When it comes to your business, what don’t you want me to know?

It’s one of the first things I ask when I start working with someone new. I want to know what’s working well in their business and what’s not.

I’m one of the lucky ones. I get to work with hardworking people like you who want to make good money doing good work in the world. That makes my job so much fun!  You’d probably be surprised to discover how often people come to me with a great business that doesn’t make money consistently…or not at all. And THAT makes my job even more fun. You know why? Because I can solve it in one word.

Strategy.

When someone tells me they aren’t making money, I ask about their strategy. Not just their goals or if they have a fancy business plan, but how they function in their business, what they outsource and where they get the best results.

Most people have a plan or idea (& in some cases a vision board), but you still need a strategy.  Tweet This!

What are your sales goals over the next 3 months? 6 months? 12 months? 24 months? 36…yes, 36 months.

Without a strategy, how will you know how much you’ll make each month, if you’ll meet your expenses, how you’ll cover unexpected expenses (hello, fried laptop) and how long you’ll be able to run your business and what you’ll have to do to keep it profitable and running?

Here’s what happens when you don’t have a strategy in place or have one and don’t follow it…

Nothing.

Well, that’s not entirely true.

Something does happen. You get frustrated, lose the joy in the work you do, burn out, panic, push harder, panic some more, feel desperate, post on Facebook, call your favorite psychic, call your best friend, panic some more, visualize, and eventually you find yourself spending more time thinking about how you don’t want to go back to the 9 to 5 while you’re updating your resume.

The biggest mistake people make in business is not having a strategy. The second biggest? Having a strategy and not following it. Strategies only work if you follow them and re-evaluate, make changes and challenge yourself to stretch and grow. If you’re not making money in your business, go back and look at your strategy. And if you don’t have one, create one.

Set your sales goals and create the road map on what it’s going to take and what you’ll need to do to get there. Look at how much money you want to generate each month and work backwards. Look at how much you have to sell of each product or service you offer in order to reach that goal. Then write down a step by step action plan on how you’re going to do it. WRITE IT DOWN. If you don’t, it’s a dream. Dreams are great, but they don’t pay the bills. Results pay the bills. Focus on the results.

Do you have a favorite strategy you’ve implemented in your business? What were the results? Post it in the comments below and let’s see what other good things we can cook up.