Knowing Your #s + ROI

These are the questions you need to ask yourself to determine if a business activity is truly valuable.

Can this task be done by someone else?
Your most valuable tasks will always be the ones that can only be done by you. If you're a New York Times bestselling author, then your most valuable task would be writing. If you're a coach, your most valuable task would be coaching your clients.
If you’re working on a project and there are elements that someone else can do, don’t be afraid to outsource. By outsourcing, you’ll be able to concentrate on bringing your very best work to the project.

Does this task make me money?
Your most valuable tasks are income generators. This is important to understand because many business owners spend too much time on activities that aren’t profitable. Tasks like spending two hours fussing over your Facebook header or nitpicking the colors of your website are not producing income.
If a task doesn't earn you money, then you need to ask if this is something that truly needs to be completed by you. Outsourcing mundane tasks lets you focus on big picture tasks that increase your income

Am I energized by this task?
Your most valuable tasks are the ones that energize you. If you love a task and it fires you up, chances are high that it's a valuable task. Most business owners dread the small, mundane tasks because they already know these tasks don't matter that much.
When it comes to activities that you don’t enjoy, you need to evaluate whether they even need to be done in the first place. It could be that you’re holding onto outdated advice or that your business has changed so much that you no longer need to do this task.

It’s important to periodically evaluate your work, looking for the truly valuable tasks that are on your plate. Don’t be afraid to let go or outsource your eighty percent tasks so you can embrace your twenty percent ones.


Know Your Hourly Value

Your hourly value is quite simply the amount of money you make each hour. For example, if you’re spending your time networking and emailing your hourly value is quite low. If you are speaking with clients or selling products then your hourly value is higher. However, hourly value is best utilized when it’s calculated as an average.
Calculate your hourly value by dividing your monthly income or net profits by the number of hours you worked. Yes, this means you need to track how many hours you actually spend on your business.
For example, if you have 5,000 in net profits this month (gross income less expenses) and you worked 100 hours this month then your equation is 5000/100 or $50/hour.
This information is important because it’ll help you make some critical business decisions. For example, if you’re outsourcing a task you can assess whether it’s a sound financial decision.

Tracking What’s Working and Making Money

The easiest way to make your business more profitable is to track what’s working. What parts of your business, what projects and what products are making you money?  Which ones don’t? What type of customer is most profitable for you? Where is your most profitable traffic coming from?

Taking time to dig into your stats and calculating ROI (Return on Investment) is one of the best things you can do for your bottom line.


Your Products
Start by looking at your products. This could be info products, physical products, any coaching you do, anything you resell or even advertising you sell on your site. List it all out.

Next to each item on your list, note down how much money each product has brought in. You can break it down by month, or look at long term figures like year-to-date profits or revenue generated over the past 12 months. Use whatever number seems most helpful.

Next think about how much work each of these products or profit streams take. Selling advertising space on your site or a simple little kindle book may not make as much money per month as that big info product you created or the one-on-one coaching you offer, but they also don’t take hardly any time to create and maintain. Assign a value to each item on your list.

Once you have all your data, it’s just a matter of creating more products of the type that’s most profitable for the time you invest in them.

Your Customers and Prospects
Taking a look at your customers and prospects is also a good idea. Where did they come from? Who is your core customer base? These are the people that buy everything you put out and are signing your praises to their circle of influence. They may also be repeat customers that come back to you over and over again.

What prospects are most likely to turn into paying customers? Are they people that were attracted by the freebie you offer to get them on your list, or are they people that found you via the great blog posts you write?

You can find a lot of this information by looking at your customer database and by comparing subscriber lists to customer lists. You can also learn a lot by talking to your customers and subscribers. Start a conversation via email, on your site or in a Facebook group.

Your end goal is to pinpoint who your most profitable demographic is and then figure out how to put yourself in front of more of those people. Which brings us to our last point…

Your Growth + Traffic
It’s time to dig into those social media + website stats. Where is your most profitable traffic coming from? How do they find your site, what do they look at once they get there and what funnel do they go through until they become part of your most profitable customer group?

Tools like Google Analytics are your best friend here. Spend a weekend learning more about the different reporting you can set up, what you can track and how to read the numbers.

Once you know where your most profitable traffic is coming from - be it Search Results, Pinterest, your Affiliates or Facebook Ads - put on your thinking cap and figure out how you can tap into more of that traffic or something similar.

Keep tracking, tweaking and improving your bottom line. Make it a goal to get more profitable this month than you were last month and you’ll see your business and bank account grow in no time.


Prioritizing and Task Lists
Ideally, you want to make sure you accomplish something that builds and grows your business or contributes to your income each day. In order to do that it’s important to focus on that task first.
For example, imagine your daily task list looks like this:
Answer client emails
Post to blog
Publish ezine
Write content for next week
Invoice clients
Record next video how to series/product


Now looking at these six tasks there is hopefully one that stands out as the priority task - #6.
In fact, if you were to apply a priority system to these tasks the list might instead look like this.

Record next video how to series/product
Write content for next week
Answer client emails
Publish ezine
Invoice clients
Post to blog
Often tasks that are high priority are tasks that:
Result in a direct profit.
You’re skilled at.
You enjoy.
Are too expensive at this time to outsource or automate
Are essential for the growth of your business.
This example leads directly into our next expert tip…

There are two truths – there are only so many hours in the day. And there is always work to be done.
Don’t risk your health, your sanity, your business and your happiness by experiencing burnout and/or becoming overworked and overstressed.
In the previous example, all but one of the tasks can be outsourced.
Write content for next week - ghostwriter
Answer client emails – virtual assistant
Publish ezine – virtual assistant
Invoice clients – bookkeeper/virtual assistant
Post to blog- virtual assistant
There are many benefits to outsourcing including:

Access to potential contractors from around the world – making it possible to find highly skilled contractors that fit your budget.
You don’t have to pay employment taxes or benefits.  
Increase your hourly value – you can focus on your more profitable tasks.  
Save your valuable time - focus on the tasks that you do best and enjoy the most.

What do you Outsource?  
There are three categories of tasks that are generally outsourced.  They include:

Administrative tasks - answering your email, updating your website, scheduling, shipping and so forth.  These are generally time-consuming tasks that can easily be outsourced to qualified assistants readily available and at competitive prices.  

Technical tasks - search engine optimization or web design.  

Professional tasks – copywriting, graphic design or learning a new scripting language to generate a feature for your website.  

Ask for Help
Entrepreneurs wear many hats. However, you’re not expected or required to do everything yourself. Instead, ask for help when you need it or when it makes sense. Focus on what you enjoy and what you do well. Let others handle the rest.


Remember It’s Okay To Say No.
You don’t have to say yes to everything. Evaluate the offer or request. If it makes sense for you and your business then great. If not, “No” is a wonderful word. No excuses, no explanations. A simple “No thank you. That’s not going to work for me,” should suffice.


Finally, Remember To Take Care Of Yourself
A balanced life isn’t complete without regular attention toward your health and happiness.  If you’re too sick or too tired or too stressed to work then you’re too tired, stressed or sick to have fun and enjoy your life.
Time management is about creating the life you want to live and living it the best way possible. It’s not about conforming to a system created by someone else – unless it fits your personality and work style.
Create systems that support your goals and vision. Automate and outsource when it makes sense. And build the best business possible.


Bri Long