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Should You Really Grow Your Business?

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Should You Really Grow Your Business?

Coaches, courses, webinars and other sources are constantly telling us - we should be earning more money and doing less. We should be creating passive income or turning our business into an agency. 

We are told to scale our business, so we can make more money doing less. Everyone’s talking about “growing your business”, so it seems logical to strive for perpetual growth.

When you take a minute to stop and think, though, the question is really, WHY do we need to grow our businesses? And is growth always the best option? 

If you’re working full time in your business, but not making a full-time income from it, aiming for growth might seem like the only way to move forward (and make more money)... but is it really? 

Do You Need to Grow… or Do You Need to Re-assess?

If the income from your business doesn’t quite match the time you’re putting into it, maybe it's not a sign that you need to grow your business. Instead, it could mean that you need to take a long, hard look at the foundations of your business and how it’s set up.

Growing your business is very likely to cost you more time or more money. If you’re not planning on spending more of either of those things, then optimising your business might be the best next step. 

And that’s what this article is all about: STOP and consider your options before you add more work to your plate, or more expenses to your budget.

The two main ways to grow or scale your business are to either:

1. Outsource some of the tasks (so you can spend more time on other aspects of the business for a better return on your investment)

or

2. Create passive income. 

Growing Your Business by Outsourcing or Subcontracting

If you're not earning a good wage for your efforts, but you still want to outsource or subcontract some of the work, you may have to take on “cheap labour”. 

That could mean hiring people who are just starting out, are inexperienced and need additional training, or for some other reason are not the ideal person for your business - because you can’t afford to take on someone who knows what they’re doing at a full and fair rate.

You could end up spending lots of time getting them up to speed and teaching them what you know so they can do the job. If you're already working full time on your business, this is just not a good investment of your time. 

Instead, consider raising your rates, or specialising so you can afford to only take on clients who really need what you offer.

Read The Pumpkin Plan for some big insights on that matter! 

Scaling Your Business by Creating Passive Income Streams

Another option to increase revenue in your business without having to trade hours for money is to create some passive income. A course, membership or other online program  is often a great way to earn recurring income; however, it can take a lot of work to set up, especially if it’s the first time you’re doing it.

Creating, marketing and launching a digital product takes quite a lot of time and effort - and most people underestimate the time it takes to grow an audience to sell that online program to. 

Do you have that kind of extra time right now? If the answer is no, then before you put all your time, effort, and money into creating passive income, let's look at some other options. 

Instead of growing your business, consider these three things first:

1. Don’t Grow Your Business - Earn More Money First

The number one reason people want to grow their business is to make more money. However, if you’re already working full-time in your business but not making a full-time income, start by looking at your current rates. 

Are you charging enough? 

Is the money you’re making reflecting the amount of time you’re spending on your business and the value you’re providing for your clients or customers? 

Are your rates or prices industry-standard? Or if you have the experience and the social proof to show your services are worth more than industry-standard, are you charging exactly that? 

If you're not sure you're charging enough or if you’re selling the right products or packages to allow you to make a decent income, I recommend you try the MIO exercise. This will help you find out where you should be putting more of your energy and effort, and where you're investing a lot of time but not making a lot of income in return.  

2. Don’t Grow Your Business - Optimise it First

If you’re sure your rates and prices are what they’re supposed to be, but you’re still working too much and not making enough money, that’s when you should take a good look at your systems and processes.

Is there anything you’re doing manually right now, that could be automated?

Have a look at some automation tools online. A tool may cost you €10 a month, but if you're already working more hours than you should and this tool can save you 10 hours of work each month that you can then invest into client work or lead generation, it’s a major win. 

Example: I use Acuity so people can schedule meetings with me. Yes, it costs me a small amount of money each month, but it saves me (or my virtual assistant) hours of going back and forth with leads and clients to set up meetings manually. 

Here’s an article I wrote about tools, apps, and other things I use to save me time and money… maybe you’ll be inspired to try a couple of them out? 

If you’re not sure where to start, try this:

Every day for a full week, write down what you do for each hour of your working day. You’ll soon discover what’s taking up a lot of your time… and maybe that’s something you could do more efficiently? 

There are lots of automations that won’t cost you a dime - there are so many free tools out there. Tools that could save you time and, in the long run, money. 

3. Don’t Grow Your Business - Set Your Priorities First

A third thing to look at is your time management. 

I’m not accusing you of procrastination, per se (although most of us entrepreneurs are master procrastinators, did you know?)but unless you’re already familiar with every productivity method in the book, you could probably save some time by: 

  • Setting priorities: 80% of our income often comes from 20% of our effort (the Pareto Principle). Identify what that 20% is, and do more of that. As mentioned above, the MIO exercise could help you with that. 
  • Take enough breaks: taking an extra break can make us so much more productive. 
  • Working in pomodoros: these super-focused stints of work make it easier to get things done
  • Carve out time for your own business: if you’re focused on serving your clients, it’s easy to put your own business last… or to neglect it completely. That means when you lose a client, it can take some time to find a new source of income. Setting up and maintaining systems for lead generation can save you the panic!

Don't Grow Your Business - Think First

Next time the internet tells you to grow your business, scale your business, or that you should be making money while you sleep… THINK before you believe that’s the best solution for your situation. 

It CAN be worth putting in the extra work. I love outsourcing and subcontracting (I work with a team of freelancers from all over the world. I love making affiliate income (nothing wrong with introducing people to great products that you love), and I do make recurring income from digital products (check out our Vault!) I totally believe business growth is great - when it’s the RIGHT next step.

However, before you spend time and money on growth, make sure your core business is set up well. That way when you invest more time into other things, your business won’t suffer - and neither will your income. 

If you’re not sure what the next step is for your business, I’d love to help you with that! Schedule a call to discuss your options (it’s free, and there are no strings attached, really!) - and I’ll be happy to help you find more clarity on what your priorities could be.