by Melanie Benson Strick
As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed running your small business. A while back a woman named Jenny asked for some strategies on how she could grow her income. Jenny had hit a plateau of around $100k per year, was working at least 75 hours a week, and couldn’t figure out how to fit anything else into an already busy day. As it was she felt overwhelmed most of the time and she wasn’t willing to just work more hours to increase her income.
This is the point that most entrepreneurs are ready for Radical Leverage.
What is Radical Leverage? Leverage is when you find ways to increase results without doing more work. Think of a lever — you move the lever a little and it applies a greater amount of pressure getting a bigger result.
Radical Leverage is when you commit to approach every use of your time or energy with a leverage strategy.
When I work with my entrepreneurial clients to take them into high six and seven figures WITHOUT more stress or overwhelm we explore these three types of leverage: revenue, systems, and time.
The three easiest ways to leverage your income as a service-based business owner are to:
- Charge More
Let’s say you make money by selling your time and you current rates are $100 per hour. You are limited by time and energy – you can only make as much money as you can work. If you were to double your rates to $200 you would double your income.
Since most people are drastically undercharging giving yourself an hourly rate raise is the most effective place to start.
- Replace “One to One” with “One to Many”
If, however, you charged $200 per person to attend an event or a group coaching process that 10 people attend for an hour program, and then you have exponentially grown your revenue to $2,000 for that one hour.
Moving from one-to-one to one-to-many programs is one of the fastest ways to liberate yourself from overwhelm and increase your revenues while growing your impact.
- Package Your Service And Automate Its Delivery.
Now, if you took your process, recorded your delivery then packaged it in a way that even more people could consume, you’ve now eliminated the need for YOU to be involved in the delivery process. Now let’s say you could sell your program for $200. With some really good marketing you might sell 20 a week – with no extra time on your behalf whatsoever.
Let’s see how this breaks down:
Give yourself a raise (CHARGE MORE)
$200 x 12 clients per week = $2400 per week
Offer a group experience (ONE TO MANY)
$200 x 12 clients in one hour x 4 hours per week = $9600 per week
Package your information (PACKAGE & AUTOMATE)
$200 x 20 = $4000 per week with ZERO TIME
Do all three and you will exponentially increase your revenue!
Systemizing a process means identifying and documenting each step involved so that anyone could follow the process.
There are two reasons why you would want to create systems so you can leverage your time.
First, entrepreneurs often get in the trap of recreating the wheel each and every time they need to do something. A system lays out a plan so that every time you do that particular task, you don’t have to think, you simply follow the plan.
Systems become increasingly important when a team is involved because if you want it done your way, you will need to document the steps involved.
The second reason to systemize is that you can automate much of what you do. This is a necessary component of expanding your business effectively. When your routine activities are systemized, fewer breakdowns and mistakes occur.
You can systemize everything from how to delegate incoming email and phone calls to customer service to product delivery. The key is to look for places where a sequence of activities happens the same way over and over again.
The last leverage option, and my personal favorite, is time. There are several ways I’ve learned to become more time efficient like using an online scheduling tool or implementing valuable technology to replace myself or a team member’s manual labor. But the best approach to radical leverage when it comes to time is to delegate more.
If someone else can do it cheaper, faster or better than you, delegate it. With radical leverage, you want to challenge yourself to let go of roles, not just tasks. Think, “I want someone else to take ownership of this entire set of activities, so I can just check in on progress.” Radical leverage means letting go of the roles in your business where you are becoming the bottleneck.
Are you wondering about Jenny? Jenny implemented all three of these techniques. We created a new way for her to deliver her service-based programs, automated over half of her business activities and she hired a team to handle most of the marketing activity and back-end customer support. Within 18 months, Jenny had soared well into the high six figures and I get a little letter every once in a while telling me how grateful she is that she put Radical Leverage into action.
Melanie Benson is known as America’s Leading Small Business Optimizer because she knows how to boost profits and results with her secret weapon — LEVERAGE. With over 12 years in corporate project management, Melanie works exclusively with thought leaders and visionary entrepreneurs who want proven strategies to monetize their big ideas and catapult their success without giving up their life.
Melanie is host of the Amplify Your Success Podcast, author of Rewired for Wealth, serves on the Executive Leadership Team for Women Speakers Association, is co-author of Entrepreneur.com’s Start Up Guide to Starting an Information Marketing Business and has her success tips featured in magazines such as Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Parenting Magazine, Woman’s Day and American Express FORUM. Melanie is a proud lifestyle enthusiast and spends her free time in search of the best spas and beaches in the world.