My tough love approach (heavy on the love) focuses on bringing order to chaos, and creating solid (and straightforward) strategic plans. I take surveys for fun, never met a process I didn’t like, and am a big believer in personal growth as a keystone to business growth.
Ahh, the DIY solopreneurship wildfire of ideas, half-built Zapier automations, and unfinished freebie funnels, sparked atop the smoldering tinderbox of too much client work.
What you really wanted was a nice bonfire that you could dance around. Maybe toast some s'mores on. Something you could rely on for warmth and light, even when it's cold outside. A fire you can control the size of.
And let's be honest – what good is a bonfire if you're the only one to enjoy it? You need other people – to find the wood, bring the marshmallows, play the guitar and tambourine. (You can't dance in the fire light without music!) Without people, your bonfire is simply light and heat to cook on.
Just like building a functional bonfire, your business grows better when you've got people to support you and celebrate with.
Scaling your freelance business requires fuel:
→ Expert strategy that connects your vision to where you are right now
→ The actual steps YOU need to take to execute that strategy
→ The (sometimes) hard truth, delivered with compassion
→ Tried and tested tools: essential and nice-to-have
→ Someone to make sure the tools are talking to each other!
→ Funnel maps (and getting your stuff in them!)
→ Someone to keep track of customers and their behaviors (tagging, segmenting)
→ Someone to manage the budget
→ A way to know if a launch/product/service worked, and know where/how to pivot next time
That's a lot of pieces to keep track of. And a lot of people to track it. The good news is that you CAN achieve all of this…without necessarily having to hire all those people.
You can scale without a team but you cannot scale without a plan, a foundation upon which to grow your business. In its simplest form, that’s what scaling is: sustainably growing your business.
I’ve helped $50/hr freelancers grow their businesses from 5 to 6 to 7 (even multiple 7!) figures, and it all starts with a plan. Here’s what my most successful clients all have in common, and what I teach inside my small group experience, Scale Society:
You probably have a mission statement somewhere in a drawer or dusty file folder on your hard drive. That’s not what I’m talking about here. A mission statement is a living, breathing, directive document that literally guides your business’s path like a map and compass.
It affects every aspect of your business:
Basically, if you ever have a decision to make, especially a hard one, your mission statement should guide the way. It's the atmosphere of your business – the air it breathes – you can make stress-free business decisions that are always toward growth.
I will never be able to overstate the importance of a mission statement. For more details, check out my IGTV series, “Your Biz Oracle”.
Some entrepreneurs I work with are resistant to writing down their processes because they think they’re stuck with it. An SOP (or standard operating procedure) isn’t the end all and be all of how you operate your business. It’s more of a playbook, full of scenarios and situations you’ve practiced and drilled. When you’ve got your playbook, the actual implementation comes naturally, and you can more easily pivot or adjust when that needs to happen.
Standard operating procedures also make training a new hire A LOT smoother. As I said before, you can scale without a team, but when you do start scaling, you WILL need a team to continue to grow, even if it’s just your Virtual Assistant.
Automated tasks take more work off your plate, freeing up time for you to deliver your genius. More time also means more inspiration, dreaming, visioning, and product/service development. That’s what being a CEO is. And scaling requires you to put on your CEO pants.
Most times, tech integration and automation can be done with sophistication and ease using the tools you already have. No need to go out and buy a bunch of expensive software (and then spend time learning how to use it!).
This probably counts more as a 1a because it’s so closely connected to your mission. These milestones are how you can tell you’re on the right path.
It’s easy to be fooled by the big metrics that you see front and center of every SaaS dashboard you have. Revenue. Subscribers. Unsubscribers. Followers. Likes. While important, these numbers don’t tell the whole story of how your business is growing.
To learn more about scaling your freelance business without having to hire all the people, get on the waitlist for Scale Society, a 6-month small group experience for soul-centred entrepreneurs who want to scale their businesses more quickly and efficiently.
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