We’re well into April already, which means we’ve just entered the second quarter of the fiscal year. This also makes it a great time to do a quarterly review for your freelance business.
Don’t do a quarterly review for your business? Well, you probably should. Here’s why quarterly reviews are so important and how to conduct your own review for your freelance business.
Why Do You Need a Quarterly Review?
As you begin to grow, you also learn to become more strategic in how you run and manage your business. You have to otherwise you won’t survive. As much as I want to live off of as much passion for my work as the next guy, passion without strategy rarely pays the bills.
This is something I learned the hard way as I struggled for years to combine both the right and left sides of my brain in order to run the business I have now. The reality is you have to strategize and make informed choices.
What do you need to look at in a Quarterly Review?
What you start to look at in your quarterly review may depend on what stage you are in in your business. At the very least, you should always be looking at how much you are earning versus how much you are spending. Simply put, you need to have a positive cash flow in order to have a profitable business that allows you to pay yourself.
Here are some suggestions of what to do during your quarterly review:
- How much revenue did your business make?
- How much of that revenue went back into the business?
- What did you spend money on?
- Is there an investment that no longer makes sense? Any that you can get rid of?
- How much did you pay in taxes? What’s the rate? (Accountants are super helpful for this).
- Conduct a client audit.
- Conduct a time audit.
- Review project goals. Did you launch anything this quarter? For example, a podcast?
- Social media numbers and engagement
- Social media strategy
- Big projects on the horizon
- How can you increase revenue?
- Where can improvements be made?
I could go on and on depending on the business, but you’re starting to catch my drift. Simply put, quarterly reviews are a good way to crunch some numbers, make sure you’re headed in the right direction, determine the next steps and make adjustments where need be. If you don’t have this information then it’s easy to feel like you’re a chicken with your head cut off.
How and When to Conduct a Quarterly Review
I tend to conduct quarterly reviews whenever estimated tax payments come around. My accountant already has to crunch numbers to figure out what I owe in taxes for the quarter, so I just use that time to crunch the rest of the numbers as well. If I have to go into our invoicing and accounting software anyway then I might as well run some reports and see what’s going on.
In terms of how to conduct your review, that’s entirely up to you. I know people who do whole retreats with their team as well as people who just block out a Saturday afternoon to get it done. The point is you need to do it.