So your business has hit a plateau and you are stuck? Or you finally hit the 6-figure mark and don’t know how to get to the next level? When building a business, we all reach that spot where the “stuff” we’ve been doing no longer works to build our business. You know that it will require something completely different to scale.
I was on the phone today with a successful coach who has hit the 6-figure mark. She has proven her business model, but she is working harder than ever. Her current business is no longer aligned with what she wants. It’s taking up too much time. It’s costing her too much money. And she is losing the joy she once had for her business. Thankfully, she is exploring and searching for the answers to make the necessary shifts.
Business is an evolution, or at least we hope so. For me, personally, I have been going through major business and personal shifts as I create my dream business. It’s not just about the money, but also about the meaning and freedom goals we have for our business. As I work with my coaching group and my clients, I am realizing that literally “everything” in your business needs to be re-evaluated. Some “stuff” has to change or you will stay stuck exactly where you’re at.
These are the areas I know, for sure, are worthy of your attention.
Some business owners don’t have a coach. Having a business coach who is trained to help businesses like yours to scale is an absolute necessity. Even if you’re a coach, you need a coach. And if you have a coach, it’s entirely possible that you’ve outgrown your coach. It takes a completely different type of coach to build a six-figure business as it does to build a seven-figure one. Look at the results you’ve created with your coach (if you have one) and ask yourself if your current coach has the expertise to take you where you want to go. If not, it’s time to find a new one.
You might have limped along, doing everything yourself, or maybe you’ve had a virtual assistant or other freelancers supporting you. If you’re still managing your business and spending a lot of time in the day-to-day operations, it’s time to change your team. In order to scale your business, you need time to work “on” your business, not “in” your business. Your role will be to make sure the business vision is carried out, secure new business, and use your zone of genius to serve your clients. One of your first hires will be an online business manager. She/he will be a valuable asset to your team. Your OBM will manage projects, team, operational systems, and your marketing. Look at what else on your plate is keeping you from doing what you need and want to do for your business. It might also be time to fill in the gaps with additional team members that can free your time.
Your Business Model
When you start scaling your business, you realize there is only “one” of you to go around. The 1:1 service model becomes a huge strain on you physically, mentally, and emotionally. It may be necessary to change your business model. For me, my business growth took off when I hired a team and started building my business based on an agency model. In this article, Marketing91 outlines 23 different business models. Ask yourself if your current business model is going to carry you to your next level of business goals.
Perhaps your current product/service offerings allowed you to establish and prove your business model. But will these same offerings produce a huge increase in your revenue? More often than not, the answer is no. Normally we have to go back to the drawing board and ask ourselves how we can create more value for our prospects and clients. We need to change as the market changes. You will watch your competitors and what they offer, and you will listen to the feedback you receive from customers. New and creative offerings will be necessary to scale your biz.
When I first started my business, I charged one rate. As my business grew, and I grew in my expertise, my rates changed. Increasing your pricing is the fastest way to scale. You will see this tactic used all the time. You will lose customers because not everyone will come along on your new business growth journey. As you add new offerings, you will need to add higher ticket items. Not everyone will purchase these products/services, but it doesn’t matter. The higher the price, the less you need to sell. Step into your power and don’t be afraid to charge what you’re worth.
I think this was the hardest realization for me. Naively, I thought I would serve my clients forever. I had the mindset that if I did a great job, I would have a lifetime customer. This thinking was very flawed. As my business changed, and as I grew, my clients changed. I had to endure some painful goodbyes. Sometimes you will outgrow your current clients. Other times you will grow in different directions, due to changing needs. It is totally okay, and a necessary step in leveling up. You will find new clients that will meet you where you’re at.
Your Systems and Software
Your current systems will not get you to the next level. Systems are living, breathing, changing entities that must grow with the business. In the beginning, you may have handled a lot of business activities manually. You could do it because the demand wasn’t too overwhelming. Then one day, you will realize that automation will be an absolute necessity. There won’t be enough manpower to keep up with the demand and new systems and software will be in order. As your team increases, you will discover how important it is to have all your systems documented. Only then will other people be able to step in and manage your business for you. Systems are not sexy for business owners. They don’t want to talk about them, or even create them. But they certainly feel it when they don’t work. Get your systems in order so you are ready for explosive growth!
I don’t know about your business industry, but in mine, the learning absolutely never stops. If I were to stop taking courses or learning about new software, my business would die. Other OBMs would eventually surpass my expertise and I would become extinct. While it’s not possible to learn everything you need to know to grow your business and stay relevant, personal development should be a regular activity on your calendar. Don’t become a dinosaur.
Thankfully, the coaching group I am immersed in is strongly focused on leadership. We often forget how important the role of leadership plays in growing our businesses. It’s a big job to lead our team, lead our business, and lead our clients. It’s an even bigger job to lead ourselves. Everything you do depends on successful leadership – your communications, your results, your happiness, your management, your stress, etc. Leadership is everything. If there is one skill you focus on the most, it would be leadership development.
I think we all know this is the #1 obstacle to business growth. Start growing your business and you will quickly find out how much that pesky brain of yours gets in the way. Business growth is the fastest way to put you face to face with all your fears. The width of your comfort zone directly correlates to how fast your business grows. The mindsets that got you started will not take you to the next level. You will encounter your money blocks. You will be up against your fear of showing up in a “big” way in the world. Your inner critic will threaten you and work to convince you that you can’t do this. Playing safe will no longer be an option. You will take bold and courageous moves that will make you shake in your boots. But it’s all worth it if you want to grow your business.
Scaling your business is the most exciting personal growth journey you will go on. It’s scary, it’s exhilarating, and it’s rewarding. Don’t let these things stop you. Evaluate these areas on a continual basis and don’t be afraid to make the necessary changes. You can do it! The world needs you to share your gifts!
Lori Young is the founder and chief OBM for Amazing OBM. If you are looking for a solid partner to support you in your business growth, we’d love to connect with you. Visit our website for a free business assessment guide to get you started.
The Same “Stuff” that Got You Here, Will Not Get You There!
June 27, 2019