Are You Running a Business Yet?
Answers on a post card please! The truth in your answer will depend on how much time you can spend away from your business with everything running smoothly without you. If the answer, as it often will be, is ‘not much’ then you have a job not a business. Having a self employed job means you will become exhausted over the years, limit the value of your business on sale (who wants to buy a business where only one person is meaningful to the customers?) and mean any health issues you suffer from will mean potential curtains for your business income.
It doesn’t need to be, you can automate processes, use outsourcing team members and generally set up a repeating winning formula for your business so that it’s not reliant on you being there 100% of the time. This is a stage every business needs to gets to or you build, for all the best reasons, a really weak model which ultimately will cause issues in your cash flow and general well being. Set yourself a goal to move from this ‘ you doing it all’ to someone else doing some of the work and make it fast.
But I like the work I do!
It’s great to be good at and to love the work you do but you cannot do 100% of all the work that comes through the door and nor should you want to. You want, as the business owner, to be charging premium prices for the work you do one to one with customers which funds the rest of the processes, team and other expenses so you are not working 18 hour days 7 days per week. By choosing the clients or customers you work with, the hours you work each day and how many days you work you re frame the business model from burnout to healthy, both in terms of your involvement and cash flow. You need to do this as otherwise your business will stumble the first time you are not there,
Systems cost cash
In many cases they do, but its also possible to put in systems which save time and money. Little things like standard quote templates, standard emails answering common queries, FAQs on your web site which are linked to every invoice and email. There is a lot that can be done free of charge and requiring very little time if you put your mind to it. Marketing processes using low-cost technology to run systems mean, if you work on them at the beginning of each month, they are up and running each day without your involvement; things like Social Oomph or Hootsuite for social media and Facebook ads running at low levels of ad costs each day, for example.
Newsletters can be pre-written over a couple of days to last you months even if you choose not to outsource them; telemarketing calls can be as low as £100 for 400 using something like People Per Hour – all low cost things to forward plan each month to keep your business going and client leads coming in. Setting up landing pages to feature a single product or service and then running either a Facebook or Google ad to promote people to provide details of their interest in a low or no cost ‘freebie’, where you promote your services or products and what it can do for them, can bring in regular repeating business with just a little thought.
Are you a business/self employed job snob then?
No! Absolutely not, I know many business owners want to grow their businesses just by themselves, but to do so when you are not taking advantage of processes, systems and products from your services to me is madness and results in overworking. I also love the idea of a lifestyle business where there are no grand corporate ideas of selling the business on. It will live and die with you, the business owner. That doesn’t mean that you should hasten your own death by not taking advantage of the amazing technology, and using processes, to minimise the time needed to do each task and cut your obligations to be there in your business all hours to the detriment of health, family and friends.
What I am talking about is using your head, taking some little steps to reduce the time for the routine, coming up with packages of services or product which are meaningful to your customers or clients but don’t suck the life and time out of you to provide. The best business model will be one which attracts and serves its customers without killing the business owner, now you have to admit that sounds good, doesn’t it?
For more information on automation and how to make it easier for your business, call us or email us using the details below and see how easy it can be to start systemising your business.