The Scaling Lounge: Business Strategy • Operations • Team

6 Ways to Scale Your Business as a Service Provider (without Burning Yourself Out) [RE-RUN]

November 17, 2023 Adriane Galea
The Scaling Lounge: Business Strategy • Operations • Team
6 Ways to Scale Your Business as a Service Provider (without Burning Yourself Out) [RE-RUN]
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

The word “scaling” is thrown around a lot, and I want to talk about what this means and what this looks like if you are a service provider – so if you’re a web designer, copywriter, interior decorator, astrology chart reader, accountant, lawyer, and I’d also add consultant to this list. 

We’re going to be covering the six ways you could scale your business as a service provider, which includes moving to an agency model, outsourcing SOME of the work in more of a mini-agency model, developing a retainer model, going e-commerce by creating a template shop, or transitioning into coaching or course creation. 

I’m also going to go into my perspective on when the right time to make one of these shifts would be, things you need to keep in mind about scaling, and how to not burn yourself out with whatever you choose to do.

Quick overview of what we cover: 

  • The six pivots you can make as a service provider to create scalability
  • The pros and cons of each model and making intentional decisions based on what you want so you don't burn out
  • How to know when it's the right time to start thinking about scaling
  • Common misconceptions around scaling you should know

RESOURCES: 


LET’S CONNECT: 


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Speaker 1:

Hey, so it has been a minute since we've published podcast episode.

Speaker 2:

After doing two per week for a really long time pretty consistently, and we're so close to a hundred episodes, we took a little bit of a break about a week and a half break and we're gonna slow down a little bit to the end of the year and then come January we're gonna pick back up with two episodes per week again. So we're also gonna be publishing some rerun episodes of some episodes that either were our most popular or that I think are actually really helpful, that are older, and that's what today's episode is going to be and it's, I think, one of the more helpful episodes. If you were it specifically for service providers and because it a question that I very commonly get asked about. When a service provider gets to the point of I'm at capacity, like how am I actually gonna, how do I actually grow this? Like I'm, I feel like I'm already spending all of my time working and I want to make more money and it doesn't like there's only so much of me in the day, so how can I actually like? When everyone talks about scaling, how could I actually scale this? And so that's what this episode is going to address, and, if this is relevant for you, there's going to be something really great that's free, coming to you soon. It's going to open for registration.

Speaker 1:

Next week it's going to be a free five-day live training series.

Speaker 2:

That's going to be really beneficial, really helpful that you'll want to keep your eyes peeled for. So let's get to this episode, and then we'll be back next week with a few more weeks of fresh episodes, and then we'll run some, some reruns through the end of the year, the holiday season, I hope you enjoy.

Speaker 1:

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.

Speaker 2:

We are going to be talking about six ways that you can scale your business if you are a service provider. So I specifically want to talk about if you're a service provider, because it does look a little bit different if you are a service provider versus if you are a coach. Those are the two primary types of business owners that I serve. I lump them all under one umbrella as like a service-based business owner, but realistically a service-based business owner could be learning-based or an actual service provider. And then there are, you know, other things that come under each of those umbrellas, like if you're a learning provider, you could be a coach, you could be a course creator. If you're a service provider, you could be just like a freelancing service provider. You could be an agency owner, etc. Anyhow, it looks a little bit different to scale as a service provider than it does if you are scaling as a coach, and so the biggest thing that contributes to that is oftentimes, when you are grow initially growing your business you have adopted, as a service provider, a fee-for-service model, as opposed to a retainer model, which most like learning-based. Learning-based businesses have some type of some type of retainer model because usually there's some type of payment plan. So, even though it's not like a straight-up retainer model where it's month after month open-ended, it's, you've still got recurring revenue coming through via payment plans with the option to pay in full, but it is you're getting paid for like a set amount of months or a set price that you are extending over an amount of time. There are other reasons that it looks differently, in that you are you are the service, right like you as the business owner are what fuels the business moving forward, whereas intellectual property is the thing that that fuels the business moving forward in a learning-based business. So there are just some like fundamental differences between if you are a service provider versus if you're a coach. That it just makes it different for you to be able to scale. So when I say scale, what I specifically mean is because there are a lot of misconceptions about what even is scaling. They're like there's so many people that throw that word around that are not using it correctly. So not to I love when I say this to people, not to mansplain this to you, but like I just want to make sure that everyone's on the same page of what it is that I mean when I say scaling is you are directly increasing the amount of people that you serve and the amount of money in which you are, that you are bringing into your business. Just stick with me grammatically on the way that that sentence wound up while decreasing your output. So you're increasing input while decreasing output. You're increasing input and that you are. You are serving more people, you're making more money, but you're decreasing your output in that it's taking less of your time. So that's how I would very generally define scaling. So when you look at most service providers, most freelancing service providers specifically, it becomes quite difficult to actually scale because you can't do the true definition even though it's a, it's a very loose definition of increasing your input while decreasing your output becomes difficult because it's literally just you and you hit capacity at some point right where it's different. Again, it's different if you are like a coach and you've got a learning based model, because there are lots of different ways where it might not be like truly infinitely scalable, but a learning based model has a, has a little bit more flexibility of like starting to remove where you are directly trading your time for the for what it is that you're providing, unless you are simply only providing one-on-one coaching. But there's, it's a much. It's a much more fluid transition into transitioning a one-on-one coaching, one-on-one coaching business into, you know, turning that into like a group coaching program or whatever. So for your service-based business, you, all of you freelancing entrepreneurs out there let's talk about scaling, and there's some things that I want to say before we, like really get into these six different things that I want to talk about. One of them is now that I've given you the mansplained definition of what I consider scaling to be. What I really want to make clear is that scaling does not need to be your ultimate goal. You also don't have to make something infinitely or truly scalable. Like there are ways of building out your income in a way that, like if you were using the definition, what I would say incorrectly but then again, I'm kind of a snob for using the right words we admit our faults where they exist. You know, like you can, you can use that term in a in a looser way and grow your, grow your business, grow your revenue, because that's what serves you best, based on what it is that you actually want. So, like where I've got, I know, the episode title here is six ways to scale your business as a service provider without burning yourself out. That, like I was like, okay, this is going to be the title of this episode. These are the things that I want to talk about. That without burning yourself out part is really incredibly important, because to not burn yourself out, I want you to get really clear on, really clear on who you even want to be in your business so that you really enjoy what you're doing. A lot of the things that I'm about to talk about around how to really to scale your business, you might not enjoy doing any of them, so it's okay, like you don't. Not everything has to be scalable. You don't need to scale your business in order to be, in order to make of an extraordinary income, to be extraordinarily profitable. In fact, a lot, of, a lot of the things that we're going to talk about like are they're they're less profitable in the long run because they involve other people. They they involve other people, bringing other people in to help to take over things, to outsource, to delegate to whatever. So it's okay, like, you can make an intentional choice to be like I don't have any desire to scale. Also, to continue my mansplaining definition type things, I would say that you're not really scaling until you are, like, already at the multi six figure point. That's also something that gets thrown around a lot, but, like, the way that I would look at business structures is I would say that like when you're growing, when you're starting out and then when you're if you've listened to my like the foundational framework I use at every stage of business, I think, I think I talk about this. I think or I talk about like how I stage businesses based on how much money they're making, because that's often very, very telling as to like what you need and what you should be doing if you want to continue to grow your income and not just like skate at the income level that you're at. But when you're growing your business to six figures, I would say that you're like startup, you're in, you're in the startup phase. Once you are around that six figure mark and you're wanting to go to six figures, that's a growth, that's a growth phase, entrepreneur, growth stage, growth stage. Entrepreneur could be stage or phase I use the words interchangeably and then, once you're at like that multi six figure mark, that's when you actually start to scale. So that's now you know all of my terminology when we talk about these things. You don't ever have to get to the point where you where, where I would consider you to be a scaling entrepreneur. That's fine if you're. If you never get there, you don't need to, because your, your personality and the things that you enjoy and the the person that you want to be in your business might not ever actually want to get to that point. So just be intentional around the decisions that you make. Take all this with a grain of salt. It's always good to have the knowledge around what you could do and what the possibilities are to be able to like, feel into it and reflect on it and whatever, but just not like all the talk that exists out there about scaling and growing your and more money and more money and more money and more money like it. That's really not the be all, end all goal of of what your business could be. Do what you do, what it is that you want to do, otherwise you will burn yourself out for sure. Um, the other thing that I want you to keep in mind is the more scalable something is, the more people you need in order to be able to do it. So I mean that is sort of within the definition of scaling. Is that increasing your input means making more money but also serving more people. Like if all you're doing is making more money and you're not also serving more people, all you're doing is raising your prices, like you're not actually scaling, you're just increasing your price points, so you need more people. Because you're serving more people, where are you getting those leads from? So it can sound really, even if you're like, oh my God, I'm a person who would love to transition into an agency model. I would love to be the boss of a lot of people. I would love to have like 100 people working for me and have a huge multi seven figure agency or like, if that's your thing, just keep in mind that in order for that to function, you've gotta have a constant way of replenishing your lead pool. So because where are those people coming from? Month after month after month. So just something to keep in mind the more scalable something is, the bigger your audience eventually is gonna have to be, because you've gotta find a way to continue to generate new leads. So, again, the more scalable something is, the more people that you need. Scaling does not need to be your ultimate goal and, in order to not burn out, I want you to get really clear on who you want to be in your business, so that you actually enjoy what you're doing. The very last thing that I wanna say here is when do you know you're ready to actually move forward into scaling? So yes, I would say that you would probably be around moving into the multi six figure mark. However, I think something that's really important to address here is there is a lot of benefit you don't have to do this, but there is a lot of benefit to getting to the point where your pricing structure is maxed out before you decide to make a pivot, unless there's like a lifestyle reason that you wanna make a pivot because it's gonna bring you more joy and it's gonna be more fulfilling to you in a lot of ways. But like getting your price point to the absolute highest that it could be and I really am speaking to those of you who are serving B2B, not B2C, so business to business, not business to customer or business to consumer you might have a business model where you are intentionally trying to provide really affordable price points for people, and that's a beautiful thing. So you don't necessarily have to do it this way, but I would get those prices to the point that they are maxed out for you, whatever that means for you, before you really start to pivot, so that you learn how to maximize your marketing efforts and learn how to sell at that price point, before you start to involve other things and essentially like, complicate your life, complicate your business by starting to transition to something else. Okay, that is my preamble to the six things that we're gonna talk about today, so let's get into this. So the first way that you could scale your business as a service provider is to transition into an agency model or a firm. Like, if you're a lawyer, you would not scale a law agency, you would scale a law firm sort of a thing, whereas if you were a marketing consultant, you probably would not scale a marketing firm, you'd probably scale a marketing agency, although I guess maybe marketing firm doesn't sound weird. Anyway, that's semantics, that's fine, moving into an agency or firm model. So really, what this would be doing would be taking whatever it is that you do and starting to find ways to replicate yourself. That's really the very overly simplified way of saying you can transition into an agency model is where you would essentially be taking your process of how it is you do what you do and hiring people specifically. When I say hiring, I mean hiring employees to do what it is that you do in the way that you do it. So the reason that people are working with you and paying you and what it is that you've become known for actually translates. This is different than hiring consultants. Hiring like 1099 contract workers not 1099 in other places in the world, I'm sure but if you were to hire contractors where they are not like an employee on payroll, that you are paying taxes on their behalf, et cetera, the difference between hiring a contract employee versus hiring an employee employee is there are a lot of differences. I'm not gonna go into all of them, but the big thing that I want you to keep in mind here is, if you hire a consultant, they are not able like you're not able to dictate the work that they do. You have a scope, that's in your contract and that's the work that they provide, but how they provide it is not something that you can dictate to them. You can, if it's in the scope of your contract to ask for revisions, then you can do for that. You can do that. However, they would work with you to find out, like the way that you would want something done. They're welcome to do that. That's within their rights to do that. But like you can't tell them, in order to complete this work, you have to use my methodology, you have to use my way of doing it. Like you can't do that with a contract employee, at least in the United States. I'm 99% certain that Canada is the same way and I happen to look it up this morning. I'm positive that it's the same way in Australia, so I'm assuming it's like that in most places in the world. And so when I say agency, there's a reason that I'm saying where you would actually hire employees and not just contractors, because you would not just be defining like a contractually defined scope of work, you would actually be training them on the way that you want it done. If you are ever in a situation where you're like I'm going to train you on how I want something done, you absolutely have an employee. You don't have a contractor. I'm not a lawyer. This is not legal advice. I'm not a proper HR consultant. I don't have any formal credentials to be offering you formal advice on what you can and can't do. But I've been doing this a really, really long time and I feel very comfortable saying that those are very specific differences of what you are and are not allowed to do. But, of course, consults professional counsel before making any firm decisions on what it is that you want to do. That's my disclaimer. That needs to be in there. But if you're like I'm going to hire a contractor and I'm going to train them on the way that I want things done, because I'm going to develop, I'm going to work out an agency model, like it's not legal, you're breaking. You are breaking labor laws in a lot of different countries, so you've got to be really careful about the way you're doing this. So that is something to keep in mind about the agency model Around. Do you want to be someone's actual boss? Because there is a difference between employing someone and just hiring a contractor. There's a lot more on the life. It's having done both, having done both for a really long time. Now, the first time I hired an actual employee rather than just hired a contractor would have been like 2017. I think it was the first time that, like I became someone's actual employer and it feels really different, like it truly. It feels very different. Like you've got in the US anyway, you've got to get workman's comp, insurance, there's like you're paying into their social security, like there's just so many things that you're like, oh wow, this is legit. That's very different than just someone like invoicing you for their thing. Or you're just like 1099ing them at the end of the day and you're just like, okay, I'm going to do gusto, or I'm going to do like whatever, and they're just going to get a 1099. There's just something very different about it. And do you actually want to be someone's boss? Do you want that responsibility? Do you want to? When you've got a team of employees, there are a lot of things around like what's the culture within your business? How do you want to shape that culture? How are you going to develop your employees? How are you going to like no one really wants a boss that's just going to like sit back and they're never going to be able to grow, they're never going to learn more, they're never going to develop their own skills, like I mean, you might find someone somewhere that like that might be an ideal fit for them, but that's really not the way that it works. When you are hiring people like you are, you're developing the way that you are changing, the way that you're thinking about your own business and your own practices and the way that you're working with clients and all those things Like those are things that are going to get, that are going to get filtered down through your team and through your employees and like it's so much more to be someone's boss in that way than it is to just hire a contractor Now that there's anything wrong with just hiring a contractor that word just is not meant to be like any type of qualifier one way or another because that might be the better fit for you. And if you really don't want to be someone's boss, the true agency model might not be the best fit for you. You might be able there are some unicorn ways of doing this where you could have an agency model that functions just through contractors, and that's a very specific way of doing things. But I would say that if you want to go more toward the agency route, like you probably at some point, are going to have to think about being someone's boss. Even that, I would say that you probably could have a mix where not everyone is an employee, where you've got some contractors and some employees. But I think that if you really wanted to scale an agency model, you would have to be a contractor at some. Percentage of your team is going to have to be employee-based and not contract-based. So that's just something that you want to keep in mind about an agency model. So what I would say one of the pros because I want to go through like the pros and cons of each of these so the pro of moving into an agency model. So let's say you're a web designer and you've got your signature web design process. You're a show-it web designer. You've got what you do on show-it down to a T, you've maxed your price point out, you know how to market at that level, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. And now you want to develop a web design agency where you are going to hire other web designers who can do what it is that you do, maybe even branch out into having a copywriter so that you're doing the copy in-house. And maybe you're hiring a web developer also so that there's someone who's handling the coding side of things. Maybe you're handling, maybe you're going to hire an SEO expert. So you get like there are all different things that you can do under the scope of a web design agency that you could wind up branching out into. The pro of that is really that it is. It can be infinitely scalable, like you can grow an agency as large as you have the capacity for as the owner of that company, so there is so much room to scale. When you move into an agency model, the con is really becomes you are going to see a drop in your profit margins. You, as a freelancing service provider, you probably make pretty good profit margins. You know, maybe you've invested in like some contract support. Maybe you've got like a VA or an OBM or some type of small contracted team. Maybe you are investing in coaching, so you've got some type of mentor. Maybe you're investing in some systems that, like, really the systems probably are not going to cut very much at all into the profit that you're making. They're just one of those necessary parts of doing business that, in the big scheme of things, probably are not all that big of a percentage compared to what you could be making if you were to the point where you're really thinking about okay, is it really time to scale Beyond that? Like, you've probably got pretty good profit margins. That's not the case when you've got an agency, because you have. You have labor to factor in. Once you start factoring labor in, particularly when you are taking into account that you probably are going to need an employee at some point. At some point and there I saw a statistic recently that was like, if you want to figure out what you need to budget to be able to hire an employee, you really want to think about what you would be paying them and add somewhere between 30 and 40% to that to have enough money to pay taxes. If you're going to offer benefits, if you're going to offer paid leave, like any of the extra things that you could be offering beyond, just like paying taxes that you would want to calculate. So, like, whatever you think you're going to pay them, you're going to need to multiply that by 1.3 or 1.4 in order to get the figure for what you probably are going to want to budget to be able to pay them. So once you start factoring in labor costs, that really eats into your profit margins. You might hear me I haven't talked this much since like I'm quite sick right now. So if my voice sounds funny or you start hearing me, clear my throat. That's what's going on. I'll try not to clear my throat. If I have to clear my throat. I'll try to pause it so you don't hear that. But it's going to eat into your profit margins and so that's just something to keep in mind. But in the big scheme of things, like if it becomes infinitely scalable, you can still run a really lean agency and still have really great profit margins, but it's not going to be comparable to what you are getting as a freelancing service provider. So that is the agency or firm model. Let's see, I caught myself that time. I had to clear my throat again. I was like I'm not going to do it in their ear and I paused it. So okay. So the second thing that we're, the second transition that you can make, is to outsource or delegate some of the work. So I would call this like the agency light or the mini agency, where you're not really going into a full blown agency model but you are going to bring other people on to to hand off some of the work to. So the biggest difference here is where I went like really in depth into, like employee versus contractor is that this outsourcing or delegating some of the work you're probably going to be looking more at outsourcing, which you outsource to contractors, you delegate to employees. So you're probably looking more along the lines of outsourcing. And the reason that I say that this is like agency light is because you probably are not going to grow like a full blown agency where you are known for providing a very specific, very specific structure to how you work with people. If it's like you provide, you do, a really specific structure around the way that you copy, the way that you write copy for people, like your strategies and the way of doing things. If you aren't set on, like keeping all of those things around the strategy that you, that you use and you're willing to say, if you're that, show it, if you're that show it web designer, like maybe you're willing to contract another show it web designer to come in and clean up the websites that you do, or where you're hiring another show it web designer to come at, like you start it, you create the bones of the website, or maybe you create one page and then you hire someone to come in and create the rest of the pages or to build out from, like, the skeleton of what that of the of what the website looks like. And you can, you can do that. You can do that just by having a contractor. So it's. You know it's not infinitely, infinitely, infinitely scalable, but it would work to be able to take on considerably more work than you're able to take on on your own without having the the responsibilities and the purview of being someone's, being someone's boss and like growing out the full agency model, so outsourcing or delegating some of the work in that like agency light model, I would say the big pro here is having more flexibility. Without more flexibility to take on more work without having a bunch of employees and I say that as, like you're probably either going to want to go the full blown agency model or you're not. So while it's not really a pro to not have to take on a bunch of employees, like it's just it's just personal preference, but I'm going to go ahead and say that it's probably a pro if that's what you would want to consider in in this, knowing what I know like if you don't want to have a full blown agency, you just want to have, like you would just want to outsource some of the work and have somebody doing some of it so that you're not doing all of it yourself. Like that's probably that probably would be a pro for you to not have to have a bunch of employees. So that's that. A con of this particular model is you can start to lose control over the work. That really is the benefit of having employees and having having the agency model, where you've got employees working for you because you control the work product, you control the way in which they produce results for the agency's clients, you control the methodologies and the standards to which the other workers are held when they're completing work, right. So when you are looking at you're just not just just as a is a qualifier word that that makes it sound like it's less than in some way, and that's not the case at all. But when you are, when you are hiring contractors to, you know, finish the work that you started or to build out the rest of the website after you finished one page or whatever, whatever that looks like based on what it is that you do I don't need to keep coming back to web design is as the specific example here but you know, when you've got a contractor doing that work, you lose some. You lose control over some of the work that gets produced because you are not allowed to tell them how you want them to do it. You're just you're hiring someone that is quite, is skilled enough at what they do to be able to produce the high, high enough quality result that you would expect. And then you know they're they're going to complete the work for you, whereas you have a lot more control when you have an actual employee completing the work. So that is something to keep in mind. That would say maybe that's, you know again, like pros and cons, like anything can be looked at in either lens of you know, everything's a little bit subjective. So maybe that might be like my perfectionist coming out, my any a gram three coming out I don't know what. Like whatever I'm, I'm a little bit of a control, I'm a lot of a control freak. I've got a lot of my control freak, nature's go, but I'm still kind of a control freak. So that to me is a con. Like I want to be able to. I want to be able to have a little bit more say in in the work product that gets completed for my clients. So when I looked at, ok, I think I'm going to go the agency route, I was like I'm going to have employees though, so that's, that's that. So number one agency model. Number two agency light, where you're outsourcing or delegating some of the work, but not fully going into the agency model. The third thing is you can develop. You can go into a retainer model. So this is where I'm going to not use web designers, because I keep defaulting to using that as a as an example. Let's say you are interior, you're an interior designer, you're still a designer, but you're a interior designer. So if you were to have a retainer model, this might be where you were, where you would transition into maybe developing a retainer where you are working with realtors to stage homes, so you've got a, so you're on retainer that when someone has an empty house they're going to, because you're on retainer, they're going to call you and you're going to come stage the house for them, as opposed to solely working with, like just individual clients on a one off basis, or maybe not just even a realtor, but like a developer. Like if you've got a new home builder where you are going, you're going to be on retainer for them to come and stage their, their model home in all of their new, all of their new builds that they've they've got. That's, that's what it would be to move into a retainer model. So the Pro really of moving into that retainer model is the MRR that comes out of it. So, mrr, if you're not familiar with that, I'm just going to give you all the explanations of all the things because I don't want anyone to feel like she just said something and it's totally over my head. I have no idea what you're talking about. So MRR is monthly recurring revenue. It gives you long-term, consistent and predictable MRR. So that is and I would say that that is not subjective that is definitely an advantage to be able to know that. If you've got to continue using that example of you're an interior designer and you've got a retainer model for developers or realtors or whatever that you could work with and you could probably find a way to do that with home owners, or maybe you've got like wealthy homeowners who want you to come in and every month you're going to redecorate the outside of their house or to like have seasonal decorations going on you could probably there's a way of finding to make anything work. I'm sure someone out there probably has that type of model somewhere for an interior designer. But regardless, you know that you are signing someone for the next six months a year. However long that contract is. You know that you can expect X amount of dollars coming in every single month, month after month, and that is it's so. Where I'll say the con of this is it's not really infinitely scalable. In that sense it's more. It's scalable and when you're charging that retainer you know that you've got predictable income coming in and oftentimes you are going to increase the price point and you can serve more people because it's not one massive project that you're coming in and having to take on. Right the way, if someone would be hiring you to do one project as opposed to maintenance style projects they're typically you typically can take more people on in a retainer model, depending on the what you're actually providing as the service. Might not be true, I guess in the example that I gave were like if you had to go stage a whole house, it would be the same thing from time to time. Unless you were staging the house like you were reusing all furniture. It was sort of just like down to a science. You weren't having to go shop and create mood boards and create models and examples and go through a whole production process to get to make choices of like what's the tile choice or what's the countertop choice or what's the fabric choice or whatever, where you can just like transpose that into whatever home you're going into and reuse things and whatever. So I guess it would be maybe not, as not in the same way of like if someone hired you to go back to this example as a web designer on retainer. You know, if someone emails you and says, okay, well, I'm going to be, you know, we've got to change this website to say this like that's a. It's quite different than having to go design the whole website again, where you're like swapping pictures out or swapping copy out for someone. So, but often, in a retainer model, you're able to serve more people and make more money and more consistent recurring revenue because of just like the, just the way that the model winds up working out. And the con to that, though, is, at some point you will still hit capacity. It is not infinitely scalable Not that everything needs to be infinitely scalable, unless you move into the agency model, where you have the retainer model also combined, hybridized, with the agency. So that's number three. Number four is you could develop an e-commerce template shop. So this would be if you are a copywriter. I'm going to try to use different examples. If you're a copywriter, you could create copy templates. You could create all different kinds of copy templates. You could create email copy templates. You could create website copy templates. You create all kinds of templates and then you sell them in a template shop and that is completely, infinitely scalable, completely passive income when you've got a digital product like that. So I would say that that is the pro of it is you've got completely passive, completely scalable income that could come out of developing some type of template shop and selling as an e-commerce store. The con to this is with those lower price points. Remember that the more scalable something is, the more people it requires. Is you really are going to need a replenished audience in order to see money from this. So even if you are someone who sells a really expensive, a higher priced template, like in comparison, you're still going to need more people because it's just someone downloads the thing and then they're good to go. When you've got that templated style model, you need consistent people coming in month after month after month, coming in and accessing it so that you continue to get paid for it. So it's about having that infinite scalability, having that completely passive income. You are setting yourself up to need to increase your audience size or to be able to get in, increase your visibility in some way where you're getting in front of fresh eyeballs pretty consistently, so you're bringing them into your email list or you're running ads. You're doing whatever, however, that looks like for you, in order to really see consistent money, month after month after month, from this. The fifth thing would be to hybridize e-commerce with your service, and I would say that this, predominantly, would happen through like a VIP day, so you could do something. I'm going to go back to the website example, just because this is really simple for me is if you were that show at web designer, you can create show at templates and you can sell them, and those are things that probably have higher price points on them. I've seen people sell show at website templates for literally thousands of dollars and they're worth it. They're beautiful, they're highly customized. Like their show at website, templates tend to be sold for a little bit more money. So you could take those templates that you've created and you could hybridize it with your service to create a VIP day where someone is choosing, they can go and they can choose any template that they want. It's included in the price of, like I said, it's probably going to be through a VIP day, so I'll just use that as the example. They can choose whichever template they want they're going to, it's included in the price of the VIP day and when they come on the day for their VIP day, you're going to, you're going to talk to them about, you know they're all the colors and all the fonts and all of this and all of that, and get everything that you need in order to build a branded website for them, so that you are. But you are going to edit the template for them, rather than them purchasing the template and then they're going to figure it out what all they've got to do. They're going to come in and for the VIP day, they're going to provide you with all of the copy, unless you add that in as a separate service, and you're going to completely customize your own template for them in. You know however long it takes you, and in a number of hours rather than. You know if you're doing a full website build, for someone like that could take months, right, as someone who has been a web designer like it could take months to do a like a full web build. So you're taking that process and because you've got a template for it. You're just tweaking the template and customizing it to to match their brand and then, at the end of the day, you're done. And so this is not really scalable in the sense of what I was. What I was talking about in the beginning of like, what is the definition of scaling? It's not scalable in that sense. But what I would say here is the real pro of this is you can make so much money as a freelancer with this model. It's not even funny and this is really like if, when I talked about employees and contractors and and being people's boss and doing this, and if you were like, throw up, like I would rather, I would rather eat week old, I don't, I don't know where I'm going with that example like you would rather do anything except be someone's boss, this would be a really great option for how you could really like not necessarily increase, increase the input, like so, so, so much, but you could drastically decrease your output. Drastically, because someone who's doing like I know people who are doing this as a, as a web designer, let's say. I know people who are charging like five grand and it takes them. It takes them maybe five or six hours to do to get through the whole template and in five or six hours they make their five grand and that's it and that's it. And they do like one of them per week and they spend another few hours a week staying visible, marketing, doing whatever they're going to do, getting on the discovery calls to sell the things or whatever. But they're working like 10, 15 hours a week and making like 20 grand a month literally. And that's just, that's just one example and it takes you a minute to get there. Like I don't necessarily think that, if you are just starting out, that that's the move, necessarily it could be, depending on what your, what your background is and what your experiences and how, how comfortable you are with selling and how well you understand your market and how to speak to them and all those. But it's a it's, it is a move. If you want to stay a freelancer but you really want to increase your, increase, your income, it might not be an income increase for you but it very well could be an income increase for you while drastically decreasing your output. Like that's, that's a move right there. Hybridize an e commerce template style shops. You can still sell, you can still have your template shop and that very well could make you a decent amount of money on that and also that is scalable. But then you're offering it also as a VIP day where someone comes in and they they pay you to just customize the template for them. They're not, they're gonna, they don't want to do the template themselves. So the pro here you make a lot of money as freelancer if that's, if that's what you want, if you want to just stay freelancing, you don't want to deal with being anybody's boss, you don't want to deal with having a team, any of that. Whatever, this could be a really good move for you, and the con, though, is, I would say, it could be monotonous. I actually took me. I was like I don't really know the kind of this, like if that's what you're looking for, if you really just want to stay a freelancer, like there really aren't very many cons to this, other than if I was like no, I've got to come up with something. It could be monotonous to like. You know you've got the same three templates that you're doing constantly and you know like, okay, plug and play, but if you're alright with it, like it doesn't necessarily have to be monotonous and the people are different and you're changing. You know the people that you're speaking with and different niches and different colors and different like. You can find a way to make it fun, I guess, but I would say it's like if I really had to search for a car. If you want to stay freelancing, like, there's really not very much of a downside, I think, to that model. And then the sixth thing, sixth and last thing that I want to talk on is transitioning into coaching or course creation, and I saved this one for last because I think it is the overplayed move. Not that there's anything wrong with this move, but I think that people default into this move of like I don't really know how else I'm going to be able to grow my business further, so I'm going to become a coach. Or if the service that you're providing is not going as well as you necessarily were expecting it to, okay, I'm going to transition into coaching and I don't. Again, I don't necessarily think that's the move. So if you are someone who really loves to teach, if you love learning, if you love figuring out how to translate your process into something that can work for other people, and you are really Dedicated to the idea and in love with the idea of of turning your processes and the way that you think about doing the service that you provide for people in a very intellectual way. Because, again, when you go into coaching, coaching or course creation mixing my words up coaching or course creation you are really you're getting more into, like, the service, the product is intellectual property. If, like, that's really your jam, if you really love to teach, if you really want to work with people in that way and mentor them and guide them and whatever, then great, I'm all for it. But I think that there are a lot of people that default into coaching or course creation because they're like I can make more money and that's a bad reason to do anything. I think that's a bad reason to do anything and more than that is, if you happen to not be great at communicating information in that way and communicating intellectual property, in communicating your intellectual property in a way that you are actually educating someone in that way, you could be doing a real disservice for people. But if that's, if that's where you're like, no, I would love that, then let's do it. So, transitioning into coaching or course creation I had to put that little disclaimer on there because I believe we should all have integrity in the decisions that we make it within our business. So you want to move into coaching or course creation. This essentially, you're moving into the realm of. You can have an ascension model or you can have a product suite. So you're taking whatever it is that you do and you are and you are systemizing it in such a way where you're going to teach other people what it is that you do, and you can go two different ways here. You could go where you are teaching other service business owners like you how to do what it is that you did to make money and how to make more, make money more efficiently, or start their business and get involved. You know how to become the copywriter, how to become the web designer, how to become the interior designer, how to become the whatever, and you go into, like the, a business type of coach for a specific, for a specific industry. Or you could go into teaching other people how to write their own copy or how to build their own websites or how to decorate their own house. So there are people who either want to learn how to do with themselves, they have an interest in wanting to have maybe their control freaks like me and they wanted to be able to do themselves, or because it's you know, it's a financial issue where they just don't have the money to pay someone to come in and do everything for them. There could be a lot of different reasons that someone would want to have it, have it shown to them rather than just done for them. So those are the two different ways that you could go with. Either when when you, when you transition into like more of a learning model, what I would say is don't do both. If you're like I'm a service provider and I'm going to move into coaching, a course creation, and I'm going to both teach other other people who want to have their business as a service provider, like I've done, and I'm going to show other people how to do that, do this thing for themselves, you now have three completely separate audiences. You have an audience of people who want you to do the stuff for them. You've got an audience of people who want to grow their own business and you've got an audience of people who want to be shown how to do what it is that you know how to do. You've got three completely different audiences that you need to learn how to speak to. So don't do both. Eventually do both of that's, if that's where you really want to do, I guess, but maybe don't do both of them at once. Like don't look at, ok, I'm going to transition into coaching or course creation and I'm going to, I'm going to do both, I'm going to see what works. That's, that's the spaghetti at the wall approach. So and I don't think enough people say that before they're like, they're like, sure you've, if you want to coach, you can totally work with these people, or those people are both of them and they're not. I think there's not enough conversation out there. I'm like, but you're actually picking two completely different audiences when you do that. Anyway, I digress. So the pro here of transitioning into coaching or course, to turning into transitioning into a learning model, is having an Ascension model, and when I say Ascension model, I very loosely mean that once someone completes one thing with you, you've got something else that you can move them into. So for me this looks like you know, I've got scalable foundations, which is a membership, and that's if you're making less than like twenty five hundred US dollars per month consistently. That's where you would start. Once you're over that price point, then you've got sustainable growth lab, and so there's a way that, like, once you've completed the assignment with me and you've you've completed the objective, you've gotten learning outcome. There's something else that I can move you into. So that's loosely what an Ascension model is, or product suite, which also that is your Ascension model, is your product suite, is your product suite. But you can also have a product suite that's not based on an Ascension model, where you've got, you know, you've got this type of thing and that type of thing and they're, for you know, different, they do different things and they don't necessarily have to be done sequentially or whatever. So but when you've got a product suite or an Ascension model, it creates a lot of scalability for you because you can continue to go back to the same well to and draw from that, from that well again, and it starts to remove. It increases your input and decreases your output because you can. You can grow the amount of people that you're serving through a group coaching program and even if you've got a lot of people, I've heard a lot of people say, like group coaching programs aren't infinite, infinitely scalable where courses are, and I agree with that. But I would also argue that group coaching programs can absolutely be more scalable than you think they could be because you can just add pods, like you can have the same, you can have the same material, but you just meet with, you know if you can only serve 10 people at once or 20 people at once, you just create another cohort and you can. You know, there it doesn't really add anything on to you, except for the hour a day that you're showing up for that particular group of people or whatever. Anyway, it creates a lot of it creates it creates the ability to scale through having a product suite. The con is that you are creating a completely separate audience from which you need consistent leads. All of the other things we talked about the retainer model, the agency model, template shot would also be. You are creating a completely separate audience from what you really need a consistent set of leads all the time. And that is also the downfall of transitioning into coaching or course creation, because you are no longer serving people who want you to just do the thing for them. You're serving people who want your guidance on how to, how to do the thing themselves, and that is a very different person. So you're having, you're going to have to learn to market to that new audience. And that's it. Those are the six things. So, to recap the six, the six different ways that we talked about, one would be to evolve into an agency or firm model. Number two would be to do the agency light, to outsource or delegate some of the work. The third thing was develop a retainer model. The fourth thing was develop an e-commerce template shop. The fifth was hybridizing your e-commerce shop with your service, like through a VIP day. And the sixth was transitioning into coaching or course creation, and that is how you could scale a service business. And again, you don't have to scale. You don't have to scale. So I would say, if you want help with doing any of these things, you could join scalable foundations or you could join sustainable growth lab or one-on-one coaching. I've got lots of different ways that I work with people. I'm not here to do a big advertisement for that. If you are interested in learning how you could create a business model that could eventually be scaled, or if you're ready to scale and you're interested in working with me, let me know. But those are the six things on how you could scale a service-based service, where you could scale a service, not just a service-based business scale, an actual service. I feel like I'm getting loopy, so this is an excellent place to end. I will catch you guys on the next one.

Scaling Your Service-Based Business
Transitioning to an Agency or Firm
Scaling an Agency
Transitioning to Agency Models
Grow Freelancer Income
Transitioning Into Coaching or Course Creation
Options for Scaling a Service-Based Business