We talk a lot about building a sustainable business–but what does this exactly mean? In this post, we’re going back to the basics to talk about sustainable business growth, why it matters, and how to prioritize it in your business.
We aren’t talking about environmental sustainability–albeit how important that topic is! At the core of a sustainable business is sustainable financial growth. But when your business grows and your cash flow increases, things shouldn’t begin to fall apart (your sanity included).
Sustainable business growth focuses on efficiency, organization, processes, procedures, a scalable offer suite, and delegation.
As your business grows, you will reach this sticking point:
→ I can’t keep doing it all because I don’t have more time to give.
You aren’t alone. This sticking point is where many business owners get stuck for months and even years. For example it’s scary to delegate, it’s hard to create systems and processes, and it’s tough to restructure an offer suite. But then when you reach the point of sustainable growth, it’s so worth it.
Building a sustainable business is crucial if you want to increase your business revenue and growth potential without it depending on you increasing your hours working. Building a sustainable business matters if you want vacation time, shorter workdays, maternity or paternity leave, or just want to disconnect from work and know your business is still running.
It’s a hard transition going from running a business to owning a business. And when you run your business, you are hands-on in daily tasks, daily client work, daily operations, etc. But when you step back and take the role of CEO, you delegate, operationalize, and streamline ongoing business tasks.
If you want to increase revenue without getting burned out, you need to focus on sustainable business growth.
Sustainable practices have to be woven into every area of your business as you grow. The three main areas in your business to start reviewing are:
Your offer suite: The goal of a sustainable offer suite is to avoid solely exchanging time for money in your offers. Creating products or building a one-to-many service model are two of the easiest ways to adapt your offer suite. You want to continue offering the highest level of service to clients without working extremely long days! We recommend implementing a client relationship management (CRM) tool, such as Dubsado or Honeybook, to save you time in your onboarding and offboarding processes. If you want to learn more details about building a scalable and sustainable offer suite, head to this post.
Your team: As you scale your business, you will need support. Hiring support can be in the form of contractors, part-time, or full-time employees for your organization. Onboarding roles such as assistants, social media managers, copywriters, business managers, and graphic designers are a few common internal hires for growing businesses. The type of team member you hire and role you choose to outsource should be a strategic choice–and one made with intentionality and a foundation already in place to effectively add them to your team (like documented processes and responsibilities.) At first, it may be hard to let go of the tasks you’ve done for your business. Get ready for some discomfort!
Your systems: As you hire more team members, you need to have standard operating procedures. This helps everyone so they know how to perform tasks for your business. In addition, it will be crucial to have a project management (PM) system to assign tasks, track progress, and stay organized as a team. For example, we recommend checking out ClickUp or Asana if you haven’t started using a PM tool yet. If you want to learn more about why you need a PM system, head to this post.
The most important thing to remember is that building a sustainable business won’t happen overnight. For instance, it takes time to structure a scalable offer suite, it takes time to develop your SOPs, it takes time to hire, and it takes time to get comfortable with this new business model.
In simple terms, building a sustainable business means building a business that does not rely fully on your daily influence to continue to be profitable.
Is your business sustainable? Do you know what you need to do to create a sustainable business? Let’s talk it through on a free discovery call.