1. Work less, but grow your businesses more
Working in the business is easy – doing that thing that you do – it’s enjoyable, fulfilling and gives you a feeling of satisfaction. Otherwise, you wouldn’t start a business around it, wouldn’t you?
But being business owner, means there is that other side of the coin – you need to work on your business, if you want it to grow – or just stop it from sinking. And that means planning, strategy, business development and marketing (and admin, and taxes and million other stuff, yes. )
Let’s talk about marketing, aka letting people know, you have amazing stuff for sale.
People generally begrudge every minute they need to spend on marketing and sales, instead of doing ‘proper’ work, like delivering your stuff.
Getting new customers requires massive effort, takes loads of time – in fact, it’s so hard it makes you positively loath marketing, sales and eventually your business itself.
But since marketing – getting new customers – is essential to business growth, you can’t eliminate it form your to do list. You can however use technology, to amplify your message, so you work less, but reach more potential buyers.
So how do you work less at your advertising but bring more clients and make more money from each promotion?
- AUTOMATION: Automating your (boring) marketing tasks creates time, which you can use than to work on developing your business structures, to allow it to grow and flourish.
- BRANDING: Developing your branding guide stylesheet and ideal client profile makes it easy to just blitz through all your promotional materials – with the confidence that they speak directly to your ideal clients and you don’t waste any of your marketing budget on leads that never buy.
- RETENTION & ACQUISITION: Taking time to overhaul your website, so it pre-sells your customers and makes it easy for them to buy from you – means you spend less time selling and more time helping your clients.
2. Make more money in less time
We are in business to make money.
It’s not because we are greedy, selfish people – but even the most heart-centred entrepreneur needs to make a profit at some point, before she feels so disillusioned and disheartened that is just ready to give up.
Besides, disillusioned and disheartened is not the state of mind to deliver your best work – so the quality inevitably suffers and your business sinks faster and faster.
On the other hand, there are those sought after professionals, who deliver their best work – consistently – to the satisfaction of their clients, get paid handsomely for it and their business grows – seemingly just like by magic. But there is no hidden secret to it – they don’t become overnight success, well, overnight. They put hard work first, build solid foundation for their business, invest in themselves – and when the opportunity comes knocking – they are ready to take it and make the most of it.
To make more money, your business needs to be structured for growth – it doesn’t necessarily means you need more clients. Many successful businesses thrive on a handful of high paying, long term clients. They don’t need to chase after new clients all the time. The solid business model is a key to their success. They leverage their resources, and use technology to enhance customer acquisition and retention process.
Sound business model and marketing strategy ensures that potential buyers literally pre-sell themselves (for example with samples and entry-price level products). All that saved time and money can be than used for high-value business activities – which, I suppose is the true secret to outrageous success: most successful entrepreneurs concentrate their personal attention on the best possible clients.
So how to make more money?
- Consistently concentrate on the high-value activities – and delegate or ditch the rest.
- Use technology to perform repetitive work for you and delegate tasks that are below your pay grade.
- Structure your business for growth: automate your client acquisition and retention, set up systems to process tasks
- Develop multiple income streams: create a suite of complementary products and services to maximize lifetime value of your customers.
3. Finding Time
When you are starting the business – it might seem there isn’t enough time to take care of everything and it often gets even more frantic while you rapidly grow your business.
To find more time, look in all the areas of your personal and work life.
Getting virtual assistant for couple hours a month saves you loads of time – and is much more cheaper than traditional hire, as you don’t have associated costs of insurance, holiday, maternity and sick leave.
Even a simple thing of having your groceries delivered, saves you and 1 hour+ of the supermarket visit. Getting outside help – and peace of mind – doesn’t need to be uber expensive – employing a housekeeper twice a week means you can use that time (usually spend cleaning) to spend with your family and friends.
Learning a new skill, getting a business coach is a valuable business investment, yet it’s essential to look what is draining your energy both in business and your personal life, to address those issues first.
Hiring a cleaner, arranging extra childcare, rearranging your working hours – doesn’t seem so obvious, but it might be just the thing to unlock that ‘overnight’ success.
It’s a form of investing in yourself, because you ditch boring tasks and are free to do what you want most.
You feel confident, happy and ready to channel that energy straight into your business, to propel it’s growth.
Getting that life/work balance largely depends on investing on both sides of the equation.
Enjoying your life is the basis of enjoying your work and vice versa.
Even if you can only find 1-2 hours daily extra, it is still more than enough to grow your business. With concentrated effort – and slicing that elephant of workload in manageable bites – you can slowly but surely accelerate your business growth. And the more momentum you gain, the faster you see results, enabling you to accomplish even bigger goals.
We are often guilty of wasting time on non-essential tasks. If you take into account, how much time you spend on office chitchat, checking social media updates, preparing for meetings, attending meetings, procrastinating in general – you probably already work work less than 4 hrs a day.
TAKE ACTION: Marketing charm (warning: desk voodoo involved!)
The productive and successful day starts… a day before.
- Spend 15 min tidying your desk (clearing physical and mental space, a bit of office voodoo, but it works)
- Write a list of 3 tasks for tomorrow, try to be realistic and make them each around 45 min to complete. If you have big project, chunk it into 3 smaller tasks.
- After each task, get a 10min break. Away from the desk, if possible.
- Add a small, 15min client retention task: write thank you note for recent client, call previous client to find out how they getting on, comment on their article or social media update. Basically, be a nice person and genuine self and do what you would do anyway, if you weren’t so busy.
- And the last one: leave a note to yourself, reminding you why you are actually doing all this.
It can be a different reason everyday. I keep pictures of our trips to theme parks – to remind me, that one of my reasons is so I can spend every Monday on a day trip with kids. Since my Chief Lego Engineer starts school in September, we won’t be able to do it anymore (Monday trip=bypassing weekend crowds), but we will figure it out.
My friend makes a note of what she accomplished that day and adds it to her neat collection – if you choose to do that, imagine the feeling of going into an office and in a moment of doubt reading through all the amazing things you managed to get done – regardless.
What are your productivity hacks and routines? Please share on our Facebook page!