Start Small, Win Big 2012: Your Wk 3 Action Plan

Your Week 3 Action Plan

For Week 3 (Feb. 6), read the February 2012 issue for Step 3: Know Your Numbers—When You’re Down, by How Much and Why. Then check your inbox for the Feb. 6 Start Small Win Big newsletter.

This week’s assignment is to understand and evaluate your small business’ numbers. Roll your sleeves up. We’ve got a lot of work to do.


If you do your own books:

  • How do this year’s numbers compare with last year’s — up, down or the same? If you’re just getting started, compare a smaller time period — month over month, or even week over week.

If someone does your books for you:

  • Big picture, what’s suffering? Why?

If you don’t carry formal books (like small blog owners, freelancers):

  • Now’s the time to start your record-keeping.
  • Track your monthly earnings and expenses for as far back as you can document. Blog owners can specifically track traffic or affiliate earnings.


Trend Analysis

Find out what your competitors are doing in the following fields:

  • Industry margins — what are they and how do your numbers compare?
  • Marketing — what are others’ mistakes and successes?
  • How can you take a current trend and put your own brand stamp on it?



And finally, listen to the people you’ve brought on board to help you: your controller, public relations team and others. These people want you to do well—they don’t get paid if you don’t. So don’t ignore their warnings. Instead, ask for details and strategize ways to make improvements.


COMMENT below with your answers and find inspiration from others.


Tory Johnson is CEO and founder of Spark & Hustle, a weekly contributor on ABC's Good Morning America and a contributing editor of SUCCESS magazine.

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