OK being a business owner isn’t always the easiest option (but there are SO many good points!) – however let’s not make it harder for ourselves to make money than it needs to be.
I work with thousands of ladies via my Facebook page, The Girls Mean Business, and I see the same issues coming up time and time again. Issues that are definitely making it harder for you to make money in your business – I call them money obstacles and you’re probably putting them in your own way. See if you’re guilty of any of these little gems:
1. Not Knowing Your Numbers
The first way that women business owners make it harder for themselves to make money is by not knowing their numbers. Do you know yours?
By numbers I’m talking about your break-even point (in other words you need to know exactly what it costs you to provide or produce your product or service so that you can charge AT LEAST that amount – but realistically a lot more – and actually make some money), your profit margin, your weekly, monthly, annual sales (or turnover) figures.
I know you’re scared of numbers, most women business owners are, but the truth is that if you don’t know this stuff then you could be running at a huge loss without even knowing about it and effectively paying your customers to buy from you. How crazy is that? And yet so many people unwittingly do it because they don’t know any better and they daren’t start looking at the figures.
Don’t be one of those scaredy cat girls. Be brave, get your big girl knickers on and face facts – you’re a business owner and you need to know at the very least:
- What it costs you to make/provide your product service including time, materials, overheads like rent, rates, electricity, water and staff
- What you therefore need to charge JUST TO COVER COSTS (this is your absolute minimum, if you’re not covering costs then then STOP RIGHT NOW)
- What you need to charge to make a decent profit and give you a business that makes you money.
- THEN CHARGE IT (and put your prices up at least once a year)
2. Not Knowing What You’re Aiming For
The second way women business owners make it harder for themselves to make money is by not knowing what they are aiming for. I mean, if you’re not sure what you’re trying to achieve then how the heck are you going to achieve it? You need at least some basic targets in your business or you’re just pootling along aimlessly, wondering why you’re not getting any further forward.
You’ll find an unexpected side effect of setting targets – you’ll push yourself just a bit further to achieve them. In my case, as soon as I started setting targets my business skyrocketed into the stratosphere, it made a world of difference. It became like a personal challenge. I know what I need to sell every day, week, month and year to help me achieve my BIG targets and BIG vision for my business.
If you’re not setting targets then you’re making it harder for yourself to make money.
3. Not Setting Boundaries
The third way women business owners make it harder for themselves to make money is by not setting boundaries. By NOT setting boundaries you don’t protect your work time, you tire yourself out, you fritter away precious time and you wonder why you’re not getting any richer.
When I say ‘protecting your work time’ I mean get really strict on your working hours in your business, even if that’s only a couple of hours a day or week. Make that time count. Don’t sit there faffing and wasting time. Don’t get distracted. Don’t give in and have a cuppa with your pal (do that outside of your work time). Don’t do the washing or get chatting to a neighbour in that time. It’s your WORK time.
You’re a business owner. Be strict with yourself. Get really clear on what you’re going to do in those slices of time and do it. Setting those targets we just talked about will help with this. So will being really clear on your priorities – what’s actually going to take your business forward and what are you just doing out of habit? Say ‘no’ to distractions. Ask people to come back later (as much as reasonably possible but I understand kids won’t take no for an answer…) Get good at acting like you’re serious about your business because if YOU don’t take it seriously, how can you expect anyone else to? And if they don’t take your business seriously then they won’t respect your work time.
The thing about making money in business is that you’re wanting to do it for a reason – to make your life and your family’s life better, right? So it’s really important that while you’re building your business you don’t accidentally forget this – I see so many woman who work every single spare hour they have and they burn themselves out very quickly. A burnt out business owner is never going to make any money.
Set boundaries. Make your work time count. Get good at getting very productive, very quickly and then have time off in between. Time for you and time for your family. The better you get at this, the easier it will be to build your business, stay sane and make more money.
Stop Making It Harder For Yourself To Make Money
If you can crack these three areas of your life and business, you will make money much more easily and you’ll be a happier, healthier business owner too. Don’t deliberately put obstacles in your own way, start to think like a business owner and watch the magic start to happen. I know you can do this, so get on and do it!
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Claire Mitchell is a best-selling author of the Awesome Marketing Planner and founder of The Girls Mean Business, a mum and business owner. She has been featured in Marie-Claire, The Guardian, Closer Magazine, Essentials, The Huffington Post and on the BBC.