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How to grow your business

Posted by Ilise Benun on

Last week’s Coffee Break conference call, "Moving out of the Bedroom — Growing Your Business," was chock-full of information for anyone who’s got too much work but isn’t sure whether or how or when it’s time to get help. We’ll have the transcript and mp3 available soon in the Marketing Mentor Store, but in the meantime, here are some highlights from the conversation with Pam Bryan of and Peleg Top:

1. One main takeaway was the idea, shared by Pam, that sometimes, in order to grow your business, you may have to shrink it first. If you’re too busy to get everything done, hiring someone doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be less busy. You’ll just be doing other tasks, including managing other people. Shrinking your business may also mean firing clients who are draining you or abusing you or whose projects simply aren’t lucrative. Once you pull back, you’ll be able to take a breather and see more clearly in which direction you want to grow. And the one thing you must have in place in order to grow is a marketing plan.

2. Next, you must realize that growing the business means managing other people, whether they are independent contractors, interns or administrative assistants. So if you don’t want to manage other people, then don’t grow your business. It helps to have some kind of management bone in your body and not be a control freak (or at least be willing to work on that) because no one you hire will do the tasks the way you would. Focus not on how they do what they do but on the quality of the end result. That’s all that matters. And you must make peace with the fact that by bringing on help you will not maintain the level of hands-on work you’ve done until that point.

3. How do you train someone when you don’t have time to breathe? Peleg had a great strategy and told the story about his first intern. After explaining to her that first time how to do what needed to be done, he also instructed her to document everything she was doing. When she left 8 months later, she left behind what was essentially an office manual for administrative tasks. That way, the next intern or employee could use that as a resource.

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