Leverage the power of habit. By Sandi Smith, CPA Accountant’s Accelerator There’s something special about the word ritual. It sounds sacred, like you wouldn’t dare break it. It sounds a little mysterious, as if there’s a component you can’t quite control. And it sounds colorful, like something full of character that you would never get bored of.
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We don’t think about rituals much when it comes to business, but I think we should. What rituals could you create in your business that will rev up your revenues? Here are two ideas to get your engines started. 1. Your Daily Question (the ritual of the raison d’etre) Start every day with a question to put your mind in a big picture frame before you get too immersed in your daily grind. The question can vary by the biggest need you happen to have that week or that day. Here are some sample questions to try out:
- What is the top income-producing opportunity available to me right now, and do I have time allocated to work on it?
- What am I willing to give up that isn’t working? (Sometimes we need to look up to realize the cheese has moved.)
- What skill can I get better at so I can serve my clients better?
- What 10-minute task can I do that will bring me the quickest cash?
- What can I do to bring my energy up today?
- What favor or compliment can I pay forward to my top referral source?
I’m sure you can think of more questions to ask based on your business needs, whether it’s revenue, cash, time, or inspiration. You can work the same question for a week or a month, or have a different question for each day of the week. Asking yourself your daily question will keep you focused by providing you with your anchoring thought of the day. It will help you keep working on what’s important and not so much what’s urgent. 2. The Report Card Ritual There’s nothing better than accurate, cold, hard metrics to set things straight, kill procrastination in its tracks, and create excitement about meeting or exceeding goals. To practice the report card ritual, identify a number in your business that you are continually missing and are growing tired of falling short. Here are a few options to get you thinking:
- Revenue (in total or for a particular line you are growing)
- Billable hours
- Total hours worked
- Net income
- Take home pay
- Number of customers
- Number of leads
- Revenue per client
- Revenue per employee
- Sales conversion ratio
Now, track it at the end of every day. Your ritual should consist of measuring, recording, and analyzing this metric at the end of each day. Make a spreadsheet and chart your progress over time. Are you gaining on your goal or losing? You can’t improve something until you measure it. When you can spend time and attention on the metric you want to change, you’re already 90% there. There are many more rituals to enjoy: employee celebrations, client celebrations, signature rituals that are your own, seasonal rituals such as the company picnic or the annual Christmas party, a gratitude ritual, a peace and quiet ritual, and even billing rituals, collection rituals, and customer service rituals. Take a look at where you can practice rituals in your business, especially the ones that will rock you revenue.
Sandi Smith, CPA, a Bay Street Group LLC affiliate, provides marketing coaching to small firms, solo practitioners, enrolled agents and QuickBooks Advisors here.