October 10, 2016

What needs to have happened for you to be happy with progress (this week)?


Hi, this is Andy Black. Today is Monday the 10th of October, it’s the start of a working week and I’m thinking about goals for this week and things I need to get done and would like to get done that when I look back on the week, I will be happy with the progress I’ve made.

The question I’ve actually asked myself is, on Sunday, when I look back on this week, what needs to have happened for me to be happy with the progress? I think that’s a very good question to ask yourself, rather than just, set a task list and checklist of things. What needs to have happened for you to be happy with progress? It doesn’t mean you’ve actually got stuff done necessarily, but you’re happy with the progress.

For me, I’m running a business. The most important client for my business is my own business, so really I need to be making sure that each week my business is getting a bit further ahead. Obviously, I’ve got loads of work I need to do for all my clients. I’ve got to do invoicing, I’ve got to do my book … Not bookkeeping, but keep a track of who’s behind on payments and chase it up and all that kind of stuff. I’ve got to keep continuously sending stuff to my bookkeeper to make sure that it’s all getting added to the accounting system, all that kind of stuff. I consider that the sand in my day, that’s the stuff that needs to get every week. It has to keep getting done.

If I keep doing the same thing every week I’m going to end up in the same place. It’s really important for me to keep moving my business forward a little bit more. The most important client you can work on in your business is your own business. I’ve got clients from my business and, obviously, I’ll be working on them today, later this morning, this afternoon. I want to start the week by thinking what would I like to have done this week to be happy that I’m moving my business forward?

I’ve identified three things like, fairly innocuous one is that all my … On my blog, my website, my YouTube channel, my Facebook page and various other social media platforms. I don’t have a consistent image, I don’t have any image. I’ve not loaded anything. LinkedIn is another one, I’ve got about 7,000 connections. I’ve just got the standard LinkedIn header. I’d like to get that standardized. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but it just looks I made the effort. I’ll get that done this week. That will just inch my business forward slowly.

Something else that I’d really want to make progress on this week is to get all my clients onto automated invoicing and automated payments. How I get it done isn’t important, but if I can get to the point where most of my clients are paying … They pay in advance, typically. I’ve got a few clients who are left paying in arrears, they typically pay in advance for the coming month. I would like that to be automated, because it’s starting to become a chore. I’ve got 10, 15 clients now. It’s starting to become a chore to actually create these invoices constantly and I’m doing it in the classic daft way of using Microsoft Word, editing it, saving as a PDF, mailing it to them.

When I had one client or three clients in a month, invoicing three times in a month, that was fine. Now I’m getting to 10, 15 a month it’s starting to become a pain. The other thing is I have to chase payments. Payment is coming in all sort of different methods and it’s just getting a bit confusing and annoying and tedious to do. When it starts getting tedious, that’s the time to then fix it.

What I’m looking at is maybe FreshBooks as the accounting platform that can do all the automated subscriptions and invoicing and track it all and maybe my accountant will be happy to use that platform when she’s doing my accounts for the quarter and the year. Maybe I hook up FreshBooks with Stripe for the automated payment gateway which uses clients’ credit cards and maybe they’ll actually like that, because then it’s on their credit card, … It might help with their cash flow.

That’s the second thing that I want to do make progress on this week. I’m not necessarily going to get it done, I’m going to get it all implemented and have all my clients onto that platform using Stripe and moved fully over it to FreshBooks, but I’d like to make progress on that.

Then the third one, the one that I’d really like to get done this week, so that come Sunday I’d be really happy, get one client signed up where I’m going to build a landing page for them and an AdWords Campaign and I’m actually going to bill for the build of the landing page. To date, I’ll often not charge for the landing page, because I need to get it done for me to be able to do my job of driving relevant visitors to the website and getting them to ring the company.

Without the right landing page, often it doesn’t work. I can make it work without a landing page, we can buy data, for instance and often, a client website is good enough, but some client websites just aren’t good enough. They’re really, really poor, they don’t look good on a mobile, they don’t even work on a mobile, so we can create a very simple landing page, I can create an AdWords Campaign, drive visitors to the page and hopefully generate more work and business.

If I can generate more work and business with this first page, then it can justify creating another one, because first off, the client can see that it’s working for them and if we do it again and again and again for all their other services and maybe they can generate even more revenue.

Then the other thing is hopefully, I’ll actually generate more revenue for them and they can reinvest that back in. Typically, I don’t get my money from the client … Well, obviously, I do, but in my head, I don’t get the money from the client. I get the money from the clients’ customers, so I have to get more customers to the client, give them more money and they’ll pass some to me. That’s how I view it. If I can’t get them more and more customers, then my client can’t keep paying me, simple as that.

That’s my job in a nutshell. If I can get a package like that, I don’t know, it might be something as cheap and simple as like 200 Euro, we’ll charge 200 Euro for creating a nice, simple landing page, it’ll have a tap-to-call button, it’ll have all the tracking in place and various other little bits, images, bullet points of the benefits, it will link to your main page, your main website in the footer. The purpose is to get you phone calls or email enquiries.

If I can charge 200 Euro for that, build an AdWords account Campaign, maybe I don’t charge for the AdWords Campaign build. Maybe this is actually just re-framing what I’m doing, because currently I’m charging for the first month where I build an AdWords Campaign and the landing page is free. Maybe it’s the other way around, but I don’t know. Maybe I’m just re-framing something, but I’m going to try this. I’ve got a couple of prospects in mind that I’ll do it with.

Hope that’s helped you, some of the actual things that I’m doing, but also the thinking behind it of trying to move my business forward. All right, good luck.