5 VA Business Items to Review Annually

Every year, we close the “doors” for the last two weeks of the year.  I send an email to clients saying that I will be checking email twice a day and will be back in January.  Not much is happening at this time of year anyway, so what do we really miss?  I’m a workaholic though … so I’m still working, just with a heavy focus on MY business and less on theirs.

Let’s talk about five areas we need to look at periodically.  I do this quarterly and annually.  But annually should be the minimum!

 1. Software, Apps, Subscriptions

    • How many services or apps are you using? Paying for? Actually using?  Time to get real about spending.  Sometimes, you need Canva and Crello; sometimes you forget you are already also paying for PicMonkey and Photoshop.
      • Pull three months of bank/credit card statements and make a list of all auto-payments. (**Side trick … I have a pre-paid card just for subscriptions, and only deposit enough to cover what I use. That way nothing ever surprises my bank account.)
      • Check your last login date, and determine what needs stay and what needs to go.
    • Email lists and Groups
      • I have an email address for every mailing list I opt in to: optin@thezevagroup.com. I use it so it doesn’t clog my primary inbox.  If it’s something I want to see, I just change the email address.  Most times, we sign up for a webinar or a document and forget.  If I haven’t read or used anything in that inbox, I delete and unsubscribe.
      • Go through your groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.  Leave any and all groups with low interaction or that you don’t add value to. Take a break from learning and joining for 30 days, and work the groups you are in.

2.  Budgets / Spending

    • This goes with subscriptions; look at your budget. Check your internet, phone, electric bill.  Find ways to maximize benefits, not spending.  Don’t be like me and buy tons of office supplies you don’t really need, because everything you do is virtual.
    • Create a budget and an income goal – and get real. You can reach any goal, but you have to know what it is, and what it takes to get there.
      • Goal: $250,000
        • 62,451.92 per quarter
        • 20,8017.30 per month
        • 4,807.69 per week
        • 19 per hour (assuming a 40 hr work week)

3. Time Management and Workload

    • Review your calendar weekly, monthly, and quarterly. Determine your best work flow times and adjust.  For me, depending on the time of year (sunlight), I work very different hours.  This is part of my lifestyle, but also my biorhythms.
    • I personally only work with 3-5 clients at a time. I manage their work flow by making sure I have enough time for their work, and my business.  I dedicate 20 hours a week to my business and my team, and about 30 to client work.
    • I only take meetings three weekdays a week. I need two days to tackle tasks and not be client-facing.  Take at least one day away from your business each week. That’s self care and time management all rolled into one!
    • Schedule everything. Make a list of every task in your favorite system so that you can always account for your time.  This will help you see what you accomplished versus what you missed.

4. Growth Strategies

    • Growing your business is the goal of most business owners. There are basically only a few ways to do that. Whether you have a team like I do or not, growth takes time and strategy.
      • Increase your pricing – this is likely the most limiting, unless you also increase your skills. You cannot raise your prices simply because you need more money, in most cases.  Price fairly and never stop learning.  Increase your value to the client and their success, and paying you more comes easily.
      • Increase your products and services. Offering more equals making more, but also means doing more. Learn what you are good at and do that well.  Growing a team doesn’t always mean being a boss, it might just mean growing your network to help you meet the demands of your clients.
    • Strategies for growth will depend on your growth goals. I set a consistent goal of 15% each year.  I usually exceed it, but part of that started with creating on-boarding systems and process flows to make working with my company easy.

5. Reinvestment and Self Care

    • Never spend every dime you make. I leave 50% of earned income in the business.  30% for taxes, 20% for expenses and whatever may come – and this includes training and more!
    • Invest in yourself and your continued growth. You likely do not need every $1,000 course that comes along, but don’t be afraid to use every resource available to learn and increase your skills.  Do your research and due diligence before signing up for a course so that you can make sound investments.
    • Take care of yourself. Believe it or not, everything I listed above includes some amount of self-care and stress reduction. Do have a business bestie or accountability partner.  Don’t depend on family and friends (although they may be awesome) to be your only or primary support.  Do spend time focused solely on your business and business goals. Don’t do exactly what you THINK someone else did; take advice, but follow your own path. Do make time for family.

 


Dionne Thomas

 

Dionne Thomas is IVAA’s Membership Director and Founder of The Zeva Group. 

Learn more about Dionne at zevagroup.com.