While we would all love a get rich quick scheme that actually worked, the truth is that for entrepreneurs, consistency is key.
Showing up, doing the work, and doing it well is the only way to grow sustainably and ensure that you can continue to be your own boss long term.
However, for many women entrepreneurs, it’s not that simple, is it? You have lots of other commitments, possibly including children and a spouse, you have financial obligations and contracts to fulfill each month, and you have meetings and requirements for your time that all pull away from your ability to focus on growth and strategy.
These are 7 ways to grow your business with persistence without sucking up all of your time, money, and energy.
- Schedule time for the big picture regularly. Pick a time on your calendar weekly where you can sit down, undisturbed by distractions, and think about where you’re going and what actions you need to take to get there.
- Know your finances. By getting a firm grip on your expenses, profit margins, and cash flow, you’ll know where you should focus your time, energy, and investments.
- Set macro goals and micro plans. Many entrepreneurs feel bogged down by marketing plans. They tend to be big and unwieldy and change-resistant. Instead, try making small action plans for today or this week that work toward the larger goals you set during your big picture planning time that we talked about in Tip 1.
- Enable your team to help you grow. If you have contractors or employees, think of them as assets to help you either multiply your growth or stunt your growth. The choice is yours. Communicate to team members that you want them to help you spot areas where you can improve or grow, and then give them incentives to help you reach your goals.
- Encourage repeat customers. It’s common knowledge that people who have bought from you in the past are much more likely to buy again from you in the future. And yet, many of my clients aren’t focused on nurturing those relationships because they are already thinking about getting the next customer or client. Have a protocol to offer them VIP packages or one-on-one services regularly because engaging them is key to your sustainable growth.
- Keep learning. Successful business owners take time regularly for filling in their knowledge gaps and continuing to get smarter about running their companies. Whether it’s taking an online course, working with a coach, or attending a conference, keep investing in yourself.
- Change directions consistently. While showing up and doing the work everyday is the most important thing, if you don’t have the right strategy, you might as well be hitting your head against the wall over and over again. During your regularly scheduled planning time, take a look at where you might need to change course. This does not mean reinventing your whole business model. Simply pinpoint what’s not enabling growth and fix it. Then fix it again if you need to until it works.
By implementing these simple tips, you’re going to feel a shift in both your stress level and the level of growth you have the ability to achieve.
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To your life without limits,
For many entrepreneurs, taxes are scary. You don’t want to be audited, it’s tough to get answers to your questions, you’re afraid of how much you’re going to owe, and the bottom line is… this stuff is not why you started your business in the first place.
However, if you want to keep your business and keep making money, it’s absolutely essential you get smart about taxes. By taking a few simple steps, you can feel knowledgeable and in control when tax time rolls around.
- Know the tax structure for your type of small business. Most small businesses fall into one of the following categories, each of which has its own tax forms and considerations. These link to the IRS forms for each:
- Make Bookkeeping a Priority Throughout the Year. Just by keeping regular track of income and expenses, you take half the stress and headache out of taxes. Use online bookkeeping software to make it easy on yourself like Freshbooks or QuickBooks. If you keep books on your computer, make sure you back up regularly.
- Be prepared with quarterly estimated tax payments. Sole proprietors, partnerships, S corporation shareholders, and self-employed individuals, are required to make estimated tax payments if you expect to owe $1,000 or more in taxes when you file your return. After estimating the amount you will owe for the year, and dividing that into four separate payments, you file electronically in April, June, September and January, in addition to your annual filing the following April.
- Get employees and contractors ready. First you’ll need to know whether you have employees or contractors. If you have any of either, you must have an Employer Identification Number, and your contractor must have completed and filed a Form W-9. Set those up at the start of a contract relationship when you have them sign your agreement, so that it’s in place before the end of the tax year. Then, you’ll need to file a Form 1099-MISC (in most cases) for contractors.
Read more about taxes when it comes to employees.
- Keep track of business expenses. By simply keeping records and receipts for the cost of goods sold, your capital expenses and your personal expenses for business purposes, you’ll be ready to zoom through everyone’s favorite part of filing taxes – your deductions! Try one of the handy apps out there for keeping receipts like Shoeboxed. Remember to keep those files for at least three years in case of an audit.
Taking these five steps, you’re taking nearly all the stress out of taxes. You’ll feel prepared and know what you’re getting yourself into before tax season arrives.
If you’re still stressed by accounting, record keeping, or taxes, you can always contact me. I’m here to help you achieve financial success!
To your life without limits,
Why do you struggle with money year after year?
It is because you do not have a clear goal or intention for your money, so it is spent on anything that comes up or that “shiny object” that you want in the moment.
Do you find yourself living from one paycheck to the other or running out of money at the end of the month?
Or maybe you say no to a trip that you really want to go on because you feel that you cannot afford it.
2015 is your year to take control of your money and start making money work for you…Imagine the end of the month comes and you have plenty of money in your bank accounts. Imagine the next time your friend calls and says lets take a trip, you say yes because you know you have money to pay for it.
This is such an amazing feeling that I want you to have!
Here are a few small, simple steps that will get you to that exact place.
- Set financial goals, if you do not have a goal for your money you will spend it on things that you do not need. You must have a clear intention on exactly what you need out of your money every year. For instance, your goal can be to pay off debt, buy your first home, go on a family vacation, save for a business, etc. Once you have an intention and a goal for your money you will be less likely to spend money on things that do not align with that intention.
- Pay yourself first!! I am sure that you have heard this many times, but many people that I coach and work with do not do this. I love doing this is by putting 20% (or more if I do not need it at that time) of everything that I make into an account that is not attached to my debit card. This money is only used to invest in myself or my future. Investing in yourself can include things like starting a business, purchasing an investment or a home (if it makes financial sense). It does not include clothing, food, a new car or a bills. I promise after a couple months of this you will not notice the money you put away and you will be so surprised by how your money grows.
- Always have an emergency fund. This is not the same as paying yourself first. This is an account that you can use if you have an emergency, like an unexpected car repair, flat tire, unexpected bill, etc. My emergency fund is just my savings account that is attached to my checking account I keep $2000 in there and it just sits there. Having this account allows you to always feel that you can take care of something if you need to. If an emergency happens, make sure that you put the money back as soon as you can. Keep an amount that makes you feel comfortable. This will allow you to get out of the mindset that you do not have enough money! When you feel like you have enough, it is an amazing feeling!
These three simple tips will absolutely change your relationship with money.
Start now…write down exactly what you want with you money this year.
Next week I will explain more about how to make this work so you get your results 90% of the time.
Make it an amazing week, and please leave me a comment below.
Much Success & Freedom,
Elena J. Forbes