So many people ask this question: how can I scale past 6-figures in revenue? The short answer: You need SCALABLE SYSTEMS so your business can grow, beyond the time you have available to work in your business.
You can’t be expected to grow a company to 7 figures or more all on your own and yet so many entrepreneurs get stuck on this treadmill or trying to do it all on their own.
Why too many entrepreneurs wait too long to invest in growth?
It often comes down to one or a combination of these three challenges:
1. Cash Flow
Hiring your first or first few full-timers can seem like a huge amount of responsibility to take on. And people believe that setting up scalable systems could potentially cost them a fortune. When you’re on your own and you’ve got a slow month, OK, you scale back and survive off less. But salaries you’ve committed to and staff you don’t want to let down? That’s not something you want to be gambling with.
When you’ve been hustling and doing it on your own, your time is extremely limited. Who has time to figure out how to set up scalable systems and automation when you’re so busy serving your own clients? And finding the time to plot out a staffing structure that makes sense? Let alone actually hiring and training new team members, when you’re already doing “all the things” – it can feel impossible!
A whole bunch of “What if…?”‘s tend to come up. There’s no more screwing around. Hiring your team that will help you quickly grow and scale your business means that you’re going to have to get out of your own way and start to get uncomfortable. This is a huge one!
How to Get Started
Take the time to slow down. This is strategy time. It’s your business telling you, that you need to start paying attention, that is if you want your business to survive and you don’t want to burn out. This is the wake-up call telling you it’s time to (wo)man up and step into your leadership shoes.
The truth is, creating more leverage in your business is easier than you think.
Nail Your Staffing Structure
Nailing your staffing structure can be one of the activities that will continue to pay dividends for years to come. We’re talking a huge ROI on this investment. And for those of you who are groaning because you don’t want to have to manage a team – you don’t have to! That’s the beauty of it. You factor that into your overall structure so you stay in your zone of genius, and you let someone else handle the management.
Expand Your Service Capacity With Scalable Systems
The problem is, many service providers or freelancers sell THEIR expertise, and so they think that THEY are the only once who can deliver the service. This is simply not true. You can take your service, experience, and intellectual property, and package it together into your signature process. In doing so, you take a commodity, and transform it into a high-value package, that you can sell at a premium. And because the framwork is repeatable, you can begin to train team members to deliver the service on your behalf.
And voila, you have a fully functional, high-value, and scalable service solution.
Get REALLY Good at Fewer Things
The more you deliver the SAME service, the better you and your team will become at delivering it.
That means: You perfect the fulfillment processes – so you optimize your efficiency. In turn, this helps improve your bottom line.
Your Step By Step Hiring Process
If you’re interested in taking this path with your service based business, this is the hiring sequence I would recommend for the time-strapped service provider, who wants to grow their service-based business NOW, and who is unsure about who they should be bringing on first:
The First Big Hire
This will be your right hand (wo)man. Your general manager. Your “integrator” (if you’re familiar with the book Rocket Fuel). This is your take-charge, competent, “let’s get it done” details person. This person’s job will be to take your ideas, vision, and direction, and make it happen for you within your business. They will be experienced with setting up structure and systems, coordinating projects and managing a team.
During this phase, you’ll perfect the productization of your service delivery so you can develop your scalable systems and design your scalable service model. If this person is great at managing the day to day operations, but hasn’t got the skill set to help you develop your signature, scalable sales vehicle, you can hire a consultant to help you through this process.
Who executes on the growth plan?
Once you bring on this first staffer, THEY will execute on the rest of your hiring plan, so you can continue doing what it is you love to do. And to be clear – you will not be delegating tasks to this person. You will delegate a result or an outcome you want to have and it is THEIR job to figure it out. Yes, these kinds of resourceful problem solvers aren’t going to be paid minimum wage! This person is going to be an INVESTMENT in your business and your SANITY!!!
If you do require specific experts along the way to help out on a project by project basis (tech support, copywriter, …) it is the general manager who will be taking care of this.
The Second Big Hire
Hire your head of marketing and sales. This person will be responsible for keeping the engine running that is going to feed your growth (scalable lead generation systems and marketing automation). Without a steady stream of leads, and even better, qualified leads, your business will not grow. Period. And because you want to grow and scale quickly, this is where a lot of your company’s time and attention is going to spent. Automate as much as possible. And keep it as simple as possible. You’ll thank me for this – simple is scalable.
The more complex you get the more resources you’ll waste trying to maintain it. Test and optimize and then do it again, over and over. You want to stay relevant and you want to be getting this working like a well-oiled machine for sustainability.
The Third Big Hire
This hire will depend, based on what kind of business you’re in. But essentially, once you’re getting all these hot leads coming in, they need to be converted (sales) and they need to receive the service they paid for. So you’ll need someone to be focused on customer experience and service delivery. And let’s be clear – I hear SO MANY people say that selling 1-1 coaching and consulting or “done for you” services doesn’t scale – Yes, it can. Of course it can, if you aren’t the only one within your company who can deliver on your method.
On-board people who can deliver the service that you sell using your proprietary method so they will get the same results as they would get if they were working with you directly.
Your Numbers Person
And while this is all going on, if numbers aren’t your thing and you aren’t sure how to get it all done, without ending in financial ruin, I very strongly encourage you to on-board someone who will have you looked after financially. The business’ cash flow, pricing strategy and expenses all need to be managed. This piece can make the difference between running at full speed and never getting any financial gains, and a business that is THRIVING financially. Don’t discount the importance of getting this piece right.
Your Visionary Role
Your job as the visionary and CEO of this growing company is NOT to be doing all the “doing” but to lead the vision, set the mission, establish the company values and create the company culture. When you have these things in place, they become the lighthouse that guides the decisions and behaviors of the team you have put in place to execute on the vision.
As the business continues to grow, there will be some tweaking and you’ll need to have your finger on the pulse of the company to determine where you need support but this initial sequence will alleviate your initial bottleneck of not having the time or mental bandwidth to figure it all out, while simultaneously keeping the business running.
Want some FREE scalable systems resources?
In this Insider Hub, you’ll get 5 FREE, actionable resources that I use with my private Scale Society clients. These resources are simple to use but are very powerful.
- The SCALABLE SIGNATURE SALES VEHICLE worksheet helps you craft the vehicle that is going to get you from where you are now, to 7-figures in profitable revenue.
- The SCALABLE PROFIT PLANNER worksheet will help you map out your sales targets, that align with your ideal lifestyle.
- Using the SCALABLE SYSTEMS ASSESSMENT, you’ll see which systems you have in place to help you streamline and automate your business operations, and see whether you’re actually utilizing them, or whether you need to go through and do some purging, simplifying and / or upgrading.
- With the SCALABLE SOP METHOD, so you can document your intellectual property, without getting bogged down or burnt out.
- Using the SCALABLE SENSIBILITY STEP, you will get my top recommendations on how you will make the mental leap into next-level leadership.
Sound good? Get your FREE access here: http://bit.ly/AB-INSIDER
I’ll see you on the inside 😉
Hungry for more?
If you’re interested in discovering how to set your business up for scalability and growth, so you can do more of what you love, let’s chat! You can send me a message here on LinkedIn or book a consultation.
Alison Beierlein is a systems, automation, and scalability expert. She helps small business owners, freelancers, and agencies grow and scale their businesses profitably and sustainably, so they can make a bigger impact and live their dream lifestyle.