How to do an Honest Assessment of Your Business
Today we are talking about how to do an honest assessment of your business. We’re gonna approach it in a really chill way!
I hear from people all the time who are frustrated, fed up, sad, not quite sure where they're going in their business. And if you’re feeling this right now, I want you to know that this is completely normal. I feel like this sometimes.
Whenever I hit an income plateau, I make up stories too. "I've lost my mojo. Everyone has seen my stuff."
If you are feeling a little bit down right now, if you've hit an income plateau, it's time to take a pause, see where you're really at in business. Then give yourself permission to move to that next level.
You might have well-meaning people in your life who go, "Oh, well, maybe you should just get a job. It sounds really stressful."
What you actually need to hear is that it’s normal. It's okay.
You can regroup and do it again.
Know this: you're here to help people, make more money and have an amazing life.
It’s time to do an honest assessment of where you're at, look at what you can improve and what action steps you need to take.
And listen, don't hide away, okay?
If people don't know how to work with you, if you never tell your audience how they can buy from you, well then it's just not going to happen.
Money loves clarity. Your clients will appreciate clarity too. A confused mind says no.
I've put together a simple tracking sheet to help you do a chilled but honest assessment of your business.
You don’t need to fill it all in, even basic tracking will help. Grab it here:
I’m warning you it’s not fancy! But it is useful!
In this episode, you'll learn:
- How business is just a numbers game and how to boost your stats!
- A powerful reality check to get you back on track
- The mindset work you need to do around fear of being visible
- How to dig deeper into your social media stats for more leverage
- Why your email newsletter list is your most valuable marketing tool
I want you to get that it’s just about worthiness.
Sometimes you're making up stories about your lack of business success, but it's just a numbers thing – you need bums on seats!
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Denise Duffield...: Hey, it's Denise here. Before we go into today's episode, I just want to let all of my Australian friends and listeners to know we are coming up to end of financial year in Australia. I have a special end of financial year workbook and some special bonuses for you as well. Go to denisedt.com/eofy, as in end of financial year. And I've got a lot of cool stuff for you. So let's get to today's episode.
Speaker 2: (singing)
Denise Duffield...: Hello, gorgeous. Thank you so much for listening to my podcast Chill & Prosper. I really appreciate it. Make sure you are following me on social media as well. I'm @denisedt on Instagram and Facebook and Twitter and all those things, because I love hearing your ahas about these episodes. I love hearing your stories. I want to see pictures of your dogs and your cats and your pets and your children. Some of you tell me that your kids sing the theme song to this podcast in the car. Send me your videos if you, at least, or all of you guys singing to it. It's super fun.
But today we are talking about how to do an honest assessment of your business. Don't turn it off because as usual, it's easy. We're doing a chill assessment, a chill, honest assessment of your business. Because sometimes I hear people who are frustrated, they're fed up, they're feeling sad, they're not quite sure where they're going in their business. And that's very normal by the way. I have that all the time. At least once a month, I go, "What am I doing with my life and my business?" Ans I have the urge to throw it all away. And then I go, "No, hang on. Let's come back to reality." So it can help you to stop making up stories about your business, of going, "I'm not ahead enough," or "Nobody likes me," blah, blah, blah. So if you are feeling a little bit down right now, if you've hit an income plateau, you know what? It's time for you to just take a pause, see where you're really at in business, and then you can give yourself permission to go to that next level.
Whenever I hit an income plateau, I make up stories too. You know, I think, "Oh, well, it's a fluke. I'll never be successful again" or "This is the most amount I'm going to earn," or "Nobody likes this thing," or "There's too many people now," or "I've lost my mojo. Nobody likes me." And then you start to spiral and you go, "Maybe I should just get a job. Maybe I should quit. I'm not meant to be successful in business." And if you don't have a lot of people around you, you might find it really hard to even acknowledge that you're feeling stuck because you might have well meaning people in your life who go, "Oh, well, maybe you should just get a job. It sounds really stressful." And you really don't need to hear that. You actually want to hear, "No, this is normal. It's okay. You can regroup and do it again." But I don't want you to go on a negative downward spiral because it's very easy to find people who are willing to go down there with you.
Have you noticed that? People go, "Yeah, me too. This sucks." That's not what you're here to do. You're here to help people and make more money and have an amazing life, and be do and have everything on your dream board, okay? So the purpose of this episode today is just to give you a very honest assessment of where you're at, what you can improve and then where you can go from here and what you can do about it.
I have a spreadsheet for you as well, so don't worry. If you go to denisedt.com/assessment, A-S-S-E-S-S-M-E-N-T, assessment, then you can just download it. It's so, so simple. Don't expect it's going to be a fancy spreadsheet, but if you need that resource. Now you can do this quarterly, monthly, yearly, whatever. But the very first question on there is, how many people have I touched recently? Now that sounds dodgy. You might think, "Hang on. I don't touch anyone. I work from home." No, but how many people have been influenced by your work? Inspired by your work? And this is where knowing your numbers is a key part of this assessment, okay? Because eyeballs mean business. Bums on seat mean business. It is a numbers game in business, not because you see everybody as a number, but because statistically you just need a certain amount of people to be aware of your work to know what you've got going on for you to get those sales. Otherwise, where are they coming from, right?
So you do need to be across those numbers, because it's very easy to think, "Oh, nobody likes me," but it's not that. It's just that not many people have seen your offer. The statistics do play out because not everyone needs your offer at the same time, right? So having those numbers just gives you a very honest view of, "Okay, cool. Well only 100 people see my offer, so I need to grow that." And that is just something I can't even soften it really is when people say to you, "Oh no, you don't need to market your business. Just manifest clients." I just think they're doing you a disservice. It doesn't mean you need giant numbers because you might not have giant goals, but there is a reality in business that you need people to see your work so they can buy it.
So, yeah, that is a bit of a reality check, right? So you can record a couple of different things, okay? One is, social media platforms are important. That's where your customers hang out, right? Every single month we do a check in on where we're at with our social media numbers. On that spreadsheet at denisedt.com/assessment, you can just have some stuff in there. And you don't have to be on every social media platform, but it is good to track because you might go, "Oh, actually, I'm going backwards a little bit on that" or "It's not growing as fast as I would like. So I would like to put some more effort into that." And so you can track things like your YouTube subscribers if that's where your customers are hanging out. Your Instagram followers, your TikTok views, whatever it is, because they are all potential customers and it is really good to see that.
Another thing too is your website visitors. How many people have actually visited your sales page? How many people have visited your website in general? How many people are listening to your podcast? It's pretty important. Now this might bring up some money blocks for you or some mindset issues and you might think, "Oh, I don't want people to see me." Well, that's great. This is why we do it so we can uncover some of our mindset issues that we need to work on. And you might go, "Oh, wow. I actually have some visibility stuff that I need to dig into a little bit more. What's behind that? What am I afraid of? What money blocks are coming up around this?" Because the data is data. The statistics are the statistics, but it's the meaning we abscribe? Subscribe? Sorry, my brain doesn't working today.
It's the meaning that we give to those numbers of going, "I'm not popular" or "People don't like my work." You could have a million people visit your website, but if they're not the right people, that doesn't matter either. But you might decide, you go, "Oh, nobody likes it. Blah, blah." But then you might see those numbers and go, "Oh yeah, okay. Just not enough people are seeing that. So how many people am I touching? How many people am I touching in all the various forms?" That data also might give you ideas of where you're not going to put your time and where you're going to go. "Well, you know what? I'm only getting a little bit from Pinterest or whatever. So I'm not going to spend some time on that right now."
If you have people in your team who are helping you with those things, that is going to help you see if that investment is worth it, if the ad revenue is worth. It's just, what gets measured, gets improved, okay? I can't remember who said that the first time, but what gets measured gets improved. And it's inspiring seeing those numbers going up, otherwise it might give you a bit of a kick up the butt, okay?
Now, if you want to go even further in this, if you're a bit of a data geek, you can go deep into some of those stats to see, "Well, what's my age range of people who are seeing my stuff? What's the breakdown of gender of people seeing my stuff? What cities are people watching my stuff in?" And you can get this data so easily. If you're on Facebook, if you've got a Facebook page, it will tell you if you dig into your stats, it'll tell you what cities. It surprised me a little bit, some of the cities, because my biggest market is America. But some of the cities that see my things on social media are Australian cities. That's probably because I'm on Australian time zone. So that can give us information of going, "Well, maybe we need to be posting a little bit more during my evening when my American clients are on."
Seeing that where your outliers are of going, "Well, my target market is 35 to 55, so I'm not going to..." And actually this is a really important stat when I saw that, because my video guy was putting in stock footage of like young women in their 20s, and I said, "You can have some of them, but you can't just do that because that's not my target audience. You need to make sure that we have diversity in ages." But also it's just not who's seeing my work either, right? So that stuff is just going to give you information, okay? Don't be afraid of that. But even if you just do it once a month and you have a little dig in and you go, "Oh, wow, actually most of my audience is here so maybe I'll post this time or I'll schedule things for this time." Maybe you realize that you just need to put a little bit of attention.
Sometimes what you put your attention into grows as well. If you go, "For the next month, let's try and increase the YouTube subscribers" or "Maybe I just need to send a newsletter and say, 'Hey guys, here are the links to my social media'." Actually, that's what I did. Once a month, I go, "Oh, I just need to remind people that I'm also on Instagram or I'm also here," because someone might have come into your world and they don't know that you have a podcast. So you have to keep on reminding people. So every month I have scheduled a post now to say, "Hey, I've got a podcast. Come and listen to my podcast." And every time, I think, "Oh God, I've talked about this podcast forever." And then every time someone's like, "I didn't know you've had a podcast." And I go, "This is why I have to remember to tell people."
If you don't have the information to get those statistics, sometimes that's good learning in itself. You might realize that you need to install Google Analytics on your website, or you've just never even looked at the stats on your Instagram page, okay? So don't worry. You can go and get that spreadsheet. It's just at denisedt.com/assessment.
I'm going to take a break. When I come back, I want to tell you about some of the other things that I track to give us an honest assessment of where you're at in your business. All right. See you in a sec.
Leah Toth: Hey, I'm Leah from Destiny Drive and I'm in Melbourne Australia. I joined Money Bootcamp in January this year. I'm so glad I did. I really do wish I did it earlier. I was on the fence for a really long time. But it just really changed my perspective and the way I sort of structure my business. So I run an eCommerce store and I sell physical manifestation journals. But since during the program, I now have a digital version of the same journal that I have as like a passive product. So now, I literally make money in my sleep. I go wake up in the morning and I have orders that I didn't need to do anything for. It blows my mind still, like Leah from 12 months ago just wouldn't have been okay with that and wouldn't even been known that that was a thing. So I totally recommend getting in the group. The Facebook group attached to it is just out of this world. I've never had so many amazing women in one space that you can just learn off. So yeah, get in the group as quick as you can.
Denise Duffield...: Okay. Welcome back. And yes, remember you can get that spreadsheet, denisedt.com/assessment. That will mean you are also on my newsletter list and you can find out about some really exciting things we've got coming up actually. I've got a business course, a new business course that's coming out about how to grow your business, knowing your personality, so make sure you check that out as well because that's very exciting.
Okay. So we are talking about stats. I hope this didn't make you dry as a desert today. But stats, this is just information. Information is power. It means that you can improve. It means you can learn something from where you're at. Don't be afraid to look at those stats. It's not a popularity contest. It's just information so then you can know where to put your time and attention so you can help more people. That's it.
So the next stat that I want you to really look at is your newsletter list. The money is in the list, everyone says this in marketing but I sometimes think we forget that especially in this day and age where it feels more important to do, I don't know, sexy reels dancing or something like that. We forget that our newsletter list is extremely important, especially too since sometimes deliverability is hard. People's inboxes are very crowded, okay? It's the one thing that you can own as well. If one of your social media platforms decides that you've been hacked or they get rid of you, you can't have all of your people, all of your marketing list in the one basket. So track your newsletter list. This is how many people you're influencing every week, you're touching every week, you're reaching every week. These are the people who have put their hand up to hear from you. These are your hottest leads. This also gives you opportunity to tell people what you're doing.
So all of your newsletters can have a call to action. "If you liked this topic, if you need my help on this topic, here's how to work with me." Put a link to your calendar, a link to your book, a link to your product. Don't be afraid to always have a call to action in that. These people have put their hand up to speak to you. Tracking your newsletter list is really important. Now, what I find with mine is, us grows expands and contracts, expands and contracts because people are always unsubscribing, because I don't know, they're just not interested anymore. It's totally fine. So you have to make sure that you're not going backwards. Because every time you send out an email, there will be 1% of people who unsubscribe. So track that. Make sure that you are always growing with new fresh people. Because if you're not, then it's just stagnant, okay?
You don't need to track unsubscribes unless they're hugely outside of industry norms, which is as I said is around 1% each time you send out a newsletter. It will just follow a predictable pattern. Every time you send an email, you'll get unsubscribed. So it's not worth tracking to be honest, because you might obsess over it. You're obsessing about the wrong thing. You're obsessing about people who aren't necessarily your clients. And turn off the unsubscribed notifications so you don't get that into your inbox. You just don't need to know that, right? But you want to know who is coming into your world, who are those new people.
Don't get obsessed with open rates and things like that. Again, it will fall into a predictable process. When you have a smaller list, you'll find that your open rates are quite high. As you get into the kind of thousands and tens of thousands, I find that most open rates average is about 25%, which feels really low. It's not always the same 25%. Sometimes people just don't see it that day. The subject line doesn't get them, whatever. So I wouldn't even track that to be honest, because you can get very bogged down in the stats of that. And it really doesn't matter so much. So, yeah, as long as it's following a predictable kind of pattern, don't even worry about it.
Okay. Now here we get into some nitty gritty of reality, okay? How many pieces of content have you created recently? So for you it could be a blog, it could be a podcast, it could be, I don't know, like just an article or something like that. Because sometimes I see people, they pop up occasionally and then they go, "Hey, buy my course" and then they kind of go away again. Again, I'm just going to be really honest. That consistency of showing up and being someone that just shows up. If you've been in my world for a while, you know I'm just a consistent presence in your life. It doesn't mean that I'm sitting here in the podcast studio every week. I batch these up. I sit in the studio for one or two days, I do as many as I can. And then they go out on a consistent basis.
But if you are just never showing up with anything, it's just hard to attract those new people. If you are changing topics every five seconds, it can be hard for people to get traction with you and to trust that you have got something that is worthwhile. And that doesn't mean you have to do the one thing. Elizabeth Goddard is a really good example of this. She's someone who I would say she's known for just being a go-to person for business, right? But in her business, she sells a lot of different courses. She promotes a lot of different things. But the umbrella is, she's a go-to for business, you know? So it doesn't mean you have to pick one thing, it just means that don't just... I don't know. Just don't chop and change like every five seconds. And be honest about the fact that you have to show up and give. So it could be that you track, "Am I sending a newsletter out every single week? Or am I doing it when I feel like it? Am I posting on social media regularly? Am I posting on YouTube?"
And I've realized this recently with YouTube, I'm like, "I never post on YouTube." If that's something that's important to us, we should track that and go, "How many videos have we put out there?" Because I know sometimes you don't feel like it, but having the numbers there makes you realize and you go, "Oh yeah, I actually could put some attention into that."
Now here's a mindset thing that comes up around content. You might go, "But I don't have an audience, so what's the point?" You have to send out every single piece of content as if thousands of people are waiting for it. They're setting their clock bite and going, "I can't wait for Jessica's newsletter today because she always has great tips. Oh she didn't send it out." You do that at the start as if thousands of people are waiting because everyone starts from zero. Nobody was waiting for my newsletter when I started. But because I was consistent, I built that audience consistently over time, one by one by one by one. And that's how everyone does it.
Okay, but here's where it comes to some reality. How many offers have you made recently? How many calls to action have you put out for people to buy from you? Sometimes on social media we think, "Oh, we just have to give, give, give. Oh my newsletter has to just be selfless giving." But it's kind to give people the next step, you know? So you might think, "I don't like selling." Nobody likes selling. I don't like selling, but I always tell people about how I can help them. "Come join my Money Bootcamp. I can help you. If you have money mindset issues, the next step is to come enjoy my Money Bootcamp."
When I was doing one to one coaching, and that was the only thing I had to sell, at the end of every single blog post I had a link. "If you want to work with me, I have coaching. Here's the link." Every single blog post. I used to follow a comedian who had a book, every single blog post, "If you liked this, you'll love my book. If you love this, you're going to love Chapter 6 of my book." And eventually I bought the freaking book. You have to tell people what's next. People will just take, not in a bad way, but they'll just consume your information very passively. And if you think, "Oh, but if they liked it, they'll find me." But people are busy. People are lazy. People need to be told the next step. So I mean, God, if you like my podcast and you want to work with me on your money mindset issues, come over to denisedt.com/bootcamp. Find out about my Money Bootcamp and come and join us. It doesn't have to be sleazy. It's just telling people the next step.
If you send out an astrology newsletter every single week at the end of each one, if you've got a one to one astrology sessions or you've got a report, just say, "If you liked this, here's how you can get your own reading. If you liked this, here's how you can book him for a one to one." And that's kind to do that. Don't make people search. As someone with ADHD, I hate those open like, "Oh, well, if you want me, you'll figure it out." I'm like, "Just put the link there." Don't make me send an email to you and then we have a week of back and forth. Just put the link and I'll buy it, you know? So don't be shy. Give people the opportunity to work with you.
You might want to track a few other things around your sales. So it could be, "How many people visit my sales page? How many people booked in for a free consultation with me? How many people requested my free report? How many people got this particular opt in?" Because they're all important sort of sales related stats, and then you can find out what your sales conversions are. "How many people bought that? Oh, okay. I did 20 consults and I had 10 people buy. Okay. My conversion's 50%." And then that can give you information about either how to make it better next time, how to screen people better. It's just information, okay? So just get really honest with yourself how many call to actions have you got, how many offers have been sent out, how many opportunities have there been for people to buy from you.
Even on social media, it's okay for every now and again just to be a pure sales post. It doesn't always have to be coy and like, "Oh, I can help you. Blah, blah." But it's like schedule it once a week, once a month. And we do this with Money Bootcamp because we have a live call at the end of the month. So about a week before that call, we get really explicit, like, "There's a call coming up. Come join Money Bootcamp." You know? So it's fine just to say, "Just work with me." Here's a bonus tip as well that's so simple. Make sure that when someone goes to your website, there's a clear button that says "Work with me. Book here. Here's how I can help you."
Don't hide away, okay? And that's what all of this information is, is just money loves clarity, money loves clean stuff. Your clients will appreciate the clarity too. And a confused mind says no, you know? So if people don't know how to work with you, if you're being unclear, if you're being wishy-washy, if you never tell them about how they can work with you, well then it's just not going to happen.
Okay. So remember I've put all these questions in a very simple tracking document for you, denisedt.com/assessment. Download it. Save your own copy. You can edit it. It's just easy. Hopefully, this information's motivating for you, not de-motivating. I just want you to see that it's not about worthiness. Sometimes you're making up stories about your worthiness, but it's just like people just haven't seen it. Okay, my lovely, I will be right back for this final thought after the break.
Adele Bates: Hello, Adele Bates here, behavior and education specialist, keynote speaker and author of Miss, I Don't Give A Sh*t, engaging with challenging behavior in schools. I'm over in the UK. And as you can probably tell by my job title, I'm not the usual kind of online coachy digitally person that perhaps more stereotypically would be attracted to something like bootcamp. And when I joined four years ago, that was one of my concerns. The clients that I work with are in the public sector. Our budgets are determined by government and politics. School leaders, local authorities notoriously never have any money. And I wasn't sure whether that would work in the setting that I work in. But what I discovered is that the mindset work translates across everything. Not only do I now earn much more than I did when I started, but also the services that I offer to my community have massively improved and the capacity has increased.
Without Denise, I would've never have put a price up. I would've never have known how to negotiate a fee. And I would've never have had the confidence to say no when it comes to money and have that be okay. A lovely little additional side is that my partner, my soon to be wife, has also improved her money mindset through osmosis just by me doing bootcamp.
Denise Duffield...: Okay. Welcome back to my final thought. So today you might have felt a bit attacked, maybe a bit like "I don't want to do stats. It's so boring, Denise." But just a reminder that it's safe for you to look. It's safe for you to look at the reality of your business. It's safe for you to look at the numbers. They're not beyond you. They're not scary. It's just information. And then what you do with that information is incredibly valuable. It might give you some money mindset issues that you can go and work on. But you deserve business success. You really do. When you can make those little tweaks and improvements and you can get honest with yourself about just, it's okay for you to tell people about your business, then you will source.
So that's my last quote. I think it's just it's safe for me to look. It's safe for me to look at my business. It's safe for me to be visible. Have an amazing week. I will see you next week. It's your time to chill and prosper. It really is. Okay, big love for me to you and I'll see you next week. Bye.
Speaker 2: (singing)
Denise Duffield...: Hey, thanks for listening. And for all of my Aussie listeners, don't forget I've got a special end of financial year workbook for you and some cool bonuses as well. Just go to denisedt.com/eofy, as in end of financial year. And you've got lots of goodies there, so you can finish the year off with a bang. All right, see you next time.
About the Show
Chill and Prosper is your weekly dose of money mindset, marketing and humour from best-selling author and entrepreneur Denise Duffield-Thomas.
Denise's philosophy is that there is ALWAYS an easier way to make money and that's what she's here to help you do. Each week, you'll get actionable advice to help you make more money, with less work. There's no need to hustle - let Denise show you how to embrace the Chillpreneur way.
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