There’s a residual effect of days gone by when the education of women and their expected career paths leaned to the English or Social Studies side, while men were more encouraged to pursue careers in the Math or Science fields.
So many women leaders, myself included at the start of my career, feel intimidated, or simply, uncomfortable, around numbers.
Numbers are throughout all areas of our business and we cannot shy away from them because they give us powerful insight.
Let’s break it down:
Social media. Whether you utilize one, or various platforms, there is something to learn from each post. Sure, numbers come across in our follower count, but that number doesn’t tell us the engagement and results of our efforts. Having 100,000 followers but no sales is when numbers can be deceiving. It also causes us to compare ourselves to one another, when that truly doesn’t tell us anything of value.
When you post on your social media channels, look at the engagement of your posts and who took action. For instance, I bought a new notebook the other day with beautiful flowers on the front, as I’m an avid gardener, and I shared it on LinkedIn — mainly just as an afterthought. I didn’t realize the impact of that post. Tons of likes and comments, even new connections! It showed me that my followers liked the personal touch. They liked getting a glimpse into my life, into my day, into my hobbies. We do business with people we know, like and trust, and social media is a great way to show our personality, and our brand, to the world.
If you have a newsletter, look at your subscriber count, but focus more on the actions. If your list is small, but it’s quality and full of your ideal clients, then you are doing just fine. If it’s large and open rate is down, maybe a good clean up or a re-engagement campaign is due.
Look at your YouTube views and see which videos are performing the best. What were you talking about? It’s the same with podcast downloads. Why did certain interviews perform better? Was it the guest helping to promote? Was it the topic? Was it when it was posted? All of these numbers help you create a strategic plan going forward.
Networking. We are back to a lot of in-person events right now, but even if you are still doing a lot of things virtually, check in on the numbers. How many people have you connected with and how much follow-up have you done? How much time are you spending per week? What sales have you closed? If you consistently go to one meeting and aren’t seeing any new connections formed or sales made, your time might be better spent elsewhere. If you aren’t calendaring out time for 1:1 calls, that might be the reason sales are down, so increase your time there.
Unless you are truly a salesperson or came from a background in sales, it’s not always top of mind to look at conversion rates. Often, we look to the next opportunity and focus on that, rather than the whole picture of what our numbers are telling us. How many intro calls do you do, how many free calls, how many sales calls? What does the conversion rate look like? What does your pricing look like? Is it coinciding with your conversion rate? Rates too low and signing everyone? Rates too high and signing no one? Use the numbers to get your prices right and your contracts solid.
Just recently, I had two of my clients increase their pricing on certain offerings. After 90 days, we did a review to see if anything had changed. It had not, meaning they were most likely undervaluing themselves in the first place and no new clients raised an issue with the higher pricing.
Are you ready to hire? How many people? Are you overstaffed? Why? What does your retention rate look like? Has turnover increased? If so, what changes happened that made those numbers rise?
If you are overwhelmed, overworked, and putting in too many hours, it is time to hire and expand your team. Time is a number. Pay attention to it all and restructure if you aren’t getting the results you want.
The logical numbers to stay on top of are your actual numbers. I do Money Mondays where I look at accounts receivable and sales and determine what actions I need to take through the week to hit my goals. I also do Financial Fridays, when I make sure all bills and invoices are paid so I can go into the weekend with a clear head. Find a practice that works for you and make it a habit.
I also created something called a Money Speedometer, which I use as a monthly goal tracker. It’s my financial goals for growing and scaling, over and above current expected revenue.
Quarterly, it’s good to touch base on your overhead. What is changing? Do you need to invest in something? Do you need to stop investing in something else? What is working and what is not?
Ivy Slater is the CEO of Slater Success and a professionally certified business coach, speaker, podcast host, and internationally best-selling author of her book From The Barre To The Boardroom: Choreographing Business Success Through Authentic Relationships