Running a business isn’t easy. In fact it can be a downright emotional rollercoaster. One day you are feeling like you’re unstoppable and sales are rolling in. The next day you feel like a complete failure, you consider closing up shop and you haven’t had a sale all day. While this rollercoaster gets a bit easier to ride as you log more years in business under your belt, most of us entrepreneurs feel some level of uncertainty all the time. This is why making business decisions needs to be based on facts NOT feelings.
I can’t tell you how many times I thought I was selling item X a ton because it “felt like it”, only to look at the numbers and find item Y was selling more. I’ve also thought my membership conversion rate was in the crapper, only to find I was actually on target after looking at my numbers. The point is feelings are great, but numbers don’t lie. So my business owner friends, we’ve got to put our feelings aside and look reality square in the face.
Acknowledge the rollercoaster
Being an entrepreneur is about embracing uncertainty and the million other feelings you will go through daily. So be sure to first acknowledge the reality of the emotional rollercoaster. It exists, we all will experience it and sometimes we just need to take a moment to be with our feelings. This doesn’t mean you are a bad business owner, it means you’re human. Find a space or person you trust and let it out.
Look for the truth
After taking some time to have your feelings, it’s time to look for the truth. Don’t avoid the numbers because that just makes things worse. Look at your sales, expenses, enrollment, conversion rate, profit, etc and see where things really are at. Have the courage to review the facts without judgment. These numbers simply give you the data you need to make educated decisions about your business.
It’s easy to start looking at your numbers and go into freak out mode, so you must stay committed to being objective, detached and effective. Remember there are trends in your business and one bad day doesn’t mean you should hang it up. Simply make a note of where you are at, what’s going on in your business, industry and community and keep an eye on things. Obsessing over every day’s sales doesn’t make you a better business owner, but keeping tabs on monthly trends so you can take action when warranted does.
If you make it a habit to stay on top of checking your numbers and metrics you’ll hopefully eliminate some of the emotional rollercoaster or at least make it less intense. Creating a system where you check on various metrics regularly puts you in a position to always have the information you need to make effective decisions that keep your business healthy. When you’ve been noticing a trend in the numbers that needs attention, don’t be afraid to do what you need to do. Take action, pivot, adjust fearlessly because you have data to back your decision.
Focus on Facts
Being a business owner is part passion and a lot of dedication to focusing on the facts. Even what feels like the worst day of business can be turned around when you look at the numbers. Whether a bad day means you need to chill out and collect more data or it means it’s time to pivot in some way, the facts will guide you. And if you have the best business day ever remember looking at the facts will help you see what factors you should leverage in the future. Long story short, feel your feelings, but focus on the facts.
If you need help figuring out what metrics you should be tracking and how to make effective business decisions, book a FREE Business Consultation meeting with one of our advisors.