Growing a sustainable business that can support you and eventually some sort of team is not for the faint of heart. It is one of the most mentally, and probably physically, exhausting things you’ll ever do.
What’s worse, every time you have things relatively figured out, it is likely to change – and change fast.
The reality is that the strategies that help you start your business, while similar to the ones that help you achieve a consistent revenue, aren’t exactly the same. Similarly, what helps you cross to 6-figures in revenue isn’t what will help you get to multi-6-figures. And, it’s definitely not what will take you to 7-figures.
What this means though is that you’ll have to keep adapting how you work and grow your business. As this happens, it’s often very tempting to search for the magic bullet that will propel you forward. But, take it from me, it’s often the mundane, unsexy basics that help you transition to the next milestone.
So let’s look at some foundational pieces of the puzzle that may need tweaking as you get to the next level.
Your Schedule and How You Spend Your Time
As your business grows, your role as the driver of the business will likely change. As a solopreneur, you may find the bulk of your time is spent on executing and client deliverables. Your schedule may be more haphazard depending on your other responsibilities and how many roles you’re filling in the business.
But as things grow and your business expands, you’ll likely need to shift your priorities to working on the business and not in the business. You’ll step more into a CEO role and out of the doer role. This may very well necessitate a change in how you schedule your days and weeks.
The types of things you’ll need to do will likely require large blocks of time with minimal interruptions. So, it’ll be imperative to set yourself up to create space in your schedule. Consider revisiting your scheduling boundaries and always remember how context switching comes into play.
The transition from one level to the next may also require a shift in your mindset as well. Ensuring you understand your role as CEO and how you now fit into the bigger picture of the business is key. You’ll also likely have to manage your team more than doing it all yourself which requires an entirely different outlook on your work and your team’s work.
These are not always easy mindset shifts to master so they can need revisiting from time to time. For more on three shifts to help you go from solopreneur to CEO, check out this post.
Reviewing Your Team
With each new level comes new demands so you will likely want to spend time reviewing your current team. Look at the skills your team members each have and how that relates to the current business needs. Check for any knowledge or skill gaps based on the new demands.
If you find any, look at whether it makes sense to train an existing team member or find an additional one.
It’s also important to look at capacity. Review your workload and each team members’ workload to ensure you’re not working anyone towards burnout. For more on capacity, go here.
If needed, consider reviewing your deliverables and timelines as well. You may decide to tweak what you offer as the business grows as well as how you deliver it.
What about outside the business?
It may seem counterintuitive, but it can also be helpful to look at your life outside the biz too. As the demands of the business grow, you may find you have less energy for other unrelated tasks or demands.
Spend some time looking at household duties or childcare requirements to see if there’s things that need attention here. You may find it necessary to outsource or systematize parts of running your household for instance to free up the bandwidth to continue to focus on the business.
This isn’t always tied directly to time – sometimes it’s more about energy and capacity. If there are things you find especially draining like cleaning or laundry, you may want to outsource them, even if you technically have the time to do them. Your energy is likely far better spent on high performance tasks than on laundry.
Look beyond the concrete tasks too. Think about how you refill your cup day to day and week to week.
High performers are often resistant to taking time off but as your business demands grow, this may become even more essential. While the thought of a true vacation may seem terrifying, there are ways to prepare for one that aren’t impossible. As tempting as it can be to call work travel a break, it’s not nearly as beneficial as a true disconnect from the business and your responsibilities.
Getting back to basics may be a better fix when you’re struggling to get to the next level. Chasing the magic strategy or tactic often feels sexier but is rarely as successful.
This refocusing is a great way to reinvigorate yourself, your team, and ultimately your business as you work towards the next milestone.