The other day I read this really great blog about over organizing yourself and how this can hinder your productivity. It got me thinking about my habits and how they can sometimes get in the way of actually working in my business.
Tracking is what came to mind for me. How much does one need to do to stay on top of things?
A few weeks back I was speaking to a client and asking about the cost of goods sold on his products. He tossed some numbers at me, thought that was about right he said after some stumbling. (it was all very clear to me in that moment, that’s why he hired me)
When I sat down and ran the numbers for him I realized that he was spending a significant more creating his product then he was selling it for. He was also not including his own labor costs in the estimate and when we calculated that in it was apparent he was losing money with each sale.
Tracking the cost of goods sold is only one example in a business where you may want to keep a tally.
Before I go on, I will admit that I am a manic tracker, I track everything in my business and many things in my life. I track my time, my personal spending, and my eating habits just to name a few.
I have tried many software programs, there are some really great ones out there. Then I realized working on my own that I was spending way too much time using all that software!
Trello and such programs are great for teams and larger businesses, but for me, more work than they were worth. Its always about ROI, how much was I getting back from my time investment? Not enough.
One day, I took a step back, to the good old days when the only way to track and run numbers was a spreadsheet!
Anyone who follows me will tell you that I love Google, I love that it’s free and flexible. What I really love are the sheets found on Google.
I use simple Google sheets to track everything from my client projects to my billing for them. If you don’t use Excel or Sheets, I recommend learning them well. The flexibility and functionality of simple sheets will trump most software programs if you are working solo.
If you are working with one or two others, the comment and assignment features make it super handy. I use them with my less techie clients because I can easily communicate what I am doing and assign them tasks for the things they need to provide.
I don’t have the time or patience to learn every organization tool but I do need to track to stay on top of my own profit and loss. I teach my clients tracking as a way for them to stay on top of their business.
Tracking is an integral part of my business both to see where I am going as well as see what I have already accomplished!
I often forget, how far I have come, the tracking helps with that as well as when I fall off track on something.
To learn more about Google Sheets you can check out my Youtube or do a general search, Youtube is my favorite teacher!