Posts tagged Work Life Balance
5 Strategies for Working On Your Business, Not Just In Your Business

Guest Post by: Samantha Siffring, Business Consultant & Coach with TBH Coach 

5 strategies for working ON your business, not just IN your business. Prepare your business with systems, processes, management and vision-casting so your business doesn't run out of income when your current clients dry up. 

I am in a pretty unique position in getting to see the insides of other people’s business before they are making money and after, since I have clients at both stages. Here’s something interesting I notice – when people are working to get that business going, they spend a lot of time working ON their business. Envisioning the future, creating programs, trying new things in their marketing – and trying new things in general.

Once people hit some success, I see many who get so focused on their client work that they literally don’t have time left over to work on their own businesses. They spent all their time working IN, none working ON.

I think this can come from a lot of causes: a mindset of not truly believing that they will have a full client load one day, a lack of setting up the business model with limits on time, poor time management, poor pricing so that you have to overcommit to make your income goal, and probably more.

The one thing that is always true is that it proves toxic and sometimes deadly for solopreneurs!

If you’ve spent a period of time only working in your business on client work and never on your business streamlining, scaling, and setting up systems, when those clients go away, you’ll be left with nothing. No income, no waiting list, no pipeline of leads. You’ll have to start over again completely from scratch.

Terrifying, right?

Here are a few strategies that will help you prevent this from happening to you…or recover after making this mistake!

Hire before you feel ready

Don't get stuck working IN your business, caught up with busywork and client projects, rather than setting yourself up for long-term success.

One of the messages I hear from every single internet millionaire is that they waited too long to bring someone onto their team. Growing a team, even hiring a virtual assistant for a couple hours a week at first, can free up your time to focus entirely on the income-producing activities while they do some of the behind-the-scenes work.

Tip: don’t just focus on the additional cost, think about the potential revenue increase you will see when you’ve freed up more time for your zone of genius.

Treat your business like another client on your roster

If you’re not yet at the stage of building a team, at the very least, add your own business to your list of clients. Seeing your business on the list will be a good reminder of where to focus your attention and to not let it slip by unnoticed.

Tip: flip this around and evaluate your performance as if you'd hired you to grow your own business. Would you be happy with what you have done?

Raise your rates

 When we get so many clients that we don’t have time for our own businesses, it can be a sign that our rates are too low. If you haven’t re-evaluated and raised your rates in awhile, it’s time.

Tip: there is no right or wrong way to raise rates when you currently have clients. You can keep your existing clients at their current rate, or let them know rates will be going up on a certain date. 

Own that CEO title

Do you have a lot of experience being an employee and very little as a CEO? Are you hesitant to own the fact that you are a CEO or an entrepreneur? Our self doubt in this area can be manifested in not showing up as the CEO in our business. Someone has to do it, and spoiler alert – no one else is going to show up to run your business. It has to be you.

Tip: sit down and write a job description and expectations you have for yourself as a CEO (from the employee perspective) and as an employee (from the CEO perspective). 

Schedule time for it

Let’s face it: things don’t happen unless we schedule them in. Schedule in specific time to work ON your business and really step into your role as the CEO. This can be one day a week, one hour a day, or something else.

Tip: treat this appointment in your calendar like any other. When we have appointments and commitments with ourselves, they seem optional or flexible. Treat your appointments with yourself like you would treat a doctor’s appointment — non-negotiable.

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Samantha Siffring owns where she is a business consultant and coach for moms with online businesses. She started as a coach after struggling to find her identity after becoming a mother and now is very passionate about helping other moms build businesses from home and balance entrepreneurship with motherhood. She is a mom of 3, an over-volunteer-er, and a travel lover – she and her husband met while studying abroad in college and are always taking their kids on epic adventures.

You can find her on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube.

How Setting Client Boundaries Sets You Up for Success

On my former day-job commute, I drove a stretch of highway where the only separation between the northbound and southbound traffic was a 100' stretch of grass. Year after year, there were crossover crashes in that section because there are no guardrails. I guess they figured that the wide space between the roads was enough of a barrier to protect... though it's not much of a barrier at all.

Looking for the video on boundaries? Scroll down!

Boundaries Give You Freedom, Not Limitations

Boundaries and guardrails may seem like a limitation, but actually give us the freedom to live safe and happy within their parameters. Relationship boundaries allow for deeper intimacy between two partners. Cages at the zoo allow visitors a close look at animals that they'd otherwise never encounter (or at least not safely). It's the same way in business. You need boundaries in place to protect your business and allow you to grow in a healthy manner.

Setting Up for Success via Boundaries

Boundaries can set you up for success, especially in the long-term. Here are a few reasons:

1. You'll Build Better Client Relationships

One would think that unlimited revisions, 24/7 access to you, no consequences for cancellations or unlimited returns would make for the best customer service. But as I shared in my last post, putting yourself above your clients is what's actually best for them. Giving unlimited revisions for copyrighting, design or photo editing — anything service based, really — will keep the client from getting clear on their needs & desires, will allow them to nit-pick without making decisions, and can drag a project out. Then you'll both be frustrated that it took so long to complete.

24/7 access to you sounds great — until you shut your phone off at 6pm to be with your family, and your clients freak out that they can't reach you. Having no consequences for last-minute cancellations can keep you from booking out your schedule, which will prevent you from serving more people. 

Don't set yourself up for disappointing your clients. Give them parameters to work within so they can appreciate and respect the windows of opportunity you provide.

2. You'll Work More Efficient

Setting limits to the hours you work will help you to finish things faster and make quicker decisions. I work so much better when I have a hard deadline... otherwise I allow distractions to creep in, I let perfectionism take over, and the project seems to never get done. But if I know I only have an hour or two before something's due, I'll knock it out in a jiffy! (Did I really just say "jiffy"? le sigh). 

3. You'll Build Better Personal Relationships

If you have set office hours and promise your loved ones that you'll stick to them, it'll keep you more accountable for finishing your work on time. Sit down with your spouse and talk things over together to set boundaries that give you enough time to work, but still leaves space for being with your loved ones. My husband works rotating shifts and often has to work weekends... I'll then format my schedule to match his so we have time together on Mondays. Leave a little wiggle room, though — perhaps set one night a week to be your "overflow" night  — in case you need extra time for work, but don't want your loved ones to feel that you're breaking your boundaries.

4. You'll Be Less Stressed

By setting limits to the hours you work, the number of projects you take on, the refunds you give, the ways your clients can communicate with you, etc, you'll have a little breathing room to keep you from being stressed. You won't feel pressured to answer emails at all times or be "on call" for your clients. It'll make for a much better working environment for you, so you won't risk burnout. You'll be able to provide a higher quality product or service when you're in a better state of mind.

Boundaries Must be Set to Work

Just thinking of what your boundaries are is sort of like that patch of grass on the highway from my first story... it's there, but not effective. You need to set in stone what your policies are, and make them clear to your clients, in order to keep yourself from going off the edge. Write them in your contract and welcome packet, list them on your website, talk about them on inquiry calls... giving multiple touch points is best, in case they overlook your policies in one location.

Need some advice for what boundaries to set? Make sure to watch the video below:

Setting client boundaries can free you up for space to work ON your business, so you have time to take care of marketing, finances, admin work, organization, web updates and so much more.

Not sure all of the things you should be working on? Download our free checklist!


80 Tasks to Ensure Long-Term Success

Are you neglecting your business to serve your clients? Grab our FREE checklist of 80 tasks you should be working on throughout the year to ensure your business has a solid foundation.