4 Ways to Build a Business That Supports Your Life
The reason most of us decided to build a business was so that our work would be flexible enough for us to live the way we want. We probably start off just with passion, and then we quickly learn that passion isn’t enough to build a business that supports our lives.
Before we know it, we’re working 80 hour weeks, our health is down the tubes and we’re still not making much money. It’s almost as if this stage of your business is a rite of passage before you finally reach a tipping point.
While there will be some grit necessary in the beginning stages of your business, you actually have more control than you think. You don’t actually need to struggle for as long as you may think is necessary, and you start to move away from that by learning to build a business that supports your life.
Figure Out the Numbers
While you may have gone into business for freedom and flexibility, you’ve probably realized that you need to figure out the finances in order to build a business that supports your life. We live in a world where money is a necessity in order to get even minimal needs met, and that’s why it’s a fair place to start when building a business to support you.
Many freelancers (especially the more creative types like me) avoid looking at numbers out of fear. They’re afraid they won’t like what they see. Or, they think that the money will just show up some day. Both are detrimental to building a business that actually supports you.
If you begin looking at the numbers you’ll know how much money you need to run your business and your life. And please don’t forget to include long term goals like retirement and shorter term goals like things you actually want to do.
Plan For Flexibility
It makes no sense to start a business out of a craving for flexbility and then not actually take advantage of it. This may seem like a no brainer but, unfortunately, becomes the reality for many.
It turns out most freelancers are their own worst bosses when it comes to being flexible with their time. How many stories have you heard of that business owner who never hangs out with their family because they are always working?
Believe it or not, the best way to take advantage of flexibility is to plan for it. That’s right, put your non-business related activities on the calendar as well. They are just as important as anything you need to do for work.
Again, this sounds counterintuitive. We think we need to be constantly working in order to make money when in reality that’s not entirely true.
One lesson I’ll never forget was when I was working so hard I got sick for a week and lost an entire week’s worth of paying work. Needless to say, it was not a good month income wise. That was when I realized it was wiser to take care of myself and build sustainable income over time than it was to drive myself into the ground.
Build In Systems
Thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever to build systems into your business so that you don’t have to do everything yourself. It’s important to leverage technology and systems to help you scale your business.
Here are a few areas where you can build a business that supports your life by integrating systems:
- Accounting and invoicing software
- Client relationship manager
- Email autoresponder services
- Social media scheduling
That’s four areas where you can already take some of the load off of yourself without having to invest a ton of money up front. You can also create your own systems from processes you need to do continuously, such as getting people’s attention.
Outsourcing is a major way to build a business that supports your life. By building support into your business, you also build support into other areas your life.
Again, it’s simply a matter of not having to do everything yourself. Your accountant handles book keeping so you have a couple of extra hours in your life. Then, your virtual assistant handles all your administrative stuff so you have a few more hours. If you want to go further and use sub-contractors then you have even more time.
Successful business owners know that you can always make more money, but you can’t ever make more time. That’s why it’s important to buy time when you can.
Building a business that supports your life is a process. By crunching the numbers and structuring your time, you can begin to immediately support yourself to live the way you want. Then, as time goes on, you can begin to add support systems into your business in the form of systems and people.