Every entrepreneur knows that if you don’t have a sustainable plan for profitability, then one can easily fall into the category of “wanna-be-preneur.” Shontaye Hawkins, Bottom Line Strategist™ of Dallas, uses her financial prowess to “see through” the numbers by setting up her clients with profitable game plans of success. Highly skilled and laser-beam focused on busting down income barriers, eliminating money leaks, and identifying profit strategies, she loves and lives by her business mantra, “Because profit is sexy. Profit is a measure of success.”
As a small child, Hawkins recalls sitting in her dad’s office playing on a 10 key machine, pretending to answer the phone and take messages. Today, as a thriving business coach, speaker, trainer, and founder of Profit Is The New Black™, she handles real deal scenarios with hundreds of entrepreneurs who have hit the “profit ceiling.” She helps clients to silence the stress, confusion, and adversity that deter sustainable growth and accelerated profits.
We asked Hawkins to share expertise and strategies on how business owners (full time and side hustlers) can eliminate money leaks and income barriers to grow their business’ bottom line.
Money leaks are activities that cost your business in the form of lost revenue or paying more expenses than necessary. Building a profitable business isn’t one sided. You need to manage both generated income and paid out expenses. You can generate loads of revenue and still be in the red. For example, if you’re spending money faster than it’s coming in the door. Income barriers are operational inefficiencies that limit a business’ ability to grow, expand, and maximize its bottom line.
Don’t Play The Website Waiting Game: Business owners sometimes believe that they need a website before they can make money in their business. That’s not the case. This way of thinking is deeply rooted in the belief that it takes money to make money, I believe it doesn’t take money to make money. It takes consistent action. For instance, network where your ideal customers or clients gather and share how you can bring value to them.
Recognize That The Price Isn’t Right: Understand that your business is not a game show so setting your prices (or fees) too low or not increasing your fees can dramatically affect your business’ bottom line and keep you in the red. There are many reasons business owners are afraid to charge what they are worth. One of the major reasons is related to their money story and beliefs about money.
Keep All Eyeballs On Your Bank: According to the SBA, one of the top 10 reasons small businesses fail is due to poor accounting which simply boils down to one thing—not looking at the numbers. The most successful business owners know exactly how much money they need to make to breakeven and to be profitable. When you’re intentional about growing the bottom line, you focus on strategies that will do just that—grow revenues and reduce expenses. With 85% of small businesses failing in the first year, it’s critical to put a system in place to monitor, review, and track your financial results, weekly and monthly. Waiting until the end of the year to review your results is too late to make any changes to affect that current year. Inspect what you expect.
Shut This Service Down: Ensuring that you’re not paying for unnecessary expenses can boost your profits. Implementing a financial review process monthly will help identify systems and/or services that need to be canceled or downgraded. Sometimes it’s not about bringing in more clients and customers to boost your bottom line. It can be as simple as reviewing your expenses to ensure that you’re not paying for a service that no longer serves you.
Find Fortune In The Follow-up: Attending business events and conferences are a great way to grow your business. However, if you’re at these events just collecting business cards and not connecting then that’s a money leak and income barrier. You want to make sure you have a plan in place to follow up with those you meet. Your follow-up system and process should include e-mail as well as phone contact, typically within 48 to 72 hours after the event.
You Won’t Find “I” In Team: When a business owner spends time inundated in administrative tasks and does not hire a virtual assistant (VA) or team, this limits their ability to focus on money-making activities. The single most important thing that stops most struggling entrepreneurs from building a team is money. They wonder how they’re going to cover the cost of a team when they’re barely making money. As a business owner, you need to understand what your time is truly worth. Let’s say you could hire a virtual assistant to handle e-mail and social media for $50 an hour. While your VA is handling administrative tasks, you’re able to make sales calls and focus on revenue generating activities. If during that hour you generate $10,000 or $100,000 in sales, then $50 an hour is nominal in comparison.
Open Your Big Money Mouth – There are three ways to increase your revenue: charge more, sell to more people, and add more revenue streams. But you can do all three things and still fail to increase revenues if you’re not asking for the money. Warning: The assumptions you make up about a potential client and your very own money beliefs can paralyze you from asking for the money (closing the deal). You may have heard that a closed mouth doesn’t get fed. Well, a closed mouth doesn’t get paid. Ask for the money, honey.
Hawkins’ hosts a complimentary Profit Is The New Black™ webinar and tele-class monthly and will offer the Show Me The Profit virtual workshop on Friday, March 27th. She commits to working with a small group of business owners to fix (no sexy band aids) the specific challenges in their business by revealing the exact profit strategies taught to her private coaching clients.
Find out more here.