Five ways to make more time for YOU in your business
Love to get more done in LESS time (and make more money)? Here are five to make more time for YOU in your business… and earn more.
Your time is valuable. You only have 24 hours in a day, and you need to spread that between work, family time, household tasks, and time with friends and on activities you love. So those 24 get used up fast!
While it may seem impossible, there are ways to make more time for you in your freelance work or business. They may take a little bit of extra time up front, but trust me – it’s worth it!
1) Focus on what you’re best at
When you first start a business you need to wear all the hats – web designer, marketer, bookkeeper, designer, blog writer, social media manager, cleaner… You had a lot of important tasks competing for space on your to-do list, and you probably still do!
But when you look at business owners you admire, they are focusing on what they do best.
They conserve their energy, time and ideas for the parts of the business they can add the most value, AND that they enjoy.
And while I’m sure you’d love to get to the point where all you do is what you love all day, it doesn’t happen all at once. You need to remove things from your plate and start outsourcing slowly.
Right now, think of a couple of small things you could pass off and slowly add to your list. For example, I started by outsourcing social media and email scheduling with a marketing expert that I hired for a few hours a month, building up over time as I could afford it.
It may not seem like a lot, but just taking a few hours worth of work off of my plate felt amazing. Psychologically it liberated me from the responsibility as well as time, and freed me up to add more value elsewhere – bringing in more money as a result.
Think of outsourcing this way– you’ll have more time to focus on what you’re best at each time you outsource something from that list. Not only that, but you will free up time to work on your business too!
2) Make a sales plan
We’re used to the idea of writing a business plan (though few do it!), but how often do you hear people talk about writing a sales plan?
But consistent sales, the kind that make a profitable business every month, don’t happen by magic. They’re planned.
Without a sales plan you’ll fall into one of two traps:
- Producing ad hoc sales efforts that don’t connect up and perform poorly
- Or worse, not doing any sales!
Sound familiar? When I work with freelancers and small business owners, one of the first thing I get them to start looking at seriously is sales by asking them four big questions:
- How much do they want to earn?
- Which products or services is that money going to come from?
- How many sales a month do they need to make to reach that goal?
- What activities are going to bring in those sales?
When you know the answers to these questions you can start making a sales plan. And not a one-off document that you spend hours working on and then just put in a drawer, never to look at again.
I get them to start creating a living sales plan. A monthly spreadsheet of activities that they pin to their desktop and review and act on daily.
And it works like ‘magic’ (except it’s not – it’s just good sales habits!). The sales start to flow in consistently, and making money goes from feeling like a tough mystery to easy and do-able.
So if you haven’t done so already, answer those four questions, then create your own living sales plan that you implement monthly. I used a Google Sheets template that I designed myself. (If you bought our Plan Your Year Masterclass you’ll already have one you can use.)
Then start DOING sales every week – and watch them roll in.
3) Charge what you’re worth
One of the biggest mistakes I see freelancers and small business owners make is falling into the ‘cheap trap’. They believe that if they charge less they’ll win more business and people will love them more.
But that’s wrong. Very wrong!
When you charge less than you’re worth, you attract bargain hunters; people who don’t care about you or the quality of what you do, they just want cheap.
These people aren’t appreciative, and they’re not even easy to win over. They’ll make you work hard for the sale or contract, then they’ll ungratefully extract every ounce of value from you, sapping your profits and will to carry on.
Meanwhile, your ideal customers or clients, the ones who would happily pay your true worth without quibbling, would be easy to serve or work with, and would leave glowing reviews and testimonials are put off.
Your low prices indicate low quality or value to them, so they spend their money elsewhere… probably with your competitors.
So if you’re not finding it easy to sell, or your clients or customers are difficult, it could be that your pricing is wrong.
To find out, look at your competition. And not just anyone else selling in your market, but the people and businesses offering a similar quality of with a similar experience to you. Are they charging more than you? And if so, how much more do you need to raise your prices by?
Don’t be scared about charging more. From experience, when businesses use the right price for the value they offer, they usually find it easier to get sales, not harder.
4) Create systems to work towards
One of the biggest ways that businesses waste time (and lose money as a result) is continually re-inventing the wheel.
They lurch from task to task, each time trying to find the resources they need to complete it, and remember how they did it last time. Not only is this time-consuming but it’s frustrating and stressful too, and uses up a considerable amount of your finite energy.
Instead, we teach freelancers and small business owners to run their businesses using systems. If there is an aspect of your business you will do more than once (and it’s hard to think of any task will be truly unique) then it’s worth systemising it.
We use simple spreadsheets (again!) to record processes we use to run our business, with easy online to-do lists. This ensures that we know exactly what we need to do for each task or project (like planning the Shortcut Summit, for example) and can calmly work through it in order.
Not only does this mean we can see what we’ve done and need to do (and don’t miss any step out) but the next time we want to repeat a project, we don’t have to remember the steps, or make the process up from scratch again – we simply re-use the sheet from last time!
This is just one example of the systems that we use to run our business (and why I now earn more from Talented Ladies Club while only working part time on it) and that we teach to freelancers and business owners we work with.
And it’s systems like this that enabled business owner Amanda Overend to triple her online sales in weeks, while working less hard on her business!
So thinkof the things you repeatedly do during the week. Take one hour per week and develop a system or process. Record this process on a spreadsheet, making note of what resources you need as well, and where to find them, and save it ready to use when you need.
5) Get in front of the right people
It’s not ground breaking advice to get your business or freelance profile seen by the right people. But are you going about it the right way?
Too often we see people spending a LOT of time on the various social media platforms they think their clients or customers are on. Or wasting energy and resources on that broken, ad hoc sales approach.
Sales may occasionally come in using these tactics, but can you be sure where they cam from? And what marketing message finally convinced them… so you can do more of what works?
The real secret to successful marketing and sales isn’t to get in front of as many people as possible, it’s to get in front of the rightpeople.
A social media post seen by 10 of your ideal customers is worth far more than one seen by 100 disinterested people who don’t need what you sell.
So before you spend yet more time, energy and maybe even money on your marketing, consider these questions:
- What social media platform are your ideal customers or clients on when they are thinking about what you do?
- Where else do they hang out on or offline?
- What marketing or sales activities have delivered the best results in the past two years?
- What’s your most profitable product? And the easiest to sell? And who buys it?
- What pain do these people want to relieve? And what results do they want to achieve?
When you know the answers to these questions, you can be clear about which products or services to focus your marketing on, who will buy them and why, what messages may convince them to buy, and where to get those messages in front of them.
These insights can help you spend less time and money on marketing, while seeing better results on your business’ bottom line.
Invest the time in your business and it will repay you
Spend some time on these five tips and you’ll notice a substantial difference in not just how it feels to run your business (and how much time and energy it takes from you) but the results you get from it. I promise it’s worth is!
Want to learn even more ways to simplify your business and make it more effective and profitable? Sign up for the Shortcut Summit! 16 experts will be covering all these topics and more, and sharing actionable tips that you can implement in your business right away and see results.
And the best part? It’s FREE!
Here are just some of the sessions that will help you implement these five tips:
- How to build a brilliant sales funnel for your business or freelance work in 28 minutes
- How to get your first 100 sales online
- How to end the tyranny of the urgent – and be more productive and happy
Three types of content your Instagram feed needs to get followers and engagement
- How to fix your three biggest pricing mistakes (and make MORE money) in 28 minutes
- Marketing made easy – The 5 essential foundations of authentic marketing that will have clients seeking you out
- Pinpoint in just 7 minutes unlimited prospects who need your service using LinkedIn Polls
There’s so much great content, with actionable tips you can use straight away and see results.
If you don’t have your free ticket yet, click here for more information and secure your free seat.
Photo by Kelly Sikkema