Display Name Sets You Up For Success
Let me ask you …
Do you know “your numbers”? Have you looked at your Profit & Loss Report?
How much do you make from each revenue stream? Which revenue stream makes you the most money? Heck, do you know what your revenue streams are?
Calculating “your numbers” can be a tedious task for small business owners. As a result, too many business owners simply guesstimate instead. And more often than not, the health of the business is judged by one lump sum (typically a bank account balance), rather than a report detailing numbers for each revenue stream, like the one below.
17hats Turns Tedious Into Easy
I get it: This type of reporting isn’t something anyone wants to spend Saturday afternoon doing. That’s why 17hats has just released a small feature, Display Name, which makes it easy. Hopefully, this will give you the kick in the butt you need. Now, with a few clicks, you can put a system in place so you can have a business-revealing Profit & Loss Report!
Granted, on the face of things, “Display Name” doesn’t sound very magical. After all, it simply allows you to create a client-friendly name for the products and services that appear in your quotes and invoices. But wait.
For those of you with multiple revenue streams that offer the SAME product(s) within those streams for different clients, this is a game-changer. It lets you better organize your products and services. This also paves the way for your Profit & Loss Report, so you can clearly see the results of each revenue stream.
Basic Understanding First
Let’s say you are a dog aficionado who started a boutique dog-walking business: Doug’s Dog Walking. You offer services for dog walking, puppy play sessions, spa services, and dog training. These services are your revenue streams. Like Doug we invented just now, most 17hats members have a range of revenue streams.
Without going down a rabbit hole, let’s pause to review a few revenue stream examples:
- Designer: Web design, print design, social media management
- Photographers: Wedding photography, newborn photography, family photography
- Cake Artists: Birthday cakes, wedding cakes
- Event Planners: Weddings, corporate, in-home events
Importantly, each revenue stream includes different services and products. For Doug’s Dog Walking, he offers puppy-friendly nail polish application as an à la carte service for clients after the dog is walked, or during their spa session. So, he offers “puppy-friendly nail polish application” as a service within two revenue streams.
The Old Way, Without Display Name
If you were Doug, you could have gone about this in one of two ways.
- You might have made one product in 17hats and tied it back to a generic transaction category, if you tied back to a category at all.
If you are saying right now, “‘transaction category’ – meh, I don’t need that.” You are wrong. Keep reading!
- You made two products in 17hats, each tied back to its own transaction category, but had not-so-pretty (aka client-unfriendly) names for each product. Something like this: “Spa Service – Nail Polish” or “Nail Polish – Walking Service.”
The New Way With Display Name
Now, courtesy of Display Name, you can create a product or service with a Display Name (which the client will see on the Quote and Invoice) as well as an Internal Name (which you can use for organizational and reporting purposes).
But what makes this super-duper, amazingly great? Now you can have a client-friendly Display Name, and tie the item back to the correct transaction category.
Check out the two images above: Same product, same Display Name, different transaction categories, and different Internal Names. Your clients are shown a client-friendly product/service name, and you get the organization you need to succeed. Yea!
Notice that the Internal Names in the images above use a naming convention:
Revenue Stream > Product Type > Description
By using such a naming convention, your products and services will be nicely organized in 17hats.
Also, with Products and Services displayed in alphabetical order in 17hats, all your revenue streams are listed together. Then, by adding the type (package, à la carte) second, your list will gain another level of organization as seen below:
Quick and Easy Financial Reporting
While client-friendly Display Names and organizing your products and services are a great bonus, the real value of this lies in the Profit & Loss Report, possible within 17hats Bookkeeping. Even if you do not use 17hats Bookkeeping, this is one report you’ll want to see!
As you can see in the screenshots below, by breaking out the products within the correct Income Categories, now you can see exactly how much money you are earning from each revenue stream.
No more lumping all your products in one income category! By setting up your product and transaction categories properly, you’ll be able to view the health of your business by seeing exactly what is making you money – and what is not.
As you’ll notice from the Profit & Loss Report above and the transaction categories below, the transaction categories are broken down by revenue stream and type. This allows you to view the total amount sold of the packages, as well as the total of the à la carte items.
Key Insights For You
Why is this report so important?
For many reasons, but mostly it will help focus you. A famous saying is, “If you are selling to everyone, you’re selling to no one.” I believe the same is true about revenue streams. If you are selling everything, then you are selling nothing.
The point is, as small business owners, we say “Yes” a lot! A client will ask, “Can you do ______?” And because we need money, we say “Yes” … and then spend the night researching on Google. Over time, all those yesses turn into revenue streams, and now we offer 100 different items, which means marketing is much harder. Selling becomes overwhelming, because there are too many choices. It becomes hard to organize your website. Your head swims in the chaos.
But, if you knew what was actually bringing in money for you, you could let the numbers tell you what you should keep and what you should cut. This allows you to focus your business, which will ultimately allow you to grow. With a focused business, everything becomes much, much easier.
Let’s Get Started
What are you waiting for? Hopefully this is the nudge you need to organize your business for success. To get started, just follow the steps below:
- Add an Income Category for each revenue stream.
- Update your most commonly used products and services with a Display Name, Internal Name, and correct Income Category. (You can adjust the rest as you use them.)
That’s it! Easy-peasy. This should only take you about 10 minutes or so to complete, so don’t delay. And, if you have questions, just hop into the 17hats Facebook Community and ask. Just tag me – I’m happy to help!