More than 22 million U.S. businesses are one-man or one-woman shows, and most get stuck at making only $43,000 a year. Here are five things you need to implement to grow your business so that it generates revenue without you.
1. Don’t fall into the productivity trap.
If you feel like you are absolutely crucial to the success of your business, then it may be a cause for concern. Your business should be able to operate and thrive without you rather than relying on your constant presence and hard work.
Trying to increase productivity by squeezing more work into less time is not a sustainable solution – it’s a trap that can lead to burnout. Instead, you should focus on building systems and processes that allow your business to function without relying on your constant input.
2. Don’t do the work. Design the work.
When you are constantly focused on completing tasks, you don’t have the time or energy to come up with new ideas or innovate.
However, the work you do as a designer, such as thinking about workflows and next steps, has a greater impact on your business than simply completing tasks.
It allows your business to evolve and grow. On the other hand, being stuck in “doing mode” and focusing on tasks like invoices and calendars does not have as much of a payoff in the long run.
3. Find your niche market and focus your powers there.
To find your niche, examine your current client list and consider which clients spend the most with you. These clients are not only the most valuable to you financially, but they also value your work the most.
Additionally, consider the experience of working with these clients. If you enjoy working with a particular client, you will likely produce your best work for them consistently.
On the other hand, if a client drains your energy and is not enjoyable to work with, it may not be a sustainable long-term relationship.
4. Metrics make your life easier.
Your business depends on attracting customers. How can you track this? With a tool like Google Analytics, you could track the number of hits your site gets each week and how many submit an inquiry through your site’s contact form.
This number won’t reflect every new lead. But it’s a great indicator of how you’re doing. If fewer people than normal are submitting an inquiry, then try and figure out why. Is something broken? Have you turned off paid ads? Did your social traffic slow down?
Next, you need to know how many leads convert to paying clients. One way to measure conversion is to set a time window – say, three months – and note how many leads convert to paying clients in that time.
5. Your business can grow without you.
As a solopreneur, hiring someone to join your team can significantly reduce your profits and hourly rate. For example, you may go from earning $50 per hour to only $5 per hour.
It’s no surprise that many solopreneurs choose to continue working alone rather than hiring. While it may seem counterintuitive, earning less money in the short term can actually help your business grow in the long term.
For example, hiring one employee may reduce your hourly rate from $50 to $5, but hiring two employees can increase your rate to $10 per hour, and a team of 100 employees can potentially bring in $500 per hour.
It can be tempting to hold onto your higher earnings, but investing in your team and cutting your earnings in the short term can lead to long-term growth.
As the owner of your business, it is up to you to turn your ideas into a reality. However, once your business is up and running, it is important to let go of some control and trust in your systems and processes.
This will allow you to focus on the strategic planning and supervision that are essential for success rather than being bogged down in the day-to-day tasks of running the business.
That’s a wrap!
If you enjoyed this post, you should grab a copy of the book, Clockwork by Michael Michalowicz, to get the full strategy for growing your business so that it generates revenue without you.