This last month for me has been one of five new clients signing up to begin working with me as their mentor for a year. And it’s always nice to get a new client, isn’t it? What joy! A new client! But how much more delightful is a returning client? People I’ve worked with before who already know me and appreciate me and want more of what I have to offer. Which is the more valuable measurement, and why?
Do you have a way of counting up your past and present clients and seeing how many of them came to you for a one-off piece of business and how many repeat their experience of working with you? In the next business period, how can you up the percentage of returners?
What other things do you measure in your business and how did you do against your own criteria, I wonder? What do you like to pat yourself on the back for, if at all?
Is your marketing meaningful? Is the work you put in online and offline adding people to your cache of potential clients? How long do those people linger in your sphere of influence before you convert them into a paying client? Who is your ideal client and are they finding their way to you easily?
If you look at your turnover or cash banked or sales invoices (all the same thing in the end, just three separate ways of looking at the data), what can you learn from that information? Does the 80/20 rule apply to your business i.e. is 80% of your profit coming from 20% or your clients, or vice versa? Who’s more trouble to your business than they are worth and who would you get rid of, if you were brave enough? And if you did find a way to turn down any repeat business from that particular client, what loveliness would that create space for instead?
Do you want more of everything – clients, work, cash – or are you streamlining and working with fewer clients, doing work which is more interesting and better paid? Sometimes in order to achieve that you have to make space for it by creating a fertile void.
And how about ways of measuring your success which might be less financially focused, like more time off and enhanced peace of mind, greater satisfaction at the end of projects? Are you doing the sort of work which causes you to come alive? Or have you lost your way a bit and just not noticed or tried not to?
For me it’s often about the acquisition of new skills and knowledge which I can use in my own business and my life and share with my own clients too. I’m all about going first and I really want everything I do and be and have to increase the sum of my parts, making my life ever more stimulating for me and becoming more knowledgeable in a way which is useful to my entrepreneur clients. So the quality of my testimonials is something I might use as another measurement as then I can come to know what my clients appreciate about me and notice core themes and use that in my marketing.
All work and no play makes Judith a rather dull girl. All play and no work makes Judith rather poorer than she might prefer. There’s a happy medium for all of us; what’s yours?
It is always a good time to be doing thinking like this. There’ll be a spot in your calendar over the next two to three weeks where you can look back over the last three or six or twelve months and review how you grew as a business person in that time, and also where your business did well, And there might also be some dark corners you could poke around in, if you dare, where you and your business under-achieved. Be brave.
What do you want to be showing up in your business review this time next year? Tet a picture of that and start working out how you are going to walk the path which will take you there. And it may not be what you think. It may be just a question of juggling what you already have, working smarter, rather than going out and learning new stuff all the time which you are then too busy to apply. Or acquiring new clients at the expense of those you already have.
Do let me know what you are pleased with from your current review and what you look forward to achieving between now and the next one.