Service-based businesses are different than businesses that sell products in that, if your goal is to grow, you can’t just step up manufacturing to produce more goods or find ways to create a leaner manufacturing process.
Instead, when growing a service-based company, you have to find ways to meet each of your individual clients’ needs, preferably without having to work around the clock.
How do you achieve this goal, giving you a stronger business, while still retaining some level of work-life balance? Here are three options to consider.
1. Increase Your Rates
While you certainly want to be competitive with your pricing, if you find that you’re feeling burnt out due to putting in long days with very little payoff, the issue could be that you’re not charging enough for your services.
Besides, when your prices are too low, it’s hard to stay motivated long enough to see your company grow before giving up on it altogether because you’ve had enough.
Unfortunately, many service-based entrepreneurs struggle with charging premium rates. If this is you, online business coach Gaelle Lecourt recommends that you switch your mindset by reminding yourself that:
- You’re worthy of higher prices.
- You’re providing clients value.
- You’ll get better clients if you charge more.
- Your charges are based on results you provide, not the time you invest.
- You only have limited time available, so it needs to be worth it.
2. Expand Your Online Offerings
Another way to increase your bottom line without sacrificing time, according to service-based business growth expert Russell Ruffino, CEO and founder of the multi million-dollar company Clients on Demand, is to provide more services online.
For instance, if you typically meet clients in-person, consider meeting with them via video instead. This can save you time by eliminating travel to and from appointments. (If they normally come to you, it saves them time too, which they’ll likely appreciate.)
Ruffino adds that you can also expand your online offerings and grow your company by working with groups of people versus providing one-on-one sessions. This enables you to increase your client base without making your days any longer.
Even if you can’t provide services online, Ruffino indicates that simply putting a presentation that you typically give each of your clients on your website can save you time and energy by not having to give the same talk over and over again.
3. Niche Your Services
Though this may seem counter intuitive—to grow your business by narrowing your services—the reality is that specializing in a specific niche establishes you as an expert in that area, increasing your appeal to your target audience and allowing you to charge higher prices. Essentially, you grow your service-based company by being the best in your field.
Not sure which niche is best for you? Personal branding professional Chris Duckersays that you can come up with your new niche in 20 minutes or less by identifying keywords in your industry that are searched more than 1,000 times per month globally.
Next, Ducker recommends analyzing how much competition that particular keyword (niche) would face when consumers search for it, and then making a decision as to whether you could dominate that niche by appearing high in the list of results. If you can, that is a great way to grow your business.
When you offer services versus products, it can feel overwhelming to grow your business without sacrificing your work-life balance. However, if you increase your rates, expand your online services, and niche your offerings, you can build a bigger company without having to increase your time spent at work.