One of my favorite parts of being a business coach is teaching my clients how to earn more money, pay less taxes, and work less. More often than not, my clients come to me making one of these 5 mistakes. They’re shocked to find out that by making some small changes in their daily lives as business owners, they’re able to spend less, earn more, work less, and save more. Sounds pretty amazing, right?
I’m sharing the 5 most common mistakes I see below, and challenge you to make just ONE change to earn more money today.
1 - You’re not charging what you could/should be: How did you set your rate? Is it what your friend/co-worker was charging? Is it what the studio you teach at offers? And to follow-up - when was the last time you raised your rates or got a raise? Chances are, you adopted a rate that your peers were using and you felt safe quoting; and you probably haven’t raised that rate or gotten a raise in a while. If this is your case - you’re leaving money on the table. 5% annual increases are the norm in most jobs - shoot your shot, ask for that raise, and give them the chance to say ‘yes’ to you.
If you’re struggling with how to go about raising your rates, I wrote an in-depth blog post about it that might help you.
2 - You aren’t taking advantage of deductions: While I strongly suggest you form a business entity (LLC, S-Corp) to run your business and also legally protect you, I understand that most don’t. There is no judgement here. Just make sure you are maximizing ALL necessary deductions in the course of running your business: marketing (including social media), admin costs (website design, domain name, internet, cell phone), supplies and equipment, professional memberships and education (your training). If you job specifically requires you look a certain way or perform a certain skill, the related expenses are deductible. You’d be surprised how much expenses can reduce your taxable liability!
3 - You are spending money on things you think matter, but really don’t. And then you’re neglecting the important stuff. Before you start spending money on branding, a social media person, an assistant, office or studio space ask yourself how LEAN you can operate your business.
Lean does NOT mean CHEAP. Do not skimp on out on your liability insurance or waivers. Do not skimp out on clear, contractual agreements with your employees and contractors. Do not run yourself into the ground because you want to prove that you can do everything. Save the money to hire help, have it done right the first time, and have the piece of mind that your business is protected.
4 - You’re not taking advantage of affiliate and partnerships. I have partnerships that either cover the costs of, or gift me, fitness classes, athleisure, supplements, and food + beverage products that I would already be spending money on. I have strategically aligned myself with brands I believe in, and would be purchasing with or without a working relationship.
I’m not saying you should say ‘yes’ to every potential social media post for product that comes your way. I’m telling you to write down 5-10 brands that you regularly purchase, see if they offer an affiliate or partnership program, and then go sell your charming, wonderful self. You’ll be surprised at how many brands are dying to work with someone exactly like you.
5 - You’re living in today (today’s clients, today’s shift, today’s tasks) and you’re neglecting the big picture. If you are always exchanging time for money, you’ll never have time for the next big thing. You won’t have time to market yourself (networking, word-of-mouth, social media, newsletters and blogs) and you won’t have time to do anything but live in your loop. You must must must make time in your daily and weekly schedule to plan for what’s next.