Episode 004 – Money & Metrics

Every Monday is affectionately referred to as Money & Metrics Monday here with Team Common Cents.  It’s when we stop and take stock of our progress and make plans for the coming week. It’s also what we do for our clients on Client Time Tuesdays.   

What we’re chatting about in this episode:

  • The money numbers we check…and it’s more than just keeping an eye on revenue
  • The money metrics that we check (and what makes them different than money numbers)
  • The 3 things I want you to do

Related topics:

Remember, this is an open discussion.  If you have a question that you’d like me to answer on an upcoming episode, send an email to podcast@thecommoncents.com.

If you’d also like to find Joyce on social media, you can find her on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter…as @thecommoncents.

2CBP Episode 004 - Money & Metrics

Episode 004 - Money & Metrics: Transcript

Welcome to Episode Four of the 2 Cents Business Podcast. Hey there, it’s me Joyce, your host and in today’s episode we’re going to talk about the metrics and money numbers that run your business. So let’s get started.

So among my team and I we we affectionately refer to Mondays and Tuesdays as money and metrics, Mondays, and client time Tuesday’s. These two days of the week are dedicated to the money and metrics for both by business and my clients businesses. So that’s typically all we do on Mondays and Tuesdays.

So first, I want to check in with the money numbers. So what do we actually check when I when I’m talking about money numbers? What I’m looking for our large transactions, when I’m looking at my clients information, unpaid invoices, and unpaid bills, then we check the clients cash flow, net profit revenue, and we also compare their budget to actual performance.

Now, here’s why we check each of those. With the large transactions that don’t fit the norm for that business, what we’re looking for is anything that’s relatively large, like I said, for THAT business.

Because large can be relative but we’re looking at it in the context of that business. And that actual transaction could be a deposit, it could be a check or an expense.

So it doesn’t matter if it’s a, you know, if it’s large income or large expenses, we’re looking at any large transaction at all.

And the cause of this extraordinary transaction could be something bad, it could be fraud on the client’s account, or it could be something relatively innocent, like the client for getting to tell you that they launched a new service or product, or it could be that they are planning to do a retreat and they had to write a check for a for a deposit on their venue.

So that could be the source of the large transaction but you still want to, you know, if it’s your business, you of course, you know, if you’re launching something new, but you still want to be cognizant of anything that’s a large in nature, you still want to be looking at your accounts to make sure that nothing weird is kind of going on.

So that’s, that’s the first thing that we’re looking at, we’re looking for things that are out of the ordinary for, for that client and for their business.

And then next up is we look at the unpaid invoices, and the unpaid bills.

With the unpaid invoices, especially if they’re overdue, we were we want our clients to be paid, and we want to make sure that they’re getting paid. So that’s why we’re looking at the invoices and making sure that there aren’t anything that’s overdue, and if so, we we want to make sure that the client is taking appropriate and timely action, like sending reminder emails. So that’s, that’s what the unpaid invoice pieces about.

And then with the unpaid bills, and, and, and for a lot of online businesses and entrepreneurs, a lot of things are on auto pay, but I’m for for both myself and my clients, I keep a list of the recurring things that they pay.

So things like website hosting, email hosting, the various things that they pay every single month, if it’s not paid around the time that I’m expecting it to hit their credit card or their bank account, then in my head, I’m kind of wondering if maybe their credit card has expired and needs to be updated.

So I will give my client the heads up that that this transaction hasn’t been paid as expected at a certain time in the month and then I will let them know that so that they can take appropriate action because maybe they do need to update their credit card information with their vendor. And they need to find out how they can update that information.

So far, we’ve looked at extraordinarily large transactions, we’ve looked at unpaid invoices and unpaid bills.

So next up, I typically look at the clients cash flow. Do they have a positive cash flow, I look at their net profit to date, because you are in the business to make money. So you do want to net profit, I look at their revenue growth or shrinkage look at where they are for this year versus last year.

And then I also look at their budget versus actual report. And, you know, if they’re budgeting to be at a certain income level, or if they’ve budgeted to have certain expenses that aren’t paid yet, then what’s going on? Do we need to adjust their budget or do they need to adjust their their plans and adjust their budget.

So again, those are the numbers and the reports that I look at. Now, all of these are indicators of the business’ health and ultimately what we want is to make sure that the client is making money and not losing money. And if they are losing money, or if they aren’t close to their projected goals, by knowing where they stand sooner than later, they can take appropriate action and do some course correcting.

So that’s kind of why we look at, um, you know, like revenue growth or shrinkage and, and we also look at the budget versus actual report because that is kind of an indicator of, you know, how close you are to your projected goals.

So, again, I’ve written a few blog posts about these topics. And you can find links to those in the show notes.

So after we kind of look at those those things, the next thing that we look at, or the next level of metrics are the ones that are more specific to me in my business. However, I do advise my clients and kind of help them to figure out which ones that they want to track in their business. And they have similar ones. And I call these money metrics because they aren’t cash per se, but they do lead to cash.

So and you’ll see what I mean by that in a minute. And like I said, I review these on Monday. So knowing these numbers actually helps me to plan my week. And again, you’ll understand what I mean by that in a second.

So here then here are the money metrics that I check in my business: I check the number of clients that I have, pending service agreements, number of scheduled consultations for the week, my consultation conversion rate, as well as website traffic and email signups.

Now here’s why each of those numbers is important. With the number of current client, what that kind of tells me is that if it has increased or decreased. If it’s increased, I know that there are probably new clients that need to be on boarded, and we need to schedule that accordingly.

And if it has dipped a little bit, then I know that there are some former clients that probably need to be off boarded. And maybe that requires us to have a close maybe that requires us to have an appointment to close off or to complete the project.

Do I have pending service agreements? With that, do I need to do some follow ups or am I the bottleneck and I need to counter sign a pending service agreement?

Then next up is scheduled consultations for the week. The main reason why I want to know how many consultations I have for the week is I like to do prep work. I like to know who I’m going to be talking to. So before the consultation, I’ll go into my scheduling software and review the questionnaire that they fill out so that I can get to know them a little bit beforehand. So it’s it kind of shortens the time that I spend asking questions about them and their businesses. So I do a little bit of research beforehand.

And then next step is my conversion rate. Now this number is a number I just like to keep my eye on, it’s probably not a number that everybody watches. But I keep an eye on it. Because in the long run, it kind of helps me to figure out how I’m going to achieve my revenue goals for my business. So for instance, if I wanted to onboard two new clients this month, and I know that my conversion rates is 25% then I know how many people I need to talk to or I know how many consultations I need to put on get on my calendar in order to get to those two clients. So in this example where I said my conversion rate is 25% I know that I need to talk to eight potential clients I need eight appointments to get to the desired two people so that’s the conversion rate and why I like to keep an eye on it.

And then next up is my website traffic and my email signups and to be completely honest, and in full transparency I admit that these two numbers are numbers that I don’t do a whole lot with at this point. But I do monitor both of them, so that I’ll have a baseline for when I am ready to tackle more email marketing stuff and SEO stuff.

So that’s a lot of numbers, right? And now on that we know what I check for both myself and some of the things that I checked for my clients, I want you to do three things, I want to to give it some thought. And outside of that first list of money numbers that I checked for everyone, look at the metrics that you want to attract the numbers that impact your revenue goals.

What numbers are the real indicators that show you that you’re getting closer to or further away from achieving your business’ money goals. So that’s the first thing.

The second thing is, as I mentioned in Episode Two: Fall In Love With Your Business, I treat my business as if it’s a client and I want you to do the same what I want you to do is to make an unbreakable appointment with yourself to check in with your numbers every week. And if you can’t do every week, every other week, or at least twice a month, maybe you do it on the first in the 15th but for me, I like to do it at the beginning of the week on Mondays, hence money and metrics Mondays instead of at the end of the week on Fridays, because sometimes I do work over the weekends. So checking in with my numbers on the first thing, it being the first thing I do on a Monday morning kind of doubles as an opportunity for me to review the prior week and plan for the coming week.

But that’s just how I do it in my business. And you are welcome to schedule it on any day of the week that you want. But um, you know, it kind of depends on your workflow and your work habits. And you know, when you don’t have as much to do in your business. But um, you know, for you Friday afternoons might be a better day to do this check in, it doesn’t matter what day you do it again, what matters is that you do it and that you do it consistently.So that’s number two.

Number three. The third thing that I’d like for you to do is to take action, once you’ve reviewed these numbers, once you’ve come up with your money metrics, the things that kind of move the needle, the things that are the real indicators of growth in your business. Once you’ve reviewed those numbers, don’t start with just writing them down. I want you to ask yourself, what do they mean? Are they what you expected? If you expect it to have more clients this month? If you expect it to happen, more consultations this month. If that’s what’s required in your business. If you expect it more or then in you don’t have them, what actions can you take to change what you’re seeing.

So that’s it. Now what do this is just what I do each and every Monday, even on holidays. So like I said, an unbreakable appointment with yourself. So let’s recap and is this kind of mumble jumble.

So so let’s recap.

Let’s start with one of the one of the things is to number one is to decide on the metrics that make most the most sense to you. And either make a handwritten list or create a spreadsheet, something that makes it easy for you to track everything in one place so that you can see the movement you can see trends as they start to unfold.

Number two make an unbreakable appointment with yourself. Treat your business like one of your clients.

Number three, check your money numbers. And to recap, those money numbers are large transactions that don’t fit the norm for your business. unpaid invoices, unpaid bills, and then checking in with your cash flow, your net profit to date and your revenue growth or shrinkage and the budget versus actual report.

Number four, check your money metrics. And yours may be different than mine. But these are the ones that I check. I check the number of current clients that I have pending service agreements, number of scheduled consultations and keep an eye on my conversion rate. And it also keep an eye on my website traffic and email subscribers.

Last but not least number five is to review the numbers and take some action.

So that’s it five things you know. So if you have enjoyed this episode, and you’d like to hear more, I would absolutely love it if you subscribed. And if you have any questions that you’d like me to answer on an upcoming episode send me an email to podcast@thecommoncents.com which you will also find in the show notes.

So thanks for listening and have a fantastic money and metrics Monday.

Episode 003 – Selecting The Right One For Your Business (The Right Accounting Software)

If you’re in any small business groups on Facebook or LinkedIn, you’ve probably seen this question or if you’re running a business, you may have asked this question yourself.

“What accounting software should I use?”

The question is easy enough but it’s complicated at the same time as it requires a little more information before Joyce will give her recommendation.

In this episode:

  • What to ask yourself to narrow down the alternatives
  • Joyce’s top 2 accounting software recommendations
  • How to grab a cents chat if you’re stumped & need help selecting the right software for you & your business

Remember, this is an open discussion.  If you have a question that you’d like me to answer on an upcoming episode, send an email to podcast@thecommoncents.com.

If you’d also like to find Joyce on social media, you can find her on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter…as @thecommoncents.

2CBP Episode 3 - Selecting The Right One For Your Business

Episode 003 - Selecting The Right One For Your Business (The Right Accounting Software): Transcript

This is Episode Three of the 2 Cents Business Podcast. Hey, welcome back. It’s me, Joyce, your host. And in today’s episode, we’re going to talk about one of my absolute favorite topics. I’m being a little sarcastic here. But we’re going to talk about cloud accounting software, the questions you should ask yourself to help you decide on the right one for you and your business. And the minimum features that I think you should look for before you go all in on one software. So without further ado, let’s get started.

So this is kind of, sort of, a q&a episode. It’s an indirect one in that, and this is why I say it’s kind of sort of a q&a because this is a question that I see coming up in a lot of small business oriented Facebook groups. And when I say a lot, I am mean a lot.

And what happens it goes a little something like this, I you’ll see a random post from a random business owner that you know, you don’t know very much about and they just flatly ask, what accounting software do you use, or what accounting software should I use?

And now I admit this question kind of annoys me and it’s not necessarily the question itself, but it’s how it’s phrased because it’s completely general.

And when I answer my answer is, it depends. And the answer might come off a little bit snarky and a little bit, you know, have a side of smart assery or smart-alecky and it’s not my intent, seriously, because the question isn’t necessarily a dumb question. But it can be phrased better a lot better, because my answer requires additional information that you could have provided in the first place.

But I’m not here to bash the questioner, I am actually glad that you want accounting software. So when I say it depends, I’m really not being a jerk. I just need more information from you, about you and your business.

So for instance, um, I just believe that every business is as unique as a snowflake. No two are alike, because they’re run by completely different personalities. Like you could, you could have an online t shirt company, but the owners are different. Therefore, the businesses and how they are run are completely different.

So we like there are no snowflakes that are like, so no two are like, but there might be some characteristics about you or about your business that might make one software better than another for you, and how your mode of operations is.

So that makes the recommendation different. So I can’t just flatly rock up into a group and just be like, Well, you know, you should be using this or you should be using that without asking additional information.

So again, I’m not being a jerk. I don’t think it’s dumb question. I just would love for you to provide additional information, provide what your needs are, so that you can really get a recommendation that fits you and your business.

So for the purposes of this episode, I’m gonna make a couple of assumptions about the person asking the question, so I’m going to assume that you’re a side hustler, or freelancer, or solopreneur that basically you are doing this by yourself.

I’m also going to assume that you are probably an online entrepreneur or some sort. And then last but not least of my bucket of assumptions, I’m going to assume that you are looking to do it yourself, at least for now. So based on those assumptions, I still have more questions.

So before we start worrying about features and benefits of an accounting software, here are a few more things we need to consider during the selection process. And I’d asked you questions something like this.

So Mr. Or Ms. business owner, how are you sending and receiving money? like where do you bank? What payment processors do you use? Do you use PayPal? Do you Stripe? What CRM might you use? Do you use Dubsado? Do you 17 Hats? Are you an online based entrepreneur? Do you have is are you selling via your website? If so, do you have a shopping cart on your website? Are you using something like Shopify? Or are you using something like Moonclerk? And wait, what (website) platform are you using? Are you using Squarespace? Or are you using WordPress?

So those are the type of leading questions that I need to know answers to that kind of form, what I call your tech stack. So we need to know the answers to those questions.

Now, second question, How comfortable are you with technology and and making sure that the software and he said tech stack plays well together and either directly or indirectly using something like Zapier or If This Then That (IFTTT). What are your growth plans? Will you need additional users? Will you need to invoice from your accounting software directly? Will you need customized reports? Because in some software (packages), all of those things are easier said than done and might be easier and one than the other.

So with all that said, I have two regular frequent top recommendations that is Xero Accounting and QuickBooks Online.

My recommendations vary based upon the answers to all of the proceeding questions. And then before I dive into one or the other, based upon what your tech stack is, I would check their (respective) add-on marketplaces to make sure that you can either directly connect with the software or you can, and then the second place I might look is to look at Zapier or If This Then That to see if there’s an indirect way to get information from whatever you’re already using into the accounting software.

The reason why all of that is important is because connection is important when it comes to the money stuff. And the the connectivity is so important, because what you want is to minimize manual movement of the transactional information in and out of your money system. And by transactional, what I mean is that the actual transactions of your bank account or your credit card account.

So those are like the basic building blocks of your bookkeeping system. So you want those those pieces of information to come directly into the accounting software without you messing around with it.

And so the reason why that is, and the reason why you want to minimize the manual nature of it is because the more times that you, and by “you”, I mean the proverbial you as in any human; the more times a human touches the information, the likelihood of things going awry. The likelihood of the information becoming corrupted. And the last thing you want to do is to have your money files become corrupted. Now, that’s not to say that the tech doesn’t break or that your bank feed or your credit card feed won’t break and can’t break, because they do all the time but you can always reconnect them.

The thing is that by skipping the manual movement of data, it gets you closer to real time financial information. And when you get closer to real time financial information, you can pivot on a dime in your business because all of the information is as fresh as it can possibly be. You know what your bank balances are, you know who owes you what money (as recent as) five minutes ago because you have access to the information in your money system.

So last but not least, the last question that I ask is, are you actually going to use it because it makes absolutely no sense for you to subscribe to an accounting software package and you’re paying a monthly subscription, and you’re not going to use it.

And to get the most the absolute most out of them, you need to actually be recording and reviewing the transactions on a relatively frequent basis.

So if you, you know, if you need help, kind of going through all of this information, and answering the questions and kind of diving down and figuring it out. If you need need help selecting the right software for you, then like I tell people in these groups, I’m happy to have that conversation with you. So you can either shoot me an email or schedule a Cents Chat with me and we can talk about it. So you can email me at podcast@thecommoncents.com. Or you can schedule a Cents Chat at thecommoncents.com/consult.

So as you can hear, I’m not really that much of a smart alec when I say that it depends or when I rock up into a comment section and instead of actually answering the question, I answer with a question. All of this and more kind of goes through my head as I am mentally putting the pieces together to figure out what recommendation I would actually gave you for accounting software.

So to recap, when you are looking for the right one for you, as far as the accounting software, when you’re looking for that, these are the things that I advise you to consider…

What kind of business do you run? Do you have inventory? Are you a service based business?

Are you looking to do it yourself? And if you aren’t, then (and I didn’t mention this before), but if you aren’t looking to do it yourself, I would just go with whatever your accountant of choice uses because ultimately they are going to be doing the day to day bookkeeping and accounting, so you should lean on their expertise. They may have a preference, they may specialize in using a particular software package over the other. For instance, I almost exclusively use Xero with all of my clients. And I occasionally use QuickBooks if they’re already using it. But I sometimes actually take them out of QuickBooks and put them on Xero. But that’s a whole nother conversation.

So the third thing that I would have you to consider is how are you sending and receiving money? Where are you banking?

What is already in your tech stack? Whether it’s your payment processors, CRM project management? How you invoicing people, those are all the things that you need to consider.

Also, How comfortable are you with the technology? How comfortable are you with actually doing the nuts and bolts of the bookkeeping yourself, will you be able to not only integrate the accounting system into your system, whether that’s directly or indirectly with something like Zapier, but will you be able to troubleshoot that integration when and if something breaks?

And last but not least, what are your growth plans? Will you need additional users? Will you need customized reports? And will you need to coordinate the information with your tax professional?

And so those are the questions again,

The first one is, What kind of business do you run?

The second one is, Are you looking to do it yourself?

Third, how are you sending and receiving money and what’s already in your tech stack?

Fourth, how comfortable are you with the technology? Will you be able to integrate the accounting software into your system either directly or indirectly?

And fifth, what are your growth plans? Will you need additional users? Will you need customized reporting?

So once you have the answers to all of that you can pick one and use it don’t pick one, start using it and hit pause. Keep at it because for as long as you own your business, this is a thing this is part of your being. This is something that you need to continue to use, you need to make sure that you are revisiting your money numbers on a regular basis.

So I hope you now understand how loaded of a question just that simple phrasing is, you know, “what accounting software should I use?”

I hope this has been helpful. Now if you have enjoyed this episode, and you’d like to hear more, please hit the subscribe button.

If you have have a question that you’d like me to answer on upcoming episode, send me an email to podcast@thecommoncents.com. So until next time, have a profitable day and I will see you again on Monday.

Episode 002 – Fall in love with your business…by the numbers

Falling back in love with your business isn’t easy, especially when you don’t like your business very much anymore because you’re overwhelmed and burned out…That’s what happened to our host.  Let’s listen in on her story of what she did to get that old thing back and rediscover why she started in the first place.

Mentioned in the podcast:

Remember, this is an open discussion.  If you have a question that you’d like me to answer on an upcoming episode, send an email to podcast@thecommoncents.com.

If you’d also like to find Joyce on social media, you can find her on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter…as @thecommoncents.


2CBP Episode 2 - Fall In Love With Your Business By The Numbers

Episode 002 - Fall In Love With Your Business... By The Numbers: Transcript

Hey there, welcome to Episode Two of the 2 Cents Business Podcast. It’s me your host, Joyce. And in this episode I want to talk all about love, well, the logical kind, the numerical kind, and the business kind. So I want to talk to you a little bit about falling in love with your business by the numbers.

So let me start with a little story, I want to tell you my business love story. And I started my business the summer of 2002. And at the time, I was working with a mix of corporate clients and small business clients. And this was a think around the time that QuickBooks Online first became a thing. So that just kind of tells you how, how long ago this was. And in January of 2009, so about seven years later, I wrapped with my last corporate client. So that was the last time I actually worked in an office. So go figure.

So over the years, I’ve obviously tested a lot of things. And since then I created courses, archive courses. Went from hourly billing, to flat rate billing. Tested all kinds of cloud software. You name it, and it ran the gamut. But for the most part, my base services remained the same.

So that’s a little bit of the background that, you know, we’re talking about a 16-17 year gap, me working as a consultant working as a consulting accountant.

So around this time, about two years ago, in 2017, I was very unhappy with my business. So I found that I was doing all the things and looking back now, I realized that not only was I doing all the things, but I was doing too much of all of the things.

So in a way, I was so focused on doing the things that I wasn’t, there wasn’t any rhyme or reason for what I was doing. And I wasn’t focused on the right things, I wasn’t focused on the core concepts or the core services that I really like to do.

So to be clear, two years ago, in 2017, I, again, was unhappy. And so 2017 kind of sucked. So and that was when I took a look around. And I took stock. And I noticed that it wasn’t just me, I wasn’t the only one that was experiencing this level of what I call suckiness and this level of overwhelm, and this level of constant burnout that comes with the, the need of being told to be everywhere and doing everything. And it can be hard when when you are a solopreneur, because at the time I was I was doing all of this stuff. And I would not only was I doing all of this stuff, I was doing it by myself.

And that went on for, I guess about eight or nine months, because it went on for the breadth of 2017. And for the most part, I just kind of drifted. I did the bare minimum because I knew that my business was broken.

I knew that I wanted to fix it. But I wasn’t quite sure in what areas that I wanted to fix it or how to fix it at that point. So So again, like I said, I just kind of drifted through, I did the minimum when it came to marketing, I did the minimum when it came to social media, did the minimum when it came to email marketing. And for the most part, until I really figured it out, I just worked with existing clients. So if I was already working with you, I just kept doing why we were already contracted to do.

I didn’t take on any new clients because to be clear, you know, one of my core beliefs is to keep your word. And so I didn’t take on any new clients because I didn’t want to make any promises that I really wasn’t sure that I could keep, because I wasn’t sure that I was going to keep doing what I was doing for the foreseeable future. And I could just feel it in my bones that that I was going to change my business structure. And that change was coming, but I just wasn’t sure what it was going to be. I wasn’t sure what it was going to look like.

So again, that kind of lasted from I want to say like February-ish until the holiday/ goal setting season and I’m a goal setter, I’ve been following the 12 week year for several calendar years, I actually check in with I have an accountability buddy that we check in every week. And we set goals and check in with each other and according to the principles of the 12 week year but I knew I needed to kind of step it up.

As I was kind of thinking it, all the all the proverbial you know, the woo-wooness of the stars aligning kind of came into being and that’s when one of my business besties, Kemberli Stephenson, she mentioned that she was going to run a goal setting challenge in her facebook group. And, and she asked if I wanted to kind of test it out, and all that good stuff.

And, and of course I did, because I’m a goal setter, right? So, um, I didn’t expect what I actually got out of it. What I got out of Kemberli’s challenge was I gained a ton of clarity.

After nine months, I finally knew what I needed to do. So it was, of course, a long time coming. But because like I mentioned, I was unhappy, I was burned out, I didn’t like my business very much.

Hate is a really strong word. But it was that at that point, it was, you know, to the point that, you know, I would probably actually say that I was at the point that I actually did hate my business.

I was working way too much. And without much time to do anything else, anything social, I didn’t have very much time to spend with my family. And I didn’t have very much time to do things with my friends, there was no time for date nights, and no time for very much self care. So the only thing I seem to have time for was work.

Back to that goal setting challenge that Kemberli did, and with all that clarity, what I that I gained from the challenge, I did something a little bit crazy, I decided that I was going to break up with my business.

When I say I broke up with my business, I burned it to the ground. I was to the point that I didn’t want to try to make it work with the services that I had available. I no longer wanted to do trainings, and boot camps, and all of those things. And, you know, again, all of the things but not doing the right things for you and your business.

So even with that after I made the decision to burn it down. I also made the decision to take a break and let the smoke clear. And that was so that I wouldn’t romanticize the bad that was that was somewhere, you know, with the good and, and I didn’t want to take the good with the bad I wanted to only have the good and you know what I mean by that, you know, when, when you start missing missing your ex, you know, we’ll, we’ll take this to personal relationships. But you know, when you miss your ex, you know, you should get all of the bad stuff. And you only remember the good stuff. But I didn’t want to do that with what I considered my business ex.

And I wanted to take some time to reflect and to allow the natural the Phoenix to rise from the ashes, so to speak, I wanted the cream to rise to the top and just take the cream. So I crafted services around what I love doing and who I love working with. And I haven’t looked back.

I broke up with my business. And I fell in love with a new version. And of course, as things that, you know, you love to do, it took way longer than I thought it was that I thought it would take that that whole that the Phoenix part and the you know, finding the cream and re crafting my services that that took a long time. And that’s pretty much what I did in 2018. So that brings us to 2019. So here’s what I did.

Disclaimer, this is what worked for me, this is how I fell back in love with my business and how I you know, advise my clients to who fall in love with their businesses. And it’s my hope that it helps you to fall in love or fall back in love with your business. And of course, you know, anything with this podcast numbers are involved. Okay? So I just want to be clear about that, that there are numbers involved.

So again, here’s what I did, I got super clear on my life vision and my business vision and how the two intertwined and you know, as a small business owner, we can as as a micro business as much as we try to have like boundaries and borders. And this is work in this is this is personal. This is business, this is personal, it in our everyday lives. It just doesn’t work that way.

The other thing that I did was I hired a business coach, and she she calls herself a sales coach. But I I prefer to say that she’s a business coach who specializes in sales because what we ultimately talked about was way more than sales stuff, it was more business. And then we we then started talking about the sales stuff.

I joined a group mastermind I sought out the advice and support of my business besties and I set some serious boundaries for myself, because remember, I said, I was burned out and I worked way too much. So I made sure that I took time off. I banned myself from working nights and weekends for probably about three to four months. Um, what else did I do, I made a list. And I checked it twice, kind of like Santa Claus. And I looked at what I love to do, and what I’m and I looked at what I loved about about my business. And I looked at what I hated about my business, I looked at what was working and what wasn’t working. And then I applied potatoes principle to my business, you know, that 80/20 rule.

And then I got super focused on the 80 instead of the 20. Um, and I used to do group training. So that that kind of comes back to what I kind of burned down. And what I kept. So I used to do group trainings and boot camps, I have since retired and archived all of that stuff. And although, you know, they were moneymakers. They were very they were time intensive. And they were energy intensive. So they were part of the 20 that I that I let go, and part of the 80 that I kept was I then double down on a one on one services. And even within that, I re crafted my service packages. And I raised my rates and all of those great things. So and, and the funny thing is, it’s kind of silly, because this is what I do with my clients. So it just didn’t make sense that I wasn’t doing it for myself. So I’m so it’s just funny in hindsight. And as, as I kind of communicate that to you, and that this is what I do. And, and I wasn’t doing it for myself and my business. And that’s why it’s important to take a break and to treat your business as a client.

So I was, you know, I was finally applying what what I what I love to do. And I was applying that to my business. Which leads me to a quick note. And this is, like I said, what I do with my clients as a virtual CFO, what I do, I analyzed their numbers, I look for trends, and I keep them focused on profitability and staying and that love zone so they don’t get to where I was.

So if you’d like to talk about any of that, if you’d like to schedule a consultation or sense chat, then please go to thecommoncents.com/consult.

So I want to wrap this up and put it in it and a nice little bow for you. And so this is I guess, how to fall in love with your business and five easy steps.

So number one, take a break from doing and treat your business as a client at least once a week. It doesn’t have to be a full day, it could be an hour, but it does have to be a do not break appointment. It has to be a Do Not Disturb zone so that you are really, really focusing on the business and not in the business as they say.

So number two, check in with your numbers. And by numbers. I don’t mean money necessarily. What I want you to check on is your metrics. What’s your traffic looking like on your website? What’s your conversion rates? Are you making money? Or are you losing money? Is your business profitable? Or are you taking a loss? Do you have an expensive hobby? This is a time that I want you to check in. And I want you to be super transparent with yourself. Be super honest with yourself. And I’m going to go more into detail about money and metrics on a future episode. But I want you to check in with your numbers. So that’s number two.

Number three, seek out advice and support. Listen, just because you’re a freelancer, a solopreneur, or a small business owner, you don’t have to do this by yourself. Find a group of people, a group of like minded people, they don’t necessarily have to do exactly what you do. But you do need some sort of sounding board and as business owners, our family, they love us, but they don’t fully understand what it’s like to do this thing…to build businesses, etc. Unless, of course, they are business owners but in the instance that they aren’t, you know, they love us but their advice might not be the best advice. So seek out advice and support from like minded people.

So fall in love Number four is to sift through the BS. Listen, there’s a lot of advice out there. Some of it good, some of it great, some bad, some of it is absolutely horrible. And you have to discern what that is for you. You can’t take every expert at face value. You have to be smart. For instance, in my opinion, you don’t have to niche down if you don’t want to because ultimately at the end of the day it’s your business, your rules. But at the same time you don’t have to do everything and a niche doesn’t always pertain just to the people that you that you serve. You could be the creative that is only on Instagram and you’re nowhere else, for instance or you can have a YouTube channel and that’s the only social channel that you use. So to sift through the BS you don’t have to do all the things, you don’t have to be everything to everyone.

Fall in love number five, it might be the most important one. Well, they’re all kind of important but this one might be the most important one and get reacquainted with why you started in the first place. If you can always keep your eyes on why you started then in my opinion, you’ll never stop because you’ll never stop until you actually reach that goal. So if you started to support other small business owners, there will always be small business owners out there for you to support so you’ll always have a reason to keep going. So if you get reacquainted with why you started in the first place, you’ll always have like that mile marker, that milestone, that reason of being that you’ll keep going.

So to recap, if you find yourself getting a little short tempered and you’re trying to fall back in love with your business, I implore you to take a break re establish your boundaries and find your balance. So break, boundaries, balance and again your fall in love in five easy steps is to take a break from doing.

Number two to check in with your numbers.

Number three, seek out advice and support.

Number four, sift through the BS.

Number five get or get acquainted or reacquainted with your why with why you started in the first place.

So again, break, boundaries and balance and this has been how I have found my way back and found I found this to be my path to finding joy and the path to finding and doing what I love.

So hopefully all of this will help you if you’ve lost your way and hopefully you will find yours too. So if you enjoyed this episode and you’d like to hear more, please subscribe.

And if you have a question that you’d like me to answer on an upcoming episode, send your question to me via email to podcast@thecommoncents.com.

So until next time, have a loving day.

Episode 001 – What To Expect From The 2 Cents Business Podcast

In this inaugural episode, our host, Joyce M. Washington, CPA, introduces herself and gives you the skinny on why she started this podcast.  It may involve some choice words and tears. (Not really).

What’s discussed in this episode:

  • How this podcast escaped from the idea pile in Asana
  • The backstory of our host, Joyce and the company she started TheCommonCents.com
  • What you can expect from this podcast, the format and when you can expect new episodes

This is an open discussion.  If you have a question that you’d like me to answer on an upcoming episode, send an email to podcast@thecommoncents.com.

If you’d also like to find Joyce on social media, you can find her on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter… as @thecommoncents


2CBP Episode 1 - What To Expect From The 2 Cents Business Podcast

Episode 001 - What To Expect From The 2 Cents Business Podcast: Transcript

Welcome to Episode One of the 2 Cents Business Podcast. Hey there. I’m your host Joyce. And in today’s episode, we’re going to talk about how this podcast came to being. I’m going to give you a little bit of my backstory and explain to you what makes me an “expert”. I am going to give you a couple of, I guess, guarantees. Well, not necessarily guarantees, but I’m going to make a few promises as far as what you should expect from me and this podcast, as well as how you can get your questions answered. So in spoiler alert, you can just email me at podcast at the common cents dot com. So let’s get started.

And I always tell my clients, especially when we first start working together is that in order for us to go forwards, we have to go backwards, we kind of have to look into the rearview. So before I dive into how and why I made this podcast and I want to give you a little bit of about my backstory, as well as tell you a little bit about myself and my business.

So for the most part, I have always been fascinated by analytics and spreadsheets and numbers and money management and an all all of things related to those things. And I actually took my very first accounting course in high school and when I say accounting course, I mean, literal paper and literal ledgers that you kind of follow the source document through the accounting process. So it wasn’t, you know, here’s some software and just do the thing.

This was before software was pretty prevalent. So I guess I kind of watched the evolution of accounting and bookkeeping, from literal paper ledgers and T-accounts and 10 key to then desktop software and now cloud software like QuickBooks Online and Xero. So, so it’s been a process.

So as you can imagine, I have been an accountant for over 20 years, and I have been licensed as a CPA for a little over 10 years now. But, you know, some of that is a story for another day. And if you’d like to learn more about me, and, and my evolution as an accountant, you can always check that out on my website.

So I guess that kind of brings me to why I started my business. So I had worked corporate for quite a bit. And before before I kind of dove into working on my own. And starting my business, I had worked for a small business, a small accounting firm, I had worked in some area, some some regional real estate companies. So I had, you know, done quite a bit of the big, big accounting department type stuff.

And then with working with the smaller accounting firm, I saw, you know, small businesses that really had really good ideas, but they couldn’t make a go at it, because they didn’t necessarily have the savvy of a big accounting department and that they tend to, I guess, are so busy actually doing the thing that they love that they forget the money part. And when you forget the money part, you know, it’s easy for the businesses to fail.

So so that’s why I started my business, Common Cents Consulting, because I ultimately want it to bring big business accounting department savvy and function to the small business owner, especially solopreneurs and microprenuers that are wearing way too many hats to, I guess, to really build and thrive as, as solopreneurs and microprenuers.

So then, I guess now we finally getting to the crux of it, and why I’m starting this podcast.

So to be honest, I am tired and frustrated. I’m tired of seeing perfectly competent solo printers and my printers I fail because of poor money management and poor money decisions. I’m sure you’ve heard of shiny object syndrome. And, and, and that is, I think prevalent.

And when, when you’re going it alone, because you think this, this one thing will help you to grow your business quicker, faster, and all those good things. But, you know, like I said, I was getting tired and frustrated seeing smart, absolutely brilliant business women and business men closing, you know, a business that they love, because they just couldn’t make a go of it, because they just couldn’t figure out a way to be profitable. And we’ll talk about profits and stuff a lot on this podcast.

So, you know, I guess the The truth is that starting, building and growing a business is hard work, it’s hard. And it’s much harder when you aren’t tracking the money. So back to, I guess, me being obsessed with numbers and analytics and spreadsheets and, and all that stuff is that, you know, one of the things that I found and throughout my career and throughout me growing my business and in particular, is that tracking the money does not have to be this complicated, you know, thing, it doesn’t have to be this huge spreadsheet or you know, that this huge thing with V-lookups and pivot tables and all of that stuff, it can be quite simple.

And, and again, it doesn’t have to be complicated. But it has to be something that is an integral part of your weekly habits, monthly habits. It cannot be something that you do once in a while. It can’t be something that you that you do. And you review once a year when when you talk to your tax person, it has to be something that that you do often that you refer to often that you base your decisions, your business decisions off of it must be more than a wish and a prayer.

So that’s why I again, that’s why I started this podcast, I wanted to make numbers a lot simpler than then I see them being played out to be and I wanted to make sure that it’s something that might actually even be fun. Because obviously, since I love numbers, it’s something that’s fun for me, analytics is something that’s fun for me. And I want that for, you know, for my clients. And I want that for you, too.

So what you can expect from from me, and what you can expect from this podcast is that every Monday you can expect a quick check in and in in my business and with my clients I call it money and metrics Monday. So so we’re going to do I guess, a drop down and undress have some numbers every Monday. And the format is going to be tips and tools and you know, q and a style again, if you have a question, please send it to me.

And on an upcoming podcast, I’ll be sure to to address your question. And, and occasionally I might have have some interviews with with some people. And we can talk numbers. Um, and the topics obviously, are going to be all numbers, all money all metrics all the time. So so that’s what we’re going to be doing here on the 2 Cents Business Podcast.

So to recap, I’m doing this the 2 Cents Business Podcast for you, Madam business owner, and for you, Mr. business owner, because I truly in every fiber of my being, I want you to succeed, I want you to pursue the thing that you love to do.

And, and analyzing the numbers does not have to be complicated, but you do have to track your money and your metrics more than once or twice a year in order to glean any wisdom from said analysis. And last but not least expect a new episode in your earbuds every Monday full of tips, tools, Q and A’s by again, it’ll be all numbers, all money on metrics all the time. So thanks for listening today.

and to me, one of the keys of succeeding in this small business game is paying close and frequent attention to your numbers. And when I say numbers, it doesn’t necessarily just mean money. So I want you to pay attention to your numbers.

And that’s it for now. If you enjoyed this episode, and you’d like to hear more, please subscribe and leave me a rating while you’re there.

And obviously, this is a new podcast, so I’d love to hear from you. Again. If you have a question that you like me to answer on an upcoming episode, send an email to me at podcast@thecommoncents.com.

I’ll have that in the show notes. And and if you like you can remain anonymous because I know money can be a touchy topic for some people. So if you’d like me to keep your name confidential, I am more than willing to do that. So again, until next time, have a profitable week.  Thanks for listening.

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