How to work smarter not harder in a service business is a question that comes up time and again by busy independent professional service providers. So I put together this quick overview. It covers a few fundamentals on implementing leveraged strategies so that you can free up your time and achieve a better work-life balance.
Wondering how to get the perfect work-life balance you dreamed of when you started your business? Are you currently struggling to get more work or stressed and want to work less? Or perhaps you’re flicking between the two!
Either way, building a leveraged consulting business model is the solution you need to get more consistently in the work you want and the revenue you want.
Let’s first work out your *Leverage Number*.
Your Leverage Number tells you plenty about how close you are to working smarter not harder in your business.
Calculate Your Leverage Number
Your Leverage Number is the No. HOURS you work a week (billed + non-billed hours)
DIVIDED by the no. hours you ideally WANT to work a week
(so you have time for living and doing the things aside from your business that make you happy!)
My L number is 1.0 right now, but can be lower or higher depending on whether I’m leaning in or leaning back in my business.
It’s a bit like the R number we all know about now.
Anything less than 1.0 and you’re doing great in terms of leveraged work-life balance.
But sometimes we do need to be mega productive to meet deadlines or when building a new product, team or system. So it’s normal in business that our L number can be high for a while too.
Still, if you push too hard too long, your productivity actually declines and your L number increases to an unhealthy level.
E.g. 1.0 – 1.5 says you’re in a productivity zone but go over 2.0 and you’ll soon be feeling the strain if you keep that up! Less than 0.5 and you’re either struggling to find clients or semi-retired 🙂
So here are my 7 ways to work smarter not harder in a service business – there are more of course, but these will get you thinking what will work best for you.
If your ‘L’ number is less than 1.0 and you want MORE work
There are three top leverage strategies to help attract more and better clients – leveraging your expertise and unique marketing message.
#1 Decide on your specific area of expertise because if your brand message isn’t clear, your marketing won’t attract anyone let alone your ideal client to work with you.
#2 Identify a specific solution you know you can deliver to a specific target market because that way you’re promoting something with tangible benefits to prospective clients.
#3 Craft authentic social media posts, share your experience through stories and case studies, and follow that through in your sales pages because people need to get to know, like and trust you before they decide to buy.
If your ‘L’ number is more than 1.0 and you want LESS work
These are four of my best leverage strategies to help increase your revenue whilst maintaining or reducing your active income work. (There may be some upfront work but the pay-offs are great.)
#4 Simplify your marketing plan and sales system because a documented and streamlined process requires far less active work for you and is easier to outsource.
#5 Raise your prices so you earn the same revenue working with less clients because if you’re fully booked, it means you’re in demand and worth more than you’re probably charging.
#6 Create an expert system based on what you do working with a client to help them achieve a specific result or outcome because then you can build a team around you to support its delivery.
#7 Shift your one-to-one face-to-face work to a group programme or course because when you design it once, you can delivery many times remotely without you having to be there in person.