If you have ever tended a garden, you probably are familiar with the idea of pruning back the trees and flowers for better growth. This same concept applies to business. Sometimes you have to strip back your business to stabilise for growth.
Stripping back your business can feel vulnerable, but it is the path to freedom!
A lot of business owners are carrying around dead weight. So much of what they are doing isn’t impacting their bottom line or the world around them. They are working their tails off but they aren’t seeing a real return on their effort.
They never get to the freedom they really want, because they are burdened by the business model, operations and internal conflicts they are experiencing.
One of the leading issues of business failure for women is burnout.
Many women are trying to navigate home lives, families, caring for parents, community support, multiple roles and multiple projects.
This is just one of the reasons simplifying and stripping back your business becomes so important.
We don’t have the time or the bandwidth to sustain a complicated business.
I have had to honour to work with thousands of women in business over the last two decades and what I have found is that most business owners are wasting about 50-80% of their time on the wrong things.
They have complicated their businesses and tied up their most precious resources: their energy and time. They have lost income and impact in the process.
We don’t need more on our plates, we need a lot less.
Most business education in the world focuses on adding more to your to-do list, which is why I have focused on stripping back.
Everyone is focused on growth, but they don’t realise how much of their “growth” is not sustainable in the long term. You can’t properly scale or grow your business if you don’t have a stable foundation to build on.
Most business owners can dramatically increase their results with a few simple tweaks.
I had a client a few years ago that was always working really hard. She worked nights and weekends and put everything into her business, but she still wasn’t making enough money for her efforts. I had her analyse everything she was spending time on.
She was blogging.
She was doing social media.
She was focused on her funnels.
She was constantly improving her website.
She was doing her newsletters
And the list went on and on.
She was doing all of the “right” things. All of these activities took her 15-20 hours a week, but when we looked at her results, none of them were providing her with sales. During this same time, she was spending about 15 minutes a week calling her old clients to check in and see how they were doing. These calls often turned into more sales. She had huge conversions from 15 minutes a week and no conversions from 15-20 hours a week.
My advice was to cut out everything that she was wasting time on and spend 2 hours a week calling her old clients. Her time and effort dramatically decreased and her sales dramatically increased. This is just one of the thousands of examples I have.
You have to strip back to the basics before you can scale or grow your business.
So, what are the basics?
I talk about three components to a solid foundation: the right business structures, mindset and alignment. I am going to share with you some of the right business structures below. You can find more about mindset and alignment in any of my podcast episodes.
How to strip back your business structures
You have to start with stripping back to ONE very specific and viable target market.
Most businesses have too broad a target market or they have multiple target markets which means exponential work for fewer results.
There has never been more opportunity to start a business, but it has created a flood of businesses in every market. If you aren’t very, very specific about who you are targeting and how you are positioning yourself, you are NOT going to have a successful business.
I spend a huge amount of time helping women niche their businesses because it has become more important than ever.
You have to pick ONE service, program or product to offer and grow.
This is where a lot of business owners struggle. The illusion is that offering multiple services, products or programs means you can reach more people and make more money.
Twenty years or even a decade ago, this was viable and even advised. I subscribed to this idea and taught it to my clients, but as competition and businesses in the world increased, the effectiveness of offering multiple offers decreased.
Once you have a solid income and have successfully scaled one service, program or product, you can move onto another one. The mistake most businesses make is offering too many things too soon and none of them ever become viable for financial success and sustainability.
You need ONE simple sales process and lead generation tool, not everything.
The world has gone crazy with marketing and lead generation. Everyone is trying to do everything, just like the client I mentioned above.
What it means, is that their marketing, sales and lead generation is ineffective and they lose a massive amount of sales. You have to focus on one channel to master.
If you don’t have high sales conversions, you have to work on that first! You are wasting a ton of time, energy and money when you focus on lead generation and you can’t convert them into sales.
You need to be skill building the basics.
Probably one of the most important things to stripping back your business for growth is around skill building. You have to be ready for the growth, not just have your business ready.
What are some of the skills you need to build:
- Mastering sales internally and externally
- Learning to set boundaries and say no
- Being able to embrace conflict
- Owning your value
- Being clear in your mission and message
- Constantly validating your business to ensure it stays relevant
- Managing your energy and knowing your capacity
Once you have rebuilt your business foundation, you will be ready for growth. It will be long-term and sustainable. It will ensure you are financially successful and you will have more impact in the world.
Founder and CEO of Sonya Stattmann, Success Strategist for Women in Business
Sonya Stattmann has spent the last two decades helping women in service businesses around the globe create more profit, fulfilment and freedom. She starts with stripping back businesses to a stable foundation and then teaches them the skills and strategies for long-term growth and sustainability. She has done a TEDx talk on women’s empowerment and has a weekly podcast called Women in the Business Arena. Her mission is to increase women’s financial power and impact in the world.
You are the female economy. Whether you are a female consumer, business owner or a woman in the workforce, you can create gender equality by choosing female led brands.