Here at Liquis, there was a time when it was just two of us. There were also times of growing out of office spaces and filling multiple staffing positions. But the constant at every stage has been the growing pains.
Figuring out what we really wanted for our business and how we want to help our customers took some trial and error. It’s been 11 years now since we’ve opened our doors, and although we don’t have it all figured out yet, I think we are closer than we’ve ever been and it feels really good.
What we’re doing differently.
We have experienced steady growth from the beginning, which is great, but can also be extremely stressful. No business owner ever wants to turn down business, so the alternative is to always find a solution that keeps the business without losing money and keeping the customer happy in the process.
In the beginning we’d look for the short term fix. That’s okay – for the short term. But if you find yourself always putting out fires instead of actively growing your business, something is really broken. Once the source is identified, you can start to work on a solution.
For us, our problem was that we were too busy in areas where systems could be put into place. I’d bet money that is a sore spot for most every business experiencing growing pains. To remedy this, we had to take a second look at how were doing things and where good ‘ol technology could take some of the load off.
How to use systems for your business.
First look the most time consuming part of your day-to-day that does not relate to growing your business. Now consider all the ways it could be made easier (besides hiring someone – more on that later).
Maybe replying to inquiries is a problem area.
What if when someone filled to the form on your website they got an auto reply 15 minutes later that gave them next steps or started the conversation of lead conversion?
Maybe it’s following up with leads or pending contracts.
What if you had a system in place that would reach out to leads with friendly/helpful follow ups? Or a sales funnel that ran on autopilot?
Maybe it’s the unpredictable revenue.
What if you had an evergreen source of passive income like a course, ongoing content, or a special value added item that ran all by itself?
Maybe it’s staying on top of social media DMs (direct messages).
What if you had a bot that ran inquiries though a sequence and helped/sold them without you ever having to lift a finger? Or maybe it’s an email/text notification that someone is trying to get in touch?
The “maybes” and “what ifs” could go on forever.
The point here is that there is most likely a solution that can take the place of you or even an assistant on almost any mundane task.
When to know it’s time to bring on a team member.
Once all options for systems have been exhausted. The next step is outsourcing things like marketing, design, writing, event planning, finance, tech, etc. to agency partners who specialize in all the areas that are not in your zone of genius. This takes the load off of you so that you can actually focus on the things that can continue to grow your business in all they right ways.
The very last step in scaling is hiring. It’s a big deal to add someone to your team, train them, and bring them into your circle of trust. It also takes a lot of work on the front end of hiring with hopes that it pays off later.
What it means to grow in the RIGHT ways.
It’s important to remember that big success doesn’t always involve all the flashy things like a sizable staff, a big location, or being in the media spotlight.
What feels right for you and how you can make the most impact is what you should aim for. If you want to stay hands-on, stay hands-on and let the financial rule of “supply and demand” set your rate of profitability. If you want to move out of the trenches and into a more visionary role, you’ll need to scale to afford great help.
The path for all of us is different, but it always starts with knowing what’s right for you. Then take those baby steps from systems, to outsourcing, to hiring.