If you’re a creative business owner, you’ve been there. We all have. I’ve been there twelve times. I’m a puddle on the floor come mid-January. My goals and New Years resolutions down the drain two weeks in and Q1 hasn’t even ended yet. My husband looks up from his latest business book, and shrugs, “Sarah, you know this is how it always is every year.” “No!” I convince myself. THIS time is different. THIS time I’m really in trouble and the new year at hand is going to be the year it all falls a part.
But this year, in the midst of the crazy I did something revolutionary. One stress-filled morning, I stopped work, drove to the Y and quite literally dove in to their lap pool for 30 minutes of silence. As I was swimming my anxiety + my husband’s reassurances filled my mind. And, the craziest thing happened. I actually convinced myself that maybe, just maybe he was right!
So, I did what any wife would do. I decided to prove him wrong. Ha! OR give myself the opportunity to enjoy January for the first time in twelve years of business. I wanted a solid reason to believe that just because I don’t reach my goals by the end of Q1, that doesn’t mean I won’t reach my goals for the year. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. But, in the business world, I’m often a sprinter. Sound familiar?
Avoid The Q1 Crash With A Second Look
Below I’m sharing two graphs from my own business in 2016. It’s my hope that by sharing this personal information, that the women on my team and friends in my industry will be encouraged. That maybe you’ll start to celebrate a great year thus far, rather than “the beginning of the end” if Q1 didn’t go quite as planned.
If you’ve been in business for more than a year, I really encourage you to take just thirty minutes to step back and make a similar graph for yourself. To assess your lead stream + income flow and allow it to encourage you over the next year. You might even use it to start predicting sales for the year (with an expected increase) + your own pay.
I’ve learned a LOT from these numbers, and I’m sharing my favorite tips below.
- Lead season is a lot longer than Q1, so don’t worry if your books aren’t full by the end of March. In fact, as you head into the spring wedding season, with lead season still in ful swing, I recommend this post on having a stress-free wedding season here.
- Q1 is generally our lowest collections quarter. It’s counter-intuitive since we have so many leads coming in and needs to be prepared for financially. This can be applied to Q4 as well.
THE NUMBER ONE QUESTION:
I’ve been getting an exciting response from my tax + Q1 goal emails and posts. And, the number one question from my readers has been, “How do you track your leads + sales?”
This has definitely been a challenge for me through the years, something that stole HOURS of my life. And, I’m actually super jelly of my team – why?
Because, now my team has one EASY tool where they can track lead status, contracts, and sales all in one place! Honeybook has saved my team hours of countless heart-ache, I wish I could have avoided in my early Chancey Charm days.
I’ve sat in goal accountability meetings with my planners, and they’ve been able to pull up their current vs last year’s numbers in SECONDS y’all. I can’t even.
So, there it is, the cat’s out of the bag, and I hope you’re as pumped as I am.
You’ve got this friend! Cheers!
Founder, Chancey Charm