You’ve put your heart and soul into your business. You’ve pulled all-nighters, spent extra time getting that thing “just right”, and sacrificed countless movie marathons with friends because you had a deadline to meet.
Sure, you’ve found something you are passionate about and love what you do… most of the time. It can be tough to give all you’ve got and feel like you’re not getting the return you are expecting. I’ve been there.
The good news is that once you can push past that place, things get a whole lot better. In today’s post, we’ll go over how to start seeing that return for all of the endless work you put into your design business.
step #1: stop trying to do everything
The biggest thing that holds back business owners in the first few years is trying to do it all and letting it stay that way. You try out this service, add on that offering, but you don’t refine anything.
From my experience, you have to start by trying a little bit of everything to figure out what works. Whether that’s marketing, types of service offerings, etc. – give it a try. The key is to pay attention to what works and what doesn’t. Don’t continue doing things that aren’t giving you a return.
Right now, take 10 minutes to list out everything you do in your business. Consider the tasks that you do on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Once you’ve completed your list, go through each task and put them in order of things that give you the most return versus the least.
Tasks like bookkeeping, that don’t necessarily give you a monetary return, but are still needed in order to run a business, can be moved to a separate list at this point. Take a look at the things lowest on your list and stop doing the things that are giving you the least return.
And yes, it can be that simple – just stop!
Within a span of just a couple weeks, I stopped publishing weekly YouTube videos, dropped my blog posts down to every other week, and stopped posting on Twitter and Facebook. My business only improved because of it!
It’s not hard, so don’t make it that way. Get out of your own head and realize the tasks that aren’t giving you a return aren’t worth your time, effort, and attention!
step #2: double down where it counts
Once you’ve identified the tasks you can immediately stop doing, you’re going to have at least a small bit of time open up in your schedule. Your goal with this extra time is to not fill it with something new or a task that isn’t going to provide your business a return.
Take this opportunity and fresh space in your calendar to take an item from your list that you are seeing a return from and double down on that. Make sure you are doing $100+ per hour tasks instead of those $5 per hour ones.
For example, if you’ve found that building relationships gets you clients more consistently than anything else, but your route of interacting on Facebook groups is leading to multiple dead ends – take that time away from Facebook groups and put it into coffee chats. You could also interact with people on your highest ranked social media platform instead. Find where the money makers are. Think smarter not harder on this one!
step #3: make it easy
Now that you know where to put your focus for better results, it’s time to make it easy. Hear me out on this one, it’s going to take a little bit of work before it gets easy. It’s so worth it in the long run, though!
Create systems to simplify your workload or operations. Determine how often you’re going to do each task and write out your exact steps. These guidelines and instructions will be helpful for you or a fellow team member to follow.
automate where possible
The more you can create systems and repeated tasks, the faster you’ll be in completing the process. Plus, you’ll open up more brain space to focus on something else in your business.
step #4: raise your prices
Now that you’ve started running your business more efficiently, it’s time to get more out of the actual client work you do. Number one way to do that? Raise your prices.
When was the last time raised your prices?
If it’s been over 6 months and you’re booking clients consistently, it’s time to do it again. Even if it’s a 10% increase, it’s an improvement! Learn more about how to charge more with your client work in this post to help you get started.
do the work and see the results
Alright, so hear me out. If you read this post and do nothing, nothing will change.
Take each of these steps one at a time to simplify your business, get a bigger return from what is already working, make your tasks easier, and boost your income!