The Scaling Lounge: Business Strategy • Operations • Team

What to Do When You Have No Time to Market or Sell in Your Business

October 26, 2023 Adriane Galea Episode 90
The Scaling Lounge: Business Strategy • Operations • Team
What to Do When You Have No Time to Market or Sell in Your Business
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Every business relies on sales and marketing to grow, period. Sometimes it’s as simple as saying “suck it up and find time to make it happen” and then sometimes…there’s more nuance involved.

A recurring theme that comes up with my clients that gives me pause for how many other small business owners are probably living through it too is the struggle to find time to market and/or sell in their businesses. 

In this episode, we break down the best strategy to use – because whether you’re just starting out or you’re making 6+ figures consistently, there’s always room for improvement in facing challenges like this that like to reappear again and again. 

Quick overview of what we cover:

  • The one stage of business where you must simply (and we say this with ❤️)  “suck it up and make time”
  • How to find the balance between serving existing clients and finding new ones
  • What to do if you’re stuck in the pattern of “sign new client → cease all other sales+marketing efforts”
  • How to know when it’s time to systemise, hire+delegate, automate, or contract out tasks
  • How to reconcile the aspects of sales + marketing that don’t feel good to you



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Speaker 1:

This is going to be your challenge, with where you're at right now in your business is going to be figuring out how to both deliver the client work and to also figure out how to continue to sell and market so that, when the client work is done, you're not scrambling to figure out where your next client is coming from. Welcome to the Scaling Lounge, a podcast for established service-based business owners who believe in working smarter, resting often, playing always and dreaming bigger. I'm your host, adrienne Gallia, and I want to help you create time, financial and lifestyle freedom by scaling with systems, strategy and the support of a team, so that your business is able to grow, with or without you. Let's get to it. So we're doing some little different. Usually, on Thursdays, we release a guest episode. Steve has been recurring as the Thursday guest for a while now. I counted the other day he's been on 14 episodes so far 14, 15, and it took, you know, in the beginning it was just like we did one in, I think, one in May, one in June, one or two in July, and then since then it's been every week, every week. So we are, and the reason that we were doing that is because. So here's just a little update on life and business and things is we were doing that because we were planning on launching something. In what month are we in? Where are we at? We were planning on launching something early November and we started talking last week and one thing went to the next to the next, to the next to the next. As it does especially with us, that's what happens. So we start talking about things and all of a sudden it's off to the races. I said to him I hope this is okay, I'm sharing this because it's not just my story but I was like eventually, I think we're going to need someone who can tell us no, we need someone to be a no person for us or, in the interim, we need to decide which of us is going to be the no person, because we have way too many ideas. I was like I think we just created a second business which would be a third business for each of us. And he was like no, I don't think so. No, I'm pretty sure. So we, we, I don't think we wound up on the same page about that. Anyway, which is fine, I still stand, but he's not here to defend himself, so that's not fair. But I still stand with, basically get a whole second. Oh, I know why. I think I know why he said no, we didn't. Because he thinks that what we were already doing falls under like could fall under the same umbrella, which I guess I don't really disagree just got really big really quickly, so anyhow. So we're not we're pushing that launch back or potentially changing what we're doing. I don't know, we got to think we're meeting tomorrow, we're going to figure that out, figure out what we're doing with our lives. But it did not make sense because he's been the only guest for so long, like if we're not going to launch in November, it just didn't make sense for me to continue doing that, and it is a big chunk that we are going to start to bite off. It's a big bite. It's a big bite to chew and so I think it's going to take like we, because we're meeting twice a week at this point, we're meeting once to just like chat through things and then once to record a podcast episode every week, and we need more time to figure out what we, what we're doing, because it's like potentially really big, potentially huge actually. So that's what's going on. That's what's going on there. So I was like I'll make room and we didn't. I haven't even. Well, I sort of did start to try to get new podcast guests, like I'm basically booked out through probably February with guests, but I need some in the interim. So I was like I'll just record another solo episode this week. So let's make this, make this useful for for the people, for you, and that's where we're going. So next week we will have a different guest. That's not Steve on, it's already planned. I reached out to someone. I was like hey, I know, I know you and I know what's going on, like would you record a episode? Like really quickly, would you just be able to? And she was like yes, I would love to. So that's that. Her name is Carrie. She's delightful, stay tuned for that. One week from today her episode will be airing. One week from. My mind is all confused now because what I'm recording yes, one week from the day that this episode airs, her episode will be available. She talks about self expression and she just made a really big pivot in her business from human design to helping people with their businesses, specifically through human design. They think she might have also helped like on a personal I don't remember she's primarily working with, like branding and expressing in your business and super cool some of the stuff she's doing. So we'll chat. That's your little preview for next time. Let's talk about what we're gonna actually talk about today, which is what to do if you just don't have any time to market or sell in your business, Because this is something that I see happening really commonly with a lot of people and it's come up, it's been the recurring theme with clients lately. Is there like we just we don't have time to market? I'm like you gotta find time. That's where it's at. So I'll be a little bit more helpful with my advice here. So yeah, so I'm gonna break this down into three sort of different categories of depending on where you're at in your business, my advice would be different. So I'm going to start. If you are just starting out or you're not yet making money, I will put you in the same classification that essentially you have unvalidated marketing and sales processes or they're not validated enough because you haven't sold it consistently enough. If that's where you're at, you're in one category. I'm gonna place you in one category for what I would recommend doing. Then, if you are making some money consistently, so I would say you're making at least two grand a month or so. And then a third category of if you are consistently making money, and I'm talking about more around like the six figure or beyond Mark. So if you're just starting out and you're not yet making money, my advice to you is going to be so simple and there it is Suck it up and find time, because you don't have another option. There's literally no other option. This is not really something. Unless you've got big money to pay a strategist like a true strategist it would cost you big bucks to outsource this. How many times have I worked with someone who's like I'm not really making money yet? They're like I'm just gonna hire, like, a social media manager and they can bring leads in for me, and I'm like that's not gonna work, you're gonna waste your money. And they do it and they waste their money. And then they're mad about it and I'm like but it's what I said was gonna happen. I knew it was. I'm not surprised at all. I don't know why you're surprised. I don't know why you're surprised because I told you it wasn't gonna work. Yeah, you can't just like when you don't have validated processes yet. You can't really like. You've just gotta figure out how to do it. So if you don't have time I know this was that was kind of harsh sounding the way that this might be coming off but I say, with love, suck it up and find the time. Does that sound less harsh If I say it with love and then I say it slower, okay, so that's that's all I gotta say about that. If you're not yet making money, you just, you just gotta do it and you gotta do it, and you gotta do it, and you gotta do it again and again, and again, and again, and again and again until you figure out what works and preferably, get good at reading. That, get good at understanding data is an excellent amount, I don't care where you're at. That's a really good skill to develop, so yeah, so then, if you are making some money consistently so let's say you're making a couple, couple thousand, couple grand a month, and I, when I say that, I'm speaking in US dollars. So maybe a little bit more, maybe a little bit less, depending on where you're at in the world, or potentially dramatically a higher dollar figure, depending on where you're at in the world, if you're someplace, you know, like Bali or something. Dramatically different numbers. I had some. This is a side story, I may as well. That's because this episode started with something that had nothing to do with this episode. I may as well just insert a random little side story of why people have trust issues in the coaching industry. I was talking to this one person who was saying, like I'll help you make a million dollars in your business and I was like, okay, cool. And so came to this call with this person and I would like the biggest problem that this person had was like I just can't figure out how to get clients. Like I'm just not signing anyone. What do I do? What am I doing wrong? And I was like, if you can't sign a client, how are you saying you help people make a million dollars a month? And this person said, well, because that's a. You know, that's close to what I'm doing. And I'm like you are not making or a million dollars a year. And I was like you are absolutely not making a million dollars a year If you don't know how to sign clients. What am I missing? Like, do you have an e-commerce business that I don't know about? Do you have what, what, what, what, what is happening? No-transcript? And this person said oh, it's in. This person lived in Bali so it was like but I can't remember the name of the currency in Bali, but it worked out to be something like this person was making like $14 a month or something and when you converted it to US dollars and I was like that is not ethical. You should, that's. Maybe you're not so inclined because you like that's fine, if you want to put, I'll help you make a million dollars a year in Bali. Currency, anyhow, is why people have trust issues. And this person thought they were completely justified because, well, that's what it is, what they were actually doing. And I was like nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, because no one is reading that and assuming that's what you mean, intention matters. So, anyhow, if you are, if you're making some money consistently I didn't actually explain the point. So, if you are making some money consistently, a couple grind, a month or more, but probably less than six figures, in my opinion, I think that this is the hardest place to be. I have a lot of compassion for being in this place because I understand the difficulty in finding time to both serve your clients and continue to find new ones. I understand that this, like. The struggle is real when you're in this position and you're not really making enough money to like really properly find someone to help you with this, and because the people who can do it strategically are probably out of your budget and the people who are maybe in your budget probably like they're not. They don't know how to. They don't know how to speak through your content well enough yet, and you're probably not really in a place yet where you can explain how to talk through your content yet. It's just it's a tricky place to be in. So I have a lot of compassion for where this is at. The important part here is that what's probably happening is your sales and marketing efforts stop every time you get a new client Hands up, if that's you. I think this happens to almost every single person that I work with that is in this range. I had an entire conversation with my scalable foundations group on this the other day, whereas where I'm pretty sure I said I was like with love, I'm going to tell you you've got to figure out how to do this. Like you've, this is going to be your challenge with where you're at right now in your business is going to be figuring out how to both deliver the client work and to also figure out how to continue to sell and market, so that when the client work is done, you're not scrambling to figure out where your next client is coming from. Now I've got someone there's someone in that particular program that's booked out through next year, so like it's not as much of a concern and this person has someone who's helping them with marketing, and so it's a little bit of a different place. But I tell you what it is a tricky. It's a tricky line to balance. So my advice to this where I was like you've got to figure out how to make this work is can you allocate one day per week? I guarantee you, allocating one day per week is not going to make or break your client projects and, if you are, or your client sessions. However, if it's, if it's service, this particular person is a service provider. If you're a service provider, if you're a coach, whatever, I guarantee you, if you take one day where you say no client work, no calls, no anything, it is just my CEO day, it is going to massively benefit you and I would super encourage you to start doing that as soon as possible, if you're not already doing it Like one day where there is nothing, where it is a completely blank space on your calendar. Today is that day for me. Mondays are that day. I'm recording this on a Monday and today is that day for me and I was like, oh, I've got to record this extra podcast episode so and I had the space completely. I keep my calendar very spacious. It's. I do not like having a busy calendar, so, like my, wednesdays are my busy day. Wednesdays I have, from beginning of the day to the end of the day, almost all days where I have thing after thing after thing after thing. That is the only day that that happens for me. I will take calls on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It's rare that that happens or it's rare that I have more than like one or two things on Tuesdays or Thursdays, and then Mondays and Fridays I nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing on those days. So I keep a very spacious calendar on purpose, but that's not going to be the case forever, that's not going to be possible for everyone. So, but just one day, one day where you can allocate to nothing but your CEO level tasks, your growth level tasks, where you can work on bigger picture marketing strategy, where you can. If this is the only time that you have to sell in market, then use your CEO day to create your content, to figure out what it is that you're to like, actually execute on the things that are going to move the needle forward. Please, please, do yourself a favor by finding time in the day to do this and even if you only have out of that one day that you're going to set time aside for, even if you only have 30 minutes to send emails, to reach out in DMs, to do whatever it is that you do to find clients, to network, to whatever that looks like, do it for 30 minutes and then work on maybe the week after the week after that to bump that from 30 to 60 minutes. And, like you know, it's just, you're gonna be doing yourself a massive favor in the long run. You've got to figure it's where, where the advice in the very beginning is like suck it up and find the time. That's kind of my advice here, a little gentler, because I understand with the situation is not exactly the same, but you've got to figure out a way to make room and yours and it can be done Like it's all about your priorities and at this point, if you want to stop feast or famine, You've got to prioritize, because that's exactly what winds up happening. You've got to prioritize finding space in your, in your days and weeks To be able to put intentional effort into this. There's really no better advice than that. Like you just got to find. You just got to find space for it. And then if you are consistently making money, so I'm gonna go ahead and say that this is probably the time to hire. I'm I'm not really on board with the. I think I used to say this and I'm really I'm really not on board with it, because when I think through it, it just doesn't. It doesn't make sense. It doesn't logically make sense. Is it's not necessarily the best idea to hire before you're ready? Like I think the worst mistake that business owners make with hiring is they hire too soon, but the second worst mistake that they make is they hire too late. So, yeah, sort of hire before you're ready, but not like, I would rather you hire when it hurts. Hire when it hurts. And if you are at a place where you are making consistent money and you don't have time to sell or market, it hurts. It hurts for you to not be able to do those things, so that's a really great time to hire. So you have two, two options here, and I'm gonna break this into. I want you to think about a Venn diagram, so or not a Venn diagram I want you to think about Like an axis. So you've got an x-axis and a y-axis. You think about a grid, and On on one axis, let's say on the x-axis, I want you to think about On on the left hand side, it's not working well or it's not validated. On the right hand side, it does work well and it is validated. On the other axis, let's say the y-axis, on the bottom, we're going to put that it's super unaligned, and at the top of the y-axis, we're gonna put it's incredibly aligned. Everything feels really good about it. And think about all of your different sales and marketing processes. Where would you place them on that, on that grid? Would you say it like you know? Are they aligned? Are they not aligned? Does it feel good? Does not feel good? That's one. That's one data point, and then the other is Is it, is it working well? Because if it is both working really well and it feels really good, like you wouldn't really change anything about it. It feels, it feels aligned, it feels congruent with your values, it's it's working well. Then I'm gonna go ahead and say, like that is a really great time to systemize it or outsource it. So where can we find space to Put, put an automation behind something, put a system behind something? Or where can we now bring someone in Because we've got a really good idea of how it should be working, where we can put SOPs and KPIs behind it? So SOPs are standard operating procedures, kpis are key performance indicators. Where can you start to give this to someone and you can put? You can put KPIs behind systems too, so that you understand you want to make sure that your systems are working the way that you want them to be. So it's not that's not just with people, but you want to systemize it or outsource it at that point. So where can we find room to be able to do that? And you're just gonna have to make time to be able to properly train that person. If you are bringing someone on as as an employee or, you know, if you're hiring someone who should already have the skill, then you've got to make sure. Either way, you're gonna want an SOP, but like so I'm not getting into all of this right now. You've potentially heard me talk about it because I definitely have talked about this. If you're hiring an employee, you you can train them. If you're not hiring an employee, you technically can't. But you can give someone who's not an employee they're a contractor or a contracted service provider you can't train them in. I think this is at least in all of the developed Nations, in the United States and Canada and the United Kingdom, in Australia, etc. Like you, you cannot try. It's against, it goes against Labor law. It definitely goes against labor law in the US. I'm not an attorney, this is not legal advice, but it violates labor law and Every every kind. I've ever looked this up for who's in a who's in one of those countries that I just mentioned. Same thing you cannot train someone unless they're an employee, but you can give them an SOP. This is how I expect the work to be done. So there, I'm not gonna get too much further into that. But if it is either Unvalidated or it's not working well and or it doesn't really feel all that great, then we need to potentially, if you need to, even if it's just temporary hire someone to take something else off your plate so you can put some more intentional effort into this. Because so I think the episode that's going to release right before this is like the seven, the seven areas of excellence that you need to get to seven figures and the first things. I was like you have to learn how to sell, how to market and get your brain on board with your ability to do both. That's like a mindset component to get into the next space of things that I go back and listen to that episode, to get into the next place, where you start, where we start looking at, where we start looking at delivery and operations and etc. Like the first thing that you're going to want to do in those spaces is to start to improve the way that you sell and market and the way that you're delivering things. So so you really want to make sure that if you don't already have this on lock, if it doesn't both feel really good and if it's not working exactly the way that you want it to because you don't your, however it is, when you scale, it is how it's going to be when you scale it right, like even if it's going really well and you go to scale something, you're probably still going to have to make tweaks because at some point it's going to break or it's not going to feel as good anymore. It's, you know, it's just not going to be as well oiled as it, as it could be or as it needs to be, but you are certainly, if you do something at scale that's not working well, it's going to continue not working well at scale, like it's just not going to work. So you want to put the intentional effort in. If you, if that means getting rid of tasks ABC for the next month and you've got to just suck it up and hire someone temporarily, like do it so you've got the time. Or you know you've just got to evaluate your resources, like do you have? Would it, would it be worth it to you to work an extra five, 1015, 20 hours a week, even though that's going to suck in the interim, to fix this problem, to fix the validation and the alignment problems, that you can get it to where it needs to be so that you can hire someone and hopefully more long term position or whatever. Or you can optimize it, whatever that looks like, to get it to where you need it to be so that you can take it off your plate and start to do things better, or does it make more sense to permanently offload something else? That will give you your time back to focus on the growth level tasks of marketing and sales strategy? I would say at this point you there's no reason for you to need to execute either one of those things, but certainly the strategy. So this is it's a bit more nuanced conversation, because it depends on where you're at, what your strengths are, what you enjoy doing the best, and this is this like this is what I work with clients on when they get to this point. So I would also be. I would love to have a conversation with you about it. So let's get into that. Let's just let's. Let's get into the calls to action here what, what we can do to actually how can I help you work on this? So, if you are in the position of you're not yet making money, if you were in that first category of your you're just starting out, you're not yet making money Send me a d I know I have nothing for you Send me a message and let me know what you're looking for and I can refer you to someone. I think would be a better option, because I don't. I don't work with people who are in who are completely new to their business. That's a different episode for. Oh, that's actually. That would actually be a good episode. I never thought about recording an episode on on why I don't do that, and there's a reason. That's a good Okay, that's a good content idea for later on. I would be really happy to refer you out to someone else, because I, but I have nothing to sell you if you are consistently making some money, if you're in that like two to, let's say, $8,000, $10,000 a month category. I'm going to be releasing something at the beginning of January, but I'm going to sell it in December. I'm going to, I'm going to pre sell it in November. It's the scalable foundations group, except I'm going to turn it into right now it's just like a coaching group. I'm evolving it into something that's a bit more substantive. It's going to be a proper, like six month, cohort of everyone starts together and finishes together. If you, I'm going to have to tell my scalable foundations people because they don't know this. So I'll make mental note to myself that I need to have a chat with them so they're not hearing it about it for the first time in the podcast. That's not a good, it's not a good business move from on my part to have your clients here about things second hand on a podcast instead of communicating with them what's going on? So, yeah, I'm, I'm, I'm evolving that a bit and I love this group and they are killing it every like. Literally every single one of them is killing it with their results and how far they've come since they've started. Like they're, they're, I love, I love working with them. And so you can go to. If you want to get on the waitlist for that, you can go to the scaling lounge, calm slash accelerator and get on that waitlist. And if you are making more consistent money, if you are like at about that six figure Mark, just you can either go to the. In the show notes it says like work with Adrian and like book a call, you just book a call. There's no pressure, you're going to get something like, you're going to learn something from that call. You're going to at least be moved in the right direction. And if it makes sense for me to say like oh, I think that you, you might be good for consulting, you might be good for, you might be good for sustainable growth lab, whatever that looks like, I'll, you know, point you in the right direction there. But the first step would be book that call with me and we can chat about, we can, we can chat about some things. So this was helpful. To recap You're just starting out and you're not. You're making money and you don't have time to sell your market. So I got up and find the time with love x o Adrian, if you are in the second category of, you are making some money, you're making some money consistently. You're probably the couple thousand dollars a month at least, but probably not quite the six figure market. We want to get you out of feast and famine cycles so that it's not every time you get a new client you, your sales and marketing processes stop or your sales and marketing efforts stop. So we want to make sure that we're allotting some intentional time to be able to sell and market start doing CEO days, allocate some time during that CEO day to focus on, like the bigger growth level tasks, marketing strategy, sales strategy and then you have to execute on those things. And if you are consistently making money, let's it's very nuanced, let's have a conversation about it, but what's probably going to have something to do with hiring, systemizing something in that range, depending on exactly where you're at and what your goals are and what you're good at and like to do. So hope this was helpful. Book that call get on the waitlist whatever makes the most sense for where you're at and I'll catch in the next one.

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