people have seen me. No wonder my sales are slow!

And seriously, that realization is way more powerful than the story of “Nobody likes my stuff”. The true story might be “Nobody has seen my stuff” or you might realize that you’re hiding out.

Because trust me, business IS a numbers game. In that you actually have to get in front of people for them to KNOW about you.

Social media

How many people have been touched by your social media?

You can see those stats. You can easily see how many followers you have on your social media platforms and track it monthly.

Again, this is an important statistic. Because consistent and relevant social media content grows your network. If you’re sporadic with it, you won’t be top of mind for your customers. This is also your chance to GIVE rather than sell.

And when you know your stats, you’ll see very clearly the link between growing your network, and your income.

What gets measured gets improved.

It’s inspiring watching those numbers go up. (Or will give you a kick up the butt if they’re not, but at least you know).

You can go crazy on stats, but just the basics are enough. If you want to go REALLY deep, check out your Facebook stats to see how many people actually saw your posts, how many people shared and liked your post.

All those things can be measured and you can really see very clearly how many people you have affected. This can be motivating in two ways.

1 – You start to realize that you might need to be more visible.

2 – You’ll see the link between your income and your visibility.

And then you can take action on that.

Maybe you need to increase your website visitors. Or grow your Facebook list, Twitter or Instagram followers –whatever works for you.

But, just to know the more people you touch and the more people that you can influence with your business, the more results you’ll get back (and the more money you make NATURALLY)

So track it.

If you don’t have the information to get those stats, well that’s great learning in itself.

Maybe you need to look at installing Google Analytics on your website or you need to start a spreadsheet to start tracking every month (don’t worry, I’ll just give you mine).

Next…

Track your newsletter list.

Your newsletter list shows how many people you’re touching every week and people who are interested in hearing from you. These are your hottest leads.

Your newsletter list are people who have put their hand up to say “YES, tell me more”.

By the way, don’t track unsubscribes. Unless they are hugely outside of industry norms (under 1% is fine), then they will just follow a predictable pattern. Every time you send emails, you will get unsubscribes. Don’t track it and don’t obsess over it.

And seriously – turn off the unsubscribe notifications. They don’t serve any purpose. Trust me on this. Do it today.

It’s none of your business WHY people unsubscribe. Again, these will be very predictable reasons and they aren’t that helpful. (You send too many emails, don’t like something you said, decluttering, etc)

Focus on what you want to attract.

Newsletter stats are important.

I know some people say, “Bigger is not better. List size doesn’t matter” and there can be a lot of list shame in our business, where it feels like a big competition. When people are starting out, they can feel a bit… inadequate about their list size.

But the truth is, if you let that stuff go and just realize that your list size just represents how many people you can touch, how many people you can positively influence with your business, then you can start focusing on growing those numbers.

If you do have big income goals, it is going to help. It’s certainly not going to hurt!

I’m telling you, as a 7-figure business owner it does help having a big newsletter list to grow your income. If you want a BIG business, then you either need to get really good at having 1:1 sales conversations, or you need a bigger list.

There’s a big trend at the moment of un-marketing where people say, “I don’t want to grow my list, I don’t want to write blogs and I don’t want to do social media …” and I ask them:

“That’s great, but how are people going to find you?”

Sometimes the answer is “I’m going to manifest them”.

Yes – well – taking action is part of the manifesting process! And often, the people who completely resist marketing aren’t making that much money in their business.

Then they say things like “Oh well, it’s not that important for me to make money. I just want to help people“.

Trust me – those things are NOT mutually exclusive. And there’s nothing wrong with wanting a small business. But I’m yet to meet a really financially successful entrepreneur who does zero marketing.

You can manifest them, but it’s easier just to grow your following and create opportunities for people to learn from you. Sales = opportunities.

That brings me to the next thing to track:

How many blogs have you written lately?

Are you one of those people who pop up occasionally to pepper people with information and then you go away again?

Do you chop and change topics every few weeks so your audience has NO CLUE about what you’re good at?

The truth is that business successes come from consistency.

How many newsletters have you sent out this month, week, year? Does it go out on a regular schedule or just when you “feel like it”?

Because when you’re sporadic around content, people forget about you. When you’re regular, you’ll be top of mind.

People have said to me, “I wait for your newsletter every week, because I listen to your new post when I drive the kids to school”.

At the start, when there’s not many people on your newsletter list, you think, “Whatever. I’ll just send it out whenever I feel like it.”

Here’s a HUGE TIP:

Doing things when you feel like it is not a good business plan. Because sometimes you won’t feel like doing it.

Then you don’t have a business.

Harsh but true.

So send out your newsletter as if there are already thousands of people waiting for it. Everyone starts from zero. NOBODY was waiting for my newsletter when I started, but because I was consistent, I built that audience one by one.

Your audience will expect a routine from you, and so you have to be disciplined enough to give it to them.

But content is not enough…

How many offers you have made lately?

You might think again, “Do I have to do that kind of stuff? I don’t like selling”

Yeah, but how else are people going to work with you?

Back when I was doing one-to-one coaching, at the end of every single blog post, I had a link, “Here’s how to work with me”.

You have to tell people what’s next. How they can work with you. How they can take your free information further.

Maybe you send out astrology tips every week. At the end of each post have a link, “Here’s how you get your own astrology reading with me.”

Maybe you send out fitness information. “Book in for your private fitness assessment with me.”

Don’t be shy

Give people the opportunity to work with you.

Make it super easy for them to know what the next step is. “The next step is, you book into my calendar and you have a free 15 minute consultation to see if we’re the right fit.”

Something that’s really easy.

Or, “Check out my packages.” Or, “Join this thing.”

Go read some of my blog posts or watch my videos to see how to do it. You’ll notice that I’m not shy about telling you what to do next. I’ve got a pricing course, a manifesting money course – all these free optins.

At the end of the free courses, I simply say, “Hey, if you want to work with me further, join my money bootcamp.”

Simple, direct and not at all pushy. In fact, I’m pretty unattached about it, but I still make the offer (a simple step that a lot of people miss out).

The thing is, not everyone is going to take up your offer. Probably 1-5% of people on a sales page will buy. Maybe 25% of people you have a sales conversation with 1:1 will buy.

You very rarely will get 100% conversion, so you have to continually make the offer.

Keep asking

Some people might need to see that offer three or four times before they think, “That looks interesting,” and then they click the sales button.

But then something distracts them and they don’t follow through to the sale. So, they might need to see that message again and again and again…

To sum up,

Get really honest with yourself.

  • How many offers have you sent out?
  • How many sales have you done in the last year?
  • Are you REALLY making it easy for people to work with you?

Here’s a bonus tip that’s so simple, so many people miss it: Make sure when someone goes to your website, there’s a very clear button that says, “Work with me,” or, “Book here” or, “Here’s what I can do for you.”

Don’t hide your products and services from people who want them.

Not everyone is going to want them NOW, and that’s okay. Don’t feel like you’re being pushy. You’re just giving people the opportunity. “Here it is if you want it. Do you want it? Here it is.”

It’s like when you’re in the supermarket and someone gives you a free sample. They’re just like, “Here’s the free sample of cheese. If you want it, it’s just behind me.”

Give people what they want

Imagine if you taste the cheese and say, “Oh, that’s really good. How can I buy it?”

And they say, “Oh, sorry. We don’t sell that. We’re out of it,” or, “Oh, no. You can’t buy it here. You have to go somewhere else and buy it.”

You’d think, “What’s the freaking point of giving me a sample if I can’t buy the freaking cheese?”

Now sometimes you try the sample and think, “I didn’t like it,” or, “Eh, it’s all right.”. No biggie. The sample lady isn’t going to cry about it. The next person might like it but she’s pretty unattached.

Sometimes you’re like, “I LOVE IT. Give me MORE right now.”

Be really honest with yourself.

Are you giving people the opportunity to sample and then work with you straightaway?

Or are you making it hard for them?

You can track all of this, so you can be honest with yourself and see where you can improve.

Money loves clarity

 

Start tracking your numbers every single month and get clear on how you can improve.

Hopefully that information is motivating and not demotivating. Don’t use it as an excuse to feel inadequate or think, “I’m so terrible at what I do.

Use it as motivation

It’s useful to see your business in black and white terms. This is not about worthiness. This is basic marketing.

When you realize it’s really not about you and how “worthy” you are as a human being, you can improve those numbers and create more momentum in your business.

 

Denise Duffield-Thomas (Business Heroine Magazine)

Business Heroine Magazine

 

We’d love to hear from YOU…

Is your biz due for an honest assessment? Which parts of your business could you start tracking to create more growth? Leave your answer in the comments below! 

 

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