I used to be so bad about addressing my finances that I once ended up in a lot of financial trouble. This is one of my demons, and, to this day, it keeps me in check. I don’t want to be in that situation ever again. One of the ways I’ve learned to stay on top of my finances is by asking the right business questions. Here are the top ten business questions that keep me focused and aware of both my work and my finances at all times:
1. Of the last ten potential clients you met with, how many hired you? (If you booked five out of ten, you’re doing very well!)
2. Of the jobs you didn’t book, was the main reason price?
This happens to me. To combat this situation, I try to educate my potential clients about the value they’re getting. This is easier said than done, but I keep trying.
3. Do you think everyone, including the clients who didn’t hire you, left your office feeling that you had given them the best possible service?
I hope so. I always follow up with everyone I meet with. Most of the time, they appreciate the extra attention.
4. Are you using your time effectively? Do you have enough time to spend with your family and friends?
Improve your organizational skills, and learn to say no to folks who waste your time and energy with nonsense.
5. Do you continue to find the creative process exciting? If not, you’re going to lose interest in your business.
Make sure you create at least one new design a week. Creativity is like a muscle; if you don’t use it, you lose it.
6. Do you still feel as though you’re floating on air at the end of each successful job?
Take the time to stop and smell the roses. You and your associates should always have a small celebration at the end of each successful job.
7. Have you been able to cover all of your expenses in the last six months?
If not, reevaluate your pricing. But be gentle with yourself. If you plan carefully in the next six months, you might be able to make it up. Awareness is the first step.
8. Has it been awhile since any new potential clients have called you? Please do not panic.
Reach out to former clients, vendors, referrals, etc… Sometimes, we get so busy that we forget to invest the necessary time to secure new clients.
9. Are you in the middle of a difficult situation with a client or vendor? Is the situation wasting a lot of your time and energy? Be careful. Don’t give this person or situation more time and energy than they’re worth.
Maybe it’s time to let go and move on. If you spend too much time with such drama, it will cost you money.
10. Last but certainly not least, do you still consider your work, play? If not, what can you do to make it fun again?
We’re in the business of celebration. Don’t take life or your job too seriously. Learn to laugh at your mistakes.
Dear Readers, what do you think of my questions? Are they helpful? I’d love to hear some of your own questions. Please share in the comments!