“More” is always better. Usually that is the case. The effort spent in a given enterprise results in a powerful inertia pulling growth. More staff, clients, deals, turnover, products and services. Be careful about how much it costs. A balance between a career and life is desirable for most of the people. If you are a business starter, you must be passionate about what you are doing. It is usually the case at the start up – pushing the pedal to the metal until you breakthrough and your business can run on its own. What follows next? Can you be a workaholic for life? Can you find trustworthy people and employees who can do that, so you delegate responsibilities as the business grows? You can balance it out and not sacrifice the business for life and vice versa.
Efficiency – work smart, not hard. The “Lazy Entrepreneur” philosophy is not about being lazy. It is about getting the maximum for each hour, so that you can afford to work less. It comes down to the well known 80/20 rule. Focus on the 20 percent of efforts which yield 80 percent of the results. The rest of the efforts are on areas which might eventually extend your business. But again, you have to be smart – why, when and how to put the extra effort on those. Here are some tips on this:
- Develop and document repeatable processes. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel each and every time. This practice saves time for routine stuff and helps delegating tasks to others.
- Automate. Use services and software to automate repetitive tasks. Develop habits to do some of the mentally non-intensive stuff manually, while doing other stuff.
- Schedule your non-work time. There are important activities needed to be done outside of work. Prioritize and schedule them so you can keep under control the important stuff.
Pay your dues….strategically. The idea could be distilled to the following: “Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do”. Here are the tips.
- Plan a serious effort the first 18 to 24 months. We are talking about 40-60 hour working weeks. You must be ready to start from the bottom and work hard. Don’t lose strategic thinking so you can significantly reduce working hours afterwards. The saved hours could be used for more work – on a higher level and for your private life.
- Be available for the right client and opportunity. It literally means anytime, anywhere. Don’t just wait for the big deals, pursue them eagerly. And the latter does not mean you will stop delivering or become sloppy with your current deals and clients.
- Work “on the business”. You don’t have to do everything. You don’t need to understand everything. You must make sure everything gets done. The time invested in finding proper partners to do non-core activities for your business is well worth.
Growth strategy consistent with your goals. A small business needs to grow. Look for ways to grow in a “smart” way. That comes down to finding opportunities to increase revenue without this resulting in more working hours. Each entrepreneur must identify and plan their growth strategy. If you don’t do that, you could compromise your business’s stability.
- Analyze profit margins. Determine where your profit comes from. Focus on the most profitable services and clients. Don’t be afraid to move away from less profitable and problematic services and clients. Look for the “easy money”. In fact, any sane business which exists will take advantage of such an opportunity.
- Book personal time for “revenue potential” activities. For example dealing with major client, developing a new product. Again, the focus is on the 20 percent of efforts which bring 80 percent of the results.
- Looking for passive revenue. Can you make money while you sleep? For example, develop and offer a product to sell, like an online service, e-book. Invest in real estate, shares from an established company and so on.