HOW TO SCALE UP WHILE REDUCING YOUR WORKLOAD
This is the seventh lesson to Creating Your Own Lifestyle Business
This is the seventh lesson to Creating Your Own Lifestyle Business
I’m normally a pretty healthy person. I may get an occasional sniffle here and there but I never get sick. One time when we were living in Cozumel, I got sick. Like really sick. I was out for an entire week!
I could barely even sit at my desk let alone get any work done. Thinking back to that week, I can barely remember it. My muscles were weak and I didn’t eat anything. I mostly just laid on my bed with a wet washcloth on my forehead and the fan cranked.
Luckily, I had a great team in place and I set up a great system. Because I took the time to set up a work process, the work went on even though I myself wasn’t able to do anything. None of my clients even knew I’d been sick or that I wasn’t in “the office”.
That’s the power of having a system in your business.
“Once you recognize that the purpose of your life is not to serve your business, but that the primary purpose of your business is to serve your life, you can then go to work ON your business, rather than in it.”
Michael E. Gerber, Author of The E-Myth
There’s a common thought that as a business owner, you have to wear many hats. People talk about how you have to be an accountant and a marketer and a customer service rep and so on.
My answer to this is – no you don’t! At least not if you want to be successful!
As a business owner, there are 3 main things that you need to take 100% ownership in. Here they are listed in order of importance:
That’s it! Everything else is secondary. In fact, everything else you outsource.
We’ve already talked about getting sales. Now let’s focus on creating systems and a team.
First, it’s important to note that by creating a system and team, you will be able to scale up your business. You can’t do everything yourself. And you shouldn’t!
Remember, the primary goal of a lifestyle business is to fund your desired lifestyle. If you spend your entire working, that kind of defeats the purpose!
We all know the story of McDonald’s and their outrageous success. It’s no secret that they don’t necessarily sell the best tasting hamburger. However, McDonald’s doesn’t owe their success to their burgers. They owe it to the system they created.
Their system is so dialed in that they can have a 16 year old kid in Kansas make the same tasting burger as some guy in Beijing. McDonald’s knows one thing very well:
when you have a solid system in place, the sky’s the limit.
One of your primary jobs as a business owner will be to set up a system in your own business. This means to create processes for every aspect of the work. From marketing and sales to production to tracking finances. Your job is to create a set way of getting everything done both efficiently and effectively.
At a super basic level, a business process or a system is really nothing more than a checklist. It’s what has to happen to make the business run.
With a system in place, you’re able to remove yourself from the day-to-day activities and focus on the more important tasks like increasing the revenue. A smart business owner knows that with a system in place, the business could double or triple in size overnight and he or she won’t have to work any harder.
You need to look at each aspect of your business and create a process for it. Like I said, this is literally a checklist. You’re going to look at marketing and sales, service or product fulfillment, reporting, financials, etc. – pretty much everything that happens in your business needs to be documented and checklisted.
Start thinking about your business and what you have to get done everyday. Now, document everything. If you like, you can use a screen capture tool like Jing or Camtasia to track what you do. As much as you can, list out each task. This means thinking about everything you do for marketing and sales to client onboarding or product fulfillment to bookkeeping. Document everything.
Then, list out everything you do in someplace where your future team members will be able to see it. You could choose to keep everything in DropBox or Google Drive. Or, you could also use project management software like Basecamp, Trello, or Asana. I personally have used Asana in my business for the last 4 years and it’s awesome.
Create a masterlist for every aspect of your business. It’s tedious I know but you only have to do it once! This basically becomes your operations manual.
At this point, you want to think about using as many software tools as possible to cut down on the workload for the staff you’ll hire.
If you send emails, create a template to use. If you take reservations or have orders placed, use a service like IFTTT or Zapier to automate everything. Create templates of any proposals you use. Simplify simplify simplify!
Basically, streamline and automate everything you can before using human energy to do it. In business, efficiency and cost rule.
With this in place, you’re ready to hire some staff!
With a system in place, it’s now a matter of plugging people in. Creating a system is kind of easy. Tedious, but easy. Building a team? That’s actually kind of challenging. There are entire books on the subject! In fact, one I highly recommend is called Virtual Freedom by Chris Ducker. He’s a great guy with a lot of good info.
There are a lot of reasons why you need to put a good team in place. Here are just a few:
Up until now, you may have been doing everything yourself. In order to scale your business and then buy your freedom, you need to have others do everything for you.
Based on your business model, you may need just one key person who can handle everything or you may need an entire team.
However, I found that Upwork is a great starting place to find good talent. When you want to have more control, you need to get your own staff in place. I’ve had great success with a service called Virtual Staff Finder. I think it’s around $500 now but it’s worth it.
But you don’t need to drop a lot of money to find good people. Some other business owners I know have had good luck just posting on Craigslist and even LinkedIn.
I need to point out here that you don’t need to be in a rush to hire everybody at once. In fact, hire one person on a per project basis. If they work out well, hire them to do another project. And then another. As you grow, you’ll know when the time is to hire each person.
The key is just having a process that you follow and can teach your team members. This is going to take some work. This is one of the biggest challenges in the business. You’re going to have to hire and fire people until you get your dream team in place and make it all run smoothly. But, of course, it’s entirely worth it.
As you refine your systems and hire more people, you should see an increase in overall growth in your business. At the same time, you should be working less. How much you actually work is up to you.
Many of the business owners I know love what they do and spend up to 40 hours a week working. On the flipside, I know many business owners who literally work an hour a month – basically to sign checks and read reports.
Personally, I work about 10 hours a week on my primary business spending my time with some of my favorite clients. Because of the systems I have in place, I can take off whenever I want and the work still gets done. I can also work from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. For a guy that loves travel, that’s a big deal!
We’ve now reached the end of the lessons. It’s my sincere hope that this info has helped you get started with your own lifestyle business!
You have a choice now: you’re either going to apply this information and get started… or you’re not.
I really hope you do though!
This stuff really works. You can do it!
If you have any questions, please just email me at Sean at Family Rocketship dot com.
Also, if you’ve started your business, I’d love to hear about your progress! Hearing that somebody just made an extra $1000 or just quit their job is one of my favorite things!