There’s tons of advice out there telling online entrepreneurs how to build successful products, having successful launches. But what about the habits and practices to start doing that will support your launches?
Most small business owners spend very little time actually in launch mode. So why does it feel like we’re always in some state of launching?
You forget that you’re running an actual business – which means doing boring, but important administrative tasks.
Today, we’re going to look at 3 areas that often get avoided — intentionally and unintentionally.
If you want to know what those practices are and what to do next…
We’re merrily going along building our business…
We’re blogging, we’re podcasting, we’re creating a course…
And then we launch!
We’re excited to finally be able to call ourselves a business.
But there’s one thing that sneaks up on you especially if you’ve never had an office job and that is ADMIN work…
Now, I don’t mean just checking your email and going to your post office box. Here’s what kind of admin work we tend to avoid or just don’t start until it’s required of us, like taxes or something else….
1. Tracking expenses
Know what you’re spending. This means–all of the tools you use to keep your business going, the people who help you…if you can’t pull up at the very least a simple spreadsheet that lists this all out, you essentially leave your wallet open for money to fall out.
Why is it dangerous to avoid keeping a clear record of your operating expenses?
- You need this information for taxes
- You will end up spending over your budget on unnecessary things–this happens so easily when you’re not paying attention
- Can create multiple money leaks
- You’ll spend money your business might not have
What to do next
Ideally, you need to create a simple spreadsheet that lists all the services, expenses, monthly/annual or one time things you’ve paid this year. It’s so easy to forget that tool you purchased during your launch and then 6 months later you’re still paying for it, but never used it.
If you’re like me, then you knew all along you needed to track this information at the bare minimum, but you’ve got launches to plan and products to create and clients to schedule.
When you’re first starting out (and that might be the first few years even), you may be spending money on things to test them out, because someone told you to use them, and you forget!
Instead of punishing yourself for not putting this system in place, start the list now. Add an appointment to your calendar to review every month or after launches.
Already have your tracking system in place?
Great! Do you check your overhead, expenses, and revenue breakdown regularly?
If not, set a date this week to go through your expenses and cancel anything you aren’t actively using right now. I find this review is a great way to ask myself if the tools, systems, and software I’m currently using is performing the way I want them to.
2. Reviewing Your Weekly Plan
You create your plan, put the dates on the calendar, make a few notes, and then head off for another coffee. Having a plan is a great first step to launching a new program or kicking off a new project.
But revisiting that plan weekly (at least), enables you to keep a living record of the projects you’re working on.
Why It’s Dangerous to Avoid:
- Projects change — new things are often added and removed from the overall plan
- The plan drives your daily focus, so checking it every day/week helps you stay on track
- You won’t know what’s already been handled or what’s still left to do and things get disorganized quickly!
- Without a plan you have no built-in reminder or guage of your ability to estimate and map out projects…
- A plan can become a template for how you do things like launch, kick off a new project or initiative, and without a template you’ll always be starting from scratch.
What To Do Next:
- Choose a digital planning system like Asana or even just Google Calendar if you don’t have one
- Set a day every week when you’ll review your plans (even they are in another format like a paper planner)
- Update anything that needs updating in the plan and ask yourself if anything can/should be removed/added
- Repeat Weekly
- After your launches, go back to your plan and ask yourself what worked and what didn’t!
My favorite tools for planning and mapping out projects:
- Asana (I love that you can make reusable template)
- Notion (So many uses and I love creating a plan in here too!)
- Google Calendar (great for content planning and putting it right on your calendar)
3. Opening/Closing your business
Wait what? Why would you want to close down your business? Aren’t we trying to build something here?
If you’ve started hiring employees, then you know tha you have to set up your business entity in the state where they live. If not, add that to your list to check into. Different states have different requirements.
Why It’s Dangerous to Avoid Opening or Closing
- One word. Taxes. You need to pay taxes in the states where you’re doing business. Paying your taxes and knowing where you pay your taxes is one of those business practices we all have to do! If you’re paying someone in another state, you need to pay taxes for doing that business in that state.
- When you move from a state you no longer live in, you’ll keep getting taxed if you forget to close your business. I know this personally. I moved from one state to another like 5 years ago and I never closed the company. They are going to help me adjust the amount owed, but the process takes me away from doing things from my current business.
- When you stop working with team members, you also need to close the business, so that additional fees and interest on those fees is not added to what you owe them!
- There are likely additional reasons why we need to be aware where our business is open/closed, so check with your bookkeeper and tax person
There is zero shame in knowing this or not knowing this. Just find out what you need to do for your business!
Contact your tax professional and/or bookkeeper to find out what to do!
Finally, let’s talk about YOUR business.
Now it's your turn. Yes You!
We all have things we avoid whether it’s intentional or not. No one is 100%. With all the things you do and want to do, it's no wonder! But now it's time to look at your own business and figure out what you're avoiding.
Establishing and building business practices can become things you never have to think about when they are put on the schedule!
So take a moment now and brainstorm what you know you might be avoiding and make a plan to face it head on.
Whether it’s taxes, your business entity, your business address, a bank account, a bill, your tools…get help. Establish business practices and good habits so you can stay legal, flexible, and open for business!
Apply For The Launch Incubator
Design, map, and launch your products & services using ONE easily repeatable system without starting from scratch every time you launch! Apply for our advanced training to show you how to build one simple, repeatable system to market and sell all of your offers.
HOW TO SUBSCRIBE + REVIEW:
Podcast reviews are an important way to tap into the iTunes algorithm, so the more reviews the show receives, the more likely we will be able to get this podcast and community in front of more people! I’d be so grateful if you'd leave a review right here letting me know your favorite episode or lesson you've learned while listening!
SHARE ON SOCIAL?
Did this episode help or inspire action? Do you think your social media followers may learn something, too? Yes? I would be so grateful if you shared it! And…make sure to tag me: @annesamoilov and @fearlesslaunchingshow so I can repost you!
Thank you again to everyone who’s made this podcast possible. Thank you for listening to me now for the first time or continuing to support Fearless Launching.