As we prepare to close out the first quarter of 2021, many of us have now finished up our 2020 financials, prepared and filed our taxes from last year and are taking the time to reflect on our business. How did yours do?
“You can’t see where you are going without knowing where you’ve been!”
Being able to use past data to predict future business is crucial to success and moving your business forward. That’s why we do quarterly goal setting for our dog training business, DTU and with the members of Trainers Growth Group.
Each planning session starts with taking an assessment of the previous quarter (or year) to identify areas that are working well and those that might need some improvement. Using that information, we are able to better allocate our resources and make sound business decisions.
How do you measure the health of your business?
Of course sales is often one of the most popular ways of measuring success and it is an important part of the picture but ultimately we need to rely on all 5 pillars of our business.
Pillar 1: Lead Generation and Retention
A business isn’t a business without customers that buy services (or products), tell their friends about how awesome you are and maybe even buy from you again.
Regularly taking stock of how customers are finding your business, how long they are sticking around and whether they are talking about you is a major key to future success.
When I am assessing this Pillar of my business, I am reviewing my intake forms to find out where most of my leads are coming from, which ones are converting the best and how long they remain clients. This allows me to focus my efforts on obtaining more leads that fit my ideal customer profile and change up strategies that aren’t working for the business.
What are your top 3 ways of generating leads? Do you know where your top spenders come from? Are you spending time keeping your business top of mind?
Pillar 2: Services and Offerings
Another key metric of my business is regularly evaluating and refreshing the services I offer. This means taking stock of my offerings that are my best sellers and yield the highest customer satisfaction.
When I am doing this exercise, I am determining if there are services that rarely or never get purchased and if there is a better way to market them or if I should stop offering them all together.
I also reflect on my happiness in the services that I am providing. If I find that I am working too many nights or weekends and am reaching the point of burnout, I’ll adjust my service offerings to provide better self care for myself and still meet the needs of my clients.
Regularly refreshing your services, programs and prices can not only keep you from getting bored or burnout in your business but can also help you to improve your services and attract new clients that will fulfill you.
Pillar 3: Marketing and Messaging
Once I’ve taken stock of the number and quality of my leads, which services they are buying and how often then I consider if my marketing and messaging are working properly for me.
If in assessing the first two pillars, I find that I’m not getting enough leads from quality sources, I want to look at if and how I am actively marketing to my ideal clients.
Is there something in my messaging that is attracting too many of the wrong kind of clients? How do I fix that?
I want to be sure that my messaging is in line with my brand promise and the services I want to deliver and then make sure it is reaching the right people.
Pillar 4: Processes and Systems
One of the most crucial parts of my business that I evaluate regularly are my processes and systems. All of our processes and systems are well documented in standard operating procedures so they can be followed easily by anyone.
These are the backbone to keeping my business running smoothly for both me and my clients. When determining if the process and systems that I have in place are working, I consider both the customers and my satisfaction.
Are clients or potential clients regularly confused or frustrated during the sign up or training process? Am I?
If the answer is yes to either of those questions then I know changes need to be made. Do I need to automate more or maybe even less?
Pillar 5: Productivity and Efficiency
And finally, how productive have I been over the last quarter and year? Am I completing the projects that I set out to do or am I barely keeping my head above water? Are there ways to be more productive or efficient by outsourcing or hiring some of my work?
Taking this quarterly and yearly stock of our business has not only helped us to continue to grow our business revenue by over $100,000 during a pandemic and maintain an over 26% profit margin but we also expanded our team with 3 new employees who are making a greater impact on our dog owning community. Additionally, having these clear systems and processes built into our team and out business has given us the freedom to take time away to deal with family emergencies and keep our business moving forward and our clients happy.
We will be going over the quarterly assessment and planning process with the members of Trainers Growth Group in just a couple of weeks. It’s not too late to join us!