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Financial Health in Your Business with Carla Titus

January 17, 202430 min read

“I think that progress over perfection is really what we're trying to strive for and help our clients navigate and also feel good about the progress they're making, regardless if the numbers still don't look great because it does take time to turn things around.” - Carla Titus

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Financial Health in Your Business with Carla Titus

[DAWN CALVINISTI]

Welcome to Imperfection in Progress, a podcast for ambitious women who are people-pleasers, perfectionists, or procrastinators. Want to feel less stress and more joy in your life? Then this is for you. I’m your host Dawn Calvinisti.

The month of January we focus on health and today that includes financial health. My guest is finance expert Carla Titus. Carla has over 15 years of combined corporate financial planning, analysis, strategy, and online businesses experience.

She provides fractional CFO services and financial consulting to business owners looking to grow their business profitably.

Her mission is to empower business owners to achieve financial clarity and peace of mind, so that they can get back to what they enjoy. Carla is a Mom and wife, Business owner, Lover of travel, and Competitive ballroom dancer

Visit Carla at www.wealthworthwithin.com

We’re diving into strategies for understanding and managing your cash flow in your business. We also discuss why this is so important and how we can be strategic with our cash flow. The benefits of knowing your numbers without getting caught up in the emotion of it can totally change your planning and goal setting. I hope this episode helps you get excited about learning your numbers.

Here’s our conversation.

Finances for Entrepreneurs

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Dawn Calvinisti: I am so excited to have Carla Titus on the show with us today. Thank you so much for being here.

[00:00:06] Carla Titus: Thank you for having me. I'm so excited for this conversation.

[00:00:09] Dawn Calvinisti: So when I mentioned at the beginning of the month that we would be talking about health in January, I bet you didn't think about financial health. But I think this is a really important topic to talk about. And especially as we're starting out a new year maybe there's some changes you need to make.

So Carla is our expert in this and I love that we get to like really talk about the importance and the value of knowing where your money is at.

[00:00:36] Carla Titus: Yeah, that is such an important aspect of business ownership. And I think a lot of people tend to shy away from it because it feels complex. It feels daunting and, and everybody brings their own money mindset to their business, whether or not they want to or not. And we try to help clients just realize that it can be simple and it can be manageable.

And you just need to take some steps to make it. Something that you can manage and start to take control of so it doesn't control you.

[00:01:05] Dawn Calvinisti: I like that you said it like that because I know in my past from how I came up through my financial, learning or lack of learning, actually often when people would start to talk about finances. It would send me into a panic because I was so, unaware of where things were at. And I was always behind on everything and felt like I just didn't want to hear about it.

Cause if I buried my head, it didn't exist. So I'm sure you see that.

[00:01:32] Carla Titus: We do a lot and I think clients reach out for that same reason is they are just not sure where to start or they're feeling really overwhelmed by it all so they rather just bury their head in the sand. But the thing is that money is what's going to get you out of business the fastest if you don't manage it.

So we're whether you like it or not, just having some basic education on it and feeling empowered around it, it's really going to help you go a long way with your business and just knowing your numbers will make you feel more confident, even if it's not an area that, you're thriving or enjoy doing.

It is definitely a necessity when it comes to running a business.

[00:02:07] Dawn Calvinisti: Absolutely. And I know a lot of our listeners are women who are entrepreneurs and even in a small business. This is vital, maybe, maybe not more vital, but it is super vital because it's the thing that makes or breaks you and it also lets you know where you can expand or not. Right.

[00:02:26] Carla Titus: Yeah, the numbers will actually tell you a story. They'll start to show you where things are not going well, where there's opportunities to increase revenue or additional profitability in your business. But unless you're looking at those numbers, it's going to be really hard to tell. And what I find often is that a lot of business owners use their gut or intuition, like they kind of know what's going on, but I really want to know.

And then when we look at the numbers that gets validated through the data, and then they can start to make better financial decisions by having both their intuition and their data come together to help them show them the path forward.

[00:03:00] Dawn Calvinisti: I like that you talked about intuition because I have dealt with clients who feel like, but I'm a free spirit. Like, I kind of like to go with the flow and I fly by the seat of my pants and that's why I'm so creative and come up with so many great things. And that's awesome. Like, I'm not downplaying that, but there is a point in time where you also have to say, okay, but how do you actually know where you're at unless you're looking at the facts and numbers are one of those things that they are very factual.

[00:03:26] Carla Titus: Yeah, and I think sometimes when the numbers specially are not looking good, right? That's when people are just like, I can't be creative because now I feel the pressure. Now I got to perform and I got to improve on this. But if you really have to reshape your perspective on the numbers and think this is my starting point.

And am I making progress towards the improvement of my numbers in my business? And that's how we normally approach it with clients is we're not judging it. We're not saying it's bad or good. We're just saying this is where we're at. But this is where we want to get to. And I think that progress over perfection is really what we're trying to strive for and help our clients navigate and also feel good about the progress they're making, regardless of the numbers still don't look great because it does take time to turn things around.

And I think we gotta be patient, but we also have to put in the action steps to help change the direction of the numbers. We can't just sit there and expect things will get better by doing the same thing we've been doing and not correcting the course of our business. So by looking at it, you'll know.

Are you making progress or not? And then you can stop kind of judging yourself over the numbers are really putting so much pressure that you're no longer creative because we do need you to be creative. And we need you to be able to, create new offers and things that will entice people to want to buy from you and keep you in business long term.

[00:04:44] Dawn Calvinisti: Do you find that as people start to recognize the value of knowing their numbers and be able to change things around, does that give them more freedom then?

[00:04:53] Carla Titus: It does because now we have cash in the bank and we can do a lot of things when there's cash in the bank. We can pay bills, we can solve problems, we can throw money at the problems, we can grow faster because we can inject, additional team members or support into our business to get to that next level.

But when we don't, we become stressed and stagnant because we can't fix problems except with your time because that's the only resource you have available at this point. And now you're working 60 hours a week and not what you wanted to do and not the freedom you wanted in your business. And so then it becomes full circle why the numbers and the money becomes so important to achieve not only the impact, but the freedom that you want in your business by having the right cushion in place around runway to be able to invest in things and team and support really elevates you to having that freedom that you seek and working maybe 20 hours a week or incredible.

Whatever your number is that you want to make sure that you're doing that is not possible. If you're not able to bring on additional support and continue to grow the business and expand your capacity as well through hiring more team.

[00:05:56] Dawn Calvinisti: The one thing I was wondering about, especially at this time of year, is often people are coming out of the last quarter, starting to think about the first quarter. Maybe people aren't spending as much right now. Maybe this is a time where the business is a little bit lower as far as cash flow goes. When it comes to sorting through your business, how do you, how do you look at, okay, uptimes, downtimes, like, do you balance things?

Where do you go? What, what is the mindset around that?

[00:06:25] Carla Titus: Yeah. So we always start with a plan where we start to look at what's coming next. We want to look forward in our business, not just current and past. Current and past is great. There's a role for that. Your bookkeeping and accounting team has that covered and we want to know what happened. In the past month, in the last year, so that we can then better project the future and start to make assumptions around what is possible, how are we seeing the seasonality shop in our businesses?

So if we know that in the summer, we have a down period and in the winter, we pick up again, then we need to plan for those summers to not be as good as the winter and then squirrel away a little money in the winter to make sure. You have enough to get you through the summer period and whatever that period is, spring, summer for you it might be the opposite, right?

For some businesses. And I think that if you're not looking at that ahead of time, you're not preparing for what's to come. And that's what catches you by surprise. It's like. You saying oops, I didn't like plan for Christmas, but you know, Christmas comes every year. So like why are we like not doing the same thing for our business when we know the summer will be slow and the winter Will be good.

Why are we not planning ahead for that and saying hey in the you know beginning of the year I'm going to save up A little bit on the side to make sure we cover that summer low and that we don't have to make drastic changes in our business for a short period of time just to be able to survive. And again, going back to why you need a cash runway or have a cash cushion.

It's because of those situations. Seasonality will happen. Business sometimes will change and what was working before won't work in the future. And if it's still working, fantastic, right? We don't have to change a lot. But when we get caught by surprise and things change, the economy change for people, sentiments change around your offers of what you're providing to the world, you are able to take the time to pivot and also change the course of the results. But you don't get the luxury of time if you don't have the cash in the bank to get you through that period.

[00:08:17] Dawn Calvinisti: That's a really good point. So in all reality, when we're planning, like this is very strategic. We don't have to just take it as it comes.

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[00:08:25] Carla Titus: Correct. You can decide what your business is going to look like going forward and the pieces that are working well that you want to continue to do. The things that are not working great that you want to You know, get rid of and change and try new things and experiment, but this doesn't happen by accident

You gotta go plan, be strategic, take the time to sit down for, planning what you want the business to look like and become, and not just revenue goals, but really, what is the cost structure? What is the team that will get you to that next level of growth in your business or that next phase of, growth in your business?

And growth can be Many different things. It doesn't always have to be more revenue, more profit, more money, though. We all like that too, right? If we come into business to have freedom and money so we can have impact. So making sure that you have thought through what are the needs of the business at this next phase, that be maybe working less hours.

Therefore, I need to bring on more support. Or it might be, I want to work more in the business and have less support. All those things are going to be indications of how we Plan out the future and not wait till it's happening to us to try to be reactive to what's happening But we had went in with a plan in mind Obviously, we'll adjust and things will change and we'll have to pivot but at least we had a direction It's like getting in the car and not having the address of your end point and not having put it in your GPS And then just started driving Randomly, you have no dashboard.

You don't know if you have gas, you don't know if you, what speed you're going at, but you're just going can feel really scary. Like, you want to know, okay, I'm going at the right speed. I'm turning right in the next corner and having that direction. Yes. Oh, the road is closed. We're going to pay it to go left instead.

Right. But it reroutes you still towards that end goal that you're trying to achieve. And it makes it more enjoyable, right? Less stressful. You have a guide along the way to tell you, Hey. You need to go different direction, but you're still getting towards that end goal, even if it takes a little bit longer.

[00:10:25] Dawn Calvinisti: So one of the things that I didn't realize until I started this podcast is that because I, I plan in quarters. Is that there's 13 weeks in each quarter. And so I wanted to ask you when it comes to planning for finances, do you also plan in quarters or do you plan in, in months? Like what are the chunks that you kind of break things up into?

[00:10:46] Carla Titus: Yeah, great question. So we plan actually in years and in quarters and a month. And the reason we do that is because obviously we're very comfortable with uncertainty and be able to project out farther than most people are. And we work out, walk our clients through our process on how to best do that. In a 12 month period.

But if that feels overwhelming and you're doing this on your own, I always encourage business owners to start with three to six months. That seems very manageable. You might know, more or less what's happening in your business. Then you want to start to plan out for the time you want to take off and then go into what are some of the revenue goals we want to achieve?

How are we going to achieve them? Because I think the how It's what gets missed in planning. We set those goals, we throw those numbers out there, and then when we realize, oh, we didn't do the steps one through ten to achieve it, then the plan falls flat and you never achieve those numbers. So I always say execution is where all dreams go to die.

So you need to make sure you have your execution plan along with your numbers and say, I'm going to reach this many people. I'm going to do this many events. I'm going to market to this type of audience in this way that how it's really we're going to get you to materialize those numbers and actually make them a reality because so many people are just like I'm just going to hit 500, 000 this year. I'm like, how, what are you doing? What 10 things are you doing to move the business forward in that direction towards achieving that goal? Also, we want to be realistic. If we've never hit a goal like that before, maybe less likely you will in the first, the first time you try, but maybe you'll land farther than you would if you didn't have any goals. So we always want to set a course and a direction anyway, even if it's wrong, even if it's a far fetched thought, but get that execution plan or action plan in place so that you know you're actually on track or off track. And then you gotta every month check against it to see, are we on track or off track?

What do we do? What we didn't do? And what do we need to change?

[00:12:41] Dawn Calvinisti: Okay, I love that you talk about this. I think we should stay here for a little bit. This is one of the areas that when I'm coaching as a business coach, I often find also people are lacking. They tell me their goals, they tell me what the plan is by the end of the year, or this month, or in six months.

And then when I ask how they're going to get there, it's like, well, because I'm going to do what I do, like the same thing I do. And okay, that's great. But do you know if what you do will get you to that number? Like, how do you break that down? How many sales is that? How many people is that? How many times do you have to talk to people?

How many times do you have to reach out? How many podcasts do you need to go on?

How many actual, emails do you need to send out? How many, like, There's just so many parts, right? And often we don't break down where does the money come from? And so where is the time we need to spend then to bring in that money?

And we're off doing things that don't create money.

[00:13:29] Carla Titus: Yeah, and I think this is a really like just real picture right of a business owners. You get pulled into many directions. You forget about your goals and you're doing all the things and you're busy all the time answering all the emails for everyone. But you don't step back to say are the right things on my calendar.

If I said I was going to reach out to 10 people this week, did I carve out an hour to go reach out to those 10 people and actually take the actions? And I think that's where the discomfort is. When it happens, as you said, this goes without the action, and then we don't accomplish anything because then we got buried on emails and calls and things that didn't matter, that didn't move the business forward, that is not revenue generating activities, and we prioritize everyone else and everyone else's to do list before we did ours, which is to grow the business.

And so what we do is like, we clearly assign time to work on those things. We also find time to work on client deliverables because we also need to make sure we're delivering on the. People that are paying us money. So I think there's a careful balance there. And then there's obviously free time as well to go on through emails and do all the things, connect with your friends and, talk about business.

But we not only want to set the goals, we want to review the goals halfway through the quarter. We want to review the goals every week, every month to see. Have we accomplished anything that we said we were going to accomplish? And if not, guess what? You're in the first week and you realize I did not do the outreach I wanted to do.

Great. Next week, go block an hour and then go do the 10 outreaches that you forgot to, or maybe catch up and do two hours and do the 20 that for last week and the current week. So now you're back on track. So now, okay, I'm doing the work that I need to do to move my business forward. And it's consciously happened, but.

If you schedule yourself all week long with calls and things and stuff and you don't have a CEO day where you're Working on the things for your own business Like if you were your own client and that's what we had to do is we I had to make myself a client of my Own firm in order to go look at my numbers Review my financials and make sure that I was doing the same thing I was doing for my clients and prioritize me just as high as I do any other client because I'm just that important, too.

And so I think some business owners need to find a way to do that in their business that best, suits their workload and that are carving out to work on their business instead in their business.

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[00:15:44] Dawn Calvinisti: Can we talk a little bit about what are some of the downsides around not knowing your finances and what will end up happening out of that?

[00:15:53] Carla Titus: So first, you might become a little bit stressed out about, the lack of money or how Cash is not flowing into your bank account. You might become resentful of your business for not paying you a salary because you know what, you left the job and the job paid you a paycheck every other week or once a month and your business should be doing the same thing for you.

And if it's not, we need to set goals that allows you to get paid from your business sooner than later because even if the amount is not the same, even if it's something Just significant to you. It's still producing something for you in return that I think will prevent you from being resentful of it because so many people work so hard for their business and they're still not paying themselves They're paying everyone else but not themselves and then they wonder where the money is going.

Why do I not have any profit, and it becomes really hard to want to continue to pour into it if you're getting nothing out of it. Ideally, your business should be better than a job and should help you build personal wealth above and beyond what you could have done from a regular job. And if that is not happening again, we're not judging where you're at we're just Deciding, okay, now we're going to make progress towards getting to that, and it might take us some time, but we need to plan it out so that it happens, so that we're doing the right things to get to that point. Not knowing your numbers will also lead to not knowing what's working. Like, if you know that doing podcast interviews yields you clients, then why are you not doing more of those?

Or if you send out a newsletter, where's your conversion rate? On booking calls or getting clients and based on that newsletter being sent out. So maybe you want to double down on the cadence of that do twice a week. Or, if you were doing once a month and you want to do it twice a month, you won't know that if you're not looking at your conversion rates, at your numbers, looking at your data to tell you what's working, what's not working.

So you can stop doing it also, because guess what we get to stop doing the things that we are not seeing results. But it or pivot or try new ways to do them so that they can start working and double down on the ones that are. But how would you know if you didn't look at your numbers to see? Oh, that produced this type of result, and I think tracking that data is just as critical.

So if you're not tracking where your leads are coming from or how people are finding you, you need to start with either your intake form or something that says, How do you find us? Here's five options and tell us so that we know to do more of that.

[00:18:10] Dawn Calvinisti: This is such a good tip. I mean, in reality, I think most business owners have things that they want to do, things they don't want to do, and some of it doesn't matter. You do have to do it anyway. Often we wonder if we're wasting time in areas, and if we don't know what our numbers are, then we'll never know if we can drop that thing or if we should be doing more of something.

So I think that is a fantastic tip.

[00:18:32] Carla Titus: Thank you. Yeah, exactly. It's really easy to get lost in the day to day and not come off for error. But that's strategic time for you to look at your business and evaluate what's working. It's really going to be critical in your path to growth and, continue to produce the results that you want to see in your business.

[00:18:49] Dawn Calvinisti: Carla, if people want to find you and know more about you, where's the best place to look for you?

[00:18:54] Carla Titus: Yeah, they can check out our website, wealthworthwithin. com. I'm sure we'll put that in the links and they can sign up for our newsletter. We send one out monthly to let you know what's going on. Some resources help. We love to educate, with content about managing business finances. And all of that is also available on our social media channels at wealthworthwithin.

You can find us on Facebook, We post regularly. We're always sharing what's top of mind topics that clients are bringing to us that are, a recurring one that people should know about. I'll post videos about it and we just kind of give it away because we want more business owners to really feel empowered about their finances so they can build a business that really provides for their family and for themselves and again, helps them build that personal wall.

So we're really passionate to about educating people. About how simple finances can be and then not to feel scared or challenged by them because it can be, easy and accessible if you want to make it that so follow us and, make sure that you take action on some of that information that you're receiving as well.

[00:19:56] Dawn Calvinisti: Yeah. So if you've been avoiding some of this, then get in and get to know Carla and what's happening there. Get into their, their sites. I'm going to put everything in the show, show notes so that you can get to know her and also so that you can get some of the freebies. I know one of the things that she's offering to us is the annual business budget planning.

So can you tell us a little bit about that?

[00:20:15] Carla Titus: Yeah, thank you for that. We help business owners like yourself plan out their next 12 months in the year. If you feel like you can't do that on your own or you feel overwhelmed, we understand how that can be complex. And we'd really look at it from a comprehensive lens for all the aspects we talked about today, from the marketing side, like what budget do you need to be able to achieve the goals that you're trying to set?

And then from, the team side, how much support do you need? What are the roles? What does it cost? And making sure that we understand what are the margins for every line of service that you have, making sure that you have good profit, that you're paying yourself, that the plan includes you in it, as well as additional resources that you might not have thought of budgeting for in the new year, that can really make this Plan very actionable.

We provide not only the projections, but we also provide you. Here's the 10 things you need to go do in your business this year for you to achieve those goals, which is why we talk so much about execution because it doesn't happen without that, right? So we give you some clarity and really walk you through our framework that has proven to show a lot of results for our clients, helping them stay on track and achieve those goals. And that is something you can find on our website at the projections tab and more information about signing up for that service. But if you're also ready to hire a CFO, you're welcome to book a call with us. We would love to talk to you about your support needs and how we might support you.

And that's also available on our website under the contact tab.

[00:21:43] Dawn Calvinisti: Awesome. Thanks so much, Carla. The other thing I want to ask, because I ask every guest that comes on the show, is when it comes to the three P's, which are people pleasing, perfectionism, and procrastination, what one do you tend to go to?

[00:21:57] Carla Titus: Definitely perfectionism. It's something I've been working through a lot on what is good enough. And when you hold yourself to really high standards and quality, that is really what we do here for our clients. Sometimes it can get into the perfectionism time where it's just, you're wasting time.

You're overdoing it. And it doesn't need to be that way. And we really catch, I catch myself often saying is this high quality still because we do want to do that for a client, but are we just going overboard and like trying to nitpick at everything for no reason? So I think it could be a positive trade, but also a downside if you don't know where to cut yourself to stop, overdoing and being too perfectionist about it.

[00:22:39] Dawn Calvinisti: Yeah, I agree. There are such good sides to each of them. Especially quality when it comes to perfectionism. But yeah, sometimes we just, we just get stuck. We get stuck. Thanks for sharing that. Again, if you are looking for some information, go to the show notes. You can find everything there. You can also share this episode.

I'd love for you to send it out to one person that you know that would love to hear this or needs to know about this. Thank you so much, Carla, for being here today and for sharing this wisdom and breaking things down so that we aren't afraid to look at our finances.

[00:23:10] Carla Titus: Yeah. Thanks for having me as a guest. I really appreciate your time and I hope your audience enjoyed the episode and also don't forget to take action.

[DAWN CALVINISTI]

Thanks for listening to today's show. If you found value in what you heard, please share it with a friend and rate and review us on whatever platform you listen on. It really helps get us out to other women who could benefit from listening. 

Check out our show notes for details from the show and to connect with me or our guests. Want to continue the conversation? My website is www.pursueprogress.com or DM me @pursueprogresswithdawn on Instagram. 

Until next week, pursue progress no matter how imperfectly.


Links from this episode:

CONNECT WITH DAWN:

Website: https://www.pursueprogress.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pursueprogresswithdawn.com

Imperfection in Progress Podcast: https://www.pursueprogress.com/podcast

Imperfection in Progress Membership: https://www.pursueprogress.com/imperfectioninprogressmembership

CONNECT WITH CARLA:

Website: https://www.wealthworthwithin.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wealthworthwithin

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/wealthworthwithin/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/wealthworthwithin/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WWWithin

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wealthworthwithin/

Free Gift: Annual Business Budget Planning

Link to Free Gift: https://www.wealthworthwithin.com/projections

OTHER RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS PODCAST:

Umbrella Virtual Solutions: https://www.umbrellavs.com

Book Your Free 30 Minute Strategy Call with the host, Dawn Calvinisti: https://link.theviphub.ca/widget/bookings/dawncalvinisti/strategy

Coming from a background of natural health Dawn has owned multiple businesses as a doula, a childbirth educator, a homeopath and eventually an essential oil based network marketing business.

Dawn spent 7 years building this business to multiple six-figures and reached the top 3% of leaders in just under 3 years.

As a recovering people-pleaser, perfectionist and procrastinator herself, Dawn created online  summits for women who want to move away from these 3 P’s and find more joy and less stress in life.

She has spoken internationally on multiple podcasts and online summits to inspire women to put themselves on their to-do list without apology. To bring her message to even more women, she launched her podcast “Imperfection in Progress” in January 2023 with a membership site to create community and provide accountability.

Dawn Calvinisti

Coming from a background of natural health Dawn has owned multiple businesses as a doula, a childbirth educator, a homeopath and eventually an essential oil based network marketing business. Dawn spent 7 years building this business to multiple six-figures and reached the top 3% of leaders in just under 3 years. As a recovering people-pleaser, perfectionist and procrastinator herself, Dawn created online summits for women who want to move away from these 3 P’s and find more joy and less stress in life. She has spoken internationally on multiple podcasts and online summits to inspire women to put themselves on their to-do list without apology. To bring her message to even more women, she launched her podcast “Imperfection in Progress” in January 2023 with a membership site to create community and provide accountability.

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Financial Health in Your Business with Carla Titus

January 17, 202430 min read

“I think that progress over perfection is really what we're trying to strive for and help our clients navigate and also feel good about the progress they're making, regardless if the numbers still don't look great because it does take time to turn things around.” - Carla Titus

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Financial Health in Your Business with Carla Titus

[DAWN CALVINISTI]

Welcome to Imperfection in Progress, a podcast for ambitious women who are people-pleasers, perfectionists, or procrastinators. Want to feel less stress and more joy in your life? Then this is for you. I’m your host Dawn Calvinisti.

The month of January we focus on health and today that includes financial health. My guest is finance expert Carla Titus. Carla has over 15 years of combined corporate financial planning, analysis, strategy, and online businesses experience.

She provides fractional CFO services and financial consulting to business owners looking to grow their business profitably.

Her mission is to empower business owners to achieve financial clarity and peace of mind, so that they can get back to what they enjoy. Carla is a Mom and wife, Business owner, Lover of travel, and Competitive ballroom dancer

Visit Carla at www.wealthworthwithin.com

We’re diving into strategies for understanding and managing your cash flow in your business. We also discuss why this is so important and how we can be strategic with our cash flow. The benefits of knowing your numbers without getting caught up in the emotion of it can totally change your planning and goal setting. I hope this episode helps you get excited about learning your numbers.

Here’s our conversation.

Finances for Entrepreneurs

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Dawn Calvinisti: I am so excited to have Carla Titus on the show with us today. Thank you so much for being here.

[00:00:06] Carla Titus: Thank you for having me. I'm so excited for this conversation.

[00:00:09] Dawn Calvinisti: So when I mentioned at the beginning of the month that we would be talking about health in January, I bet you didn't think about financial health. But I think this is a really important topic to talk about. And especially as we're starting out a new year maybe there's some changes you need to make.

So Carla is our expert in this and I love that we get to like really talk about the importance and the value of knowing where your money is at.

[00:00:36] Carla Titus: Yeah, that is such an important aspect of business ownership. And I think a lot of people tend to shy away from it because it feels complex. It feels daunting and, and everybody brings their own money mindset to their business, whether or not they want to or not. And we try to help clients just realize that it can be simple and it can be manageable.

And you just need to take some steps to make it. Something that you can manage and start to take control of so it doesn't control you.

[00:01:05] Dawn Calvinisti: I like that you said it like that because I know in my past from how I came up through my financial, learning or lack of learning, actually often when people would start to talk about finances. It would send me into a panic because I was so, unaware of where things were at. And I was always behind on everything and felt like I just didn't want to hear about it.

Cause if I buried my head, it didn't exist. So I'm sure you see that.

[00:01:32] Carla Titus: We do a lot and I think clients reach out for that same reason is they are just not sure where to start or they're feeling really overwhelmed by it all so they rather just bury their head in the sand. But the thing is that money is what's going to get you out of business the fastest if you don't manage it.

So we're whether you like it or not, just having some basic education on it and feeling empowered around it, it's really going to help you go a long way with your business and just knowing your numbers will make you feel more confident, even if it's not an area that, you're thriving or enjoy doing.

It is definitely a necessity when it comes to running a business.

[00:02:07] Dawn Calvinisti: Absolutely. And I know a lot of our listeners are women who are entrepreneurs and even in a small business. This is vital, maybe, maybe not more vital, but it is super vital because it's the thing that makes or breaks you and it also lets you know where you can expand or not. Right.

[00:02:26] Carla Titus: Yeah, the numbers will actually tell you a story. They'll start to show you where things are not going well, where there's opportunities to increase revenue or additional profitability in your business. But unless you're looking at those numbers, it's going to be really hard to tell. And what I find often is that a lot of business owners use their gut or intuition, like they kind of know what's going on, but I really want to know.

And then when we look at the numbers that gets validated through the data, and then they can start to make better financial decisions by having both their intuition and their data come together to help them show them the path forward.

[00:03:00] Dawn Calvinisti: I like that you talked about intuition because I have dealt with clients who feel like, but I'm a free spirit. Like, I kind of like to go with the flow and I fly by the seat of my pants and that's why I'm so creative and come up with so many great things. And that's awesome. Like, I'm not downplaying that, but there is a point in time where you also have to say, okay, but how do you actually know where you're at unless you're looking at the facts and numbers are one of those things that they are very factual.

[00:03:26] Carla Titus: Yeah, and I think sometimes when the numbers specially are not looking good, right? That's when people are just like, I can't be creative because now I feel the pressure. Now I got to perform and I got to improve on this. But if you really have to reshape your perspective on the numbers and think this is my starting point.

And am I making progress towards the improvement of my numbers in my business? And that's how we normally approach it with clients is we're not judging it. We're not saying it's bad or good. We're just saying this is where we're at. But this is where we want to get to. And I think that progress over perfection is really what we're trying to strive for and help our clients navigate and also feel good about the progress they're making, regardless of the numbers still don't look great because it does take time to turn things around.

And I think we gotta be patient, but we also have to put in the action steps to help change the direction of the numbers. We can't just sit there and expect things will get better by doing the same thing we've been doing and not correcting the course of our business. So by looking at it, you'll know.

Are you making progress or not? And then you can stop kind of judging yourself over the numbers are really putting so much pressure that you're no longer creative because we do need you to be creative. And we need you to be able to, create new offers and things that will entice people to want to buy from you and keep you in business long term.

[00:04:44] Dawn Calvinisti: Do you find that as people start to recognize the value of knowing their numbers and be able to change things around, does that give them more freedom then?

[00:04:53] Carla Titus: It does because now we have cash in the bank and we can do a lot of things when there's cash in the bank. We can pay bills, we can solve problems, we can throw money at the problems, we can grow faster because we can inject, additional team members or support into our business to get to that next level.

But when we don't, we become stressed and stagnant because we can't fix problems except with your time because that's the only resource you have available at this point. And now you're working 60 hours a week and not what you wanted to do and not the freedom you wanted in your business. And so then it becomes full circle why the numbers and the money becomes so important to achieve not only the impact, but the freedom that you want in your business by having the right cushion in place around runway to be able to invest in things and team and support really elevates you to having that freedom that you seek and working maybe 20 hours a week or incredible.

Whatever your number is that you want to make sure that you're doing that is not possible. If you're not able to bring on additional support and continue to grow the business and expand your capacity as well through hiring more team.

[00:05:56] Dawn Calvinisti: The one thing I was wondering about, especially at this time of year, is often people are coming out of the last quarter, starting to think about the first quarter. Maybe people aren't spending as much right now. Maybe this is a time where the business is a little bit lower as far as cash flow goes. When it comes to sorting through your business, how do you, how do you look at, okay, uptimes, downtimes, like, do you balance things?

Where do you go? What, what is the mindset around that?

[00:06:25] Carla Titus: Yeah. So we always start with a plan where we start to look at what's coming next. We want to look forward in our business, not just current and past. Current and past is great. There's a role for that. Your bookkeeping and accounting team has that covered and we want to know what happened. In the past month, in the last year, so that we can then better project the future and start to make assumptions around what is possible, how are we seeing the seasonality shop in our businesses?

So if we know that in the summer, we have a down period and in the winter, we pick up again, then we need to plan for those summers to not be as good as the winter and then squirrel away a little money in the winter to make sure. You have enough to get you through the summer period and whatever that period is, spring, summer for you it might be the opposite, right?

For some businesses. And I think that if you're not looking at that ahead of time, you're not preparing for what's to come. And that's what catches you by surprise. It's like. You saying oops, I didn't like plan for Christmas, but you know, Christmas comes every year. So like why are we like not doing the same thing for our business when we know the summer will be slow and the winter Will be good.

Why are we not planning ahead for that and saying hey in the you know beginning of the year I'm going to save up A little bit on the side to make sure we cover that summer low and that we don't have to make drastic changes in our business for a short period of time just to be able to survive. And again, going back to why you need a cash runway or have a cash cushion.

It's because of those situations. Seasonality will happen. Business sometimes will change and what was working before won't work in the future. And if it's still working, fantastic, right? We don't have to change a lot. But when we get caught by surprise and things change, the economy change for people, sentiments change around your offers of what you're providing to the world, you are able to take the time to pivot and also change the course of the results. But you don't get the luxury of time if you don't have the cash in the bank to get you through that period.

[00:08:17] Dawn Calvinisti: That's a really good point. So in all reality, when we're planning, like this is very strategic. We don't have to just take it as it comes.

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[00:08:25] Carla Titus: Correct. You can decide what your business is going to look like going forward and the pieces that are working well that you want to continue to do. The things that are not working great that you want to You know, get rid of and change and try new things and experiment, but this doesn't happen by accident

You gotta go plan, be strategic, take the time to sit down for, planning what you want the business to look like and become, and not just revenue goals, but really, what is the cost structure? What is the team that will get you to that next level of growth in your business or that next phase of, growth in your business?

And growth can be Many different things. It doesn't always have to be more revenue, more profit, more money, though. We all like that too, right? If we come into business to have freedom and money so we can have impact. So making sure that you have thought through what are the needs of the business at this next phase, that be maybe working less hours.

Therefore, I need to bring on more support. Or it might be, I want to work more in the business and have less support. All those things are going to be indications of how we Plan out the future and not wait till it's happening to us to try to be reactive to what's happening But we had went in with a plan in mind Obviously, we'll adjust and things will change and we'll have to pivot but at least we had a direction It's like getting in the car and not having the address of your end point and not having put it in your GPS And then just started driving Randomly, you have no dashboard.

You don't know if you have gas, you don't know if you, what speed you're going at, but you're just going can feel really scary. Like, you want to know, okay, I'm going at the right speed. I'm turning right in the next corner and having that direction. Yes. Oh, the road is closed. We're going to pay it to go left instead.

Right. But it reroutes you still towards that end goal that you're trying to achieve. And it makes it more enjoyable, right? Less stressful. You have a guide along the way to tell you, Hey. You need to go different direction, but you're still getting towards that end goal, even if it takes a little bit longer.

[00:10:25] Dawn Calvinisti: So one of the things that I didn't realize until I started this podcast is that because I, I plan in quarters. Is that there's 13 weeks in each quarter. And so I wanted to ask you when it comes to planning for finances, do you also plan in quarters or do you plan in, in months? Like what are the chunks that you kind of break things up into?

[00:10:46] Carla Titus: Yeah, great question. So we plan actually in years and in quarters and a month. And the reason we do that is because obviously we're very comfortable with uncertainty and be able to project out farther than most people are. And we work out, walk our clients through our process on how to best do that. In a 12 month period.

But if that feels overwhelming and you're doing this on your own, I always encourage business owners to start with three to six months. That seems very manageable. You might know, more or less what's happening in your business. Then you want to start to plan out for the time you want to take off and then go into what are some of the revenue goals we want to achieve?

How are we going to achieve them? Because I think the how It's what gets missed in planning. We set those goals, we throw those numbers out there, and then when we realize, oh, we didn't do the steps one through ten to achieve it, then the plan falls flat and you never achieve those numbers. So I always say execution is where all dreams go to die.

So you need to make sure you have your execution plan along with your numbers and say, I'm going to reach this many people. I'm going to do this many events. I'm going to market to this type of audience in this way that how it's really we're going to get you to materialize those numbers and actually make them a reality because so many people are just like I'm just going to hit 500, 000 this year. I'm like, how, what are you doing? What 10 things are you doing to move the business forward in that direction towards achieving that goal? Also, we want to be realistic. If we've never hit a goal like that before, maybe less likely you will in the first, the first time you try, but maybe you'll land farther than you would if you didn't have any goals. So we always want to set a course and a direction anyway, even if it's wrong, even if it's a far fetched thought, but get that execution plan or action plan in place so that you know you're actually on track or off track. And then you gotta every month check against it to see, are we on track or off track?

What do we do? What we didn't do? And what do we need to change?

[00:12:41] Dawn Calvinisti: Okay, I love that you talk about this. I think we should stay here for a little bit. This is one of the areas that when I'm coaching as a business coach, I often find also people are lacking. They tell me their goals, they tell me what the plan is by the end of the year, or this month, or in six months.

And then when I ask how they're going to get there, it's like, well, because I'm going to do what I do, like the same thing I do. And okay, that's great. But do you know if what you do will get you to that number? Like, how do you break that down? How many sales is that? How many people is that? How many times do you have to talk to people?

How many times do you have to reach out? How many podcasts do you need to go on?

How many actual, emails do you need to send out? How many, like, There's just so many parts, right? And often we don't break down where does the money come from? And so where is the time we need to spend then to bring in that money?

And we're off doing things that don't create money.

[00:13:29] Carla Titus: Yeah, and I think this is a really like just real picture right of a business owners. You get pulled into many directions. You forget about your goals and you're doing all the things and you're busy all the time answering all the emails for everyone. But you don't step back to say are the right things on my calendar.

If I said I was going to reach out to 10 people this week, did I carve out an hour to go reach out to those 10 people and actually take the actions? And I think that's where the discomfort is. When it happens, as you said, this goes without the action, and then we don't accomplish anything because then we got buried on emails and calls and things that didn't matter, that didn't move the business forward, that is not revenue generating activities, and we prioritize everyone else and everyone else's to do list before we did ours, which is to grow the business.

And so what we do is like, we clearly assign time to work on those things. We also find time to work on client deliverables because we also need to make sure we're delivering on the. People that are paying us money. So I think there's a careful balance there. And then there's obviously free time as well to go on through emails and do all the things, connect with your friends and, talk about business.

But we not only want to set the goals, we want to review the goals halfway through the quarter. We want to review the goals every week, every month to see. Have we accomplished anything that we said we were going to accomplish? And if not, guess what? You're in the first week and you realize I did not do the outreach I wanted to do.

Great. Next week, go block an hour and then go do the 10 outreaches that you forgot to, or maybe catch up and do two hours and do the 20 that for last week and the current week. So now you're back on track. So now, okay, I'm doing the work that I need to do to move my business forward. And it's consciously happened, but.

If you schedule yourself all week long with calls and things and stuff and you don't have a CEO day where you're Working on the things for your own business Like if you were your own client and that's what we had to do is we I had to make myself a client of my Own firm in order to go look at my numbers Review my financials and make sure that I was doing the same thing I was doing for my clients and prioritize me just as high as I do any other client because I'm just that important, too.

And so I think some business owners need to find a way to do that in their business that best, suits their workload and that are carving out to work on their business instead in their business.

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[00:15:44] Dawn Calvinisti: Can we talk a little bit about what are some of the downsides around not knowing your finances and what will end up happening out of that?

[00:15:53] Carla Titus: So first, you might become a little bit stressed out about, the lack of money or how Cash is not flowing into your bank account. You might become resentful of your business for not paying you a salary because you know what, you left the job and the job paid you a paycheck every other week or once a month and your business should be doing the same thing for you.

And if it's not, we need to set goals that allows you to get paid from your business sooner than later because even if the amount is not the same, even if it's something Just significant to you. It's still producing something for you in return that I think will prevent you from being resentful of it because so many people work so hard for their business and they're still not paying themselves They're paying everyone else but not themselves and then they wonder where the money is going.

Why do I not have any profit, and it becomes really hard to want to continue to pour into it if you're getting nothing out of it. Ideally, your business should be better than a job and should help you build personal wealth above and beyond what you could have done from a regular job. And if that is not happening again, we're not judging where you're at we're just Deciding, okay, now we're going to make progress towards getting to that, and it might take us some time, but we need to plan it out so that it happens, so that we're doing the right things to get to that point. Not knowing your numbers will also lead to not knowing what's working. Like, if you know that doing podcast interviews yields you clients, then why are you not doing more of those?

Or if you send out a newsletter, where's your conversion rate? On booking calls or getting clients and based on that newsletter being sent out. So maybe you want to double down on the cadence of that do twice a week. Or, if you were doing once a month and you want to do it twice a month, you won't know that if you're not looking at your conversion rates, at your numbers, looking at your data to tell you what's working, what's not working.

So you can stop doing it also, because guess what we get to stop doing the things that we are not seeing results. But it or pivot or try new ways to do them so that they can start working and double down on the ones that are. But how would you know if you didn't look at your numbers to see? Oh, that produced this type of result, and I think tracking that data is just as critical.

So if you're not tracking where your leads are coming from or how people are finding you, you need to start with either your intake form or something that says, How do you find us? Here's five options and tell us so that we know to do more of that.

[00:18:10] Dawn Calvinisti: This is such a good tip. I mean, in reality, I think most business owners have things that they want to do, things they don't want to do, and some of it doesn't matter. You do have to do it anyway. Often we wonder if we're wasting time in areas, and if we don't know what our numbers are, then we'll never know if we can drop that thing or if we should be doing more of something.

So I think that is a fantastic tip.

[00:18:32] Carla Titus: Thank you. Yeah, exactly. It's really easy to get lost in the day to day and not come off for error. But that's strategic time for you to look at your business and evaluate what's working. It's really going to be critical in your path to growth and, continue to produce the results that you want to see in your business.

[00:18:49] Dawn Calvinisti: Carla, if people want to find you and know more about you, where's the best place to look for you?

[00:18:54] Carla Titus: Yeah, they can check out our website, wealthworthwithin. com. I'm sure we'll put that in the links and they can sign up for our newsletter. We send one out monthly to let you know what's going on. Some resources help. We love to educate, with content about managing business finances. And all of that is also available on our social media channels at wealthworthwithin.

You can find us on Facebook, We post regularly. We're always sharing what's top of mind topics that clients are bringing to us that are, a recurring one that people should know about. I'll post videos about it and we just kind of give it away because we want more business owners to really feel empowered about their finances so they can build a business that really provides for their family and for themselves and again, helps them build that personal wall.

So we're really passionate to about educating people. About how simple finances can be and then not to feel scared or challenged by them because it can be, easy and accessible if you want to make it that so follow us and, make sure that you take action on some of that information that you're receiving as well.

[00:19:56] Dawn Calvinisti: Yeah. So if you've been avoiding some of this, then get in and get to know Carla and what's happening there. Get into their, their sites. I'm going to put everything in the show, show notes so that you can get to know her and also so that you can get some of the freebies. I know one of the things that she's offering to us is the annual business budget planning.

So can you tell us a little bit about that?

[00:20:15] Carla Titus: Yeah, thank you for that. We help business owners like yourself plan out their next 12 months in the year. If you feel like you can't do that on your own or you feel overwhelmed, we understand how that can be complex. And we'd really look at it from a comprehensive lens for all the aspects we talked about today, from the marketing side, like what budget do you need to be able to achieve the goals that you're trying to set?

And then from, the team side, how much support do you need? What are the roles? What does it cost? And making sure that we understand what are the margins for every line of service that you have, making sure that you have good profit, that you're paying yourself, that the plan includes you in it, as well as additional resources that you might not have thought of budgeting for in the new year, that can really make this Plan very actionable.

We provide not only the projections, but we also provide you. Here's the 10 things you need to go do in your business this year for you to achieve those goals, which is why we talk so much about execution because it doesn't happen without that, right? So we give you some clarity and really walk you through our framework that has proven to show a lot of results for our clients, helping them stay on track and achieve those goals. And that is something you can find on our website at the projections tab and more information about signing up for that service. But if you're also ready to hire a CFO, you're welcome to book a call with us. We would love to talk to you about your support needs and how we might support you.

And that's also available on our website under the contact tab.

[00:21:43] Dawn Calvinisti: Awesome. Thanks so much, Carla. The other thing I want to ask, because I ask every guest that comes on the show, is when it comes to the three P's, which are people pleasing, perfectionism, and procrastination, what one do you tend to go to?

[00:21:57] Carla Titus: Definitely perfectionism. It's something I've been working through a lot on what is good enough. And when you hold yourself to really high standards and quality, that is really what we do here for our clients. Sometimes it can get into the perfectionism time where it's just, you're wasting time.

You're overdoing it. And it doesn't need to be that way. And we really catch, I catch myself often saying is this high quality still because we do want to do that for a client, but are we just going overboard and like trying to nitpick at everything for no reason? So I think it could be a positive trade, but also a downside if you don't know where to cut yourself to stop, overdoing and being too perfectionist about it.

[00:22:39] Dawn Calvinisti: Yeah, I agree. There are such good sides to each of them. Especially quality when it comes to perfectionism. But yeah, sometimes we just, we just get stuck. We get stuck. Thanks for sharing that. Again, if you are looking for some information, go to the show notes. You can find everything there. You can also share this episode.

I'd love for you to send it out to one person that you know that would love to hear this or needs to know about this. Thank you so much, Carla, for being here today and for sharing this wisdom and breaking things down so that we aren't afraid to look at our finances.

[00:23:10] Carla Titus: Yeah. Thanks for having me as a guest. I really appreciate your time and I hope your audience enjoyed the episode and also don't forget to take action.

[DAWN CALVINISTI]

Thanks for listening to today's show. If you found value in what you heard, please share it with a friend and rate and review us on whatever platform you listen on. It really helps get us out to other women who could benefit from listening. 

Check out our show notes for details from the show and to connect with me or our guests. Want to continue the conversation? My website is www.pursueprogress.com or DM me @pursueprogresswithdawn on Instagram. 

Until next week, pursue progress no matter how imperfectly.


Links from this episode:

CONNECT WITH DAWN:

Website: https://www.pursueprogress.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pursueprogresswithdawn.com

Imperfection in Progress Podcast: https://www.pursueprogress.com/podcast

Imperfection in Progress Membership: https://www.pursueprogress.com/imperfectioninprogressmembership

CONNECT WITH CARLA:

Website: https://www.wealthworthwithin.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wealthworthwithin

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/wealthworthwithin/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/wealthworthwithin/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WWWithin

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wealthworthwithin/

Free Gift: Annual Business Budget Planning

Link to Free Gift: https://www.wealthworthwithin.com/projections

OTHER RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS PODCAST:

Umbrella Virtual Solutions: https://www.umbrellavs.com

Book Your Free 30 Minute Strategy Call with the host, Dawn Calvinisti: https://link.theviphub.ca/widget/bookings/dawncalvinisti/strategy

Coming from a background of natural health Dawn has owned multiple businesses as a doula, a childbirth educator, a homeopath and eventually an essential oil based network marketing business.

Dawn spent 7 years building this business to multiple six-figures and reached the top 3% of leaders in just under 3 years.

As a recovering people-pleaser, perfectionist and procrastinator herself, Dawn created online  summits for women who want to move away from these 3 P’s and find more joy and less stress in life.

She has spoken internationally on multiple podcasts and online summits to inspire women to put themselves on their to-do list without apology. To bring her message to even more women, she launched her podcast “Imperfection in Progress” in January 2023 with a membership site to create community and provide accountability.

Dawn Calvinisti

Coming from a background of natural health Dawn has owned multiple businesses as a doula, a childbirth educator, a homeopath and eventually an essential oil based network marketing business. Dawn spent 7 years building this business to multiple six-figures and reached the top 3% of leaders in just under 3 years. As a recovering people-pleaser, perfectionist and procrastinator herself, Dawn created online summits for women who want to move away from these 3 P’s and find more joy and less stress in life. She has spoken internationally on multiple podcasts and online summits to inspire women to put themselves on their to-do list without apology. To bring her message to even more women, she launched her podcast “Imperfection in Progress” in January 2023 with a membership site to create community and provide accountability.

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