How to make sense of your sales so you can grow your business with more ease

How to make sense of your sales so you can grow your business

If you want to grow your business and go at your own pace, you need to first understand what is already happening in your business. The most important information and insights you need to find more ease and more growth are right there in your business if you take the time to listen properly.

In this blog, I explain HOW to make sense of your sales and also understand WHEN you have busy seasons so you can find times to go slow! This is all about making it simpler and easier for you to grow your business.

This blog is part of my Slow Challenge series and is a summary of a related podcast episode.

Click here to listen to the tips mentioned in this article.

Before I take you through the questions you need to ask to learn what is going on in your business right now, I want to talk about two big things that can get in the way of making sense of your numbers.

Your mindset: so many entrepreneurs avoid the numbers in their business because they find them scary or boring. They might be scary because they are not as big as you want them to be. You might be allowing yourself to feel discouraged because you are investing so much time and energy and your numbers just don’t reflect all the work you are doing.

I want to challenge you to have fun with the numbers in your business.

When you get to know your numbers, you are using them to help you achieve your goals. The process of making sense of them and listening to what they have to tell you is so empowering. This is about you taking control of your business, NOT letting the numbers define YOU. So even if your numbers are telling you things are not working, take a moment to be proud of yourself for paying attention to them and doing this work.

Also, I do believe that money and energy are interconnected. You need to have the right mindset to attract money. And your energy about money can influence your business outcomes.

It is so important to work on your money and numbers mindset so that you can listen, learn and be positive about these issues.

Accounting vs. marketing numbers: I want to be very clear about this. In this blog, I am focusing only on your sales numbers. This is not the same as budgeting or accounting.

When you look at your sales data, I want you to focus on two things:

  • Your gross revenue: this is the value of what you are selling
  • Timing: enter your sales based on when the purchase is made, not when the cash hits your bank. For example, if you offer a payment plan, you should enter the total value of the sale at the time you made it.

If you want to do more work on your budget and profitability, I have a great episode that will help with that.

3 mistakes that ruin your profit and prevent you from paying yourself – with Anna Maria Moore

So, are you ready to have fun with numbers?

STEP 1: Gather and track the data monthly and yearly

Do you know what is working in your business right now? If you have more than one revenue stream, do you know how much you are selling and when?

The key to answering these questions is to track what is happening in your business over time.

This can seem very daunting but it does not have to be. I have created an excel template that you can download and personalize so that you don’t have to worry about creating a system. This is the system I use for my own business.

You will need to enter the sales for every revenue stream you have. If you only have a single revenue stream, perhaps because your business is consulting, you can enter the different types of projects or packages you offer.

I also have a free workbook that will help you understand how to use this spreadsheet.

Click here to download your workbook and excel template

STEP 2: Observe what the results are telling you

In my free workbook, I have a list of questions that you can ask yourself to help make sense of your numbers, but to get started, here are three big things to think about.

What are the seasons in your business?

Looking at your sales revenue over time, when are you selling the most? The least? If you see a big difference between your ‘selling’ seasons and your quiet times, it might be time to do some research and find out why this is happening. What is motivating your customers at these times?

Do you need a sales strategy to address the calm times or one to maximize the potential of those times when your customers are in the right mindset/situation to buy from you?

Understanding the seasons in your business can also help you know when to invest time and energy in selling and when it makes sense to go a little slower.

If you want to know more about the seasons in your business, check out this episode:

Embracing the seasons of your business and well-being

What marketing strategies are working?

You need to look at the marketing strategies you are using for every revenue stream. If customers bought from you, how did they know about you?

If this is not immediately clear from your numbers, then again, it is worth asking your customers how they found you.

If you discover it was ‘word of mouth’, that’s amazing. You may feel that there is nothing you can do to influence that – apart from offering great products and services and caring for your customers – but there is. You can use customer testimonials to support that ‘word of mouth’.

Learn more about how to harness the potential of testimonials in your business in this blog.

Use your testimonials to grow your business.

Is your pricing model working?

Understanding your prices can help you make a big decision about your business – you need to decide if your pricing is about volume or value.

Focusing on volume means that you will need to sell a lot at a lower price. Can you do that and reach your revenue goals? And can you do that and continue to have a business that is aligned with your lifestyle?

Focusing on value will mean fewer clients but at a higher price.

There is no right or wrong when it comes to whether you focus on value or volume. It is a question of what is best for your business. I have known entrepreneurs who ended up going bankrupt because they didn’t figure out their pricing model and even more who were exhausted because they were trying to grow a business based on the wrong pricing!

To learn more about how to price your products or services, listen to this episode.

How should I price my services or products?

This is something that I have had to deal with in my own business. When I analyzed my numbers, I realized that I could not reach my revenue goals with my prices at the time. This was also at a time when I had less time available for my business. I made the decision to focus on offering value and in doing so, I increased my prices though I now work with fewer clients. As a result, I actually had one of my best years in business!

The key to making sense of your numbers is to approach them from an abundance mindset, not one of scarcity, doubt, or fear. Working with your numbers will help you understand your business potential and enable you to focus on the strategies that are working!

To learn more about how to analyze your sales and find out what is working in your business right now,  make sure to download the free workbook and excel template that supports this blog. You can find it here.