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Looking at the numbers

Do you like numbers?

Personally I’m not really that interested.

But they can be useful.

I’ve just put together a projection for a personal trainer, showing how he can get to his goal of £6000/month take-home.

He puts in how many clients he expects to have each month and it tells him how much he is likely to be spending on wages, how much he needs to set aside to cover tax and how much he can afford to pay himself. On his current structure and growth rate, he’ll get to paying himself £5300 per month in February 2022, but no higher.

That shows him, quite clearly, that he’s going to have to raise his prices at some point.

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I went through and redesigned the dashboard for my business last week. I put my figures from March onwards into the new format, and got the graph below. It shows a correlation between the number of conversations I have (meetings, one-to-ones, LinkedIn messages) – the blue line – and the number of clients I have – the purple dotted line.

That shows me, quite clearly, that I need to start conversations with more people.

So knowing the numbers might not be exciting but it can give real clarity and show you what to do next.

Which numbers do you track and what do they tell you?

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The algorithm made me do it

My wife’s a teacher so she’s had months of guff about education from people who know nothing about it.

As I write this there’s a load of guff going around about algorithms by people who know nothing about them.

An algorithm is just a way of making a decision.

If you’re trying to decide whether to take an umbrella with you, your algorithm might be “gather data (look at the sky) and if it’s dark grey take the umbrella”. Simple right?

But that algorithm is based on a piece of knowledge – dark skies normally mean rain coming soon. Asking someone who has only ever lived in Death Valley to write your umbrella algorithm might look very different.

However now we have a sea change in algorithms. Machine learning has changed everything – instead of asking a human being to use their experience to make the decisions, we give a machine tons of data and it spots trends and analyses that humans can’t see. And then uses those to make the decisions.

Which is amazing.

However the decisions that come from this are only as good the data that the system is trained on. If you give the umbrella algorithm nothing but Death Valley weather data it’s not likely to be able to predict umbrella usage in Manchester.

So algorithms aren’t the problem. We use them every day.

The real problem is keeping control of who writes them, who trains them. And no one is looking at that.

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How do you make sure you get results?

Learning new stuff and making plans is all very well. They are two essential aspects of getting your business where you want it to be, of building a reliable business that brings in consistent income and supports the life you want to lead.

But learning and planning aren’t enough.

You can learn all the new stuff in the world, you can write the perfect plan, but if you actually want to get there, you need to do it.

And, for me, the best way to do it is to have someone holding me accountable.

Knowing that I’ve got to report back to someone else and let them know why I’ve not done what I had promised myself, let them know why I’ve altered the plan again, that keeps me in check.

So I can show you the exact way my programmes work; the questions I ask you, the plans I want you to write. The first one – the Client Attraction Blueprint – is a free download in the comments.

Because that’s not the valuable part.

The valuable part is when you report back to me; every day at first, every week as we progress. You can message me, you can call me, when you need help to stay on track.

The learning and planning are step one. But getting results is what it’s all about.