reviewing your business progress each month - free template
Reviewing your side-hustle each month is the best way to see how your business is progressing and spot trends. Unless you’re recording your progress each month it’s easy to look back and feel dis-heartened about how slow your growth is or if you’ve had a slow month.
We very quickly change our expectations of ourselves, one month we’ll be ecstatic at getting two sales and the next month will be disheartened by getting three. By taking 20 minutes at the end of each month to check in with how your side-hustle’s growing you can start to see your hard work paying off and collecting this information can also help you plan ahead.
Making the time to check in with your business progress also helps you build up a picture of how your business is growing and gives you the opportunity to take a moment to acknowledge just how much you’ve achieved from month to month. We could all do with rewarding ourselves a little more and berating ourselves a little less, right?
There’s nothing more satisfying than looking back to last month and realising you doubled the number on your mailing list or that you learned from that really popular blog post you put out there and managed to recreate that response with another post you put out more recently.
It’s not technical or complicated at all, reviewing your business, you just need 20 minutes and a cuppa. In the video below I’m sharing some simple steps to evaluating your business progress each month.
Reviewing your business each month has so many benefits
You can see how your business has grown over the last few months
Not all stats can be looked at retrospectively, for example you can’t go back and look at what size your mailing list was or how many followers on social media you had 3 months ago
It gives you a chance to celebrate your wins and achievements
You can learn and adapt
Here are the numbers and insights I record each month for you to use as a starting point. You might want to add or remove things based on what’s relevant for your business.
This doesn’t need to be complex, just income, outgoings and profit. I’m sure you’re recording these figures anyway but by making a note of them in your monthly review document you’ll also be able to see how your sales fluctuate each month and what they add up to for the year.
If you have google analytics or something similar set up on your website you can keep track of how your website is performing. Having your own website can be a big business expense so you need to know what it's doing for your business.
The quickest way to check your website stats is to save the relevant page in Google Analytics (or what ever tracking platform you use) in your bookmarks - that way you just need to open that bookmark each month, update the date range and you should have your stats on the page. Here's a list of the website stats I record and a quick explanation behind the Google Analytics terminology
Website visits (sessions)
The total amount of visits your website got that month (including returning visits from people who’ve visited your website more than once in the last month). In Google Analytics this can be found in audience >> overview (remember to set the date range in the top right hand corner).
Website visits (unique)
The total amount of individual people who came to your website in that month.
Average session duration
How long people spend on your website, on average. Useful for seeing how engaging certain pagers are on your website.
Where the bulk of your website visits are coming from. It could be social media, google search, Pinterest etc. This can be found in Google Analytics by going to Acquisition >> All traffic >> Referrals.
Most Popular content
This shows your most visited pages on your website, useful to seeing which blog posts or what pages on your website people have been loving in the last month. You’ll find this in behaviour >> site content >> all pages.
It might all sound like a load of mumbo-jumbo right now but once you've done it a couple of times, I promise it will come really easily.
Mailing list stats
Having a mailing list is one of the best ways to get in front of your audience so tracking your subscriber number and open rates can help you improve your email campaigns in future. Make a note each month of your total subscribers and what the average open rate of your emails were for that month.
If you use MailChimp these stats are easy to find on the lists page - again, you can save this as a bookmark to make it easy to find each month.
Social Media Numbers
Keep track of your follower numbers and best performing posts. This will help you to see how your social media accounts have grown over time and if you see that any particular type of posts are performing well, think about how you can naturally include more of those types of posts in your social media activity in future.
Shropshire Hills waterfall
Facebook page likes
Your notes and observations
Most useful Marketing action this month:
Most popular insta post
Reasons to celebrate
Achieved this month
It’s as straight forward as that!
Finally, until it becomes habit you’ll probably need to put a reminder in your calendar each month to do your monthly review. Keep 20 minutes free - that's all it takes. Keep a running total somewhere in your spreadsheet so that you can see your total sales/ followers/ website visitors etc for the whole year. I hope you can also use this review time as an opportunity to celebrate your wins and achievements each month.
I’ve created a completely free monthly review template download, no need to sign up for anything, just hit the button below to download it.
If you want some more, exclusive content from me on side-hustling and making things happen in your business, make sure you’re signed up to my fortnightly side-hustle letters. You’ll also get my free ebook - Make a Start, 5 days to getting started on that project.