Several months ago, my wife was in a bad accident.
It was, of course, unexpected and upsetting to say the least.
I share this not to alarm you… she will be alright. No, the reason I share this is because this incident caused me to examine my business.
You see, when the accident happened, my wife went from being active in the job market to not being able to work for quite some time which meant a loss of income.
Not only did I need to instantly ramp up my business to compensate for the loss of income, but I also needed extra time to take care of my wife and four kids.
For many small business owners, immediately turning up the revenue faucet would require a lot more of their time. Which means dedicating the extra time needed to take care of their spouse and kids, would cause a conflict.
Either way, what course of action you choose could have devastating consequences. On the one hand, you could end up with severe financial difficulties. On the other hand, your decision could negatively impact your relationships with your wife and family.
What would you do?
Fortunately, I didn’t have to choose. I had systems already set up in my business that allowed me to do both. As I thought about this, I realized how lucky I am. It also made me realize how many small business owners I know that, if faced with a similar situation, would be forced to choose.
So while I sincerely hope you are NEVER in a situation like this, I felt it was important to share what I’ve done that allows me to quickly increase my income AND at the same time, take extra time off without negatively impacting my business.
Here are three things you must do:
1) Make your business scalable. Being able to create more income at will is something everyone should do. Whether you have an emergency, want to make a special purchase or take a vacation, etc., it’s nice to be able to create extra cash flow to your business on demand.
2) When possible, automate. If you have a lot of manual processes in your business, it’s more difficult to scale your business up. Plus automation gives you a lot more time to do the things that are most important to you and your business.
There is a lot that can be automated in your business. For example, I receive the same type of questions over and over. Rather than writing an entirely new message each time, I can automate my communication to answer a prospect’s questions. This leaves me more time to focus directly on my clients.
Lead generation is another thing I’ve been able to automate. This not only allows me to attract new leads to my business 24/7, 365 days/year, but it also allows me to turn on, turn off or turn up my lead flow.
3) Create systems. Systems not only make your business more efficient, they make your business duplicable. Which means you can have someone step in and take care of things exactly as you would. (This makes your business saleable too.)
Systems can also make your business more profitable. I have a system in place for my accounting. This eliminates the shoeboxes of invoices plus I know exactly how much a lead costs, what the lifetime value of a client is and other important numbers in real time. Knowing these numbers is critical to running a profitable business. They allow you to see what advertising is effective and make any course corrections in a timely way instead of figuring out at the end of the year that you weren’t as profitable as you thought you were.
Systems work well for processes such as marketing, billing, and lead generation.
Take a moment to examine your own business (and take a short survey here):
Are you able to scale your business up or down as it exists today?
Have you automated processes that you repeat, such as lead generation and repetitive communication?
Do you have systems in place that would allow others to step in and duplicate?
If the answer is “no” to any one of these questions, then I highly recommend you put these on your “to-do” list. As I discovered, you never know when you’ll need them and it pays off to be prepared when you do.
Here’s to your online success!
P.S. I want to hear from you. I want to know which of the above three things you struggle with? Which would you like to know more about? I’ve created a short survey that will take less than 60 seconds of your time. It’s completely anonymous so you can feel free to answer openly and honestly. Please take a moment to let me know here so I can address your biggest business difficulties in future emails.