I am on a mission.
A mission to make my business a lean-mean-profit-machine. How am I going to do that? Raise income and lower expenses. THAT is at the core (in my mind) to taking my business to the “next level.”
All business owners and work-from-home-pros need to periodically (like, quarterly) pause make the time to review what’s working and what’s not. Kinda like a real-time snapshot of where they’ve been so they can know where they are going in the future.
I could go on for DAYS on the importance of goal-setting, dream board and have effective planning in place, but right now I want to focus on a topic that is not so fun, bright and cheery; Business Expenses.
I’d like to think I am “frugal” or even “money savvy”…but I think the real truth is that I am cheap as heck. I love making $$ but don’t necessarily like to SPEND money (unless it’s massages, wine or books. Then I’m IN).
But picture this, you’ve been grinding away all year, and making some pretty killer income, but at the end of the month, there doesn’t seem to be much of said income left in the coffers.
Reason? You may have some pretty hardcore money leaks.
Identifying Business Money Leaks
Money leaks are places where your hard-earn income is leaking out and compromising your bottom line. Money leaks can be a lot like personal spending; they are the “onesy twosy” expenditures that chip away at your income. For me, my money leaks are always in the form of PLR purchases or classes and courses…and I know that. I always purchased these items impulsively and with good intentions…only to forget they existed as my business and life got hectic.
A great time to take stock of your money habits is at year-end. It is at this time that I really recommend you look at your reoccurring business credit card charges or outgoing money via PayPal. Sometimes these “auto-bill” items are the ones that sneak up on us quietly, suck our hard earned money, then disappear again until billing time next month. Because it is “auto-bill,” mentally we aren’t aware of this money leaking out until we truly study our credit card bill or dig into the reoccurring charges on your PayPal account.
To find this, log into your PayPal account, go to Reports, then to Customer Agreements, then to Reoccurring Payments. I guarantee it will be eye-opening for you!
Culprits for Money Leaks:
Classes and Courses you thought would be a great idea “at the time” are now sitting idle on your hard drive. I limit myself to no more than two classes or courses a year because I know darn well I will never finish them if I take on more than that. My two incredibly worthwhile investments this year are Leonie Dawson’s Shining Academy and Michael Hyatt’s Platform University.
Another money leak can be money you are paying for tools or programs that you rarely, or no longer, use. I had to have a hard talk with myself (I can be SUCH ball-breaker sometimes!) about my Aweber service (for email newsletters). I was forking out $20/month and never sending out a newsletter! It was either use it, or ditch it, time. I chose to make a better effort to “use it.”
Impulse Purchases: Yes, I love a good funky post-it note dispenser or pretty iPhone case just as much as the nest person…but I also know I don’t need to buy new ones whenever the whim comes over me. Not only do these impulse buys drains cash, but they also cause CLUTTER. Take a hard look at your desk or your supply storage areas. If it looks like the Land of Office Accessory Rejects…you need to dial back on the unnecessary spending ASAP.
Money Well Spent
Before you start taking a hypothetical ninja sword to your business expenses, let’s review a few that you shouldn’t cut:
Things that make your blogging stand out from the crowd and be more shareable. Paid versions of tools like Picmonkey, Canva, Lead Pages, Trello Milo Tree, Tailwind, and Hootsuite are completely worth the spending money on if you are truly using them and your End Game is to grow your site and make money.
Opting to renew and pay the flat yearly fee of $33.00 I saved almost HALF over the $4.99 per month option. $30 may not sound like a lot, but to me, it’s a half-hour massage. I like to think in those terms 🙂
Hosting: I really, really, really recommend BlueHost for website hosting. Not only is it affordable, but their customer service people are also wonderful and have always helped me. Check into their hosting rates HERE.
Your Billing System: If you are still using the old-school handwritten copy for invoices..lean closer….::SWAT!:: Try Freshbooks and I seriously considering Quickbooks. Chances are if your billing system is a mess, your business is losing money because of lost invoices, late invoices or services you simply forgot to bill for.