There are plenty of people who’ll explain to your that scaling your business means nothing but hard work and more hard work – but if that’s just not possible for you?
Perhaps life doesn’t allow for 18-hour days? Does that mean you can’t grow a business?
We’re here to tell you that it doesn’t – and in actual fact, there are significant places where ‘working hard’ can be replaced with ‘working smart’ – here are two great options:
- Exchange your money for time
When you’re in business, especially when you’re a company owner, manager or director, it can be difficult to quantify everything you do, after all, there’s a lot of it.
However, if you don’t know what you’re spending your time on, you never know what would make sense to hand off to someone else.
And it really does make sense to hand some of your stuff off. Here’s a simple example to illustrate:
You’re a web designer – you invoice your time at £50 per hour. During an average day you spend 1 hour handling your book-keeping – meaning that keeping your finances in order costs you somewhere around £12,000-£15,000 each year.
So instead, you pay a virtual assistant £15 per hour to handle that book keeping. That VA costs you around £3,000-£4,500 per year – meaning you’ve just earned somewhere in the region of £10,000 annually by simply being more-smart with your time.
Now, you obviously have to turn that book-keeping time into design time – otherwise you’re simply losing the money that your VA cost – but assuming you’ve got the work ethic to do so, it’s a very simple time/money exchange.
How to do it
If you want to change anything you first need to understand your current situation – and the only way you’re going to do that is by logging your time.
This might be mildly irritating – but it doesn’t last forever and is well worth it in the long run.
Set your phone, watch or an app timer to sound a single tone every 15-minutes. Each time it chimes, make a note of what you were doing during that quarter hour. Be honest here – if it’s browsing social media, talking to customers, going to the toilet or anything else then note it as such – paint an accurate picture of what your day looks like.
When you’ve done this, you can start looking at how much EVERYTHING costs you. See some stuff there that shouldn’t be costing that much money? Outsource it – or, if it’s browsing social media for fun, put an end to it!
You’ll find you actually spend a lot less time doing your core activities than you might think.
What will it offer?
Very simply, you’ll be buying more time – and it’s time that can be spent on the most lucrative parts of your business.
Perhaps you could take on another client? Perhaps it’ll save you bringing additional staff onboard? Maybe it’ll bump your income up another level? There’s a lot to be said for hundreds of extra hours in the year…
- Increase your prices
When there are only so many hours in the day you simply have to charge the right amount of money in exchange for that time.
There’s a balance to be struck here of course, work to an equivalent of £5 per hour and you’ll have more customers than you could possibly imagine – but you’re severely undervaluing your product and time.
On the other hand, if you price your product or service such as pool cleaning similar willshapools.com in a way that means you can take £100 an hour for your work – you’re probably going to struggling to find the customers you need. This depends on your professional or discipline of course – your own industry figures are going to be needed here – but I’m sure you can see the point we’re making.
So, work out what’s a sensible balance between the number of hours you have available and the industry standard rates – then set your pricing according to the scale you’d like to achieve.
Increasing your pricing doesn’t necessarily mean money in your pocket of course – an increase in charge for your product or service might actually mean you can take an additional person on to support your business – or even heed our first point and subcontract some of the tasks that don’t bring back the maximum monetary yield.
How to do it?
You’ve got some options when it comes to scaling on price – but whatever you choose will require a conversation with current customers. Here’s some options:
Explain your plans: Customers understand that a marketplace changes – so you could explain your plans and why you need to up your pricing accordingly. If they value you and your product they’ll stick around.
Offer an option at your current price: If you feel like your customers are at their limit price-wise, you might just need to reduce the product they receive. For example, if a customer loves your coffee beans but can’t afford an increase in price – would they be happy with the same quality beans – just in a slightly smaller quantity?
Bump up the service: If your product or service increases in quality prior to a price increase, you might find that your customers are more than happy when the price moves – especially if it means you’ll keep up with this new wonderful service.
Ask where they see value: Don’t be afraid to ask your customers what they want in return for a price increase. They might want quicker turn-arounds, more product, better support – or many other things. If they’re just paying additional for something they’ve requested, you’ll find they’re often happy to pay more.
What will it offer?
More money into the bank account means one of two things. Firstly, you can ease off the number of working hours and invest that time in new projects that’ll help you push the business forward – or; secondly, you can keep the time commitment up and reap the financial reward – either personally, or by reinvesting in the business.
Whichever route you choose, the additional money is going to give you a flexibility that you previously didn’t have…