Wednesday September 29, 2021
At September’s Thrive Workshop, Financial Coach and Technical Communicator – Catherine Pope – shared a phenomenal amount of valuable tips to help us – as small business owners – become more productive and profitable.
I promised the Thrive Community I would write a blog post after her workshop, with some key take-aways from the session. So, below, I have listed some of my favourite pieces of advice from Catherine.
Pricing with Confidence
‘It’s important to calculate your true costs’.
Catherine highlighted that we must be aware of our fixed costs, variable costs and ‘stealth’ costs – those costs that creep up on us and take us by surprise. In order to price effectively, as a starting point, we must be able to calculate our true costs considering all three types of costs.
‘Think about how much billable work you do’.
Catherine advised us to be realistic about how much billable work we actually do. As small business owners, there are many administrative and marketing tasks we need to do which aren’t billable. Catherine urged us to remember this when working on our pricing strategy, and recommended that we track our time to gain a more accurate picture of how much time we actually spend working on our businesses.
‘Review your pricing strategy annually - it should be dynamic’.
Catherine encouraged us to review our pricing strategy on an annual basis, asserting that it shouldn’t be fixed – our prices should go up each year.
Catherine also shared some advice on how to deal with requests for pro-bono work. She warned us not to be too “helpful”, and recommended that we set limits on the amount of pro-bono work we do. We also discussed the importance of being strategic in our decision-making and that we should consider whether our pro-bono work is aligned to our marketing strategy.
Using Technology to Boost Productivity
Catherine introduced us to some of her favourite tools and apps to increase the productivity of small business owners, and the workshop attendees also shared some of their preferred tools for working efficiently. Some of the tools we discussed were:
Clockify Me: Time-tracking software
Calendly: A scheduling tool
Free Agent: Accounting software
Xero: Accounting software
Timely: Business management software
You Can Book Me: A scheduling tool
Diversifying Your Revenue Streams and Staying Profitable
During the workshop, Catherine also highlighted the importance of having a diverse range of revenue streams – in order to increase business resilience as well as profitability.
Catherine invited the workshop attendees to reflect on content they have already created, which could be transformed into some other form of content or product, such as an e-book, an online course, a workbook, a podcast series, a blog, a newsletter, merchandise etc.
In the final part of the workshop, Catherine discussed what could potentially threaten our profitability, such as the pandemic, increased costs, our competition, poor cashflow, and late payments, and suggested some systems we could put into place to maintain a healthy cashflow and manage those threats.
Catherine concluded that, in order to be financially robust, we should spend time working out an effective pricing strategy, regularly review our practice and costs, and change things accordingly in order to boost productivity and stay profitable.
This Thrive Workshop was made possible, thanks to support from the Enjoolata Foundation.
Our next Thrive Workshop is on ‘How to Innovate as a Solopreneur and Build a Better Business’, during which I will discuss the importance of innovating as a solopreneur, along with tools and techniques to bring your ideas to life.
To book your free place, go to: