One of my clients, let's call her Sarah, had the type of business where you're out on site all the time. She got paid to go out on site, use her expertise to evaluate the situation, lay down some remedial work, then return a few weeks or months later to assess whether it had worked. It was health and safety based and important stuff - other businesses depended on her.
As her reputation grew, as she got more and more well-known, she was spending more and more time out on the road, in the van. Of course, to manage a business, she also needed to keep up with the admin work - book-keeping, invoicing and, most importantly, job sheets. Because this stuff was safety related, if the job sheets weren't right, there were legal implications for both her and her clients.
So she hired in some staff. This was a big step. The business could now cover a bigger region and she was spending less time in the van. But her days were spent with even more administration. Book-keeping, invoicing, collecting and filing job sheets. On top of that, she was constantly on the phone, scheduling appointments, telling the others where to be, chasing things up if anything went wrong. Which it often did.
This meant dealing with clients during the day and paperwork and administration at night. Sometimes on weekends too.
It was all getting too much.
So we put in a simple system.
As clients needed work doing, it got entered into the system. The team got notifications of where they needed to be, and when. They filed their job sheets electronically. Follow-up work was scheduled automatically. Sarah got to spend more time in the office. Instead of constant fire-fighting, she could look to growing the business. Expanding geographically.
Now she works across the whole country, proudly boasting many national chains as her clients.
And none of this was complicated. The team liked the system as it was so simple and easy to use. Sarah liked the system as it made her life so much easier.
And most importantly, she got her evenings back.
If your business is struggling, there are five areas where you can make similar, incredibly simple changes. These are:
- Finance - the business needs a degree of profit to survive. You need to make sure the bills are paid, the team get their wages and you get something as a reward for all your hard work.
- Operations - the business needs to run like clockwork. You need to make sure you consistently deliver a great service to your clients, or they won't come back.
- Sales - no business can survive without clients, so you have to make sure you've got new ones coming in at the right times.
- Leads - if you want new clients, you have to get the word out there, make sure you're attracting people and letting them know what you do.
- Time - at the end of the day, you need to be able to switch off, safe in the knowledge that the business can look after itself. You've taken a huge risk in getting this far, you deserve some time to ourselves to enjoy your life.
Once you identify the area of greatest impact for YOUR business, there are simple changes that can make a massive difference.
So instead of trying to tackle them all at once, you can focus on the area that will free up the most time and money, giving you the most freedom to live your life the way you should be.
If you'd like to know which area you should concentrate on - and get a few ideas about improvements that can be made in that area - take my quick quiz. It only takes a few minutes and can point you in the right direction for making a positive change to your business.