I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the concept of business profitability. It’s one of the key elements of running your own business, but is, at the same time, something people avoid looking at too deeply. I think this happens sometimes when there is shame about the numbers in your business- such as when your expenses are too high and your income is too low. In these cases, it can feel difficult to be in truth about the numbers because they feel like a statement of your self-worth. They’re not, but it feels that way.
As I speak with more clients and explain the work I like to do best, I realize that it doesn’t have a name, exactly. It’s a mix of a lot of different ideas, and for now, my working title is Elegant Business Profitability Creatively. To me, what this means is that we look for elegant and easy ways to increase a business’ profitability, and we do this through creative means. Creative, in this case, often means working with the existing elements, and combining them in new ways to generate more profit.
Although the name is unwieldy and definitely needs some work, the approach is sound. In seeing more deeply into my clients’ businesses, I see that most of my clients are creators. They are forever thinking up new programs, generating new content, and almost always in a rush. They feel sometimes overflowing with ideas, and sometimes don’t take time to filter them all before acting on them. This is ok, except when they feel flooded by too many ideas, try to work on them all at once, and scatter their energies and resources without any meaningful outcome. Or, alternatively, they get stuck and can’t decide what to do first.
Sometimes, too, my clients build entire programs and service lines rapidly, without even asking themselves if they *like* doing this work. Then they feel stuck on delivering the service lines because they just spent energy creating them.
Instead, I suggest to all my clients that we look at creating additional profitability, but without creating anything new. This is often a powerful request, because it moves the business owner to focus more deeply on where they are, and what they have in place, rather than sending them off to create the next thing on their idea list.
By putting in place the parameters of greater profitability and using more deeply what they have, we can stop the cycle of frenzy and creation that often results in wasted effort and energy. Now, to be clear, I love the passion of creating just as much (if not more!) than the next person. I love that rise of energy and excitement that is inherent in unleashing creative energy.
However- and this important- your business can not survive on the creative frenzy alone. Creativity needs some systems and structures to turn into profit for you.
Too often, creative entrepreneurs get a great idea and then move to create it, without a plan to sell it. After a time, their business becomes cluttered with lots of products, services and programs that they aren’t selling much of, but also don’t want to get rid of. Many of us feel tied to what we create and want to keep trying to sell our creations, even when we have not been successful.
So, in this case, to me, the best thing to do is to take a step back from creating and, instead, to do some analysis. How can we find the pathway or thread that connects these products and services? What is the pathway through the maze that will result in more profitability with less effort?
If you find yourself facing a similar situation, one where you have a set of products and services which aren’t really selling, but you feel like you need to keep trying to sell them, you may want to try asking yourself the same question I ask my clients to consider:
How can I increase profitability without creating anything new?
You may find, as my clients often do, that making more money is easier than you think.
And, of course, if I can help you with your own business profitability strategy, please do get in touch. I’d enjoy the chance to assess your business with you and see how you could make more money with less work. Contact me