If you are anything like the billion other budding entrepreneurs, mumpreneuers, business owners, trail-blazers, change-makers (whatever you want to call yourself) that there are out there in the world, then chances are at some point in your journey you found yourself at that transition stage. In fact perhaps you find yourself there right now.
That time when your business can still only be described as "hobby" status and although there is huge growth on the horizon with the right amount of hustle and heart, you are feeling overwhelmed at all the steps that were ahead of you in the process.
However there does come a point where your business is growing, you're getting traction and yet somehow it still seems stagnant. Often it is our actions or mindset that holds us back. So here are 10 signs that you're not treating your business like a real business.
1. You don't know how much money you are making.
Money is a very important aspect of the business process. If you aren't making money in your business, than you have yourself a (probably expensive) hobby. Ask any retail or corporate business what they made yesterday or last week and chances are they will be able to check the file and tell you exactly. Why would you not give the same level of care to your online business?
2. You don't know how much money you are spending.
This is almost hand in hand with the first point but is still a standalone point on its own. If you are bleeding money paying for systems that aren't serving you, how will you know unless you are tracking it? Put a system in place.
3. When people ask what you do you still glumly mumble about your day job.
Get loud, get proud, and get passionate. I have been guilty about this in the past -- but no more. When someone asks what you do this is your chance to start telling them about your amazing new venture in online business. Tell them what you are doing and let them feel your positive energy. If your day job isn't your passion then let your elevator pitch be all about your online business.
4. You don't track your "business time".
In business there are money-making activities and there are simply admin activities. If you don't know where you are spending your time then you have no idea what you are actually getting paid per hour, really. A coach might get paid $110 for an hour session but really she spent five hours of her time on social media marketing to get only one client for one hour. So really she got paid $110 for five hours work -- not so worth it. If you track it correctly you can begin to spot the time-suckers and can eliminate them.
5. You spend four hours trying to decide what font to use (or other style time-wasters).
If you are still faffing about making petty decisions in your business like logo's and font's and colors' and which image really speaks to you -- then you are missing the whole point. Yes branding is important in an online business -- but it isn't the WHOLE thing. Instead focus on money-making activities like providing value to your audience.
6. You haven't delegated the stuff you suck at.
Unless you have already done the hard yards and learned everything you need to know and you can do it all fairly easily -- learn to delegate. Get a VA. Pay someone on Fiverr. If it takes you three hours to get one blog post up on a Wordpress website then write the blog and send it to a VA to set up for you. When you are taking your business seriously, you will take yourself more seriously and leave your time open for the real money-making business activities that you are best at.
7. You're still deciding when to take your annual leave at your day job.
This is equivalent to not giving yourself a quit my job date. If you are still planning on when to take your annual leave this year at your day job in December -- it isn't a real business. Sure sometimes it is practical to book, just in case, but realistically that is just proving you don't 100 percent believe in your own dream just yet. If you can't see a way out of your day job -- you aren't committed enough to your business idea just yet.
8. You have no idea who your real ideal clients are.
As Marie Forleo says, "If you are selling to everybody, you are selling to nobody." If your business is still underway and you can't articulate who your ideal client is that you are targeting -- stop everything now. Go back to the beginning, work out who really needs your product, get really detailed on that person and target accordingly. Your marketing, message and thus impact will be that much more than if you continue with the wishy washy please everybody approach.
9. You have no idea what your real purpose is.
Why are you in business? What difference do you really want to make? If you are working towards something that doesn't fulfil your true purpose then things will get very difficult for you very quickly. When you know the why you want to do what you do, only then will your purpose be able to shine through in your business and the impact of that will follow.
10. Your actions are demonstrating that other things are more important.
When you say you value your business growth but you are prioritizing socializing over business hustle, it is time to check yourself. Do you really want this? Do you really want the ultimate freedom over your time, money and creativity in an online business that you can run from anywhere in the world? If you don't want it, stop wasting time and let it go. If you do want the big impact and end result then drop the act and do what matters most first -- your business (but keep your loved ones on side -- you need someone to celebrate with at the top!).
BONUS: You set business goals without ACTION.
And action is everything. If you aren't actually taking the time to action your business goals to ensure that what you set out to do in your business or for your brand actually gets done -- then your business is going to continue along in a half-arsed fashion. Your business won't get serious until you do -- so set the goals and then hustle your butt off to actually do the action that is necessary.
Join Kitty and a tribe of other like-minded small business go-getters in the free Passion to Paycheck Facebook community here.