It’s been a few years since I published my popular blog post ‘How I Built a 6 Figure Business From Home (And You Can Too)‘. At the time of writing, I focussed on offering tips and advice on how to start a business. The first few years of business can be a real learning curve and every day I was learning something new, soaking up all the great advice from fellow entrepreneurs in my network. Once things are off the ground and money is rolling in, challenges change.
Whilst things I used to worry about at the beginning (such as getting enough sales and having set processes) are now a distant memory, I find myself needing to be more organised than ever. Personally, I found this stage of growth the hardest and most stressful. The dynamic changes and specialist advice becomes increasingly more important. I did, however, find these tips helpful when pushing my company into being a 6-figure profit business:
Fall in love with strategising
The first year I made 6-figures in profit I’d spent at least once a week working on strategy. Luckily, this is my favourite part of my job. I could do this all day and it’s really a treat to curl up with herbal tea and figure out how I’m going to achieve my goals. Every time I focus on my business strategy I feel motivated and 100 times more productive. Most importantly, I have a clear direction of what I need to do next to really make the business flourish.
If you don’t enjoy focusing on strategy work then change your perspective on it. Figure out why you shy away from focusing on your business strategy and work through it. So many people I speak to sheepishly tell me they don’t strategise because they don’t know how to. It’s so simple to get started though and you can develop your skills and analysis as you go along. Here’s how to get started
- Write down a list of goals you’d like to achieve with a timeline (I.e make £100,000 profit by October 2021)
- Working backwards, figure out roughly how much revenue you’ll need to make in order to hit your financial goal.
- Bullet-point a list of objectives you need to achieve to meet that goal. For example, this could be the number of sales you need to make.
- Create an actionable plan of tasks you can do to support you to meet those objectives. Keep jotting down ideas, do some market research then come back to your strategy.
This is a super basic way to get started and to start thinking about the future of your business. When you start feeling comfortable with this you can explore strategy tools such as the SWOT analysis, the Astroff Matrix, and my personal favourite, the Business Model Canvas.
If you studied business you’ll have heard of these but if not, don’t worry, there’s a ton of useful resources online. These tools will help you understand how you develop your business with a clear direction.
Use project management tools religiously
Throughout my career, I’ve used different project management tools and in truth, I’ve always loathed them. I found them overly complicated and unnecessary. Logging time felt like a hassle and I just wanted to get on with my job without the admin. I couldn’t see why my bosses were so keen to force a project management system on us since we all hated using it.
Now I’m running a business I can 100% see the value in it. I would be completely lost without Asana. I use it every single day, without fail. My account has everything I need to know about my campaigns and what my staff are working on, along with deadlines and reminders. Good project management is crucial to a successful business so it’s dead important you find something that works for you.
I recommend trialling a few different tools such as Asana, Trello and Teamwork, and seeing which works for your business. Depending on your business, you might even feel comfortable sticking to pen and paper. This can be fine in some cases but be aware that if you intend to scale your business, collaboration is easier online. I found it’s best to get comfortable with the tool first before you start building a team.
Hire help more than you think
When your business is small, it’s hard to begin outsourcing or think about hiring. Funds are usually tight and it’s tempting to cut corners. Ultimately, you’ll come to the point where you simply don’t have enough time to do everything, and you’ll need to weigh up if it’s worth doing something you could pay someone £10 an hour to do when you could be focusing on something that brings in more money.
I started off slowly but then after the business rapidly grew, I didn’t have much choice but to hire quickly. It was scary and I felt uneasy about the situation but logically I knew it would enable me to have some time back to focus on building the business. I knew if I continued to resist hiring that I would run out of hours in the day and I wouldn’t ever meet my goal (something I learnt about my business whilst focusing on my strategy!).
Now I try to hire before I feel like I’m desperately juggling too much. This not only makes me feel less stressed but it also enables me to dedicate time to ensure I find the right person for the job and I don’t feel rushed in making a decision.