So today is an auspicious day in the universe. If you follow numerology and astrology, September 9, 2016 is a day we should all pay attention to. It's the ninth day in the ninth month of a nine year (2016 > 2+0+1+6=9).
The number '9' is said to represent new beginnings and the clearing out the old so the new can appear. And, in this month we have three opportunities to channel into this force (the 18th and the 27th Sept).
I love this idea and I must admit, it got me thinking about the role of numbers in both our personal and business lives. Whether you choose to believe the wisdom of the universe and all that numerology mumbo jumbo, there is certainly no denying the importance numbers play in our businesses.
Financials, clients, sales, dates, profits, losses, number of followers, number of email subscribers etc etc etc - the list and the numbers go on.
Do you know your numbers?
I'm focusing a lot on numbers in my business. 2016 marks the year of "uplevel" for me in my business and that means being more across and in tune with my numbers and the role they play in my biz.
In all honesty the social media followers and likes aren't where I'm focusing right now, but rather on the stuff that sits internally in my biz.
As a business that provides a service (which takes time), I've been paying a lot more attention to one particular number.
How long it takes me to carry out a job
This is important on so many levels because it helps me to know:
- how I should be quoting on jobs
- whether I am making a profit or a loss on a job
- how many clients I can take on in a year
- whether there is room in my numbers to outsource if work gets busy and I need a hand.
There is so much juice here
With just this one question and focus on its particular numbers, I can see so many opportunities to "uplevel" in my biz.
As a self proclaimed systems and process nerd, I can straight away see the following:
- I need to know exactly what my processes are so I can automate them as much as possible - whether this is through a system or a tech solution.
- There is an opportunity to communicate these processes with my clients as I know project management, expectations and clarity of what comes next in the process is something people appreciate.
- I can see where I should be saving on time. Can I cut the time it takes for me to do "x" job through better systems and processes? If you work in set project fees like I do, every minute more it takes to do something is an extra dollar out of my profit margin. This forces me to look at efficiencies in my administrative processes.
So is it all about the money?
While this may seem like it's all about the money (and there's no denying, that's a big part of it), what's more important is the clarity it gives me about what I can offer that sits in a sweet spot of value for my ideal clients and that makes me feel like on a financial level, it's all worth it.
Because at the end of the day, yes we are in business to make a change in the world, to serve our tribe and to operate out of a space of joy and passion. But we also need to feel valued - both financially and psychologically.
Figuring out your numbers?
These are some simple things you can do to start making sense of your numbers.
- Document exactly what you do when it comes to delivering on your service. Include everything from carrying out the work to all the "back-of-house" stuff that you have to do to make things happen.
- Time yourself across all these activities and note it down against them. You will start to see a pattern. I use Harvest Time App to keep track of client work.
- Note these in a worksheet. I have included (below) links to a document that I used to outline my brand and logo process. You are welcome to use these as a guide to get yours going.
For some extra fun, divide your total project fee by the number of hours you spend delivering on it. This will give you your hourly rate.
From there you can really start to see whether the time you are spending is time well spent and whether you genuinely can make a profit out of your current pricing model.
Here are those links to my template.