I’m a big believer in carrying out a business audit on a six-monthly basis. Not only do they help you stay on track, they also enable you to see how far you’ve come with your VA business. The great thing about six-monthly business audits is they keep you focused. By celebrating your successes, you stay motivated and, by recognising when you’re off track – you have time to turn it around before the year end.
However, it’s inevitable that at some stage during the year, your motivation is going to take a nosedive. This is why it’s so important to monitor your progress on a six monthly basis, so you can deal with it when it does happen. (If you need to revamp your motivation, check out this recent blog post: https://www.vact.co.uk/stuck-in-rut-when-you-lose-your-motivation/).
If you want to utilise the benefits of a business audit, you need to know how to effectively carry one out. Start by gathering your diary, your financial figures (forecasts, monthly breakdowns etc) and your goals for the year.
Once you have those things, here’s how I break a business audit down.
Step #1: How do you feel?
It may sound like an odd place to start, but for many of us, our gut feelings are telling us how our year has gone. But those feelings may not always be accurate. I’ve lost track of how many VAs I mentor, who feel that they haven’t achieved much during our monthly calls – but when I ask them to list what they’ve achieved, it’s actually quite a lot! So start your business audit, by asking yourself – How do you feel this year has gone so far?
Step #2: Use the business audit as a reminder to celebrate your wins
For many of us, we’re so focused on pushing forward, we forget to acknowledge and celebrate what we’re achieving, so this is a great time to remind yourself of your wins so far. So, take a look at what accomplishments you’ve achieved. What worked for you? How many of your goals are on track? Are you on target to with your financial forecast? How many new clients and/or Associates do you now have? What did you do well? What are your clients praising you for? Did you celebrate these wins? (If not, why not do so now!).
Step #3: Acknowledge what didn’t work
It’s equally important to look at what hasn’t work for you. This isn’t about beating yourself up over any mistakes or omissions – it’s about just acknowledging and accepting where you’re currently at. What goals have fallen by the wayside? What tasks are you avoiding? What did you try but didn’t finish or get the results you wanted?
Step #4: Adjust your goals and plans
So far your business audit has given you a breakdown of what has and hasn’t worked and has given you an overview of where you’re currently at. But that’s only half of the business audit – now you need to tweak your goals and plans, to reflect where you want to be by the end of this year. Are there any goals that are no longer needed or are no longer relevant? Do you need to get focused and stricter with your working time? Do you need to hire a mentor to keep you accountable and on track? What do you need to implement, stop, change or adapt, in order to reach your year end goals?
Step #5: Take action
Now you’ve reviewed your year, acknowledged where you are and amended your goals and plans, it’s time to take action. Break down your goals into manageable action steps and make a list of investments you need, in order to move forward – such as new software, training and mentors.
By taking the time now and using a business audit to check your progress, you can both acknowledge your achievements and steer your VA business back on track, when needed – so you can end this year on a high!
Whether you’re looking to push your VA business further, faster, or overcome any blocks and barriers that are preventing you from gaining momentum in the first place, mentoring is a great way of getting you where you want to be. Here at VACT we have an effective and affordable mentoring programme to support you – you can check out the details over at: https://www.vact.co.uk/training/coaching/