We started our business because there was a need we felt called to fill. There was a problem we wanted to solve. There were people we knew we could help. Our intentions were completely altruistic.
Yet, now our bank account is paying for it. In order for our business to continue being able to support others, it must be sustainable.
You may be able to relate to my client, a hard-working graphic designer. She was great at her craft and had built up a large clientele over many years. She was well-liked in her community and always had steady work. So what was her problem?
The dollars and cents were not adding up. She worked harder than most people I know, yet wasn’t making half the money that she wanted. She was ready for more.
Analyzing her business, I came to the realization that she had reached full capacity. A business model can be compared to a container that can accept money. When it’s full, any new opportunities that arise will fall aside. Her business container had reached its limit.
Yet don’t despair! Your container is expandable. Once you become aware that our container is getting full, there so many ways you can make room for more income. Here are some practical examples:
Streamline your operations.
Ironically, you need to simplify to expand. Consider what you can do to save time in your processes. Ex: creating email templates, charging set prices rather than hourly, batching similar tasks together…
- Choose an area of focus.
Having a specialized business raises your value in the eyes of your clients and allows you to command higher prices. Additionally, specializing ensures that you are doing more of the work that is most profitable and worthwhile.
- Hire help.
When you bring in more people to join your team, you expand the capacity of your business to serve more people. Hiring a team also enables you step into your role as CEO and visionary. Suddenly you will be in the position to actively work on growing your business, because you won’t have to be involved in every little task.
Wondering what happened to my graphic designer friend?
Well, we tackled her struggles from a number of different angles. First, we introduced her to a couple of online tools that helped her streamline the client process. She gained back hours each day because she didn’t have to spend so much time on billing on sending out quotes.
Also by embracing her specialty, which was branding small businesses, she was able to raise her package rate by 25 percent!
Lastly, she finally shifted her mindset and stepped into her role of Visionary for her business. By investing time each week to work ON her business, instead of IN her business, she set herself on a path for steady growth.
Expanding the container of your business is a mindset shift, as much as it is a practical shift.
I won’t say it’s easy work, but once you start… you won’t ever want to shrink!
If you would like some outside perspective to find the best ways to expand the container of your business, you can check out our process here: