Two Ways To Scale Your Solopreneur Business

As 2015 creeps upon us (O.K. Who am I kidding? It’s not creeping, it’s coming at us like a rushing bull at the rodeo!), I’ve been putting thought into what I Hands holding growing seedlingwant to accomplish in my solopreneur business in the New Year. I’m guessing you’ve been thinking about ways to boost your business, too.

 

It’s no easy feat to grow your business when your income is very much tied directly to your time spent. And one thing I’ve talked about with my colleagues, mastermind partners, clients, and friends for the past year or so has been finding ways to scale my business.

 

What do I mean by scaling my business? Simply put, increasing revenue with minimal cost and without substantially increasing my workload.

 

How Can You Scale Your Solo Business?

 

Take On More Work, But Don’t Do All Of That Work On Your Own.

Despite my best intentions, I haven’t implemented scaling as I’d hoped to. As a professional services solopreneur, scaling doesn’t come easily.

 

It can be a problematic notion for a services provider. In my case, as a freelance writer, my clients rightfully expect me to personally do the work they hire me to do. Sure, I’ve streamlined my professional process a bit by bringing on a virtual assistant (Rose Boettinger) to do research, periodically do administrative tasks, and proofread some of my work before I send it to clients.

 

That’s alleviated some stress and has helped me take on some additional clients and work. But I realize I need to utilize her more—and in different ways—to really grow my business.

 

The trick will be to set new expectations for “Dawn Mentzer Freelance Writing” as a team versus a single writer who does content writing. That will take some time—and some strategic thinking.

 

If your clients view you as a “one man (or woman) band,” you’ll also need to carefully consider how to manage client expectations—and uphold your quality standards—while contracting the time and talents of others.

 

Embrace Efficiency Tools.

We’ve all got 24/7 at our disposal to accomplish what we need to do professionally and personally. No more. No less. And we—well, at least, I—don’t want to spend all of my days and hours working. Technology tools to boost productivity, add efficiency, and streamline processes can help. I’ve used several with success, but know I could do more with them.

 

Evernote, Quickbooks, Toggl, LastPass, Trello, Quote Roller, Hootsuite, and Google Apps. These tools help minimize time spent saving and retrieving information, tracking and collaborating on projects, issuing invoices and proposals, logging into websites, and monitoring and posting to social media networks. When you save time on administrative tasks, you have more time for billable work. That enables you to scale to some degree without outsourcing your work.

 

How Do You Plan To Grow Your Business?

As I contemplate what my expanded solopreneur business will look like, I’m wondering what plans for growth you have either on your brain or in active execution. Are you looking for ways to scale your small business?

 

If yes, I found a few articles on the topic that I believe you might find particularly helpful. Check them out, and please leave a comment on this blog with any tips you have that might help our fellow solopreneurs and small biz owners grow their businesses.

 

7 Points To Consider Before Scaling Your Small Business via Synnovatia

 

From Solopreneur To Company: How To Scale Up Your Organization via Firepole Marketing (Although not my ambition, it might be yours. The article shares some helpful pointers.)

 

6 Steps To Scaling Your Freelance Business via Envato Studio

 

Beyond Freelancing: 4 Models for Continued Business Growth via Bidsketch (This one touches on the topic of turning some element of your business into a product you can sell. For example, an e-book or a training course, etc. that will generate passive income. )

 

By Dawn Mentzer
An Insatiable Solopreneur™ post

 

Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Cool Tool Alert: Emailing to Evernote Made Easier

Besides the opportunity to work with a variety of interesting and talented people, there’s another thing that really rocks InQloud web pageabout freelancing. From time to time, I get to try out new stuff so I better understand the products and services I’m writing about in press releases, articles and web content.

For about a month, I’ve been participating as a beta user for a client’s new service, InQloud. With it coming out of beta status, I thought it appropriate to make a “Cool Tool Alert,” so you can check it out, too. If you’re an Evernote user, you’ll want to make a note of this one!

What InQloud does…
As simply stated on its website, “InQloud does one thing – and does it perfectly. It lets you send your emails directly to Evernote notebooks in one simple step.”

Although you can send emails to Evernote without the help of InQloud, it’s not exactly a quick or easy process; you have to remember your Evernote email address and specific notebook names, and then add them manually into your contacts to do it.

The beauty of InQloud is that it automatically creates email addresses for each of your Evernote notebooks and adds them to your Google Contacts. Then whenever you want to forward an email to one of your Evernote notebooks, just select the contact for the appropriate notebook, and send the message on its way.

Why use it?
I primarily use it to keep important emails from slipping through the cracks. When I have emails that require action, I forward them to the specific “To Do” lists that I have set up as Evernote notebooks where they become “notes”.

Others have found a lot of value in streamlining their email review process by setting up Gmail filters that automatically send emails from specific sources directly to their Evernote notebooks. I haven’t done that yet, but I can see how that would considerably lighten the load when sifting through my inbox.

InQloud is coming out of beta now, and is available on a 30-day free trial basis. After that, you have the option of either subscribing for $1.99 monthly or for a full year at $19.99. It’s quite cost effective. Note that the number of emails you can forward daily from your email to Evernote follows the limits set by your Evernote account. Users on the Free version of Evernote can send up to 50 emails per day, and those on the Premium version can send up to 250 per day.

If you’re an avid Evernote user, I recommend that you give InQloud a whirl. And if you decide to give it a try, please keep me posted on your experience with it!