Houston, we have a problem.
Joe (name changed to protect his privacy) was knee deep in client work. His schedule was more jam packed than a clown car and Joe was STRESSED. And even worse, he had to maintain this monumental pace in order to take home desired income of $20K a month.
“I just can’t keep up!” he complained one day over coffee.
I nodded sympathetically. I’d previously helped him find more money in his existing contracts, so I was acutely aware of the time crunch he’d put himself in… and knew this was the next obstacle to tackle.
“What do you suggest, Lynn?” He asked.
I’m sure he was hoping for a quick fix would solve all his problem. In truth, I had several rolling in my head. But in order to give him the right solution, I had to know something important.
Truth is, it’s this “something important” that’s probably keeping YOU back, too, if you’re stuck at the $250K point in your business.
The question I asked him is the same I’ll ask you now:
It seems simple, right? Yet the answers could vary widely.
For example, I had one client who wanted to stay a small team. He wanted to have flexibility and money without having to work more or manage a large team. His goal was closer to $300,000 a year, which he wanted to maintain without adding too many team members he had to manage. He wanted freedom.
Another client of mine wanted to grow to a humungous organization with a headquarters, several business lines, and millions in revenue. He wanted the full CEO experience, complete with the layers of formality, job roles, and HR departments. He wanted to have an impact.
And our pal Joe? He just wanted a team of 10-15 who formed a tight-knit group who could get work done. He wanted to grow past $1MM in annual revenue and he wanted everyone to be well compensated and involved in the company’s vision and direction. He wanted community.
For the first one, I’d keep process documentation to a minimum and instead focus heavily on focused productization and optimization, keeping his visionary chaos tendencies to a minimum, and increasing the value of the product so he could increase the price. For the second, I’d focus heavily on preparing to scale, including writing extensive SOPs and documentation, scaling team members by specialized role, and hiring with role growth in mind. For the third, I’d modify the second approach to help him build a business that could be profitable and feasible with a smaller team.
One size does not fit all when it comes to scaling a business… and anyone who says otherwise is simply shoving their business model at you.
If you’re stuck, it might be because you either don’t know where you want to be, or are using the wrong business model for your growth vision. Think about the three why motivations – community, impact, and freedom – and determine which you really want before you hire that next person or begin that next company overhaul.
And if you’d like some help discovering where you’d like to be, contact me today. We can have a quick 1 hour deep dive into your vision and goals, and identify exactly what your next steps should be, whether that’s more marketing, operations, or a combination of the both.
Lynn Swayze is a direct response copywriter and the CMO of IDRM LLP. She helps firms identify and develop their "11 Marketing Factors" so they stand out in the crowd. She also helps firms make their marketing ACCOUNTABLE, so they do more of what works and begin to see ROI from their marketing efforts.
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