Business plan – check. Marketing plan – check. Systems, processes and other important business building tools – check, check, check.
While all these things are important when launching and running a business, there’s often one item that gets overlooked. And, this one item will have a significant impact on just how successful your business will be.
What am I talking about? Your ‘mindset’.
Have you checked whether you have the right mindset that’ll enable you to build a thriving business?
Your mindset is very important as it determines your actions; and it is the actions (your behaviour and habits) you take each and every day that will determine the results you see in your business.
Here are three actions (habits) that can stunt your income and profits. Recognise them?
1. Not tracking income and expenses
Are you tracking your income on a daily, weekly and monthly basis? Do you know how much you owe and when your bills are due? Or do you often end up paying overdue fines because you either miss the due dates or overdraw your cheque account or credit card when paying your bills?
Money loves to be paid attention to. Abundance or lack – either way, it will get your attention. And what you put your attention, focus and energy on – expands.
Wouldn’t you rather be expanding your income by focusing on the sales you are making – even if the sale is for a small amount of money? Compare that to being constantly reminded of the fines you have to pay because once again you’ve failed to pay your bills on time. I know which I’d rather be focusing on.
Years ago when I worked as a Career Coach, I sold an e-book to a client for $15.95. This is certainly not a large sale, however I was thankful for the sale and noted it in my income journal. Not long after, my client returned and invested in one of my higher end personal branding packages – a $900+ sale.
My coach’s request for you is that you create positive and empowering habits that will support you in focusing on what you know will drive your business forward.
- Track your income on a daily basis and be thankful for every sale you make – even if the sale is only for $15.95 or less. You never know if and when that $15.95 will expand into a larger more lucrative project; and
- Set up a filing system to track all your accounts to make sure they get paid on time so you avoid those late fees.
2. Making ‘emotional’ purchases/money choices
This habit is not only a withdrawal from your physical bank account (or credit card) – it is also a major withdrawal on your self-worth account. Particularly if your business is young or you haven’t generated the level of income to fund your spending habits.
While you may feel excited at the time of purchasing the item – later, when reality sets in and you know you’ve purchased something you don’t really need or can’t afford – the feeling of guilt and dismay soon follows.
Perhaps you can see elements of yourself in my client – Gina. She needed to feel appreciated and connected to people around her and would often spend money as a way to belong and please her colleagues and family. This need drove her into ‘buying binges’ as a way to feel connected.
Maybe your situation is more like Joanna’s experience. Joanna desired to feel valued. This meant she was always putting the needs of others first to the point where she was undermining herself and her financial wellbeing.
Knowing that she was someone they could always turn to, she attracted clients who couldn’t ‘pay’ for her services. Feeling sorry for them Joanna would discount her already reduced charges; her coaching sessions would always go over the allocated timeframe; or she would waive her coaching fee because her client had a mortgage payment due and just didn’t have the funds to pay her this month.
Thankfully, for both Gina and Joanna, with additional coaching and support they were able to recognise the deeper meaning behind their disempowering behaviour and habits. They created more empowering beliefs and leader statements for their business and implemented actions to support them in moving forward.
If you can relate to either of these situations my coach’s request (as the first step) is to identify the underlying ‘need’ you have that is driving your purchasing habits and choices you are making with your money.
This habit may come as a bit of a surprise for some of you. Bartering (or contra deals) is something I know many businesses do. In fact, here in Australia there is a business whose entire focus is on enabling businesses to barter with one another.
The reason I mention this habit is again due to the mindset behind why you choose to enter into a bartering relationship. Bartering because you can’t afford to pay for someone’s services generally has you focusing on your ‘lack’ of funds and NOT being able to afford support.
Another reason this habit can stunt your income and profits is if the relationship turns sour. One person doesn’t deliver their end of the agreement, or another person ends up providing far more than what was first agreed. Feeling awkward in bringing this up, they begrudgingly complete several hours of additional work, which would have added up to hundreds of dollars in income.
One of my mentors often says: “Money needs to flow”. In a bartering relationship, money doesn’t flow. And, unless it has clearly-defined boundaries and expectations a bartering relationship can often leave one or both parties feeling cheated and let down.
If you’ve been in business for some time and bartering has become an ongoing habit here’s my coach’s request for you. Look for the reason that’s stopping you from getting income flowing into your business so that you can invest in the support and other business development activities to take your business to the next level.
To your money breakthroughs!