I don't know about you, but I'm super excited for next year. One of my friends who's a numerology expert told me that based on numbers, next year is going to explode business, and I hope he's right. I really do. I hope it's awesome for you. I certainly hope it's awesome for me as well! In order to make the year awesome, the first thing you have to do in order to move forward is to look back. What I mean by this is you have to look at your numbers. Many different numbers are going to give you insight as to ways that you can actually make next year the best year you've ever had. One of the things I talked about a while ago is how to make $100,000.
What Are Your Goals Next Year?
I put up a post on my Facebook page about how to make $100,000. It's really simple. All you have to do is sell a $500 product to 200 people. Now, if you want to make a million dollars, sell that same $500 product to 2,000 people and you've made a million dollars, right? There are formulas. You can take the numbers and massage them and do things like that, but what really matters is what happened in your business last year that's going to help you propel forward to get to whatever goals you have. Whether it's six figures, seven figures, it doesn't matter. It's up to you to decide, and you need to be realistic. I mean, you know, we'd all love to go from making 100,000 to a million, right?
We'd all love to do that, but in reality, it's not that easy. What is easy is going back and looking at exactly what you did last year and then trying to predict what's going to happen next year. Let me give you an example, and if I've told this story before and you've heard it, I'm sorry. I don't know if I've given this example in a podcast, but I've certainly given it in a lot of speeches. I started this business in 2001, after I left the corporate world because I could not play well in the (I'm doing air quotes right now) corporate sandbox. I began this business building business card CDs.
Living In The Past
At the time, I was a programmer. I was very well versed at doing Macromedia Director and I knew how to do video. I was able to say, “Okay, I can take your videos and put them on a business card CD and you can hand them out to people like business cards.” It was awesome. It kept my business afloat for the first year and made a lot of money on it. Second year was okay. Third year, all of a sudden, my CD burner breaks and dies, and so I looked at the CD thing and I said, “Ah. Let me research it.” I went out and found a handful of them and they were about $1500.00. I said, “Okay, you know, $1500.00 isn't too bad, considering how well I'm doing.” Then, I dove into my QuickBooks and I it showed me how much money I made on developing business card CDs, but more importantly, how much business I made duplicating CDs. Right?
Making CDs is one thing. Duplicating them is another. I looked at the year before, and of course, I made a whopping $200 duplicating business card CDs. I thought, “Whoa. Wait a minute. This doesn't make sense. Why would I spend $1500 on a machine that would help me make $200?” Every year, profit had been going down, so if the trend continued (it went from $2,000 to $1,000 to $500 to $200 over the course of four years) why would I do that? I could do one of two things. I could either buy the machine and hope that it paid off over the course of years, outsource my work or I could realize that business card CDs are not the future.
Guess what? Pretty soon, CD players were no longer included in laptops and they slowly started to not be included in desktop machines or on any kind of computer. DVDs were there, but it was not something that people were using as much, because then everything started to go to the cloud. Now, keep in mind, all of this was happening pre-YouTube, pre-Vimeo and also pre-Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. There was nothing at the time when I was building these business card CDs that would have allowed me to post my work on the Internet. That was when the size of Internet video was what we call postage stamp. You had these little itty-bitty videos that I still have on my hard drive today. They are cute little things that on today's screens look like postage stamps.
Review Your Books (Quickbooks)
The point I'm trying to make is if you want to move forward, you have got to look back. You need to start with your QuickBooks. Go look at your numbers and see what you did last year. See what the trends are. See where you started to make more money in a category and less money in others. Now, I drive my accountant crazy because I have over 100 income categories. This is really important to me, because I track every single thing that I do, whether it's a class, a course, a speech, etc. No matter what it is, I track it down to the nickel and I make sure that every single week I go through my accounting and keep it up to date, because I want to see the trends. I want to see what's happening in my business and I want to be able to react to that.
If I'm making more money in one category, I'm going to spend more time promoting that. If I'm making less money in something, I'm going to spend less time promoting that. Building websites has been my business since 1997. I've built over 1,000 websites, but you know what? Now, people are going in and they're building or editing websites themselves. They're using Squarespace or Wix. They're using all of these free sites and they're hiring people from India, so that has not been a growing trend.
Now, is that the right way to do get your website built? Nah. In my world, I'd say “no”, because really what you want is somebody who is going to help you and guide you through the process, but what I've been able to do is help those people improve what they're doing. My business has really been built on training, growing and educating people, so now I can see the trend where that training, growing and education is the place that I need to focus more of my time and less of my time on building websites.
It also is the same thing when you look at your Google Analytics. I personally believe that you need to have very niched websites or landing pages. I have developed over 25 websites for myself. I went into Google Analytics this year and have been getting the renewal notices from GoDaddy or wherever, saying to keep your domain name we're going to charge you $22 or more to renew this name.
I went back to the Analytics and looked at a handful of the renewal notices and realized some are sites I built years ago when I did my first book. They were social media for professors, social media for photographers, so on and so forth. I looked at the different sites and I realized that those sites were getting zero traffic. Now, part of it's my fault because I wasn't promoting them as much, but the content was good for those particular people. It just was not a niche that was working for me.
Measurement is essential to your business. You need to look at trends from not only last year, but from years past. It will give you a clear indication of what has happened in your business, and also what you may want to focus on the next year!
I hope your 2017 is the best year ever. You are in control of that and I strongly suggest that you use history to predict the future. It's in your BEST interest!
What you have to do is go back and look at your numbers, and make sure that you're moving ahead by looking back.
To learn more about this and other topics on Internet Marketing, visit our podcast website at http://www.baconpodcast.com/podcasts/