I know- you’re bogged down in all the things you need to do in your creative business… projects, booking clients, emails. The list is never-ending.
But the one thing you may be overlooking is the thing that can help keep your business healthy.
Every month, I look at the health of my business. Things like income totals, lead generation, website SEO, yearly booking trends, and my email subscriber list. These things ensure that my business is sustainable and on track to grow. Plus it takes MAYBE twenty minutes to evaluate. And usually(not always), I get to do a happy dance once it’s over.
So, let’s talk about why the monthly checkup even matters, what it’s costing you if you aren’t taking the few minutes to do it, and how it can help you in the long run.
Why does a monthly checkup even matter?
Maintenance is important to prevent issues. Just like your car gets an oil change to make sure it’s running well, or you have your teeth cleaned to prevent gum disease(by the way my degree is in Dental Hygiene so you may notice I reference that more than the ordinary person), your business needs a check up to maintain it’s health as well.
Every business has goals(or should if they don’t) for several reasons.
- Keeps you focused on things you want to achieve in your business.
- Helps you maintain profitability and growth.
- Keeps you accountable for marketing/blogging/social media posting.
Creative business highs and lows
Probably the thing that helps me sleep the most is checking my yearly booking trends each month. It shows me how many sessions I’ve shot in previous years, as well as the total inquiries I typically get and consults I do. This way I know where I am compared to other years.
As creatives, we all know certain times of the year can be feast or famine. Maybe January is extremely slow while October is so busy you can’t breathe.
With this report, you’ll be able to put your mind at ease if things seem normal, or crank up my marketing/advertising if I need a few more projects that month.
If you don’t do a monthly checkup- what will happen?
I mean, your business probably won’t go under if you don’t do it, but what a monthly business checkup does is help keep you on track.
The thing I hate is when you get to the last month of the year and realize you haven’t achieved several of your goals. At that point, instead of enjoying the season with family as you should be doing, you are hustling trying to meet the goals you set.
Or maybe you aren’t. Maybe instead you are ignoring the fact that you bombed your goals for the year. Then come January when you set your goals for the new year, you’re crying in your wine because you were so off in your plans from the year before.
Why not just stay on top of it throughout this year and make your life better/smoother/easier/less stressful?
How can a monthly checkup help your creative business goals in the long run?
The monthly checkup helps in so many ways.
- Stay organized and on top of things like social media, bookkeeping, your goals.
- Learn and know your business inside and out.
- Build systems that work for you AND your business.
- Figure out your strengths and weaknesses.
- Maintain profitability.
- Keep things done and stay focused on the things that are important that help you grow your business.
- Decide where you may need to outsource.
Staying on top of all of these things and analyzing them regularly is like having your very own business coach. Business may not be the thing you love to do or the reason you do what you do now, but it’s the only way to avoid the 9-5 grind. Don’t skimp on the little to do lists!
So, we talked about the monthly checkup and why it matters, goal setting, what it’s costing you if you aren’t taking the few minutes to go through the monthly checkup, and how it can help you in the long run.
And it will help you in the long run. I promise.
A healthy business is what will keep you from going back to the 9-5 grind, working and making money for someone else’s pocket. That’s what we all want, right?
Maybe you started your biz because you love what you do, but with great systems and a little bit of hustle(but, not too much- enjoy the life you live. You only get one), you can support yourself and your family with a career you love. Not one you are overwhelmed by.
I want to leave you with this quote.
From Karin Kilgarif and Georgia Hardstark’s book Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered.