Question: “How to grow my business when I’m the only one? I can’t hire someone to do my job so I’m limited to the number of jobs I can take.”

Answer: Grow beyond your comfort zone.

You’re absolutely right.  Once you’ve tapped your limited time and energy resources, your business cannot grow any further.

You might as well give up right now and resign yourself to the status quo.

Obviously, I’m being sarcastic.  (At least I hope it’s obvious!)

You can increase your productivity to a certain level, but there will always be limitations on how much you can do when you’re doing everything by yourself.

Which leads me to challenge your next point:

Why can’t you hire someone?

Wedding professionals tell themselves they can’t hire someone because:

  • I can’t afford it.
  • No one else has my skill/talent/expertise.
  • I don’t have the time.

All of the reasons why you can’t are beliefs that are holding you back.

“If your business is to change–as it must continuously to thrive–you must change first.  If you are unwilling to change, your business will never be capable of giving you what you want.” – Michael E. Gerber, author of The E-Myth

Michael Gerber elaborates on the mistakes you’re making in, The E-Myth: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It.  If you’re struggling with this problem, you owe it to yourself to read this book.

A small business in its infancy stage is easily recognized because the owner and the business are the same.  It’s your job to do everything in your business, and it’s simply a matter of time before you bump up against your limitations.

If you want your wedding business to grow, you must get help.

There’s no way around it, tough guy.  You’re going to have to grow past those old beliefs about why you can’t.

Fortunately, you don’t have to do it all at once.  Take one small action at a time, starting with these.

3 Ways to Grow Your Business Starting Today

1. Eliminate and minimize your time wasters to boost your productivity.

I guarantee you can free up at least one hour per day of “extra” time by identifying the areas where you’re wasting time.  This won’t solve the problem of doing everything yourself, but it does grow your potential.

A few common time wasters to address:

– Interruptions during working caused by Facebook and email notifications or your cell phone.

– Distractions caused by people, animals or noise in your work space when you’re trying to focus.

– Searching for misplaced information caused by lack of organization.  (Find the right organizational system for you here.)

– Common mistakes that require redoing your work, such as forgetting to attach documents to an email or not responding to all of a client’s questions the first time.

– TV or movies that add little value.

Identify your areas of wasted time and eliminate as much as possible so that you can accomplish more in the time you have.  You can also try out these 13 tools to save time and increase your productivity.

2. Create systems and processes.

A process is a step by step procedure for getting a specific result, and a system is whole set of processes.  Long story short–if you want to grow your business, you need ‘em.

Start by mapping out a process for each of the regular activities in your business: responding to email, drafting a proposal for a new client, following up with a lead.  Each process should be a numbered list that’s easy to follow: Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, etc.

Yes, it takes some time to set this up, but it will save you time in the very near future.  You’ll no longer have to think and remember what needs to be done; you can free up that valuable brain space for growing your business instead.

Having processes in your business is the first step to handing them off to someone else.  Which brings us to #3…

3. Outsource or delegate tasks.

Some of the tasks you do require a high degree of specialty.  These are things like your expertise in wedding photography or formulating a seamless reception timeline.

Other tasks you’re doing requiring a lesser degree of skill, such as organizing files or emailing your clients to ask for a review.

Hire someone to do the tasks you dislike and the ones that require little skill.

Before you tell me that you can’t afford it (remember those beliefs holding you back we talked about?) consider how much you make per hour.  If you charge more than $10 per hour…and I certainly hope you do…doesn’t it make sense to hire someone at that rate?

Your time is worth more and outsourcing tasks free up the time to grow your business.

Determine which tasks to outsource by:

– Make a list of all the big and little tasks you do.

– Highlight the ones you dislike the most.

– Outsource at least one of those tasks.

Once you break through that old belief that you “can’t” outsource your work, you’ll be astounded at what a relief it is to have help.  If you’re concerned about being able to afford it, outsource actions that are directly tied to your bottom line, such as setting appointments or following up with leads.

The Turning Point

Every wedding professional faces this challenge sooner or later, if you’re in business long enough.  Don’t beat yourself up about it.

It’s a sign that it’s time to grow and change.

The path has been laid out by people like Michael Gerber and the wedding businesses who’ve been there before you.  Do you have the courage to walk it?

What do you think?


photo credit: June 11, 2013 at 10:34AM via photopin (license)