Jennifer Dawn’s client had built her company to $750,000 in revenue but was losing enthusiasm for the business. “It had sucked the life out of her,” says Dawn, who runs Jennifer Dawn Coaching in New York City. “She started to hate the business and it was tanking.”
Revenue gradually slipped to $500,000. Dawn worked with her on marketing and other key areas of the business rebuild her sales—and also encouraged her to start exercising and otherwise taking care of herself. The client gradually built sales back to $1 million.
Then the pandemic hit—and the schools the client served in the business were closed. “I’m going to lose my business,” she told Dawn.
Dawn encouraged her to launch a digital product, making the most of the time during the pandemic when business was slow, and she hit $1 million with it. Now the business is on track for $2 million in annual revenue.
Clients like this are not uncommon for Dawn, who is focused on helping businesses get to the 7-figure revenue mark at Jennifer Dawn Coaching and also runs the Happy Productive Podcast, focused on productivity for entrepreneurs. She taps what she learned about both mindset and the practicalities of scaling when running a previous firm that developed point-of-sale systems for amusement parks and growing it to more than $1 million in sales annually.
Recently, she shared three strategies she uses to help clients get to $1 million in revenue and beyond.
Make sure you’re doing the right things every day. Many small business owners struggle with time management and get caught up in putting out fires for clients or cleaning up after their team, Dawn says. A simple decision like scheduling your own calls can have big implications, by keeping you away from more important activities, like lead generation, she points out. “They don’t know that every day I should be getting something that pushes me out of my comfort zone, that gets me closer to that million-dollar mark,” she says.
Don’t neglect your physical health, soul and sanity to grow the business. Many owners let themselves get so burned out, stressed out and overwhelmed they are not showing up as their “best self” at the business, Dawn finds. “When they don’t take care of themselves, they are sick all the time. They didn’t get their stuff done. They just don’t feel well, and, and they just don’t get the results that the owners who take their health and make it a priority do,” says Dawn.
Ultimately, if you want to grow your business, you need to block out time to take care of yourself, she believes. “It’s about taking the time to exercise, to eat some healthy food so that you have the vitality and the energy to show up and deal with all the challenges, and you’re thinking clearly,” says Dawn, who believes so strongly in the importance of physical health for small business owners that she has a health coach on her team.
Sometimes, just taking the first step—like eating one raw food a day—is all it takes to build momentum. “We start rebuilding their habits and, and when we do that and they start feeling better, then they have the energy they need and are more motivated,” says Dawn.
Follow the money. Dawn teaches clients to use Profit First accounting, a cash management system that gives them more knowledge of the money coming in and out of their businesses, and helps them make informed budgeting and strategic decisions. “It helps them understand where their money goes,” she says.
It might seem like putting systems in place to track revenue and cash outflows would be natural for entrepreneurs, but often, there’s a knowing-doing gap. Having a system to rely on helps to keep things on track, she finds.
“When you’re a business owner, it’s so easy to have so many things in progress that you’re not focusing on these things,” says Dawn.