Keeping your home business business on track is a challenge, made more difficult if you’re worried about money. These experts lend their advice on how to keep your financial goals in mind, so you know what you want to achieve and how you can get it done.
Margeaux Sullivan from Quest Complete has these suggestions for tracking and organizing your financial goals.
- Use a productivity management software like Trello to track three types of goals: (1) What you want to earn this year? (2) What do you want to earn this fiscal quarter? (3) What do you want to earn this month? Break the last goal into achievable tasks that increase your client pipeline. Then, schedule regular weekly meetings – yes, with yourself – to check your trajectory and course correct as needed.
- Track all business expenses and periodically analyze whether they lead to an increase in clients, maintenance costs for current clients, or speculative networking. Some speculative networking costs are ok. For instance, if you travel to an industry conference and that expands your network, raises your brand awareness, and results in new business opportunities, then the airfare, hotel, and conference fees are a good use of funds. On the other hand, if you are constantly taking potential clients to lunch and always picking up the tab, but those people just want free advice, then that lower cost per lunch adds up to a larger negative impact on revenue.
- Track your time. Where do you spend the most time? And what activities have the most ROI for your business? If the answer to those two questions is different, then make positive changes. One advantage of working from home is that you have a bit of flexibility in how you schedule your day. If you need to start your day with a swim or run and that gives you the clarity of mind to dive into new client outreach, then do that. Make sure that you do what you need to do in order to be your best, most productive self.
Chris Miles from the company, Money Ripples uses a specialty website to keep his goals on track.
- To get started, set up a free account to track your money at Mint, so you can track all of your money real time.
- Go to the Goals section of your Mint account, and enter in each goal you have. You can enter financial goals with timelines, such as paying off loans or credit cards, savings goals, buying a home, etc. Each goal you enter helps you to get a good feel for a realistic time frame to achieve that goal, or what it would take to achieve it by the deadline you set. The nice thing about this is it’s ability to track everything real time without you having to do any work. I recommend you check in with these goals at least twice per month.
- For specific business tracking, you can create a spreadsheet, or use Quickbooks Online, where you break your goals down into monthly or weekly sales numbers. For example, I have clients track the different services or types of products they sell each month so they have a good feel where they are, and what’s still needed to get their goal.
Jennifer Platt, CEO and Founder of TickWarriors sets goals in a precise and organized way.
“As a WAH CEO and Founder of TickWarriors, I “Tick off” my financial goals by breaking them down into manageable chunks. First, I set my annual goal, then I break that down by months, weeks and even days. Because my most active months are February – October (9 months) I use a 9 month metric to keep on track. For example, a million dollars in sales equals $111K/month, 4.4K/week, or $888/day.
Also, I strongly believe in setting what is called the BHAG – Big Hairy Audacious Goal — you must truly reach for the stars, because that pushes you to go beyond what you knew possible.”
Tips from Leslie:
Most people’s end goal isn’t to work from home. Having a home based career is the means to achieve another goal, which often includes money. For example, I wanted to be an at-home mom but we couldn’t afford to live on one income. Working at home was the means by which I could make money and stay home. Since money is a major factor in working at home, having financial goals is crucial. So is staying on top of expenses, income and all other money matters. For many people, budgeting and money management is tedious and/or scary, especially if you don’t have a lot. But it’s crucial to work-at-home success! Today, with money management programs, online bill pay, and automatic payments, it’s easier than ever to keep up on money matters.
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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