I received a Twitter response to a blog post I wrote about scaling one’s business as a solopreneur.
My post was talking about scaling a solopreneur business by building a team to work with/for you to allow you to gain efficiencies in your business and accomplish more than you could if you were truly running your business solo (just by yourself). The idea is that you’ll be able to take on more work at one time and increase your revenue.
The Twitter response I received was in agreement about scaling, but questioned how you do that when your business is dependent on client sales.
I think that’s a great question. How do you scale your solo business when your business is dependent on client sales?
I’m making an assumption, for the sake of this post, that in this case the Tweeter is referring to client sales as trading dollars for hours -- the solopreneur spending their time with their client or working for their client in exchange they receive a dollar amount payment for those hours worked.
Trading dollars for hours is pretty typical in solopreneur businesses. The problem with it is that as a solopreneur, unless you’ve figured out a system that utilizes additional resources to gain efficiencies that allow you to take on more revenue-generating work within the same hours you have available, you will hit a ceiling.
Unfortunately, you only have so many hours you can do client work in a day, week, month or year. If your income is dependent on the number of hours you put in to grow and increase your income you’re going to have to either keep putting in more hours or keep raising your price -- there is a limit to both of those, and the result is either burn out or pricing yourself out of work because your target audience can no longer afford your rates. If your target audience can no longer afford your rates and you cannot justify more value for the higher price you’re now charging, I guarantee they’ll find a cheaper option and you’ll lose that business.
Balance is the key and scaling your business by finding efficiencies that allow you to take on more work in the same amount of hours is a decent and viable way for solopreneurs to scale their business.
Here’s how I might suggest you go about it:
The point is: to scale your solo business you need to leverage your time to maximize your potential revenue. Being able to sell some products online can allow you to generate passive income because folks can buy from you 24/7. Offering short-term project work that you can sub-contract out to freelancers can help you focus your energy on your main service, which likely takes up the most amount of your time, but probably brings in the most revenue.
Selling products online and having the ability to also offer short-term projects allows for some consistent cash-flow, which is key to allowing you to concentrate on your main service.
The consistent cash-flow allows for a steady stream of operating income so you can focus on gaining and servicing clients of your core offering, which is where your profits will be and where your growth will likely happen.
That’s where having a virtual assistant to free up your time from administrative tasks is helpful and offering group services to leverage the time it takes to offer your same service to more folks for a larger profit but within a similar amount of time as your one on one service becomes your ticket to growth.
So in the above scenario you’ve scaled your business by developing a small team:
What tactics/strategies have worked for you to scale your solo business?
Posted by: Nick Venturella
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10/24/2012 11:12:09 pm
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