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Productivity / Growth

How to save 140 hours a month and fast track your business growth

Set yourself up for fast business growth before it happens. Seems like a simple idea, right? Most businesses don’t do it, however, and when rapid growth happens, they’re caught on the hop.

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Earlier this year I started running events – but I don’t think I really understood about the business growth that was going to happen as a result. In fact, I had no idea whatsoever. In less than five months I’ve run or spoken at 35+ events. I don’t even want to think about the math and average weekly commitment, but it’s a lot.

This was my first mistake.

Then came the others.

My business model had completely changed and I didn’t have the right systems and processes in place to cope with my rapid business growth. By the time I realised what was happening it was too late. I was completely overwhelmed.

"By the time I realised what was happening it was too late and I was completely overwhelmed."

I was also extremely tired because speaking and being ‘on’ a couple of times a week is exhausting. Another fact I hadn’t considered.

Not only was I super tired, I couldn’t keep up with people’s requests. Much less all the backend work that comes with events: before and after promotion, admin tasks, communication, follow-ups, sales; the list is never ending. Who knew?!

Then the inevitable happened.

I crashed, burned and ended up sick and in bed for three days. Not ideal!

Want more articles like this? Check out the growth section.

I was drowning.

The only way to get my nose back above the surface was to put some support in place for myself. Here’s what I did. At last estimate, it’s freed up 140 hours a month for me!

1. Outsourced my social media

Now, social media may not be a priority for some businesses, but this is a huge component of my business and how I promote my events. I have five platforms and a Facebook group, so it was taking me several hours a day to keep up with it. Even though I was scheduling posts, the regular posting in Facebook groups was taking up a huge amount off my time. So I outsourced it. I jumped on Upwork and found myself the most amazing social media manager.

Time saved per month: 20+

2. Get a team in place

Outsource your inbox. This has been advice I’ve received for at least two years from various successful business owners, but have chosen to ignore because I’m a control freak. The first job I gave my customer relations manager and assistant was my inbox. Here’s why. It was taking me at least a week to get back to people. I went through my inbox after two weeks of ‘no comment’ and found two huge publicity opportunities and five enquiries for work that I hadn’t followed up on. There was potentially thousands of dollars sitting in my inbox that I hadn’t done anything with.

Time saved per month: 40+ hours

3. Find an extraordinary bookkeeper

It took me two years to find an extraordinary bookkeeper. It has saved me so much time, plus it’s also set up proper foundations for me to grow. My bookkeeper pulls reports, makes sure I get my invoices out on time, that those invoices get paid, and that I pay my tax and BAS.

Time saved per month: 20+ hours

4. Out with old, in with the new

Not only had I taken on way more than I could chew with these events, I still had my previous workload to contend with. In the end I just had to let old work go so I could make way for the new. This was so stressful because it meant getting rid of ‘paid’ work. Even though it was a time suck, it was the letting go of money that made me extremely nervous. My business needed to be a heck of a lot more effective and efficient than I was allowing it to be and this work was taking up too much time for the ROI.

Time saved per month: 40+ hours

5. Let some opportunities go

With my new found direction came more opportunities than you could poke a stick at, and I was taking on all of them. What can I say, I was caught up in the hype! Had I been in a better headspace, I would have realised the track I was going down and let some of them pass me by.

Time saved per month: 20+ hours

This year has been SUCH a massive learning curve. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in new shiny things, but you’ve also got be realistic. My lack of experience and knowledge meant that I was working around the clock and it drilled me.

Don’t make my mistakes. Set your business up for business growth before that growth happens and then sit back and reap the considerable benefits of that forward thinking.

Have you had to contend with rapid business growth in the past? How did you go?

Elizabeth Campbell

works with established small business owners who want to look good online through WOW words. She is an Amazon best-selling author and the founder of EC Writing Services. Websites and blogs are her main game. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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