Business Growth

#18 - Batching to save time and energy

Nicole Liloia is a former therapist turned accidental entrepreneur who does business strategy for other accidental entrepreneurs looking to scale their businesses and have multiple income streams. An accidental entrepreneur happens when someone starts making money doing something they enjoy, either through a hobby or side-hustle. They do not intend to start a business; they just start making money doing something they love and it evolves into a business. Nicole loves the business of owning a business, but it happened by accident. She thanks her batch system for keeping her business successful.

Batching to save time and money

The Internet has given birth to many new types of business, it has also seen many new businesses fail because they do not have the systems and plans in place to make that business sustainable. Some of these businesses start off lucky, but then they end up spending more money then they are earning, but it you’re committed to running a business long term then you need to make it work.

Mindset and Strategy

Business owners need to understand that business has ups and downs, highs and lows. You need to know this and be okay with this. You need to know this is a regular business cycle and not to get upset and quit during the downs and lows. You have to have a positive mindset to deal with this.

You also need a strategy. You need to strategize for today, tomorrow, this month and the entire year. You do not want to be caught flying by the seat of your pants. If you do you will be wondering where your next income is going to come from long term, instead of working to grow your business with intention.

If you have a strategy then you can work to grow your business and make a long term plan.

Understand your numbers

The amount of time you put into your business will bring in an income, but it may not be profitable right off the bat. You need to really think about your metrics and figure out how many people you can work with in a day, week or year. How can you reach your income goals? Do you need to create passive income streams or other ways to earn money? You need to also account for the time you have available and how many people you will need to talk to make a sale. Track all numbers – how long it takes to convert a potential client, the length of your sales conversations, etc. How long are these people remaining in your pipeline? You need to take all this into account when looking at your income long term – each month contributes to your overall income goal.

Passive income is one possibility, however it is much easier to be successful with passive income once you already have a steady income flow. Passive income is generally a lower income source and needs a large audience to sell to. Many passive income sources need to be created and generally cost money to complete, i.e. due to graphic design, web design, etc. Passive income should be incorporated into your long-term business strategy.

Stay Visible

It can be hard to be and stay visible as an entrepreneur. You need to market yourself and be consistent with your visibility. You need to find a pattern of visibility that you are comfortable with. Nicole sets aside 90-days in which she does hard core marketing and then backs off the rest of the time to focus on her clients. Again, you need to measure what works for you and your business day-to-day and for your overall income goals. If you batch your marketing efforts and repeat it over a specific amount of time then you don’t have to be in selling mode all the time if you don’t want to be. You can let people know ahead of time when you will be accepting new clients (in advance of your goals), which gets us out of being an accidental entrepreneur and into an intentional, strategic entrepreneur. This will help you get and stay ahead.

Batch Activities

If you’re organized then you can take a step back and look at your goals and make sure you have enough money to run your business. This also allows you to batch your activities so nothing important is forgotten. For example, set aside a day and time a week or month where you can follow up with people. This way no one is forgotten. You will be able to build relationships this way and not forget about a potential client.

You can get a lot more done if you set aside a specific time to accomplish something rather than constantly stopping and starting again. You are also in the right frame of mind to stay focussed and be confident with the task at hand.

Nicole has a tool that helps people batch their business activities. Batch like a Boss helps business owners get ahead of stress, content, deadlines, and whatever else you need to do and start feeling accomplished and confident.

In order to be successful in business, be consistent, take action and have a clear, identifiable goal that can be measured and work every day to reach that goal and avoid panic mode.

Resources & Links

Nicole Liloia's website

Nicole's Batch Like a Boss worksheet

Join the Free Facebook Community

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#14: Why goal setting and planning suck

#14 Why goal setting and planning suck

I hate planning - I really do. I'm the kind of gal who likes to fly by the seat of her pants; who likes to let inspiration take hold and GO GO GO!

There are so many reasons I hate it - any of these sound familiar?

  • I don't have time

  • I'm not ready for planning

  • Planning stifles my creativity

  • I'm doing fine without it

  • I don't follow the plans anyways!

  • It's all in my head so I don't need to write it down

If you've thought any of these things, let's keep talking and I'll tell you why I DO plan, even though I still think and feel these things on a regular basis. 

I don't have time

This is never going to go away - you're always going to have too much to do. You need to book in the time.

If you don't COMMIT to the time, you're not going to get things done. You need to figure out how to commit - do you need a coach? Do you need an accountability partner? Do you need to book a day out of your office somewhere to work on?

If you don't stop and think about your business, you end up missing all the places you have money you can be saving or making, all the places you can be saving time, or all the places that need re-evaluating.

You might be amazed how much extra time and money you find just stopping for a day and thinking about what you're doing and why.

I'm not ready

There are so many times when I'm talking to people and they tell me they aren't ready to work with a coach or stop and work on planning because they don't know what they want to do next.

I get it, you don't want to waste time working on the wrong thing; it's easier to stick with the status quo for now.

HOWEVER, if you don't stop and try to figure it out, if you don't talk to a coach or go through a workbook on planning, you're never going to make the time to get ready and you're going to keep running on that hamster wheel indefinitely. 

Don't let 'not feeling ready' stop you from taking the next step in your business. 

It stifles my creativity / I won't do it anyways

This is a BIG one for me. I never know what I want to do next. I don't want to be told what to do. This makes wanting to sit down and decide far in advance what will be happening next extremely unappealing to me.

The important thing to remember here is that we need to set realistic expectations when it comes to the results of our planning. Not every single thing we plan is going to work out. Not every single plan is going to be the right decision for us. We need to be ready to learn, explore, and experiment. If we make plans and decide in a month that we made the wrong plan and need to change it - that's OK. It also doesn't mean that the time you took planning was a waste of time. You learned a lot from making the plan and then figuring out what about that plan isn't something you want to do in your business.

Here's the other thing - when you think about planning that doesn't work for you, maybe you're thinking about the wrong kind of planning!

Not every method of planning works for every person. If you balk at the idea of step-by-step plans with dates attached, maybe you need to be more flexible with the way you plan and come up with ideas. Be willing to experiment and play to your strengths.

It's all in my head and that's working fine!

Getting things out of your head so you can look at it from a different angle is so important. It's really hard to get a true picture of everything when it's in your head. Things get forgotten, and you can't think of every possibility. You need to see things from other perspectives. 

While a lot of the times we can easily talk ourselves out of doing the planning because we're so busy, we don't feel ready or we feel it's going to be a waste of time, the truth is that it IS worth the time and effort to stop and re-evaluate. I challenge you to commit to some planning and goal setting for your business in the next month and see what happens!

What to do next

1) Book time to work on your business

2) Bring someone else in to help support you: a coach, a friend, or take a course. Find a person you can talk things through with.

3) Don't be afraid of planning - there is a system for each style of thinking and way of working - you just need to figure out what the right system is for you.

4) Set realistic expectations - if you think that you're suddenly going to make 100% more profit once you do some planning and it doesn't work, you're going to be really frustrated. Know that a lot of this is all about just spending time thinking - not every idea of plan is THE best one, but the act of doing the planning will help you in the long run.

5) Stop keeping everything in your head - talk it out to someone and get their feedback, voice record yourself and listen back to it, or just write it down. Take the time to see what things look like when it's more than just ideas floating around in your head.

If you're looking for more support you can:
 

Join my free Facebook Community
Book a call with me to see if we're a good fit for coaching

Subscribe to the podcast

Subscribe on iTunes

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#12 – When Saying No is Right for your Business

Are you doing what you love? Does your business make you happy? If it isn’t then it may be time to change the way you run your business.

Today I am talking with Sam Hunter, a quilt pattern designer for the quilting industry. Quilting is a $4 billion dollar industry in the United States! Despite being associated as an activity for the elderly, quilting is a huge industry and Sam has capitalized on this with her designs. Sam joins me to discuss her experiences as a business owner and choosing the right projects for you. It’s all about doing what you want to be doing as opposed to doing what others (society) think you should be doing.

Why you should do what you love

When saying no is right for your business

Sam designs what she is passionate about because she believes the end result will be better. If a fabric company approaches her with a design and she tries to do it, i.e. table runners, she finds they don’t sell well. The fact that she isn’t committed in her heart to that work means they don’t sell well, so she only creates what turns her creativity on.

If you create a business with a lot of “poop sandwiches,” as writer Elizabeth Gilbert describes it, then it won’t sell well or do well because you are not going to give it your all; because your heart is not into it.

When you love what you do, you do it better

It’s easier to promote, sell and do the day-to-day when you love what you do! With every creative job there is the behind the scenes stuff that you also need to do, i.e. a website, social media, etc. and you need to get good at it or hire out for it, but in order to do this you must love and believe in what you do. You need to know that doing what you love means creating systems and processes that allow you to focus on this.

After reading the book Essentialism – The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown, Sam realized that when you’re in the business of doing your work, you are working on being more productive and efficient. Are you doing the right things in your business? Sometimes there are places in your business where you think “heck no,” but there are business reasons behind having to do whatever that thing is.

What is essential to your business?

In order to run a business that makes you happy, you need to protect your income stream, your body and your family and family relationships. Your body needs to come first in order to be able to do the rest.

Body and health

According to McKeown, our first asset is your body. Don’t work so hard that your body breaks down. Look at the decision processes for your business and think if it will stress you out, and if so, can you hire it out? Is it cost-effective? Does it support your health?

If you’re doing the wrong work your body will tell you through migraines, etc. It’s not all about having the time—it’s about whether or not it will exhaust you or cause you anxiety. If you are running at a level of busy that means you can’t maintain self-care then you will run out of steam. This doesn’t necessarily mean investing in yoga classes, but it could mean questioning what you are eating. Are you relying on take-out too often? Are there fruits and vegetables in your fridge?

Income stream

When it comes to your business tasks, you need to decide whether any of the things that must be done need to be done by you and if so can you hire that thing out. Outsourcing gives you back the time you need to do the things only you can do. You can outsource for graphic design, social media, bookkeeping, etc.

Family

It's simple - when was the last time you spent time with close friends and family - the people that nourish your soul?

Don’t do what you don’t want to do. Remember, just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. Another thing to think about is 'can you do your best work within the time allotted to you?' Doing it well doesn’t come with the hustle. Can you be proud of your work in this situation? Do work you love AND you’re proud of.

The fear of saying no

You can have a sustainable income by saying no because it gives you more room to say yes to the work you do want to do and that you’re good at. The polarization within our society that if you’re A then you’re not B… and if you’re A then you don’t like B… this isn’t true—there is room for all of us.

Just as there is room for other quilter designers there is a room for other people within your industry – only you can do what you do and everyone else can do the rest. Don’t play in the realm of scarcity. Believe there will always be people who like your work. If you play in the realm of scarcity, you will get scarcity.

Competition

When it comes to competition, be all that you can be, but swim in your own lane. Don’t look too much at others; keep them in mind, but don’t focus too much on them. Instead focus on yourself and what you do.

We will all have frustrating days, but love what you do. Sam loves the puzzle of what she does. She has her mission and system that keeps her on track, for example she doesn’t do kits because she doesn’t want to. By figuring out what she likes to do she stays on track and keeps her goals in mind. Just because you say no to something doesn’t mean it’s permanent… they can become possibilities down the road—if you want them to be. Your business is constantly evolving – just make sure it is the business you want and that everything happening in your business is for a reason.

Resources & Links

Sam Hunter's website: Hunter's Design Studio

Join the Free Facebook Community

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher


#3 Why Business Owners Should Be Using Facebook Live

Are you a small business owner looking to build your audience and increase your know, like and trust factor with potential clients? Live video is the latest marketing technique used to educate audiences on what it is you have to offer, and social channels, such as Facebook are rewarding those who have ventured in to live video.

Allison Hardy is a Business Strategist for mompreneurs who focuses on the importance of Facebook Live. I first saw Allison in a Facebook Live in a popular group I'm a member of and knew I needed to talk to her—so she is joining me on the podcast today.

Allison uses Facebook Live because she believes live video builds your know, like and trust factor. When we buy something, it is because we have developed a relationship of knowing and trust with a business or person.

Why choose Facebook Live?

Facebook Live is real time– you cannot hide or edit. Viewers can ask questions live and you can answer in real-time creating a genuine connection.

Periscope started the live video trend in 2015 and business owners were quick to start building big empires by connecting with people via live video. Because of this Facebook created Facebook Live and reward those who use it.


How does Facebook favour Facebook Live?

Facebook Live videos will show up in newsfeeds more than other text-based posts. They want people watching Facebook live videos so when people do them they show up in newsfeeds more. A lot of pages and groups also will send you a notification when someone you know is on live, which means even more viewers. Facebook Live will get you in front of your people more often.

In addition to favouring people using it, Facebook also favours engagement. If you are offering really valuable comment, people are going to share, react and give you comments. The more people engage with your Facebook Live, the more it will continue to be seen long after the live is over.

Another thing to note is that Facebook likes it when people stay on Facebook. Creating native content (uploading a video directly to Facebook or a Facebook Live) is a way to keep people where Facebook wants them and can get you better reach than when you direct them to another website.

One way to get more bang from your live is to broadcast your Facebook Live video from your Business Page and then share it into other groups. This helps more people see it and shares are popular with the algorithm.

The value to broadcasting Facebook Lives directly within a group is that you are providing added value for being a member of that group. 

What if I make a mistake?

People make mistakes and that’s okay! The more you do Facebook Live the more confident you will be. Find a safe place and just do it. More often than not people are supportive when mistakes happen. You just have to muster up the guts and confidence to do it. People realize you are putting yourself out there—not everyone does live video so it is something that people will tune into and want to watch. They want to learn from you. They want to see how you relate and what you have to offer.

What should I talk about?

What are you working on right now? What mistakes have you made and how are you going to fix them? Talk about the things you are working on in your business or a mistake that you made or how you are setting yourself up for success. People want to hear about what you are working on, so talk about that. Even if you don’t find a certain topic interesting, someone else out there does. There is always someone out there looking to learn from you.

Final tip

When you are doing Facebook Live always ask for engagement. Invite followers to engage from the very beginning. Ask them to say “hello,” then, when you launch into your content, ask them pointed questions. Asking questions builds engagement and increases your know, like and trust factor and means more and more people will keep seeing the content you've taken the time to create.

Will you be using Facebook Live? Leave a comment with a link to one so we can come and check it out, or come on over to the Biz Studio Community and try Facebook Live out with us!

Resources & Links

Allison’s Ultimate Facebook Live Checklist

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher

Biz Studio Community

 

Podcast Contest

As this new podcast gets off the ground, I’d really love your help to make sure that it gets in front of the right people. The first weeks of a podcast’s life are the most important in terms of the opportunities for iTunes to showcase you to other listeners. Because of that, I’m starting out this new podcast with a bang. There are 3 episodes available for you right now, and there will be at least two more episodes every week for the remainder of the eight weeks.

I thought I’d find some extra ways to thank you for all the sharing and supporting you do of the new podcast so every week until July 15th I’m going to be giving away one of my favourite business books to one person who either:

  • subscribe to the podcast or leave a review on iTunes; or
     
  • share the podcast on social media; or
     
  • come in to the Biz Studio and post your favourite tip from a specific episode (along with a link to that episode)

In all cases, you need to make sure that I either know who you are (email me a screen capture of the review or showing you are subscribed) or that the posts on social media are public and tag me (@larawellman) or the Biz Studio (on Facebook you can tag my page).

Each week I’ll be announcing the book winner on Wednesdays on my Facebook page

Some of the books I’ll be giving away are (I’ll be adding more titles soon):

  • The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks
  • It Starts with Why by Simon Synek
  • How to Live a Good Life by Jonathan Fields
  • E-myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

So get out there and start sharing your reviews and sharing the podcast and good luck. AND THANK YOU!