Whether you're a work from home mom or you've rented a great space in town where you manage your team, your business should fit your lifestyle. Let's find out how to make that happen.
Jane is a proud solopreneur. She’s a one-woman powerhouse, a digital marketing genius, and her clients LOVE her. Jane has about 3 clients right now and only went into business for herself a few months ago but she has a massive dream and fully intends to keep pushing her client roster to the next level.
She spends at least an hour each day networking and showing up on social media seeing the fruits of her labor pay off in endless consultations and about 60 days into this new marketing strategy, her business has been transformed.
Jane has 10 clients, one of which has zero boundaries, and she is getting approximately 4 hours of sleep each night. Jane’s house is a mess because, did I mention, she’s a stay at home mom of two kids under 5?
Jane also hasn’t showered in days and is more irritable than usual. She loves the outdoors but ends up spending most of the summer inside because if she leaves her desk for more than 30 minutes, the business she has built so far will probably come crashing down.
Here’s the thing.
We all started businesses for different reasons. Some of us went into it intentionally and some of us sort of fell into business. Maybe you started with a side hustle as a means to an end and now have a hustling team of 10 contractors and a snazzy office in a coworking space downtown.
Whatever your reason (or lack thereof) for going into business, at some point you’ve probably felt like the business was running you instead of the other way around.
Heck, maybe you feel that way right now.
Successfully running a profitable business can be positively life changing for your finances, family, confidence, and career goals. Here’s the key.
Running a business can also have a negative impact on your finances, family, confidence, lifestyle, health, etc. if expectations and boundaries aren’t set.
And that brings me to my point. If the life you lead as a business owner feels more like Jane’s and less like the dream you imagined when you started, it’s time to restructure and I’m going to show you HOW to do that.
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Identify the Pain Points
Usually when we talk about pain points, we are talking about what causes our ideal client or customer pain. This is seriously helpful information because once we identify a group of people we want to help with a common pain point, we can hone in on finding and providing a solution. For example, if our ideal client is needing a website built for their wedding photography business but has zero desire to DIY pieces of a website together, then you can focus on the solution - creating a beautiful portfolio for brides to reference when they’re ready to hire for their big day.
The same goes for our own business. Once we identify our pain points, the things we don’t like, the things that are way too hard in our business, we can focus on the solution.
Often we get so absorbed in the day to day tasks and the meetings and the client work that we can’t identify the real hold ups in our own systems.
This process requires you to step away from the daily grind. You need to imagine you have hired yourself to do a systems and processes audit of your own business. You need to imagine you’re a third party looking in. Removing yourself from the grind and even a little bit from the emotional ties you have to your business is extremely helpful in identifying the otherwise obvious snags in your systems.
Possible Pain Points:
Do any of these hit a nerve?
I thought they might. Let’s keep moving.
In a perfect world, how would your business run if these problems were solved? What would life as a business owner begin to look like?
You have to know what you actually want before you can determine how you’re going to address the problems in front of you.
Let’s get back to Jane.
Jane determines her problem is her project management, her client boundaries, and her overall workload. Her ideal solution would be to continue to scale her business while simultaneously scaling back the amount of time she has to spend on it daily. She wants her day centered around her family while balancing her business workload.
Okay so if Jane could hand off some of her workload and better manage the projects for not only each of her clients but for her own business, things would be on the up and up.
Let’s dig in a bit further.
Root of the Problem
So, what exactly is keeping Jane from implementing strategies to take her to where she wants to be?
Delegating and Project Management:
Jane wants to hand off a ton of work to subcontractors but she has no idea where to find qualified candidates, how to manage them, and how to track progress.
The real issue is here is simply a lack of know-how. That makes this problem a lot less scary. Jane’s next step is to research where to find great help and probably make some new connections such as on LinkedIn. She needs to block off some time on her schedule for interviews and training.
She also needs to compare all the project management software options. She’ll need to do her own research, ask her friends in business what they use, and test out a few different programs on a free trial basis to determine which is going to be the best fit. Then it’s just a matter of setup and Jane will be ready to go.
A word to the wise from the once not-so-wise - it’s much easier to establish boundaries up front with clients and customers than it is to be three months into the relationship and try to course correct.
However, if you find yourself in the shoes of Jane and a client forgets you have a life, you have a couple options.
Once the root of the problems in your business are identified, you can actually take productive action to correct them. With most issues, this won’t be some big drawn out process. Most of our biggest problems stem from the simplest and most insignificant oversights.
Document the New Procedure
You’ve done all the work but there’s one final step. You HAVE to document the new procedure, practice, or strategy. Create a best practices document or an SOP manual for all of your systems and processes so that anyone could step in and run your business at any given time if necessary. Include video tutorials, templates, and notes.
Loom is an excellent tool for creating screen recordings with audio for this very purpose.
Restructuring your business is really that simple but it does take time and certainly some mental energy. Take it one problem at a time and keep in mind that business, to an extent, will always be challenging. There’s no eliminating the discomfort of being an entrepreneur with all the apps and systems in the world. You can, however, choose the discomforts you put up with.
This is your business, done your way.
Here’s to you boss,
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