making a profit

The #1 Reason Why You Aren’t Making a Profit in Your Business

Do you feel like you are always searching for the gold at the end of the rainbow? You know you should be making a profit in your business, but can’t figure out why you are not? The number one reason why you aren’t making a profit in your business is inconsistency, especially in your marketing. This usually occurs when:

  • You get swamped with work and become reactive
  • You don’t have a system, plan or protocol created

This goes for deadlines too: If you are inconsistent in meeting deadlines, it doesn’t matter if you have the best reasons and most extenuating circumstances in the world – even the most tolerant client will soon lose faith in you.

Follow up is another area where being inconsistent can have a big impact on your bottom line. This is one I personally struggle with. Have a plan or system in place to manage follow ups is crucial to building a profitable business.

How do you Fix this Problem? Shut Down for a Week

Okay, so that sounds really drastic. But if you are swamped beyond bearing, you won’t have time to make changes you need to change. Worse, you’ll get part-way through a change and then break off to meet a deadline or put out a fire, and your “systems” will be in total chaos.

There are very simple ways to shut down for a week without hurting your business or cancelling projects:

  • Outsource a week’s projects and schedule time only for you and your business
  • Don’t take on projects for a specific week – that’s where you fill it in with your business overhaul project

It’s up to you whether or not you want to mention this to clients. One advantage to letting them know you will be “closed for restructuring” and not scheduling any work for the week of such-and-such is that you can prepare them for things like price increases, or changes in the way you do things.

Then the week of your overhaul, the first thing you should do – if you haven’t managed to do it in advance – is sit down and look for all the inconsistencies and problem areas in your business.

When you sit down to analyze, first write down and list every area of your business. Social media sites, each blog or website, client interactions and contracts, other tasks you do whenever you can.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • What always gets forgotten? Left out? How vital is it?
  • What do I always mean to do regularly and end up doing only sporadically?
  • How can I make this task more consistent? Is it necessary? On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the least important, what number would I assign this task?
  • What haven’t I done yet that I really need to do?

What you are doing is making a plan – and it’s a complete plan with an overview. One that is tailor to your business. One you can easily follow.

Devote the first morning or day to brainstorming and analyzing, if you need a whole day. Devote the next day to taking care of things you’ve always been meaning to do – such as setting up Quickbooks, preparing for taxes or creating an editorial calendar for your content. Schedule your week in order of priority.

And if you get through everything in less than a week – reward yourself with… a day for yourself. Go to a spa. Go shopping. Take your sister to lunch. Read a mystery novel in the garden.

(HINT: Hoping you can have a day to yourself at the end of the week can be a powerful incentive to not procrastinating during your week “off” – and getting things done!)

I know it sounds extreme to take an entire week off to work on your business. And perhaps it sounds boring, painful or completely overwhelming. If so, I have a solution.

If you are struggling to create a plan for your business or to understand how to prioritize the many tasks you need to complete, I invite you to join me in Los Angeles, March 10 to 12 for The Path to Profit: Design Your Roadmap to Success Summit. Spend 3 days dedicated to planning for a profitable 2016. Learn more at http://www.pathtoprofit.net