As a visionary, your mind is running a thousand miles a minute. You’re constantly coming up with new ideas, finding new passions, and seeking ways to amplify your impact.
However, there comes a point where this is detrimental. You end up burning the candle at both ends, taking time away from your priorities to fulfill your obligations and generally impacting your quality of life. I know I have.
So how do you achieve the impact you want in the world without compromising your vision or priorities? It seems like an impossible balancing act, but there are many ways to do it. Here are my favorite seven.
7 ways to scale your service-based business without working a thousand hours a week
Expand your services
Whether you choose to hire a team or stay independent, expanding to offer adjacent services is often a natural next step for service providers. If you’re curious about this growth strategy, pay attention to your clients’ needs, and you’ll gain valuable insights about their needs and wants as they relate to your services.
One of the most obvious ways to scale your business is by hiring help. You can outsource core business functions or client-facing services. Or you can hire help for your personal life and focus more of your time on growing your business. There is no perfect formula or wrong answer.
Hiring a team is tricky. And in many cases, it happens organically as the business needs more hands on deck. But an intentional approach to hiring can bring excellent results.
If you don’t want to hire a team, another option is to reach out to adjacent service providers and partner to offer a full suite of services to each other’s clients. Agree on a referral fee, set some ground rules about client management, and you’ll be able to keep clients happy without adding extra items to your to-do list. This is an especially good approach for professional services like marketing, operations, finances, and strategy.
There are two camps when it comes to niching down. On the one hand, there are fierce supporters of this strategy. And on the other, some say that niching down is limiting yourself.
There is power in finding an ideal type of client and providing your best service to them. Niching down allows you to build specific, highly sought-after expertise, increase your rates, and do work that aligns with your values and beliefs.
Creating products, especially digital ones, is an easy way to serve more people and scale your business. You can easily share digital products with multiple people without increasing your workload or incurring additional expenses (besides the software you use to host or distribute the product).
There is a misconception that digital products are passive income. And you can certainly get there over time. But initially, you will need to invest in development and marketing. So keep in mind that the return may take some time.
There is a reason so many service providers switch gears to creating online courses. An online course has the same benefit of creating digital products — once it’s set up, it pretty much runs independently. The added benefit is that it is usually a higher-ticket item than ebooks and other digital products.
To launch a course, select a topic that reflects your expertise. If your goal is to upsell or entice course participants to buy your highest-ticket item after the course, choose a topic that closely relates to your core services.
Next, select a course format. Many providers opt for platforms like Thinkific or Kajabi, which are self-hosted course platforms, meaning you’ll have to create and market your course independently. Others choose platforms like Udemy or Skillshare, which act as a network with subscription-based users that could provide extra exposure. However, you’ll still need to market yourself to earn a reputation.
Many leaders hesitate to invest in their organization until they meet a certain threshold or milestone. But doing so could hinder your growth more than you realize. Especially for organizations operating on a small scale, investing early and often — that’s not to say wasting money haphazardly — is essential for growth.
Not sure where to start? Consider investing in:
- Learning and development. The business world is fast-paced and increasingly competitive, so it pays to invest in your personal and professional development to stay ahead of the curve.
- Professional services. Services like financial planning, business strategy, and coaching seem like a nice-to-have. And chances are you will succeed without them. But in reality, these professionals expand your perception, provide insights outside your expertise, and elevate your business with greater ease.
- Technology. Another apparent nice-to-have, technology literally enhances your work. A high-quality computer can help you work more quickly, create better products, and present yourself professionally on video calls and other formal settings.
- Marketing and advertising. First impressions matter. If a prospect conducts a search and finds your outdated website or social media, you’re having to work harder to overcome a hurdle before they even contact you. A polished online presence provides credibility and demonstrates that you take your business seriously, which helps others trust you.
To scale your business, start by showing up
One of the biggest obstacles for leaders to scale is to show up authentically and establish themselves as the face of the business. Some of the common reasons I hear are not knowing how to leverage an online presence to establish a personal brand or having a packed to-do list without the added load of running your marketing online.
It may seem like focusing on client work and keeping the wheels turning is a better use of your time. But developing your personal brand and showing up for your business can propel your success. Apply for a marketing audit now (below), and we will position you as an industry expert to build trust, increase your visibility and drive authentic growth.