One of the reasons I wrote my book was because my first couple of years in business was like being in the wilderness.
I was clueless, I didn’t know what I was doing and I didn’t know what to focus on.
I was so busy (with a 16 month old running around) yet I honestly can tell you all that busy-ness did nothing for me or my business.
Yes, I had some clients but the amount of work that went into getting them – let’s put it this way, the return on investment was not good!
And as you can imagine, I was not making the money I wanted.
In fact it took me quite a while to start making good money and when I look back, I can see exactly where I was going wrong.
And today, I want to share these mistakes with you so you don’t make the same ones!
I’d also like to share with you a simple 4-step process that will cut out all the unnecessary stuff and get you focused on what works.
Lovely, if you do nothing else this year except these 4 things, I know you will grow your business.
And you’ll do it in a way that feels really good to you and most importantly, working 20 hours a week.
This is the heart of the Tiny Time Big Results methodology and I go into a lot more depth in the book.
So let’s get started…!
Mistake #1: A generic and vague marketing message
Make no mistake – everything starts off with your marketing message.
It is at the heart of everything you do.
Imagine standing at the supermarket checkout and you start chatting with someone in the queue and they ask you what you do (this really does happen to me).
If you have a vague or generic marketing message, you tend to see their eyes glaze over and they might mutter ‘that’s nice‘ before changing the subject.
You don’t want that response!
Your message must be specific, focused and targeted so I know exactly what you do and who you do it for. I like to think of it as the answer to this question – ‘what’s the problem you solve?’
Here’s what I say…
I help small business owners run a profitable 20 hour week business.
You know exactly what I do and who I do it for.
It wasn’t always like this for me (trust me, I had plenty of glazed eyes over the years!) but I knew I hit the mark when I suddenly had a lot more people lean into me and say ‘tell me more!‘
That was truly the moment my business took off!
Remember, every person you speak to about your business may not be your ideal client but I bet they know someone who would be!
Mistake #2: A fly-by-the-seat of your pants marketing strategy
Listen, I’m not super organised with every single last detail on a spreadsheet. That actually makes me feel claustrophobic BUT what I do know is this – you can’t run a business successfully when you’re always flying by the seat of your pants.
When everything is ad-hoc and you decide on a whim what you’re going to do.
There comes a point when you do have to get clear on your outcomes and plan out how you’ll get there.
And I’m not talking about having a 12 month plan (that doesn’t work for me personally) but what does work for me and my attention span is a 90 day plan!
Now that is something I can get behind!
Everyone starts off with marketing their business and offers with little strategy behind it but it’s not sustainable and there comes a point when you have to get a lot more strategic with it!
When you get more strategic, you use your time so much more effectively too!
Mistake #3: Failing to convert
Marketing and selling are two distinct activities – marketing lets people know what you do and selling is the process people go through when they actively make a decision to buy.
A lot of business owners get so busy marketing that they broadcast their messages (frequently or infrequently) but when it comes to paying clients, they’re looking at an empty or lonely looking client book.
Not having a proven way to convert interested prospects into paying clients is the fastest path to zero cash and so it’s crucial to have a proven and predictable way to get paying clients.
And when I say proven, I mean – does it work? Have you measured your results? Do you know what part of your process works amazingly and what needs tweaking?
Having a successful 20 hour week business means keeping your eye on the ball, getting clear on what works (keep it) and what doesn’t (bin it!)
When it comes to sales, it’s about making sure sales and selling is a priority in your everyday business work.
It’s not about just putting out content but then never inviting people to take the next step!
Mistake #4: A business model that won’t make you money
When you’re working 20 hours a week (or less) in your business, making money is a big priority – it’s not your only one but it’s a biggie.
Making money in your business is how you feed the family, keep a roof over your head, pay your expenses and enjoy a quality of life.
You chose to start your own business so you could create financial independence, enjoy more time with your loved ones and create freedom and flexibility in how you live your life.
Money is the lubricant that allows all that to happen.
So if the way you make money in your business is tied to you exchanging your time and if the products, services, packages and programs you offer are time-thirsty (i.e. they suck up all your time!), you will hit a wall.
You can’t sell more time.
You haven’t got more time to sell.
And you certainly don’t want to be working all the time – my 3 kids keep me busy! (I have 3 under 10)
If your business model doesn’t allow you to grow or scale or you can see a cap on your earning potential, then it doesn’t matter how productive you are, how organised you are or how hard you work, you won’t be able to escape the truth – you’re limiting your growth.
And it’s a surefire recipe for burnout.
Mistake #5: Letting time slip by
I have a confession – I love scrolling on social media. Especially on Twitter (not for business but politics!). BUT this is a big time drain!
And one of many.
It takes you away from what you should be focused on.
Or maybe you start the day with a big to-do list and it never ends because you just keep adding more to it.
Maybe you’re busy doing stuff but when you look back, you can’t see anything that made a difference.
Or you didn’t do enough of the stuff that would have brought more money in.
When you have limited time for your business, wasting time is not an option but I’ve had days where I sat down at my desk and wonder ‘what am I going to do today?‘
This is not a good question to ask! Whilst 12 month planning is not my thing, 90 days is and when I have a 90 day plan, I know how to break it down to months, weeks and days.
Plan it out, schedule it in and do the work that matters.
Knowing what to focus on is the hardest thing. I recently had a conversation with a good friend and she has so many things she wants to achieve and it was clear she couldn’t do everything as well as be a mum and look after her family.
Here’s where you have to get super clear about your priorities and what you choose to work on.
Which leads me nicely to the 4-step process…
Having a profitable business that works in 20 hours a week or less is down to 4 simple steps (they’re simple but don’t let that deceive you!) Getting to a profitable 20-hour week business means you focus on the 4 essentials:
A clear, specific and targeted message.
A message that pops for the listener and instantly makes them understand what you do.
A clear opening statement that allows for more conversation. It doesn’t have to include everything you do but it must be a statement that makes it clear what you do and who you do it for. You’ll know you’ve hit the jackpot when you’re asked ‘tell me more’ or ‘wow, how do you do that?’
Building leverage means you create a business model that allows you to create a great income in the time you have.
This is where you create products, services, packages and programs that exchange your value, not your time.
Building leverage in a tiny time business is one of the most important priority items. Without it, you will limit how much you can make and the level of impact you can create!
One way to do this is through a digital course – but maybe you’re not ready or don’t want the hassle of doing videos? You should check out my Easy Email Course Creation Workshop!
Clients and cashflow is the lifeblood of your business. Your aim is to attract clients and cash consistently with a solid client attraction system that enables you to connect with your ideal prospects and bring them into your world.
A system that does the heavy lifting for you and a system that is mostly automated.
A system that enables you to build relationships easily and quickly build the know-like-trust factor that makes you the best option for your potential new client.
In a crowded market place, your system makes you stand out.
To hit your sales and money goals, your business needs a proven method for turning potential clients into actual paying clients in a way that feels really good to you and works really well! (you’ll know it works well with the constant cha-ching sound you hear when you get a payment! 😉
Getting really good at sales and selling is a must – there are no two ways about it but the good news is you can do it in a way that feels graceful and easy with zero pushiness!
When you focus on these 4 steps, you attract clients and cash consistently.
Simple as that.
This is what I focus on with my clients through my Project 2020 program which shows you how to get fully booked in just 4 hours a week.
Get clients coming in consistently.
Once you have that, now you can think about growing and scaling your business, reaching more people and creating a bigger impact.
You can think about online programs, digital courses, maybe writing that book or becoming a paid speaker (these are all things I have achieved in my business).
Which is also what I teach in the Project 2020 program (if you want to know more about the program, get the guide below)
The sky is the limit lovely, even when you’re only working a few hours a day!
If you want to know more about how I can help you, get the program guide below or book a Strategy Call with me.
Hope this helps you today!