If you’re a business owner, chances are you left the 9-to-5 to increase your income or increase your flexibility and work-life balance.
But now you’re a few years in and it’s harder than you thought.
So what are ways you can increase your income and your flexibility in your business?
1) Understand the things that bring you the most revenue in the least amount of time.
Break down your P&L to understand each line of revenue in your business, and reflect on how much time it takes. If you feel up for it, maybe even track your time for a week.
You need to know how best to maximize your time. This helps you prioritize the kind of business you seek out and helps you set your targets for income and working hours.
2) Standardize your processes to identify the most efficient paths for getting and serving clients.
If you’re a content creator, what are all the steps in finding a brand and working with them? If you own a service-based business, what’s your process for finding clients, serving clients, and keeping clients?
Knowing the inside and outs of how you find the most success in securing leads and nurturing your clients or customers is key to knowing where to spend your time and money! Taking this seriously and revisiting it as your business scales will mean you’ll have fewer mistakes and less time wasted in your business.
You’ll also lay the groundwork for bringing someone else on someday.
3) Don’t be afraid of a workflow.
So often, business owners get overwhelmed and “just get it done,” even though they know that there’s a better or more efficient way to accomplish their tasks out there. Taking the time to get organized can be daunting, but it’s one of the most important things you can do to maximize your time in your business.
Invoicing got you down? Create your workflow by doing your normal invoicing process, but take the time to document each and every step you take from starting your invoicing to getting paid and closing your invoices. This allows you to visualize the entire journey. If it’s creating a headache for you, chances are once you map it out, you’ll be able to clearly see which parts of the process are necessary and which are just adding steps for you.
Creating workflows for your processes ensures you’ll be able to see the most important things – and helps you know what you can cut or reorganize to save time and money.
4) Hire someone to take over a small part of your business.
Even if you’d like to stay small, consider finding a contractor to help take off some of the annoying parts of your business.
Is there something someone can do that will allow you to focus on growing your business? You’ll take a hit in income temporarily but you’ll gain flexibility. Over time, your hire will make you more efficient so that you can spend your time on the things that earn you the most money, which you identified in step 1!
5) Stay on top of your invoices and change your payment terms.
As you may have guessed, invoicing can be one of the most annoying parts of being a business owner. But it doesn’t have to be that way!
Making the flow of money faster makes everything easier.
Follow up on outstanding invoices and keep people to their payment terms. If you can charge upfront, you’ll spend less time chasing invoices – or even worse, dealing with clients that don’t pay at all.