Captain’s log, stardate 20220915
One common way to scale your business is to hire employees.
But if being a boss isn’t your cup of tea, don’t worry…
Hiring is just one way to scale.
There are plenty of other ways to create the leverage you need to grow your business that don’t require increasing your headcount.
Here are four:
If you have high startup or operating costs and get paid in arrears by your clients (i.e., after your work is done), then you can create leverage by borrowing money that you intend to quickly multiply.
This approach probably doesn’t apply to most service providers, but there are some.
For example, a dentist has to go to school and set up an office and acquire a boatload of expensive equipment before he or she can treat (and bill) a single patient.
You can create leverage by shifting your business model, say…
From hourly billing in arrears to selling productized services that are paid for 100% up-front.
Or from medium-profit implementation work to high-profit advisory engagements.
Or from 1-to-1 coaching to 1-to-many group coaching.
Or from one-off offerings to recurring subscription offerings.
The sky’s the limit with this one. There are plenty of interesting business models for solo experts to explore. If you look around, you might just find one that suits you better than what you’re currently doing.
Niching down on a highly focused target market or doubling down on an extremely specific specialization that is in high demand can create leverage by attracting more and better clients with less ongoing marketing and sales effort.
This decreases your customer acquisition costs, decreases unwanted downtime between projects, increases your negotiating power, and increases your close rate.
Eventually, you’ll be able to cherry pick just the best clients who will gladly pay top dollar for the privilege of working with you.
Find ways to deliver better results with less effort.
This one is pretty intuitive (assuming you’re not trading time for money) but I’ll give you an example anyway:
Let’s say you double your productivity.
Now you are delighting your clients in twenty hours per week instead of the forty hours per week that it used to take you.
With this additional free time, you could:
Regardless of how you spend your new free time, it’ll be a huge improvement to some metric that you value greatly.
Some or all of these approaches can be used in conjunction. There’s no One Right Way™.
To get started, just pick one that seems the easiest or most fun and experiment with it.