The global pandemic has caused a boom in new business startups, resulting in more than 4 million new business applications by the end of 2020. This trend has continued throughout 2021 leading many new entrepreneurs to feel the pressure caused by overworking and under-making.
This feeling is not new to the world of entrepreneurship. Many people start businesses with high hopes of making more money than they could in the corporate world. They spin their wheels trying to scale something that isn’t ready to be scaled. They sacrifice all their time and energy to “make more money” without realizing that what they are actually after is freedom.
It is not uncommon for small businesses to fail because their focus is off and the foundational part of building a successful business has not been accomplished. Many business owners actually find themselves feeling owned by their business instead of owning their business. Changing your mindset is the first step toward taking back your business and making it work for you and those you are serving.
Below are three ways to begin working less and making more in 2022.
1. Understand who you are serving.
The most important thing I asked myself when deciding whether or not I could leave my job in the corporate world as a hospital pharmacist was, “Who do I feel called to serve?” From there, I was able to create an avatar for my ideal client, and I even gave her a name: Sally.
Sally is a pharmacist who feels trapped and unable to offer her patients the real healing she knows is available. Sally is a mom who has missed many valuable milestones in her child’s life because of the demanding schedule required by her job. Sally values a healthy lifestyle and knows that a holistic approach to medicine is out there, but doesn’t know where to start.
Regardless of your industry, start by envisioning the customer you’re trying to reach. When you have a clear picture of who you are able to serve, the how and why become much clearer and easier to manage.
2. Delegate, delegate, delegate.
When you own a business, it’s easy to fall into the “only I can do this” trap. The truth is that a growing business needs a growing team. It’s no surprise that a lot of sole proprietors are overwhelmed by the number of tasks and amount of administrative work that comes along with business ownership.
The first step to delegating is to identify what your personal strengths and weaknesses are. What do you enjoy doing in your business? Do you like connecting with clients? If so, you need to make that your priority and begin delegating the other things that make it difficult for you to make those connections.
The next step to delegating is to ask yourself these three questions:
• What do I spend the most time on while working?
• Am I working more in my business or on my business?
• Where in my business do I feel completely lost?
How you answer these questions will help you determine what you need to delegate. Focus first on delegating tasks, then decisions and eventually you’ll find yourself in a place where your business is able to run successfully without you.
3. Know your worth and charge accordingly.
It’s easy to say “charge your worth” but much harder to implement. If you’re operating under the thought process that you should charge what you “think” your ideal client or customer will pay, you’re going to find it extremely difficult to charge your worth. Maybe you find yourself attracting people who are only looking for free advice or offerings? If this sounds like you, then there is a good chance you are having a hard time understanding your own value and offerings and/or communicating the value of what you have to offer.
The best way I have found to start charging your worth is to build services and offerings that you genuinely believe in and know can serve your ideal clients. Stop spending all your time and energy pouring into people who will likely never buy from you, and instead figure out how to communicate what makes you and your offering unique to those who will.
When you believe in the value of the work that you do, you take appropriate action steps to uphold that value and clearly articulate it to the world. This way, owning a business no longer feels overwhelming or unmanageable. Instead, you will find yourself with more time, less work and more freedom.