SFM Ep15 – What To Do When You Get Too Busy

Welcome back!

After taking two weeks off to get caught up on a million different things I’m doing, plus a trip to Reno and Lake Tahoe for a Funnel Day, I’m back with another episode showing you how to grow your business.

In this episode I’ll give you a quick recap of what I’ve been up to, my trip to Lake Tahoe and… more importantly… exactly what to do when you get TOO busy and hit an income ceiling.

If you’re marketing correctly and have the right funnel in place, this will inevitably happen so it’s important understanding what to do before you get there.

In this episode we’ll discuss…

  • Why I’ve turned away probably close to $30k in business in the past 3 days…
  • Why you should NEVER shut off your marketing no matter how busy you get…
  • How to safely increase your price for an instant income boost…
  • Several ways to boost productivity and why it’s THE most important thing you can do to increase your income quickly…
  • How to determine constraints within your business (and knock them out)…

Listen To The Podcast!

Resources

9 Growth Hacks

Transcript

Hey, welcome back. This is Jeremy Reeves and you’re listening to another episode of the Sales Funnel Mastery podcast. Today, we’re going to talk about what to do when you actually get too much business. I know that might sound a little bit like a pipe dream, but that actually happens to a lot of people.

So I’m going to be going over a bunch of different ways that you can continue to grow, even when you’ve hit that ceiling. This is something that I’ve been going through due to just not being able to clone myself, so I thought it would be a cool thing to talk about how I’m continuing to grow, even though I can’t take on any more work.

I’ll actually tell you what’s going on and how many people I’m actually turning away every week. But there are a bunch of different things you can do.

But before that, I want to give you a quick recap because I think it’s been about two weeks now since I’ve created a podcast and it’s actually because I’ve been so busy. It’s been absolutely crazy the last couple of weeks.

In the last couple of weeks, the beginning of May, I had a client and he’s on retainer now with me. He wanted to do a funnel do, so I asked him if he wanted to come to Pennsylvania or if I should go out to him.

He decided that it was worth paying me essentially double for me to go out to him out in Reno in Nevada, so I went out. While I was out there, I love to hike and I love the outdoors and oh my God, it’s absolutely gorgeous out there. I was absolutely stunned. If you live out west or if you want somewhere, if you’re into going into nature, I highly recommend both Reno, which is a really cool little city, and Lake Tahoe, which is where I actually went the second day.

I flew out there Sunday, I had my funnel day with my new client on Monday and then Tuesday I drove to Lake Tahoe and I went hiking for the entire day up in the mountains. I actually went off the path and when I first started going up the mountain, it was nice and clear and I actually went up so high up to about 9,000 feet.

I actually came back down because I was getting light-headed because the elevation here isn’t very high at all so my body wasn’t used to the lack of oxygen in the air.

And I got up so high that I actually could barely see anything because this big snowstorm came through. So I’m up there 9,000 feet above sea level by myself in the middle of the woods because I went off the path, there was a hiking trail that went up to 7,000 feet. I’m an adventurous kind of guy so I figured I would just keep going.

So I found this nice big hill and just went up the mountain side by myself and by the time I got to the top, it was snowing and so foggy and snowing so hard that I literally could barely see the front of me. So I went back down. I have kids so I didn’t want to fall and break my leg and be stuck on top of the mountain and not come home.

So that was fun. Lake Tahoe is absolutely gorgeous, one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen in my life. I highly recommend it.

Another reason that I’m so busy is because I’m actually getting into real estate finally. I’m starting to buy some investment properties, which is exciting. I have been wanting to do it for years now and I figured I’m just going to go. That actually came about from a conversation with this new client because he’s doing that and using a property manager. So I’m excited to get into real estate and start owning the town, essentially.

There’s a lot of good stuff around here in the city of Scranton and not [inaudible 4:41-42] a dump. That’s the other side, but even around my own hometown, the town I live in would be nice for real estate. That’s another thing that I’m doing so getting all the loans approved and all that kind of crazy stuff. So I’ve been working my tail off for the last couple of weeks, just trying to get caught up on everything.

There’s a lot of good stuff going on, very exciting this year and I just looked on TrackNGrow by about 40% this year and that’s actually before I implemented a whole bunch of stuff. Actually, that’s some of the stuff that we’ll be talking about today.

With that said, let’s get into the good stuff about this. I want to take you through what I’m doing and what you can do and even what I’ve helped other clients do. You get to the point where you’re too busy and you just can’t take on any more work.

And this is really important with service businesses because once you hit that ceiling, let’s just say, $200,000 a year, whatever it is, it could be 500, it could be 100, kind of depends on what your current pricing is and things like that.

This also really applies to any business. Because for example, I’ve had clients in the past where they’re selling information products and they actually got too busy for information products. They’re selling something digital, how could you sell too many of them? The problem there is customer support. Let’s just say that it’s complicated, people are having questions, and you need more customer support. That’s really what we’re talking about today, constraints and bottlenecks.

Your bottleneck in that situation is going to be your customer support team. Let’s just say that you’re selling some type of software. The same thing, a lot of times is going to be customer support. If you’re selling physical products, it’s going to be creating that inventory to ship out the physical products. You have to look at where your bottleneck is.

For a service business, for me, it’s going to be myself because I can only handle so much work. There’s only one of me. I wish I could be cloned, that’d be awesome, and I’m probably going to be the first one in line when they finally figure out cloning because I can 10x my business overnight, which would be really nice, but unfortunately until then, I have to think of more creative ways to grow.

The first thing is, don’t stop marketing. A lot of people when they hit that point of “Oh, God, there’s so much work and I don’t even know how to get everything done”, they stop marketing completely. Especially if you’re a service provider, but this is equally important for anywhere else, if you do that, it stops the momentum.

One of the big things that you’re getting so busy is because all of that marketing that you’re doing, which is paid traffic and articles and interviews and joint ventures and everything that you’re doing to get that traffic, if you stop that, the momentum stop. And then once you get to the point where you can manage everything better, by the time you get there, then you have to restart that momentum.

Let’s just say that you drop 50%, then you have to wait for that to come back and it might take a month, or two or three or four or five or six months, depending on how much marketing you’re doing. So don’t do that.

You can slow it down a little bit, but slow it down in small increments. If you’re really getting overwhelmed, maybe just stop doing one traffic source first and see how that goes. I recommend just focusing on these other things that we’ll be talking about.

A little bit of a back-story about this and why I wanted to talk about it. It’s Thursday morning as I’m recording this. I don’t know when it’s going to get out there because I’m actually looking for my transcriptionist and the people that help me do my podcast, her daughter was hospitalized, unfortunately.

So I’m kind of scrambling a little bit to get this done and there may or may not be a transcription for this so I apologize for that. I’m in the process of looking for somebody temporarily to help fill that in. So if there’s not a transcription right now, then just come and it’ll be there

But the reason is because, it’s Thurday morning and I’ve already turned down seven people, seven different jobs that I just can’t take on, and it’s only Thursday. It’s kind of crazy and I’m implementing some of these ways. You get all those people coming in and there’s probably $30,000 worth of business that I had to turn away in the last three days. So there’s several tens of thousands of dollars that I’ve turned away in the last three days.

So I’m sitting here thinking of different ways that I cannot lose that money, and plus it helps. If somebody comes to you, I have several people that I’m looking for other writers to refer them to, but a lot of the writers that I know are either too expensive or too busy or they’re not reliable. So it’s hard finding people that are reliable, affordable and have availability. It’s a rare trait.

With all that said, let’s get into the meat of this. So number 1, the first thing that I would recommend you do if you get too busy, and you know that extra business is sustainable, that’s going to be very important to know that it’s sustainable, it’s not just a one-time hit. Number 1 is increase your prices.

This is something that I’ve done. I’ve been increasing my prices steadily over the years and it’s funny that sometimes the more you increase your prices, the more business you get and that really does happen.

It’s funny how that works, but it really does happen because it creates this aura around you that you’re the expert in that field and people should essentially pay you more money because you’re charging more. You can’t get away with that if the value you deliver doesn’t match up to what you charge.

If I increase my price 20 times, I might get a couple clients paying me that, but the value might not add up to that. You have to make sure that your price is in line with the value that you create.

The first thing to do is look at your pricing. Figure out if you’re underpriced or overpriced, if you’re too busy, you’re probably underpriced. You can increase your prices little by little. Don’t double your price overnight. Do a 10% increase one month and if you’re still getting busy, do another 10% increase the next month and do another 10% increase the next month. It’s like marketing. Don’t shut off all of your marketing. Don’t stop doing all of your marketing.

Keep marketing. Just do a little bit less. If you do a little bit less marketing, and charge a little bit more, you’re going to eventually find that sweet spot.

Another thing is to create better systems. This is really important because if you can create better systems, you can hire people to help you get everything done. And this is equally true for if you have a service, if you’re selling software, if you have a physical product, if you sell information products and you have customer support.

Create better systems that your employees can follow because when you create better systems, let’s just say you have five employees and each person can increase their productivity just by 10%, that’s a 50% total increase in productivity. It really can make a big, big difference if you just increase your system, even if you can just spare 10 minutes on your lunch break everyday.

I know it’s really overwhelming when you get to this point to add something else onto your plate, but if you can increase your systems and you have employees and they can do a better job with those systems, they won’t be coming to you as much and they’re going to be more productive. So it’s a win-win overall.

The next thing you could do is increase your productivity. Increasing your systems is going to increase productivity for your employees. It’s also going to increase productivity for you because you’re not going to be relied upon as much as you were before. If you increase your productivity just overall, you’re going to get more work done.

This is especially true for the owner of any business, whether or not you do the actual work. So if you have a service business and you’re doing the work, if you’re a solo service provide or whatever, increasing your productivity is the fastest to increase your income that’s what I’ve learned over the years.

It’s much easier to increase your productivity by 50% than it is to increase your prices by 50%. The absolute first thing that you should do if you want to grow is increase your productivity even if you’re not doing all the work, you still have all these other things for one of your business. So increasing your productivity is going to allow you to get that all done faster. So that’s going to allow to grow faster because you’re going to be able to get more done.

And even if you’re too busy to get everything done, if you increase your productivity, you’ll be able to get everything done. And then you won’t feel so overwhelmed, your brain is going to free up, you’re going to think of more creative ideas, and everything falls into place after that.

I know I did a podcast I forgot which episode, it was the 3rd or 4th episodes. So if you haven’t listened to that, make sure that you go back and listen to that now because it’s really, really important to increase your productivity. Again, it’s one of the most effective ways to increase your increase your income for any business owner is to increase your productivity.

And if you need a little coaxing on that, figure what you made in your business, your net profit and then look at how many hours you feel you’ve worked during that quarter and divide them and see what your dollar per hour is and realize that right now, you’re likely losing roughly two hours, depends on how productive you are, most people only do about, I think it’s about, maybe one hour of actual productive work every single day.

So if you can increase that by twice, just do two hours, and I know that sounds kind of shocking that you’re only going to an hour of work a day but a lot of times it;s very, very true. You’re doing meetings, you’re doing all these crazy things that really just don’t contribute to anything. They’re just kind of just a filler throughout the day.

So if you’re doing them, take a look at what you’re doing and make sure that you’re doing something productive. Make sure that you’re doing something that really adds value and adds money either to your client’s lives, your customer’s lives, your bottomline to make sure you’re having a productive day. So basically, increase productivity. There’s a lot of information out there that you could find to do that.

It’s extremely important. If you’re a service provider, it should absolutely be number 1 on your list. So another thing is create tiered services. So if you have a service business, and I do this for products too, if you have a service business and let’s just say you have one main service that makes up the bulk of your income which usually you have services, you probably have a couple but one of them is going to make up a big chunk of what it is you do.

Like for me it’s copywriting. You can have tired services. So when clients get in touch with me, if they can’t afford my fees, I say, “Well I have people that I can refer you to and they can help you”, or if that’s not the case, they want me to be involved in the project and I essentially manage the project, I will create the strategy for putting the sales funnel together. I will create the overall outline and the strategy within the outlines from the copy and then I’ll send that to a copywriter that’s lower-priced and me and him will work together or her. Me and the copywriter will work together to get it all done.

So I’m there as the client’s paying me to be the manager of the project to make sure that everything is done correctly, to make sure the copy all flows together in the right way and that’s worth it to them. And it is very much worth the time because the strategy’s more important than the copy.

The words on the paper are the least important thing in an entire marketing funnel. It really has more to do with the strategy behind the copy, the ideas behind the copy not the actual words themselves but the ideas and then who you’re targeting, so the audience. And I’m there that’s kind of my specialty, making sure they all sync up, so you’re talking to the right person, saying the right message.

And if someone else writes the actual words, I just make sure that everything links together. So you can create tired services like that where if you start icreasing your prices and you have that top tier and people say, “Oh, you know that’s too high”, then you can say, “Hey, I have this lower-priced service”, and you can still help them.

Plus it helps the persons getting in touch with you because they trust you. You already have their trust and what you’re doing is just helping them not make a mistake by going to somebody else.

So if you have products, you can do the same thing. It’s a little bit different. What you’re going to want to do is look at the constraints in your business. So you’re going to want to look at those bottlenecks. And we’ll just call the constraint essentially a bottleneck.

So you want to look at each individual aspect of what happens from the time a person first reaches out to you, whether that’s going on your website, whether that’s calling you, whether that’s coming into your store, whatever that is, you want to look at that and say, “Okay, here’s where they start, this is what they do next, this is how they pay”.

You have to look at it in kind of a before-the-sale, during-the-sale, and then after-the-sale. So break it up into those 3 sections. And you want to look at, okay, what happens before the sale? Is there anything that we can systemize and make it flow better and make everything get processed faster?

And remember, if you get just a couple percent increases of an improvement of all these, it really makes a difference. You can easily get a 10% increase in all these and that’s a quick way to increase your business by a third. And if you just do that every year, you can increase by 33% every single year. It’s pretty simple actually.

So what happens now is the customer just paid me, so now it’s the kind of during-the-sale. What can we do to improve the process? What point to speed up shipping, we get it out faster so we can take on the next person? What can we do package faster? What can we do to make sure that we handle all the clients and customers needs faster?

So look at every little step along the way, every little choking point or bottleneck that could potentially be there. And you’re going to find that there are some spots where it’s everything goes along slowly, and then it hits this one spot, and then it kind of stalls there for a little bit.

Let’s say you’re a Chiropractor, and you’re bottleneck might be people sitting in your waiting room. So essentially they’re not getting the service fast enough so can you speed the service? Or can you add another doctor? Or is there something in there that you can improve so that people kind of go through the chain faster, go through the process faster.

If you’re shipping stuff, you take the product, you box it, and then there’s a 6-hour wait before it actually gets delivered. Can you make it so that that doesn’t happen? Can you make it could ship faster? Can you make it so that there’s a shorter lag time between when the time customer orders and when you start boxing it?

So breakdown each little part of your business and just chunk it down into little mini-sections and that’s going to help you figure out where your bottlenecks are.

I hope that really helps. That’s a really important point. So make sure you pay attention to that. It’s a really cool exercise, actually. Just get a white board or something and go through every little, tiny, micro step throughout your entire conversion process and process you use from when people come to your website to when the actual product or service is finally delivered and the deal with that customer or client is over.

You can improve a whole bunch of those places. Some of you might be able to take out, some of you might be able to improve by 10, 20%, but by the time you’re done and you break out, because there’s probably 30+ steps in that sequence, in that process.

So if you improve on each of them just a couple percent, it’s going to make huge dividends on how fast you do things and that’s going to free up your availability problem by doing that. It all comes back to increasing productivity. It’s going to be able to get things done faster.

The last thing is mind your cash flow. A lot of businesses, more than you can believe, go out of business because they grew too fast. They start making big expenditures, they’re possibly wasting money on marketing and new acquisitions and leasing new apartments or new offices, new complexes, buying real estate, all kind of different stuff.

Make sure that you’re minding your cash flow. I know it’s an exciting time. I know you’re growing, but sometimes, you need to just ratchet down the growth because you can outgrow yourself and run into no money.

You can get to the point, where if you’re producing 1,000 of a product in a day, and you don’t have the capital to create the product, and if you can’t get capital, if you can’t go and get a loan or hard money or whatever, then you’re stuck in the water. And people are going to look at you funny like, “Well, wait you can’t even service what I’m asking you to do.”, it’s going to create a lot of problems.

Sometimes, you need to ratchet down your business a little bit just to keep that cash flow going. It’s a good thing to have a reserve in your bank account that you can just go to and it’s there for when you hot those spots, when you get too busy, you have too much money to spend, to make sure that your cash flow stays in place.

I personally hate having money just sitting there. So this is a hard one for me, personally, because when I see all that money sitting there like, “Okay, I need to do something with it.”. So it’s entrepreneur-like to want to do something with that money. You have to fight that urge just a little bit. Keep the cash reserved and make sure that if you have the capital in terms of business, this is especially true.

For mine, it’s not a huge issue because a lot of my marketing is free, it’s word-of-mouth, clients help each other, whatever. So I don’t have to put that much money back into my business which is awesome, I definitely understand that, but a lot of people do.

So you need to make sure that you have that big, chunky cash for those times where you can’t just keep up with the demand, you just have to keep shoveling money back in to hire new employees and to move into office spaces and to purchase more into inventory and that kind of thing. So mind your cash flow.

So that’s pretty much it. I know this podcast went really long. We’re right about 28 minutes or so right now. I hope you got a lot out of that. I know I talked about my trip a little bit longer than I usually do so hope you don’t mind that. If you do, you’re listening to wrong podcast.

If you want to go to the show notes today, I’m going to have a couple links in there, go to http://www.jeremyreeves.com/what-to-do-when-you-get-too-busy/. And all the show notes in there. I actually launched a new product that’s called “9 Growth Hacks To Double Your Sales In The Next 90 Days”, it’s a $7 product, it’s a quick, little thing, it’s about 50 pages, so it’s not that quick.

But I wrote it in a way that you kind of just look at it and see, “Okay, I’m doing this one, I’m not doing this one, and look, and figure out what to do next. It’s really cool. It’s $7. Plus, I have a really cool guarantee where if you have all 9 implemented in your business already, and you can show me that, I’ll send you $250 as my apologies for wasting my time.

So it’s really cool. I’ll have a link to that is http://www.jeremyreeves.com/products/growth-hacks/. You can check that out. I think you will enjoy it. I know my subscribers enjoyed it when I launched it to my list. In fact, I already did a podcast about it. It was about 25% of my list that took me up in the offer. So it’s really cool. People are loving it. Go check that out.

If you have any questions about today, feel free to let me know. Until next time, I will talk to you soon.

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