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Proof That Accounting Is Sexy

Accounting Is Sexy

It’s tax season, and that means that you’re probably looking at your accounting systems (or lack of them). Maybe you’re considering whether you should hire a book keeper (yes!) or work with an accountant (double yes!).

I thought it would be a good idea to share why I believe that accounting is sexy, and how you can get ready for your smoothest tax season yet. No crazy unexpected bills, and lots of time to plan for and make smart money decisions in your business.

Many creative people who get into business aren’t a fan of numbers… they may not track their income and expenses, which is dangerous because that’s like driving in the desert without knowing how much gas you have left.

The two most overlooked parts of a business are:
1. Marketing
2. Accounting

I talk about marketing a lot, but accounting is just as important.

Taking a look at why accounting is sexy

Marketing is all about how to get other people to know about your business, and accounting is all about knowing yourself and your business.

Taking a closer look at your business numbers can bring up a lot of resistance, because you’re not sure if you’re going to like what you see… but without looking, it’s really hard to know if you’re on track or if you’re going off a cliff.

There’s also the fear that you won’t do a perfect job in your tracking, but even if you’re missing some details – it’s still better to be looking at something when you’re making financial decisions, than driving blind.

How Accounting Is Sexy…

If you’re not comfortable looking at your money stuff, you’ll run into issues as your business progresses. Here are 5 key things that a basic accounting process can help you with in your business:

1. You can see how much money is going in and out of your business each month, so you can make investment decisions based on real data and not just a number in a bank account…

When you’re flush, it’s tempting to spend it. And when times are lean, it’s hard to keep going if you don’t know that there are payments coming in.

2. It gives you the confidence to do launches, upgrades, and hiring…

Growing your business generally means you’ll need to spend money, but growing too fast is a sure way to kill a business… because your cash-flow needs to be able to keep up with your growth.

When you’re confident that you can deliver on your business obligations, you can earmark a percentage to purchase software, hire a contractor or employee, and plan bigger launches.

3. If your business runs on a launch model where you’ve got money peaks and valleys, you can use historical data to decide which percentage of your income to re-invest.

No one can predict how well a new program will sell, so your best course of action is going to be small incremental steps that give you feedback before you go “all in” and invest a ton on a new project.

4. Another key to doing regular accounting, is that you can see how quickly you’re able to bring cash into your business… From the point of sale, to receiving payments.

If you’re in a service business, you might realize that there’s a lot of time between when you book the business and deliver on a project, and that can cause financial stress on your business if you need to pay other people.

Knowing the numbers helps you figure out if you need to change your payment terms or ask your clients to pay upfront.

5. Finally, when you have a strong grasp on your business finances, you can confidently pay yourself.

In the early days of a business, it doesn’t make much sense to pay yourself because the income is still building and you’ll want to re-invest. But even starting with a small salary, you’ll get better at budgeting and making smart business choices.

icon-money-webI’ve got a comprehensive program all about money and accounting in the Heartquarters Insider membership – and we’d love to have you join us if this is something you know you need to explore more.

Now, I want to hear from you

Do you think accounting is sexy? Do you wish you could look at your numbers more objectively? Leave a comment below and let us know!

How To Make Your Goals Happen

How To Make Your Goals Happen

If you’re reading this, it’s likely because you have a vision for your business.

You’ve made big bold goals.

But you’re a little stumped because you don’t quite know how you’ll make it all happen.

You might have heard the advice to focus on your “what” and that you shouldn’t get caught up in the “how” because that will just figure itself out.

Well, I think there is some truth to that advice, but I also believe that you can’t just meditate your way to achieving your goals.

And yes, sometimes it is possible to move your feet too much without the other side of the equation. That can be exhausting, too!

Being Too Focused On The “How”

I’ve noticed a pattern in driven creative women entrepreneurs who have a big mission in the world…

It’s the driving “gotta make shit happen” side, and it’s a very powerful force to be able to tap into. Some might call it more masculine, focused, and maybe more detail oriented too. It’s a necessary ingredient, but without the flip side it won’t get you far…

It’s like paddling in a canoe with just one oar on one side, you’ll end up going in circles instead of moving forward.

The other side is your more feminine “be open” and “surrender” to what’s coming your way side. It’s equally powerful. It’s equally necessary to a successful business, to moving forward, and to a happy life.

So how do you tap into both?

For me that’s dancing for the fun of it with great tunes in the middle of the day, dreaming and journaling, and laughing a lot. It’s also taking breaks… doing a launch or undertaking any big creative project is a ton of work, and your best inspiration usually hits you when you’re away from the computer.

Some of my BEST converting emails and ideas came from when I was about to take a nap, when I was walking the dog, taking a shower, or just shaking things up away from my computer. I have to admit that sex really helps get you in your feminine, too.

How I Break Down Goals and Surrender

I personally like to have a strong understanding of the numbers in my business, so I generally do set goals using a measurable number.

We use a dashboard to check our most important daily, weekly, and monthly stats to make sure we’re on track to reach our milestones.

You could say that this approach is very much the “business school” and more masculine view of my business.

I take a big milestone that we’re aiming for, and reverse-engineer that number to figure out what steps we need to take to make it happen.

To use a simple example, let’s say that I want to sell 10 new licenses for PopupAlly Pro. I can figure out that our conversion rate for the sales page is say 1%, so I need to have 1000 people visit the sales page to expect to make 10 sales.

Now obviously, not all visitors are going to be equally qualified to purchase, so I need to make sure it’s the “right” people visiting the page and there are ways to increase that conversion rate, too. But at least this gives me a realistic way to look at my numbers, and it also gives me something concrete to work toward reaching a milestone.

Then, I can start to think about specific ways that I can get people to visit the sales page. Whether it’s by sending emails, posting on social media, running an ad, asking affiliates to help promote, writing a guest post and linking to it… the possibilities are much more clear once I know my next step or “mini goal”.

What can happen when you have a concrete numbers goal though, is that you lose sight of the people aspect of your business.

You can start to see people as just numbers on a spreadsheet or numbers in an analytics program.

That’s no good, and it can really sabotage your ability to connect and even sell, from a place of love and service.

How To Make Your Goals Happen By Letting Go Of Your Attachment

This is where the other side of moving forward comes in.

Sometimes when you’re really focused on making a goal happen in the specific ways that you know how… it doesn’t happen exactly how you’ve planned.

I’ve had instances where random new connections, invitations, or plain old luck have shifted my plans entirely.

Let’s go back to our example of selling 10 PopupAlly Pro licenses for a second. Let’s say that I was super busy focusing on setting up a new ad to sell the program…

And that I was in “hard core focus” mode to the point where I might even be brushing off emails or any new idea that didn’t match with my plan. In this case, I might miss out on an email from a new affiliate who might want to interview me on their very popular podcast.

Or, I might accidentally ignore a request for a new feature that would make the software even better, and lead to many more sales organically.

These are the times where you need to lean back into your feminine receptive side more.

You might just end up reaching your goals without following the plans that you set out to implement, and being flexible enough to go with the flow here is a sign of an aligned entrepreneur.

Without making plans, you’re really just wishing and hoping that you’ll reach your goals. But if you’re too rigid with your plans, you might miss out on some divine interventions that could have gotten you there faster or in a more effortless way.

How Do You Move Forward?

So this is my experience rowing this online business “boat”, and I’d love to hear from you and your own experiences, now.

Do you seem to row with your “super focused” or “airy fairy” side more dominantly? How can we help you recalibrate so you can move forward confidently… leave a comment below and let us know!

How To Design a Membership Site That Sells

Design a Membership Site

I’m a huge fan of lifelong learning.

Online courses and membership programs are some of the best ways for us to stay current and learn new things, in business and on the personal front, too.

You might have considered running or already run online courses of your own.

How To Design a Membership Site That Sells

So now I want to ask you this: does your members area help you keep your students engaged, and does it sell more of your courses along the way?

If not, then you might consider how our new membership software AccessAlly might help with the key areas of winning membership site software.

1. Make your membership site easy to login to

One of my personal pet peeves is when you sign up for a course and need to jump through hoops to access your newly purchased content.

Many membership site plugins have you check out and then enter your email address and select a password as a second step.

AccessAlly allows you to auto generate a password and send it to your customers right after they check out.

And if they happen to miss that email, they can just hit “forgot password” and get a new password sent anytime.

2. Have the right timing for your training programs

Depending on the type of online course that you’ve created, you might need to have different pieces of course content delivered at different times.

For example, you might have a live training course that needs to inform your students of special live coaching calls or unlock videos one week at a time.

Or, you might be running an ongoing evergreen program that should send an email and unlock a page on your membership site every few days.

You can easily do both with AccessAlly, without getting caught up in tech jargon about drip sequences.

Drip what?!

3. Offer additional courses, from within your members area

One of my favorite features of AccessAlly is the ability to show your students which courses they have and which ones they haven’t purchased yet.

This is the key to designing a membership area that sells without being slimy or pushy about up-sells or cross-sells.

In our members area, you can see a badge for each of the courses you’ve signed up for, and a greyed out badge for ones you haven’t taken yet.

If you click on the badge for a course you don’t own, you’re taken to a sales page where you can learn more about it and decide if it’s right for you.

4. Keep everything organized, and give people progress check-ins

One major problem with online learning is overwhelm. There’s just so much to learn, so many different modules, videos, and things to download and apply.

So think about how you can streamline the learning process for your students.

One way we’ve done that with AccessAlly is to create objectives for each of our trainings. You can check off the objectives as you complete them, and see how far you’ve come since you started the program.

Not only is that motivating, but it also helps us as course designers see where people excel and where they might be getting stuck.

5. Mix free courses with paid courses easily

One component of online learning to keep in mind is that not everything needs to be a paid course. You can use online membership sites for free training too!

When you have a combination of free and paid courses inside the same members area, you can take advantage of the cross-selling possibilities and it gets people used to logging in to access your best material.

So these were my top 5 tips for designing a membership site that helps your students learn better, stay engaged, and buy more of your trainings.

You can do all of these things and more with our new AmbitionAlly WordPress plugin for Infusionsoft.

What Are Your Favorite Membership Site Features?

Now that we’ve designed our own membership site plugin for WordPress, we’re constantly looking for ways to improve it.

What are your favorite membership features or things that you feel could be missing in other online learning platforms out there? We may just incorporate your ideas into our next version of the software!

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