The Hourly Coaching Trap
If you have a business where your time is required to provide the services; to grow your business you really have to two choices: You can either work more hours or you can charge more per hour . And in some situations, neither one of those is a good option. You really just have to scale the business and by scaling the business, what we really mean is serving a larger audience with your message, serving more people, and getting more clients without working more and more hours.
But, My Business is Unique
We talk to a lot of coaches, particularly, but also speakers and authors who say, “I can’t really scale my business because every client is unique and I have to be there to serve them, there’s really nothing I can do except just work with them one-on-one.” My response – not out loud, just in my head – is that’s just not true. I don’t even know your business yet and I know that’s just not true. There are lots of ways to scale a business even if you do one-on-one coaching ; even if you’re a “hands-on” coach, you can still scale it.
Even if you look at it as a one-on-one and each client is unique, are there certain things that you can do or are there certain things you do every single time with every client? If you really examine the process that you use, I suspect that there are. And if there are, why not automate those parts? Do it in a questionnaire, do it in a video, do it in an audio, do it in a book.
Anyone Can Scale Their Business
We had a client who was a chiropractor, and they said that they couldn’t scale their business because it was all “hands on.” That client and he started out by saying, “I am a chiropractor. I manipulate each person separately, differently. They really can’t do it without me. I have to see each patient.” But as we began to dig into what he actually did, it turned out that the personal touch was absolutely an important part, but a large part of what he did was talk to the clients about nutrition, proper posture, bad habits like sitting too much at the office; those kinds of things.
What he found out was that he could deal with each of those things with either a video or an audio that his clients could watch or listen to. He didn’t have to sit in his office, he could provide them with the audio and the video and just have them download it with an ebook. What he was able to do was both spend a lot more time actually working with his patients and seeing a lot more patient in the same amount of hours.
The first thing that you have to do is decide if the scaling is right for you. For some people it’s not that they can’t scale the business, it’s just that they don’t want to. And it just depends on what state of life you’re in; what you expect out of the business, how many hours you want to work, those kinds of things. But, once you decide to scale, then the next thing to look at are the things that you do the same with every single client. And before you say, “I don’t do the same thing with every single client,”
I would challenge you to really look at your process and see what you do the same with each client. It could be something as simple as putting together our radio show. I used to, in the really early days, actually have a one-on-one telephone call with each potential guest. I talked to them about their business and asked if they had done interviews before. I really interviewed them to do the interview.
What I found was that over time, I moved some of it into emails and other media that I could send out to potential guests. It basically did the same thing as I had been doing – it gave me all the pertinent information that I needed. I found out how many interviews the potential guest had done and I got copies of those interviews and listened to them. Rather than spend a half hour on the phone with a potential guest, I could spend less than 5 minutes sending them pre-done emails. It has all the necessary attachments and everything. This helped us scle that business very quickly.
Shifting Your Mindset
It is so important to not just scale your knowledge, it’s also important to find what activities you are either not very good at or that you really don’t want to do. That’s all part of scaling as well as spending your time on the highest and best things. The first place that most people go is to a virtual assistant or a VA. We have a VA that takes care of our website. Now, is it an expense? Absolutely! But, if we can spend that same time talking to clients or networking or doing billable work that is more valuable for us then that’s a good use of money.
Even more important than the money, it turns out that there are other folks that are actually better than you; better than me at doing the things they do. That’s their specialty. For example, respected Vas are good at what they do. They can do their work much faster than we can and they do a much better job.
It’s really about shifting your mindset. In order to scale your business, you have to come to the realization that you don’t have to do everything in your business. We’re in the out-sourcing era and I can guarantee you that for just about anything that you just don’t want to do there is someone else who just loves to do it and their likely faster and cheaper than you. That’s really the idea of scaling your business. First, find a way to leverage your own process, your own time so that you can provide more without spending more hours. And then, look at those things that you can out-source and then out-source them.