Episode 82

Episode 82: Finance Focus – How To Prepare For The Quarter Ahead


What you’ll learn in this episode:

One of the most powerful tactics I’ve employed in my business is working on 90-Day Years. What this means is that instead of treating my year as a year, I treat my quarters as an entire year, and each week of the weeks as a month.

Doing this has changed the way I look at my business and my decisions. It’s created focus, urgency, and clarity that has helped me create a bigger impacts and great results (from increase revenue to a better quality of life)

In today’s episode I share my process that I go through at the end of every quarter to assess the numbers in my business, and how doing so sets me up for a powerful quarter ahead.

By the end of this episode, you will be able to look at your own finances, the important numbers in your business, and to assess what is working and what’s not so you can create a powerful plan for the quarter ahead. Not only will you be able to use this at the end of every quarter, but it’s something that you can pull out of your back pocket whenever you are feeling off track or disconnected from what’s going on in your business, so that you can get back to creating the results you want and hitting your goals.

Here’s a glance at this episode:

  • Learn how to set yourself up for success by auditing your numbers and finances at the end of every quarter
  • The key focuses to become intimately involved with your finances – cash flow, movement of your money, spending – so you can run a healthy business
  • Deduce what is working and not working in your business so you can do more of what’s working and less of what’s not working
  • Data, Data, and more data – why you should love your data and know what needs to be tracked

Mentioned in this episode:


Work/Connect with me:


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[0:01] Hello, everyone, and welcome to the It’s Your Offer Podcast. I’m Jess Miller and I’m the host of the podcast. For the new listeners that are here, we’ve had a lot of new signups in the last couple of weeks, I want to welcome you to the show. You have come just at the right time. And for all of you listeners that have been following us for a while, welcome to you as well. We are so excited to have you here.

[0:24] We love our community, and we love talking about things that make your business thrive, especially those things that are related to your hell yes offer. I don’t know about you all, but I cannot believe we are on the brink of another quarter. Where did these three months go? It seems like time is just slipping by so quickly. And we’re here at the beginning of another quarter almost. For all of you that have been following me for a while you know that I live in these 90-day increments. Quarters are my year. They’re my thing. And I love the momentum and the urgency that that brings. And the focus that it gives our business to work in these sort of 90-day sprints. As my coach Todd Herman calls them 90 days, he calls them two-week sprints. But he really works in 90-day years, too, he has a great program focused on the 90-day year, if anyone is interested in checking that out, I highly recommend checking out Todd’s program.

[1:18] But I love it 90-day years for the momentum it gives it, for the focus that it gives it and also new years and new beginnings. And all of those things are really important. And so at the end of every quarter, I get to experience in my business, this sort of up leveling that many people feel at the end of the year and the beginning of a new year. And so I wanted to come on here today to talk about how you can get ready for the next quarter. And specifically, when we think about the financial part of it, the numbers part of it. What do I do at the end of my quarters that really set myself up for a stellar next quarter? And how do you wind that into your business in a way that feels easy and repeatable? And how do your offers interplay with that because, of course, they are a huge part of how your 90 day, how your quarters go. And it’s really important that you dig in and take a look at how the quarter has gone and what you want in the next quarter in order to ensure that you’re setting yourself up for success.

[2:26] So today, I’m going to share with you a handful of things that I think are really important. And there, there’s this financial focus to it. And I want you to think in terms of numbers, in terms of revenue, in terms of your business, and what is working and what isn’t working. And I want you to get ready to have your best quarter yet, because I think these are literally gold nuggets. And they will force you to get clear on your business, get serious about what’s going on, and get intentional about what it is you’re going to focus on moving forward. So let’s jump right into these things that I want you to think about, from a financial perspective, from a numbers perspective as you get ready for your next quarter.

[3:09] Okay, so number one is, I bet you’re going to be super surprised by this. It is you need to know your financial numbers. I’m going to repeat this again, you need to know what is going on with your financial numbers. I cannot tell you how many business owners I know that are not intimately involved with their numbers. It has nothing to do with the size of your business, you could have a very, you could be a solopreneur, or you could be someone who is a million-dollar business. There are so many people who are not intimately involved with their financial numbers. And one of the fastest ways to have a business that is out of control and is not creating what it is that you want it to create is when you don’t know what’s going on with your numbers and you don’t get your financial house in order. What I’m talking about here specifically, is understanding your business financial numbers.

[4:11] So understanding how money comes in and out of your life, and how that is how it’s moving through your business. You know, your money kind of has a personality, it has a behavior. And knowing that behavior, knowing how you’re spending money, what you’re spending money on, what’s coming in, where’s it coming from, is super important to being able to literally cohabitate with your business in a healthy way. So, number one priority for you if you are not in tune with those numbers. If you don’t know the answer to some of these questions that I just asked, how is your money moving? Where is it coming from? How are you spending? How does that look and feel? It’s to go in and get intimately familiar with your finances in your business.

[5:00] Now, sidenote, I heard that, I saw a quote on social media I think it was, and I wish I could remember who said it. So if anyone knows and wants to drop me an email, after this podcast and tell me maybe they know this, but someone not too long ago, posted on social media, a quote that basically said, one of the fastest ways to reign your business in or make your business more profitable, and more financially sound, was to rein in your personal finances first, which I thought was really interesting. And I will say in transparency, that I do this, but I’ve never done this as a focal point of my business. I keep tabs on my personal finances. And I think it’s been really, really important in my journey as an individual and also growing wealth with my family and my husband, to have control and visibility around my personal finances, whether that was in where’s the money going? What are we spending it on? How much of it do we have? How much are we making? But also, how do we want to invest it? What does that look like? What risks are we going to take and really owning that.

[6:14] And I have to say, as a woman, that has been something that I’ve seen, is not necessarily the case with a lot of women entrepreneurs or women in careers in corporate that they are owning their personal finances. But I will tell you, not to go off on a total tangent, but that is a very, very important part of my success. But transparently, I have not linked that to the success financially in my business. But after hearing that, quote, I thought, oh, my gosh, this is so true. Because a lot of times for us entrepreneurs, we are, a lot of that money is commingling. So we might be taking the money that we’re making in our business, and part of it is going to reinvest in the business or paying for things in our business. But very often, we are taking money out of our business to pay for our financial obligations in our personal life. So understanding that personal component as well, is part of understanding where your money is going in your business.

[7:18] So if you are someone who is taking money, and paying for personal expenses as an example, which is very common and totally fine. It’s knowing how that money is coming out of your business, how much of it and what frequency and all those things as it touches your personal finances, too. So to wrap this up in a little bow, knowing your financial numbers, knowing how the money is moving, the behavior, where is it coming from? Where’s it going? Super, super critical. Okay, so that’s number one.

[7:48] Number two is going and looking at your business right now. And looking at what is working and what is not working in your business. This is where looking at your offers, looking at your marketing, looking at the time that you’re spending, and really digging down into what is working in your business? And what is it one of the. I would say, most important things that I have dialed up for my own business and my clients this year, is to go into our businesses and look at what’s working. And doing more of that. If you are in a situation where the economy is shifting, or something major is happening, maybe in the marketplace, or there’s other things that are pressing on your businesses, and here’s the newsflash, there’s always something pressing on your business, right? It could be like inflation, it could be whatever, there are always these stressors, right? That are that are creating this dynamic tension within your organization. You want to know what’s working. And so when you that is the easiest way to figure out how to navigate through those uncertainties. Because what is working in your business within that current environment of uncertainty is, will work, right? It’s a really good data point.

[9:08] So you want to go in and you want to see what is working, what is not working? And you want to take inventory of that you want to understand what is going on there? Why what can you do more of what can you do less of? If there are things that you are losing money on, you want to know that right? And you want to think really critically about that if it’s sort of a loss leader, okay, that’s one thing. But if it’s not, you want to know this and you want to be able to clean that up and to make good decisions going forward, based on that assessment of what is working and what is not working in your business. And I think sometimes it can be a real eye opener, both in a positive way and a negative way. So you know, some things that you think weren’t making you money or weren’t working for you actually are working incredibly well, and other things are not. So you want to take a look.

[9:57] You also want to use your body compass in this, in this question, too, and ask yourself, what is working from an emotional perspective, for you from an energetic perspective? Meaning, what feels good? Like, what is lighting you up? What do you enjoy doing? How is that fitting into your business plan? And sometimes we are moving so quickly, and we’re just kind of in the go-go-go mode that we don’t understand that there are things that we’re doing that we just absolutely loving, like, we’re losing so much time when we’re creating, like losing time, meaning losing track of time, because it’s so much fun. And we’re creating all these amazing things. And we don’t even realize it, like, hey, that was really awesome. And I should consider doing more of that if I can. So what is working and what is not working in your business.

[10:44] Number three is you want to go look at the data. I have said this a million times, I’m going to repeat it again, data is everything. It is everything. And many people don’t understand data, don’t know how to find their data, are afraid of the data, or afraid of the numbers, and I’m here to tell you, your data will set you free. It really will, it really will. And you don’t have to be like a Google Analytics genius or, you know, a data, you know, software engineer or something, you don’t need to be that. You just need to understand what data that you need to be intimately familiar with, how to find it, and how to track what it is that you need to track. Because the data is one of those things that it’s, it’s really solid, and you can’t argue with it: it’s very practical, it’s easy to look at and interpret. And then you can do something about it, it’s concrete, and I love it for that reason.

[11:42] Now, we don’t need to live and die by the data. That’s another thing, I think people think a lot like, depending on what the data tells me, I’m gonna have to do that, and I’m gonna be like handcuffed to this data. No, you’re not. You just want to know what the data is so you can make good decisions around it. And here’s the beautiful thing, especially for all of us entrepreneurs is that you’re the boss. So you get to do and make whatever decisions you want to make. But what you don’t want to do is you don’t want to make them in isolation, you don’t want to make them from a place where you don’t have visibility to what’s really going on. Because that’s where you get in trouble. Using, you know, kind of just holding your finger up to the wind and trying to see where you know, things are coming from it doesn’t work. Throwing spaghetti at the wall does not work. You want to have good data so you can make good decisions. And the beautiful thing about data as well speaking of, you know, you get to do what you want to do and you get to make the decisions that you want to make is, you can make those decisions and make really powerful ones. And then you can go to the data to see how those decisions are tracking.

[12:44] So are you onto the right thing. If you want to create more of something, what are those data points that you need to move and leverage so that you know that what it is that you actually want to be creating is what you’re creating. So knowing your numbers, your data is super important. And again, this is like your financial numbers. If you don’t know what these things are, you need to go in and figure it out right now. And here’s what I want to say as a side note, for those of you that have, you know, funnels, and you’re doing a lot of online marketing, and you maybe are driving a lot of traffic or wanting to or creating email lists or things like that, where you need some of these more important analytics that really come online, because you’re doing a lot of online marketing and online service. Right? That is one, that is one plan or one piece of information that you need. There’s also just the very easy, basic type of data that I think is equally as important. And sometimes we forget about it, when we’re in the online marketing world, or online and kind of everybody’s talking about things like Google Analytics and your back end and HubSpot and all these other things that we forget.

[13:59] And that is the simple stuff like, you know, do you know who you’re speaking to? Right? Do you have like a spreadsheet where you’re keeping track of who it is that you’ve talked to and what you talk to them about? Are they captured in your calendar for an example? Do you have a physical piece of paper planner, where you’re keeping track of some sort of notes? Do you have a target list like things like that, that don’t require any fancy integration or it’s not even necessarily online? It could be something totally simple that you have in a notebook, it doesn’t really matter. It is data all the same from some of my clients who do high end consulting and they’re running businesses like that. They’re not going to have these sophisticated online funnels. It’s more of relationship building and word of mouth and connection with a very specific type of person and a very specific number of people, but they are still required to track it. They need to understand, did I talk to a bajillion people this week, which people will say, right? I gotta talk, I talked to a gazillion people. And we’re like, Okay, that’s great, but like, how many people is that really? And if they’ve written down that they have spoken to 20 people about their business this week, that is a very specific and different number than a gajillion people. So it doesn’t have to be super sophisticated or complicated. But tracking that data, having that hard data is so important.

[15:30] Total sidenote, and I joke about this all the time, this comes into contact with just about every single thing that you do in your life. And I get up on a podium, and I would say this, if you’re not tracking it, you don’t really know. And I tell people that all the time when you ask them, like how much water did you drink today? They’re like, tons, oh, I drink water all the time. And then when you ask them to start tracking it, they’ve drank like two cups of water in a day. It’s just so funny, because if we’re not really tracking it, we don’t know. And speaking of water, I’m like, if you don’t feel like you are floating away, and like running to the bathroom, every five minutes, you are not drinking two liters of water a day, because you will know if you’re drinking that much water. So that’s like a perfect example or you want to walk 10,000 steps. Well, let me tell you, when I got my Fitbit, I was blown out of the water about number one, how often I wasn’t walking 10,000 steps. But yesterday, I went for a walk with a friend, and we walked quite a bit. And I thought, okay, I definitely hit my 10,000 steps today. But when I actually looked at the end of the day, I was at 16,000 steps, like I would have totally underestimated that. So tracking and knowing your numbers and knowing your data is super important in your business, especially, but literally in every aspect of your life. So know your numbers, look at your data so you can make good decisions, both about what happened and what you want to do going forward.

[16:51] And fourth is, what are your goals for the next 90 days going forward? When you want to get prepared for the quarter coming up, you need to have a runway you need to prepare for that quarter, you need to do some planning and some assumptions. And you need to take that data that you looked at, and you need to think about what it is that was working and isn’t working in your business. And you need to look at your cash flow and all those pieces. And you need to decide, “what are my goals for my next 90 days?” And then from there, you’re going to then create a plan. And I will tell you that any quarter with no plan is a missed opportunity. A lot of people will do maybe some back of the envelope things or they’ll kind of do it real time. And I’m here to tell you I was that person for a very long time. And if I’m being transparent in some parts of my life, I’m still that person where I’m trying to get in front of the curve and really create that plan consistently. But in my business, I am a planner, I am a planner down to, what do I want to create? What are my revenue targets? How am I going to get there? What does it look like for my offers, and how am I going to make that come together?

[18:09] Based on the data that I have, the desire that I have, and the goals that I’m setting, I do not ever go into any quarter without a plan. And I will tell you that whether it’s in my business, or my personal life, when I have a plan, my results are infinitely bigger and more powerful than when I don’t. And I know for some people who’d like to sort of fly by the seat of their pants and be spontaneous, that the idea of creating a plan, it feels like shackling themselves to the wall. I get it because I was that person too. But here’s what I want to tell you, you will find so much freedom after you create the plan and the framework. When you have those guardrails and that clarity on what it is that you want, you get to be whoever you want to be within that construct. And because you’re giving your brain so much more creative space, because you’ve nailed down the framework, you can create so much more impact.

[19:12] It allowed me to be so much more creative. It allowed me to think about my clients and my results so much more because I had already put that foundation in place. I already knew where I wanted to go. I had anchored in those things like my offers and the different programs and all that stuff that I needed, and then I could just play within the space, and it was so great. Now, it is not a perfectly oiled machine all of the time. Life happened and part of the plan is to allow for that flex. So that’s the other thing that planning does. It’s almost the opposite of rigidity. It gives us a framework where we can roll with life and the ebbs and flows of everything, but you will create infinitely more results and impact act when you have that plan.

[20:02] So going back to looking at how to get ready for the next 90 days, I want to recap these four things. And for anyone who is listening to this, I want you to literally write these things down. And I want you to go down this checklist, I would say do it this week, because the quarter is coming quickly, you know, the end of the quarter is coming quickly, and the next quarter is going to be starting. And whether it’s the beginning or the end of the quarter, it doesn’t really matter, you can do this anytime. This is really a philosophy for writing the ship whenever you need to. So maybe like things have gone a little haywire, you’re in the middle of a quarter, and you need to get back on track, this is how you do it. But doing it at the end of a quarter or preparing for the next quarter, in this way is pure magic.

[20:50] Okay, so I’m going to go over the steps again. Number one, know your financial numbers, get your financial house in order, know where that money is going nowhere it’s coming from, make sure that you understand the behavior and the ebb and the flow of it, and get your finances in order, in order. You really need that. You need to know and be intimately involved with your finances, both in your business. And if you are also touching your personal life with your business, meaning you are spending money from your business to support your personal finances, your personal life, you need to understand how those things are working in tandem and get those things you know, really streamlined and kind of locked in.

[21:32] The second thing is know what is working and what is not working in your business. There are things that are working better than you think. And there are things that are working worse than you think. And you want to know exactly what’s going on. One of the best things that I’ve talked with about my clients about in the last quarter is if it’s working, keep doing it. And so many times we try to reinvent the wheel and start new things and all the things, and it’s wastes so much time and energy. Like what’s working that you could do more of? What do you love doing that you could dial up? That’s what you want to be looking for, and are those there things that are not working, that you need to get rid of that are either dragging your cashflow down or like whatever. You just want to, you want to know what’s going on in your business.

[22:11] Number three is, know your data. Get intimately involved with your data. You cannot make good decisions as a business owner without understanding the brass tacks of the data. So many people do not track or look at their data. And I don’t care if you have a sophisticated marketing funnel, or you have a word-of-mouth relationship building high touch business, you need to know your data, you need to know your numbers, you need to track them. And you need to be able to look at them so that you know what’s going on. Additionally, as you make decisions as a business owner, you want to look at that data to know if you are actually creating the results you want to create. And that’s the beauty of it being your business, you get to do whatever you want. And your data will tell you if it’s working or not. So know your numbers and know your data.

[22:59] And last but not least, make sure that you have clarity around what are your goals for the next 90 days. Do you know what it is that you want to accomplish in the next quarter? It needs to be clear. It needs to be simple and streamlined. And you need to be able to build a plan against that. And you build that plan against that by taking all the other things that we talked about looking at your finances, looking at what’s working, and what isn’t looking at your numbers and your data, and making good, educated decisions about what it is that you want to be doing going forward in the next quarter, and how you’re going to get there. And once you marry all those things together, it is fun, it is clear, it is powerful, and you could just show up every day, really feeling like you have control of your business, which is what so many of us want.

[23:48] We don’t want to feel like we’re kind of on this roller coaster that feels like it is so much out of our control. Because here’s the truth, it is not out of our control. It is very, very, very much in your control. And the most important part of that is grabbing those reins. And deciding that you’re going to manage your business show up as the business owner that you want to be. And you’re going to plan to create what you want going forward. And from there, everything is possible.

[24:15] So I want you to go back, as I mentioned, write down these four things, and right now, today, go and work through this list. There is no time like the present to get clear on what’s going on in your business and where you want to go. And this financial focus, this idea of your numbers, where’s that money coming from? What is working, what isn’t working? What do I want to do going forward? What is that revenue number and the business that I want? It can happen right now. I am so excited for all of you. I am cheering you on. And I cannot wait to see what you create in the next quarter and beyond.