What I Include in my Monthly Review

January 31, 2022

January 31, 2022

In business I think it’s so important to regularly check in on your progress, analytics, and goals. Doing so helps you analyze and adjust your strategy where needed. Plus, I use the new month as an opportunity to reset in a few ways.

Here’s what I include in my monthly review:

Record expenses and income

Whether it was a great month or less than average, you have to be aware of your business’ finances. Unlike a typical 9-5 job, it can be tough not having a completely consistent income. But that’s all the more reason to know what you’re making. Plus, if you take care of this every month, it makes things a lot easier when tax season rolls around.

I use two tools for this step. Primarily, I add my expenses in to my CRM system, Dubsado, as well as any outside income that didn’t already go through this system. I can also look at reports to break down year-to-date income, the ratio of income to expenses, and which categories money came and left from.

Then, to manage the variability in revenue each month, I plan my projects in a google sheet. Where I track:

  • Available Project Spots (this also helps me manage my workload)
  • Monthly Income Goal
  • Income YTD
  • Expected Income (based on open project invoices with scheduled payments)
  • Spending Limit (I add a calculation to this cell to automatically subtract my savings goal from my expected income)
  • Actual Income for the Month
  • How much I spent
  • How much I saved

Evaluate instagram insights

I can get caught up and frustrated with instagram, always wondering why some content performed well or didn’t. The problem is, constantly checking in on how my posts are performing takes away from my other work. Plus, it takes time to really understand if a strategy works or not. So it actually makes sense to try something for at least 30 days and then pivot if it’s not working or keep it up if it is.

Depending on your goal for the month you can look at different insights. If I’m primarily trying to grow my audience I’ll look at what kinds of posts are being shared the most. If I’m focused most on booking more clients, I’ll try to create posts or stories based on the type that’s received the most link clicks or engagement.

Unsubscribe from emails

It’s pretty much impossible to not end up subscribed to a bunch of newsletters and marketing lists. On a day-to-day basis I’m just trying to respond to emails, not taking the time to decide what I actually want coming in to my inbox. So I batch this at the end of the month, unsubscribing from any emails that aren’t serving me. Hopefully you find content like this a welcome addition to your inbox (get on the email list here if you do), but if not, I won’t be offended if you have to unsubscribe.

Check in on progress with this year’s goals & plan my priorities for the month

I like to look at my long term goals, beyond a monetary sense. From there, I can decide what I need to accomplish in the upcoming month to keep working my way there. If I want to run a half marathon this year, then I need to actually pick a race, find a training plan, and start training. This way you won’t realize later in the year that you didn’t even try to hit one of the goals you had set.

Of course, there’s flexibility in this. Sometimes part way through the year I’ll realize I don’t actually care that much about one of the goals I had written down at the beginning. Or maybe circumstances have changed and the goal isn’t possible (like if you wanted to travel to a specific country in 2020 when every border closed).

Reflect on the previous month

Less focused on goals and money, I journal through the prompts in my unbound planner. This includes writing about things like, a positive change to work on, this month’s challenges, accomplishments and special moments. It’s just a nice way to slow down for a second and appreciate growth month-to-month.

Clean up computer files and folders

Lastly, I’ll go through and clean up the desktop on my computer and any other folder that’s been feeling unorganized. Like my inbox, I recognize the mess throughout the month, but don’t have the time to stop what I’m doing to clean it. So at the end of every month my desktop gets completely cleared and it’s lovely.

Whew! I didn’t quite realize how thorough this monthly review was until I wrote it all out. It works well for me and hopefully it gives you a few ideas for your own business.

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