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Finances are a bit of a taboo subject, in general, but especially in the world of creative or small business ownership.
As intentional business owners, making a living and having a steady paycheck is a big part of what allows us to do our job, and do it well. It’s not greedy or selfish to want to be paid a living wage. Or to make a full time income for your business. But we have to be willing to dig into the numbers and our business, to set those goals and make them happen.
So today I encourage you to really spend some time thinking about your financial goals, what you need to feel secure in your business, and what it’s going to take to make that happen. Let’s dive in.
This total is how much you absolutely need to make monthly to cover all your bases and not be in a panic at the end of each month.
This is the number I shoot for each month! With the Minimum Monthly Goal, I know my bills are getting paid, but the Lifestyle Monthly Goal is what I need to hit to create that life I really enjoy.
I also always keep a stretch goal in mind. This is more than my Lifestyle Monthly Goal and would allow me to put more into savings, paying debt or things like travel. It’s a number that seems hard to reach, but not impossible.
For example, if my monthly goal were $4000, my stretch goal could be $6000. Setting a stretch goal that’s MUCH higher (like $20,000/month) is generally unrealistic and might put unnecessary stress and disappointment on your work life.
It’s not enough to write out the numbers. Now you need a focused, intentional plan to dig deep into your business and make it work. This is where you can see how your current business offerings will allow you to meet your intentional financial goals. Sometimes, this shows us that we simple can’t meet our goals with our current business model.
For example, if you aren’t pricing high enough, and would need to take on 20 clients a month. That is probably unrealistic, so you need to raise your prices to meet your goals.
First, outline each of your services or offerings and how much you make from them. This is when a spreadsheet might come in handy.
Next, outline an estimate of how many you can sell each month. This could be the number of clients you can work with or the amount of product your shop sells. Use past months to get an idea of what’s realistic time wise and energy wise for you.
Finally, check what it would look like to cover your Minimum Monthly Goal, and what it would look like to reach your Lifestyle Monthly Goal or Stretch Goal.
Lifestyle Goal: $5000/month
For the month my goal could be:
Which would reach not only my Lifestyle Goal but my Stretch Goal as well.
Lifestyle Goal: $3000/month
For the month my goal could be:
Now that you know what you need in order to reach your goals, you need to think about how to actually bring in sales to make that happen. Which activities directly impact your number of clients or sales? How can you show up in your business in a way that allows it to thrive and flourish financially?
This could mean focusing on one or two avenues of marketing and cutting out the rest that don’t drive business. Or reorganizing your process so each client / customer loves their experience and shares word-of-mouth referrals. Or just simple setting daily work goals that allow you to work wholeheartedly, without feeling burnt out or slacking on your personal self care.
At the end of the day, money can be really scary and stressful as a creative entrepreneur. But honing in on your goals and EXACTLY what you need to do to meet them, helps it feel more reachable. I challenge you to spend some time, really get intentional and focus with your financial goals in business. And then keep checking in every week!
It’s not enough to write a budget or set goals once, then never look at it again. The more time you spend in your bank account and getting intentional with your income streams, the less scary it seems. We all deserve to run impactful, holistic businesses that ALSO support the lifestyle we want to live. But you have to do the work to make it happen.
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