I know that 2020 has thrown us quite a few curveballs. Normally, I have conferences to attend at least twice a year. Those conferences are ones where I meet like-minded people and learn things I do not already know. This year, I must do those conferences virtually. And to be honest, I’m going to miss my tribe of people!
Just the chance to kick back, relax, and have fun talking about all the things!
I know there will still be many speakers for me to gain extensive knowledge from during my virtual conference. Donald Miller, John Jantsch, and Mike Michalowicz are just a few of the speakers I will be learning from this time.
I’m even looking forward to the networking time in this conference, despite it looking different this year. The time when I am talking one on one with another person always provides eye opening experiences. Over the years, I have discovered there are fellow business owners, accountants, and bookkeepers who have really pushed me to grow personally and professionally. They have held me accountable, so I would do what I said I was going to do in my life and my business.
And that is what I wanted to share and go into detail with you today. Even as a bookkeeper or accountant, I need someone from the outside to be looking at our business and our finances. These people have been helpful in seeing the forest through the trees.
After all, we get bogged down in the details of what we are doing. The blinders go on and without a little push from others, we can miss so many things. Right???
A little confession here… We don’t always review our own finances. Yes, sometimes it gets done, but other times, well, let’s just say it slides into the background. This is where the mastermind group I am in has been really helpful and super important in the last year.
We have now started to review our numbers together as a group on a high level every single month. And let me tell you… When you have to report that to somebody else, you get to know your own numbers more intimately. You also see things that make you say, “Oh, I don’t like that. I want that to be different. That should be different.”.
Of course, that stirs up a bunch of other questions that include, “How can I change this? What are you all doing?”.
All those questions allow me to create a plan. This plan is necessary, because I am in the spotlight once a quarter in my mastermind group. I have to tell them what my plan is going to be and what I’m going to do. I then meet with some people from the mastermind group every single week, so I stay accountable.
We have a sheet with the quarterly goals listed on the top. Each week I go and tell everyone whether or not I did what was needed to meet my quarterly goals. The worst weeks are the ones where I have to admit I didn’t do what I said I was going to and why.
The best weeks are the ones where I can say I did what I set out to do. Those are the weeks I love, because I can see what is working and what isn’t. That allows me to make changes if needed.
All of this shows what being held accountable does. While the quarterly goal is right at the top of my sheet, it sometimes takes another person to remind me to do what is necessary to reach it.
Once a quarter each of us in the Mastermind group sits on the “hot seat.” I went in with a question that had nothing to do with my financial or marketing goal for the year. My Fix This Next assessment showed me that those were the two things I should be focusing on in my business for 2020.
This assessment is available on the Fit for Profit website if you are interested in seeing what you should be doing for your business.
My question was totally unrelated to what I should be focusing on. Thankfully, the members in the group told me that it wasn’t on the level of the business needs hierarchy I was supposed to be focused on. It was exactly what I needed to hear at that moment!
I knew I had to go back to the drawing board. But that is exactly what accountability is and what it does.
All of these things are the favorite things that we get to do for our clients. And I know in the fitness industry, it’s what you do for your clients. You hold up the people who are making the best progress and you show them to people, so that they can see what’s possible for them. And when people don’t show up for workouts on a regular basis, you get on the phone, or text or email, and communicate with them. You tell them you miss them.
That’s what we do for our clients with finances too. We have that call at least quarterly with our clients that are making the best progress. We meet quarterly and go over financial reports with them. We look at what has happened in your business and what’s going to happen in your business. What does the past tell us about what’s going to happen and what adjustments do we need to make right now to change the finances. Change how that plays out in your business.
What can we do proactively?
Yes, a lot of accounting and bookkeeping is reactive. From looking at the history, we can see what has happened in the past. With Profit First coaching and advising, we can then look at what is going to happen.
We can’t guarantee what will happen. Obviously! But we can determine what we think is going to happen.
In 2020, who knows what’s going to happen in October, November, and December. It’s going to be different and we don’t even know how different. But is there anything we can do right now to prepare?
In October, you normally look towards the holiday parties in November and December. I don’t know what those are going to look like this year or if they are even going to be possible. But you know you will want to reward your team.
Your teams have put in a lot of work this year. It’s been very different from what you thought they were going to do. What they expected to do. The people who have stuck by you, most of you will want to find a way to reward them.
Now is the time to think about what you can do in December for them and make it easy. This is one of the proactive things we can do. We can make those necessary changes now.
Every time I meet with a client, we set up the due dates for the changes they are going to make and then they email me on that due date to tell me they did whatever they said they would. If I don’t hear from them, I reach out to them. That is accountability. I know we don’t always like it, but that is how change happens. This is how we grow and our business gets better.
If you don’t currently have a group of people, a group of business owners, or a business coach, now is the time to find one. You can always reach out to us for help. That is what we do!
You don’t have to pay someone for this though. You can easily find like minded business people to do this with you for free. Many people will recognize the benefits of everyone helping each other be accountable. The goal is to find people you have a lot in common with, so you can push each other to be better in life and in your business.
While an accountability group is great, one on one works well too. You can have set meeting times, but also check in as needed in between. You can then reach out if you don’t hear from someone when you are supposed to.
If you don’t already have one, find an accountability partner or group today and change how your business looks in the future. Yes, your team can be helpful with accountability. But sometimes you need someone on the outside.
Our Fit for Profit Facebook page and Instagram are an excellent place to start. You can meet other business owners like yourself and I am there to add to the conversation too. You never know, you might find your accountability people right in that group!
Shannon has been consulting with small businesses for over 10 years. After 2 years in public accounting she saw a need to work for small business owners to teach them how to grow financially healthy businesses. She has built on her Master of Accountancy degree from Manchester University by becoming a Certified Profit First Professional and a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor. When she’s not meeting with entrepreneurs or assessing their businesses, she enjoys time with her husband and 2 children serving in their community, playing and watching sports, marveling at nature or reading a good book.
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