As spring is coming to an end, those of us who have been busy working hard in our businesses and shuffling kids around to get through the final days of school may not have had the time to do the proverbial spring cleaning that we all need to do.
Spring Clean Your Closets
In 2017, I wrote a blog post about spring cleaning your closets and your personal finances. The closet situation was more about my daughters, so when I dumped their entire closets out on the floor in their room to sort through and put back on the most needed items, we had quite the mess to muddle through.
Now that's a lot of clothes and shoes!
Make a Plan and Go Through It Step-by-Step
- Dump everything out of the closets and sort into like items.
- Clean the closets of dust bunnies. Make a stuffed animal from them if it’s been long enough.
- Line up bags and boxes to separate items we aren’t keeping into donations, trash and hand-me-downs.
- Put all items we are keeping back into the closet where they belong.
- Send the donations, trash and hand-me-downs where they need to go.
- Repeat this every season, so you aren’t in this dire of a situation again.
Sort Out Your Finances Now that Tax Season is Over
- Pull out every receipt and account statement you have. I know. It’s painful.
- Have a spreadsheet ready to input amounts, descriptions, dates, and categories.
- Check things off as you move through them. File receipts accordingly.
- Double check e-mail receipts to make sure you don’t miss anything.
- Sort and subtotal your expenses and compare to your income to see your return.
- Make sure all your expenses and income run through the same bank account.
- If you are running at a deficit, invest capital into your business by making a transfer to keep your bank balance above board. Do not just charge the family credit card. Keep things separate.
- Get an online program to help you keep things straight from now on.
- Create a system for filing your expenses every month or quarter to stay on top of it.
Get a Handle on Your Monthly Business Expenses
When I was switching my membership and digital courses from WordPress to Kajabi, I had a lot of software that was being billed to my business debit card every month. I was holding up 2 separate sites until I could get everything transferred over, and it was really costing me some serious money.
I had no idea how much I was spending in monthly software outlay, so when I did a little audit of my business expenses in 2018, I was floored! It was time to clean up in a major way.
- Pull an accounting report from your bank statements or online accounting software for the last year, separated by month and by type of expense if you can.
- Circle every recurring expense for each month, which is usually software for us digital marketers. Have a conversation with yourself. Are you using this software? Are you using it efficiently? What would happen if you stopped using it, and would it have an effect on your business?
- Search for those hidden annual renewals. Look through every month to make sure you don't miss anything, as these amounts can be 4 figures or more and really come as a surprise when you get busy and forget about them. What are they for? Software? Memberships? Ask yourself again if these things are currently necessary in your business.
- Then go through your statements and find the fluctuating expenses that do not repeat. Do you need to budget these things for next year?
- What about advertising? Are you spending a consistent amount each month, or do you have highs and lows throughout the year? Figure out the average that you spend on this item and document it.
- Start a new spreadsheet and put all the monthly recurring expenses and monthly estimated expenses that you need for the next year.
- Take note of your average monthly income as well. Is it seasonal?
- How much money do you need to make each month just to cover your monthly expenses? How much do you need to pay yourself a wage? How much can you put away for a rainy day fund? How much profit are you making? How much tax do you need to cover?
After I did this exercise last year, I was able to drop hundreds of dollars in monthly outlay and take a hard look at my financial position in my business. It wasn't a pretty picture, and I was actually scared to take this hard look at my business.
I'm proud to say that year-to-date in 2019, I'm making profit and paying myself a monthly wage. It's not quite where I'd like it to be yet, but it's getting there. Each quarter I do an evaluation of my income versus expenses and make sure I've held enough back for emergencies, taxes, and a few months worth of expenses to cover those larger bills that pop up along the way.
Purge Your Email Lists of Unworthy Subscribers
About a month ago, I got rid of over 1,600 people on my email list. You may think I'm crazy for doing that. After all, I paid dearly to get those people on my list with time, attention, and Facebook advertising.
As email rates start to plunge as you share content with your subscribers, you know it's time to do a little cleaning. Why pay for all those people to be on your list if they aren't going to open your emails? Now I don't mean everyone has to open everything. That's an unreasonable expectation. I'm talking about those who receive emails from you for months and don't open a single one.
Here's what I did:
- I exported my list into a spreadsheet
- I then analyzed the list based on who hasn't opened emails in 2019.
- From there, I made note of those who own my products. They are staying on the list.
- Next I uploaded these emails back into my list with a tag called "removed 5-9-19".
- Then I unsubscribed those who were tagged.
It felt so good to release that bad energy! Time to do some more building of relationships with people who are truly interested in what I have to offer.
Your Turn to Spring Clean
Now it's your turn. Are you paying attention to the clutter in your life and business? What are you going to do about it?
Get content-making tips and my FUNNY HOLIDAYS calendar for FREE for daily content inspiration!