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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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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.

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How do you stand out from the crowd?

So many people talk about customer service or their passion – that’s like going to buy a car and the sales sleaze saying “this one comes with tyres!”

Years ago there was a guy who was a Ruby on Rails Core Contributor (basically he was famous in my part of the tech world) and he used to come to our meet-ups.

One month he excitedly announced he was starting a new agency with this guy Zach – called Made in London. Except every time he said it, people replied “what? Like french maid?” He got angrier and angrier as the night went on.

The next morning I set up a site called Maid in London, photoshopped his face onto a saucy maid photo and then linked through to his real site. My friends and I had a laugh about this.

Weeks later Zach (who I didn’t know) asked on Twitter who had built this site – he had seen traffic from it going to the real site. I owned up and he thought it funny.

Months after that, Zach got a request for some work he couldn’t do. He remembered me, got in touch and I got a six month contract out of it.

All because I did some stupid stuff with a hangover to poke fun at someone I knew.

So you don’t have to be bland or corporate or slick to get noticed. Just don’t be an arsehole.