People often ask me for tips on how to scale their business. I get it, we all want our businesses to grow and become more successful, but I think there is a lack of understanding out there about what scaling is. Before I dive into the how to of scaling, I want to clear the air on three things:
Scaling vs. growing. Many people say scaling and they mean growing. They aren’t fully booked with clients and want to be. This isn’t scaling, this is merely growing your business. Scaling is what happens to multiply your growth once you’ve maxed out the dollars you can make with the hours you can work at your current business model and structure.
Scaling doesn’t solve problems, it illuminates them. Sometimes people have issues in their businesses, or have let things be swept under the rug. Scaling is much like your initial growth period in that it often involves failure, and it also shines a spotlight onto the things that aren’t working in your business. Struggling with admin work as a 1:1 coach solopreneur? When you add a group program, you will multiply the problem.
There’s not a one-size-fits-all formula to scale. Anyone who’s offering that to you is definitely selling you what worked for them, and there’s no guarantee it is the right move for them. When I help clients scale their businesses, we have to take into account what is working now and what they want their life and business to look like in the future. If they hate marketing, it doesn’t matter how great courses can be – courses might be the wrong move for them.
Ok, let’s talk HOW. I suggest 3 different ways to scale your business if you’re a solopreneur who is fully booked with 1:1 work, and ready to grow that income.
Raise rates. Ok, so this isn’t technically scaling in the purest definition but if you don’t have money to grow your team, the best way to grow your income at this stage of business is to raise your rates before doing anything else. I often see solopreneurs who feel they aren’t ready to invest in growing a team (even bringing a virtual assistant on for a few hours a week) yet want to scale on a budget. If that’s you — please, raise your rates first before getting into the other options. They are probably not going to be the instant answer to increased revenue you expect, but raising your rates will be.
Change business model. One way to scale your business when you’re fully booked is to change your business model. If you’ve started with 1:1 client work, the options are endless to make a few shifts and work with more people, less closely, for less money. Live courses, group coaching, self study courses, e-books, membership sites, and more are all great options to make a shift in your business model to scale your business and impact more people with your important work! Keep in mind you’ll need to attract more clients than you currently do now. Think honestly about your ability to market and sell the new offer. The best way to decide if this is your right step is to think about what you love most and want more of in your business, and change the business model to create more of that.
Hire a team. Bringing on help in your business (even just a VA for a few hours a week) can be an amazing way to free up your hours to do more client work, where you are earning more. If you can delegate administrative work for a low rate, and spend the time you would have been doing that on high paying client work, you will be able to increase your income while sticking with the same kind of work you are doing now. You’ll also have another set of eyes in your business, which has more benefits than just the help. Bringing people into my business helped me to step up my game as a business owner, think of myself in a new way, learn new skills, and whip the laziness in my business into shape. If you’re thinking of growing a team, look to hire a contractor first. Document your systems first, so it will be easy to on-board the new hire, write a clear job description, and interview candidates just like you would for a real job! These days, most business owners receive hundreds (if not thousands) of applications, so ask for additional materials to help weed out those who aren’t serious and protect your time. A great way to do this is to have them send a video with their application packet. As part of the interview process, have them do a task similar to the work they will be doing for you. Be sure to set aside time to train after the hire. They won’t walk into your business knowing it all or reading your mind – there will be a learning time. You may also want to hire them for a temporary trial period to start, to be sure they are the right fit.
When you’re scaling your business, there will be trial – and there will be error. Failures do not mean the whole thing is wrong, but take time to assess what worked, what didn’t, and what you want to do differently as you continue forward. A coach can be a valuable part of this process! If you’re looking for one, you came to the right place. I love to help my clients scale (and grow!) their businesses and incomes while increasing their quality of life & work/life balance!