Not every entrepreneur wants or needs to scale their business. And that’s okay! But if you do want to go through this third stage of business, then you’ll have to show up differently than you did in either of the previous two stages. In this final part of my business growth series, I talk about what it looks like to scale and the foundational habits, tasks, and mindset needed for success at this point in your business.
On this episode of Promote Yourself to CEO:
2:41 – What’s often missing from the conversation about scaling your business?
8:21 – You’ll need to put this in place when you’re ready to move beyond a lifestyle business.
13:14 – I talk about the “lifestyle creep” I see with a lot of entrepreneurs.
15:13 – What’s your vision, and why do you want your business to grow?
17:16 – You’ll need to plan further ahead and undergo this focus shift as your company expands.
22:28 – What do the most consistently-growing and fastest-growing businesses do that others don’t?
25:04 – I discuss the necessity of uncomplicating your business and how to dramatically increase your visibility as you scale.
31:37 – This next piece of the puzzle is where some people drop the ball. But it’s the easiest place to start getting support.
33:09 – People will often use a rebrand opportunity as a distraction. So when should you wait to level up your branding?
38:45 – I talk about sales as you scale, specifically making the process as “rinse and repeat” as possible while maximizing your profits.
46:26 – Along with leadership skills, your business growth success depends on your personal development too. Why?
Mentioned in Scaling Your Business When You Want to Move From Solopreneur to CEO Level
- The Ultimate Business Growth Checklist
- The 90-Day CEO Planner
- The CEO Collective
- The CEO Retreat
- Fired Up and Focused Challenge
- Double Double and Vivid Vision books by Cameron Herold
- “From Struggling to Selling Out Offers: a Case Study with Leesa Klich”
- “Keys to Aligning Your Marketing, Brand, and Overall Business Vision in 2022 with Beth Gebhard”
- Uncommonly More
- Racheal on Instagram and TikTok
- Leave a review on iTunes
Warning, a little bit of a Rach rant before we dive into today's episode in part three, all about my Business Growth Checklist, the three stages of business growth for women entrepreneurs. Here it is, you ready? Not everybody needs to scale their business. That's it. There is so much noise out there right now about growing-growing-growing, scaling-scaling-scaling, 10xing your business, and honestly, it's not for every entrepreneur, and that is okay.
I wanted to include this stage because there are some who are ready for this stage and who actually want this type of business. No shame in that. I'm there too, I'm with you. But I do think it's important to say that not everybody needs to do this, because this is where things get a little bit different in entrepreneurship. This is where the way you show up is very different. Your role is very different. It's not for everyone. That's okay. If you still want to listen on and see what it looks like to scale, what are the essential tasks in this stage of business, keep on listening. This is part three of the business growth series.
Are you ready to grow from solopreneur to CEO? You're in the right place. I'm your host, Racheal Cook. I've spent the last decade helping women entrepreneurs start and scale service-based businesses. If you're serious about building a sustainable business, it's time to put the strategy, systems, and support in place to make it happen. Join me each week for candid conversations about stepping into your role as CEO, the hard lessons learned along the way, and practical profitable strategies to grow a sustainable business without the hustle and burnout.
Hey there, CEO. Welcome to part three of this business growth series here on Promote Yourself to CEO. It has been so fun to dig into the new, fresh updated Business Growth Checklist with you, dive deep into these three stages of business growth. You can get the entire checklist at theceocollective.com/checklist. This is hands down one of the most powerful tools I've created for my clients.
As I shared earlier in this series, I created this because of my clients because I was hearing so many stories of frustration when they were trying to go after the strategies that they were told would get the results they were looking for, and not seeing the results that they wanted. Honestly, it's because most of the strategies that are out there, they're getting all the hype, they sound so exciting and sexy, they are to scale a business, they are not to start a business. Honestly, they're not for a business who doesn't have the solid foundations to handle scale.
This is important and I think this conversation is important before we get into scaling a business because too many people think that all you have to do to scale a business, all you have to do to grow at this faster pace, is do all the marketing and sales activities. That's what all the hype out in the internet world is about. It's all about marketing. It's all about making more sales.
But you know what they don't talk about very often? They don't talk about their clients. They don't talk about how to make sure their clients are getting results, how they're taking care of their clients, and what are the processes and systems in place to handle that volume of clients because when you add more clients, you have a lot more people to take care of.
They don't talk about that. There's not much conversation going on around that. That's one reason when you hear me talk about marketing, I talk about attract, engage, nurture, invite, and the most crucial part to me, delight, making sure you've really dialed in that customer experience. If we're not talking about that, you're not really truly ready to scale, then you're in it for the wrong reasons, honestly. That's just my hot take on this. I'm not about that. I know the people who follow me are not about that either.
I know, if you're listening, you give a sh*t about your clients, you care about your clients, and you don't want to just be selling-selling-selling and then not able to deliver at a high level. The other thing that is missing from the scale conversation is what does it look like internally in their team? How do they run a business like that? How many people does it truly take? I think what makes it even more confusing is there's a lot of business celebrities out there who we're all following, we all know their names, but we don't know who's on their team. We don't even know what their team looks like. There's no way to know.
In fact, a lot of people tend to believe that because a lot of these internet celebrities, these business celebrities are running businesses under their personal brand, they can quickly confuse people and people don't realize how big of a team it takes to have a business at that level. This leads to a cycle of people investing into program after program after program hoping they're going to finally understand how they can grow their business at this stage and at this scale.
Because these pieces of the puzzle are missing, their operations and the delivery, they're confused because everything keeps breaking. They can't keep the team on board. They feel like they're stopping and starting. Even if they have the marketing and sales figured out, marketing and sales will not solve every problem. It just won't.
I'm starting this conversation with that little rant because I want everyone to listen to this with eyes wide open. I want people to know that scaling a business is not just about making more money. It is about serving more people. It is about serving your clients. That's one demographic of people we're serving. It's also about serving your team. That's the other demographic of people we are serving.
At this stage, if you are scaling your business, and you are not thinking about how you're truly taking care of those two people, your clients and your team, then you are going to find yourself in an absolute sh*t show of a business. I have seen this happen. I have seen the impacts of catastrophic growth; growth that happens so quickly, and there is no infrastructure behind the scenes to handle this many clients, to take care of this many clients, to take care of the team, then clients aren't happy, they're upset, their needs aren't getting met, the promises aren't being fulfilled, and the team is getting burned out because they're getting the brunt of all the negativity from the clients. You start to see it when you see teams that are just churning like crazy. They can't keep anybody to stick.
If you've been around as long as I have in this internet entrepreneurship space, knowing as many people as I know, the stories we could talk about with businesses that yes, they blew up, they made seven figures, eight figures, made the Inc. 5000 list but they can't hold on to their team members. Word on the street is that a lot of their clients are unhappy, but those clients are afraid to say anything because they signed a document saying they wouldn't give negative feedback, negative reviews, or talk negatively about that company.
You can tell I have a lot of opinions on this subject. I just think a lot of that is because I believe so strongly in running a business with integrity. I would rather grow slower, slow down on the sales and marketing so that I'm simultaneously growing the delivery and experience and taking care of my team and the operations all at the same time. We don't want to have catastrophic growth where sales and marketing is taking off but the business truly cannot handle it.
There's my little rant. Let's get into stage three. This stage is when businesses are ready to shift from being primarily a lifestyle business to truly stepping into having a company. A lifestyle business is usually a solopreneur who might have a few contractors, might have a few people on their team to help them with the day-to-day of their business, but they don't usually have a core team who is doing all the different areas of their business, doing their marketing, their sales, their delivery of their product, program, or service and running the day-to-day.
If you are ready to scale, you are going to need a core team which means people that you're managing, people who are responsible for different areas of your business. Ultimately, it means you're stepping out of being the operator in many areas of your business and you're truly stepping into the CEO.
This is a big shift. This means a whole new level of strategy, of leadership. It means your focus has changed. You're not in the nitty gritty day-to-day. You are focused on moving this business forward, on holding the vision of where you're going, and having the big picture while everyone else is actually doing the day-to-day implementation.
Your focus at this stage is growth. Your business is ready to grow. You have a product, program, or service that is proven, meaning you can get incredible results for your clients. You get those results consistently. It's very systematic. You have a process or a system you take your clients through and you could scale that product, program, or service to a million dollars in annual sales without working more hours yourself.
You may even, at this stage, be at the point where you have your team taking over the creation and delivery of your product, programs, and services. You have gotten to the point where you're no longer the only person working with your clients or engaging with your clients. That's a huge shift for a lot of us because a lot of us started our businesses as the service provider, the coach, as the consultant, as the designer, as a photographer, as the makeup artist, as the personal trainer, whatever it is that you do. A lot of us started doing the thing ourselves and as you're ready to scale, now you have other people who are doing the thing for your clients.
The challenge here is that shift. It's a big one. It's a big shift going from solopreneur to CEO. If you're going after a lot of growth, it means you cannot do the things that got you to the lifestyle business. You have to level up, you have to go after a bigger audience. You have to get in front of more and more and more people. Marketing changes quite a bit because of the volume that's generally needed at this level.
Marketing and generating new potential clients becomes the focus and the goal is how do we continue getting in front of new people? How do we make enough sales to scale, and of course, the other goal is the solopreneur to CEO, now you have to lead people. This is where your marketing and sales is usually leveraged. I don't like to use the word passive because I don't think that's true for most of us. I think things are moving too fast now for something to stay passive for very long. It used to be that you could set up a funnel and just let it go.
I think you can do that. But the time that it will continue to work for you is probably limited if you don't have ways to send new traffic to it, because there are too many things changing too fast. Ads used to be able to set it and they would run for a period of time, now you just need a lot more marketing. You might be looking at more paid advertising. You might be looking at more sophisticated sales strategies. You might even be considering bringing on a sales team. These are a whole new level of things that we're working towards.
Your personal money goal at this stage is beyond just paying yourself a great salary. At this level, when you're really starting to scale, you have an opportunity here to build real wealth for yourself and for your family, you have an opportunity to—and this is what gets me excited about the stage—to provide amazing careers to the people on your team. You have an opportunity to be somebody's dream job. That's exciting to me.
I love that idea that the people who work with me, because they work in my team, I'm able to compensate them so well that they're able to live their dream life, where it's helping contribute to them getting there. That's so exciting to me. But one of the biggest mistakes I see with a lot of, especially entrepreneurs is they get hung up in the Keeping Up with the Joneses, the lifestyle creep with their money. They might finally start having a lot of money, extra money, then they start with the lifestyle creep and they start spending their money on a lot of things that aren't assets that aren't going to continue to build them wealth.
I caution people against that in the Business Growth Checklist. Oh my gosh, the stories I could tell you. If you know anything about my history, I grew up with two entrepreneurial parents. All their friends were entrepreneurs and small-business owners. I literally saw, through my childhood, friends whose parents went from being multi-million dollar business owners to filing for bankruptcy and losing absolutely everything because of the lifestyle creep, because they were flashing wads of cash and spending money on all these things all the time. It became so clear that the way you build wealth isn't to spend it all, it's to be smart about your money.
That's just something I'm always aware of when I'm talking about scaling your business because I see a lot of people who the first thing they want to do is show off the things they can buy. I'm not that interested in that. I want to know how you're setting yourself and your family up for financial success. I want to know how you're setting your team up for financial success. That excites me.
I'm a little ranty as we're kicking off this episode, but hopefully it's giving you some insight into my thought process here. If you're wanting to scale your business, if you're wanting to step in this role, this is where your business is no longer just about you. You have a lot more people who are dependent on you, your team, your clients, you have a lot more happening. You truly need to level up your leadership as a CEO if this is where you're going.
Let's get into the checklist. Let's talk about the things that we are doing at this level. We're going to start with some of the CEO things, CEO mindset, CEO habits that I think are foundational. The first thing I think is so crucial is to set your vision and understand why you're growing. Why are you doing this? Why are you going after this? I think this is so important because I see too often people who get into the growth for the sake of growth, and then they hit burnout. They hit a feeling of, “Okay, I hit all the success I thought I should have and I still am not happy. I'm not fulfilled with what I'm doing.” I think having vision is really important.
I don't see a lot of people really talking about this but what is your business vision? Why are you doing this work? How are you making decisions? I think your vision and your values go hand in hand here. What does your business stand for? What is your business here to do? What impact is your business here to make? That impact is not about how much money you make. We have to define impact differently than just how much money we make because that is not a good definition of impact.
What does impact mean to you in your community? What does impact mean to your team? Let's define those things and set a crystal clear vision. If you have never read Cameron Herold's book Double Double, hands down one of my favorite books. His first chapter is all about the Painted Picture. It's now a standalone book called Vivid Vision. He's really talking about stepping out of your business and thinking about what is this company here to do in the world? I think this is so crucially important for every single CEO to have clarity around why you're doing this, what you're here to do, what your values are.
Then I want you to continue doing the things that help you to stay focused on being the CEO. Last episode, we talked about implementing the 90-day CEO operating system in your business, this is how we run my business. This is how we've scaled my business. This is how we have scaled many of our clients' businesses. This is what we teach inside of The Collective, at the CEO retreat. Inside of the CEO planner is the 90-day CEO system. We want to make sure we're running in 90-day chunks. This is enough time for you to make meaningful progress but not enough time that you can't course correct if something is no longer working.
As you scale, you'll begin planning further and further ahead. This is really important because as you scale your business, you need to give your team more lead time to hear from you about what the priorities are, where we're going, what they need to be focused on, and what they need to implement.
I think one of the biggest mistakes a lot of people make when they get into the scale process is they think they can operate the same way they did when their business was just humming right along in that success stage and they didn't have as many people that reported to them. How this could show up is let's say you are now running this business, you have a team of people doing your marketing, and you're telling them, “Hey, I want to launch this offer,” and you're telling them the timeline and you're saying, “I want to do it this way. We're going to do it in two weeks.” Your team is looking around going, “What?” Because they had no idea, they have no time to prepare.
The challenge is if it's just you and maybe a couple of freelancers, you could probably pull something out in two weeks. Years ago, I did this so many times. I would have a launch I was thinking of running. Actually this is how the Fired Up & Focused Challenge started. I had everything ready to go. I was going to launch at the beginning of January 2014 for my signature program. Then like a week before everything was going to go out, I scrapped it all and decided I was going to run a challenge.
I didn't have a team really then, so for me to do that, it only inconvenienced me. If I were to do that now, it would inconvenience so many people, I would be asking them to work overtime in order to make this happen. Honestly, it would violate one of our company values which is that nothing is an emergency. As your business grows and scales, you're going to start planning further ahead. You might even find you get to the point where you're not just planning for the next 90 days like a few weeks before that quarter, I'm honestly already planning six weeks, even a year in advance for my business.
Most of the big picture planning has been done for 2023 even into 2024. It's the 90 days where we're getting a little bit more detailed, but my team knew that that was coming up months ago. That's really important because it's important to respect your team enough to not give them whiplash when you drop something on their plate. They need to have an idea, they need to have line of sight into what's coming so that they can adapt accordingly.
As you're scaling your business, the other thing that shifts is your focus, your CEO score, what you personally are spending your time and your energy on. When you are starting your business, we all start having to do the $10-an hour activities, even the $100-an hour activities. We all do those when we're getting going until we get to the point where we can outsource those, we can hire somebody to help us with those. We can put a system in place and streamline those or we can hire software or software as a service to do some of these things.
But as you grow your business and you're getting to the point of scale, then your CEO score jumps, your CEO score will likely need to be $20,000-plus per week. If you don't know what the CEO score is, I'm going to encourage you to go check out the Fired Up & Focused Challenge at firedupandfocused.com. It's a free challenge. The first two days we talk about the difference between $10-an hour, $100-an hour, $1,000-an hour, and $10,000-an hour tasks. If you're ready to scale, you have got to get out of the weeds. You've got to get out of the day-to-day because a $10-an hour and $100-an hour are all maintenance mode tasks. Those are things your team can start to handle.
But if you're ready to really grow, you've got to shift your focus on to the higher-level tasks that only you as the CEO can do. The strategy, the business development, the marketing, the sales, you might not be implementing all of those things, but you're definitely putting the strategic focus on those things. This is huge. This is one of the biggest challenges as people start to scale, it's very easy to default back into things we did to get to this point. But if you want to scale, you have to be able to pass those things off and trust your team that they have it handled so that you can stay focused on the work that only you can do.
You also want to create a model calendar that is going to help you stay here. I shared last time that there is a report called the state of the small business owner and they talked about, in that report, businesses that are growing consistently are the ones that are spending at least 20% of their week on marketing and sales-level activity. Well, the ones that are growing the fastest, guess what, they are spending 50% or more of their time on marketing and sales activity. That means the majority of their work week is spent on marketing and sales.
If you were to look at my calendar, this week is such a great example. The week that I am recording this series for you, I have had three interviews on other people's podcasts. I had two days where I was recording video content for TikTok, Instagram reels, etc. with my video crew, and I recorded three podcast episodes. Pretty much I think 90% of my week has been marketing and sales-related activity.
Now this is an unusual week. It just all happened this way. But my goal is for 50% or more of my week to be focused on marketing and sales activities because these are the higher-level things. I am very much the face of my brand and the marketing activities that generate sales and bring clients for me are interviews, video, and my podcasts. Those are the things I'm focused on.
Now I have other people who are helping me implement those things. I have a video crew that did all the video and they'll do all the editing, and I have a podcast team who's going to do the editing, the publishing, and all of the things that go along with that. But the part that only I can do, I have to prioritize, I have to make time for them. This means you have to stop doing the lower-value tasks. This is so hard because it's so easy to jump in and do them.
I can't tell you how many times I've gotten in my own way because I'm like, “Oh, I can do my social media myself.” Then I get overwhelmed and I get frustrated or I just dropped the ball on it. You have to get out of anything that is not directly tied to generating revenue or moving the needle, creating more opportunities for you to create revenue in your business. That's a big shift. That's a big shift likely in the way you might have been showing up before and it means you have to trust your team and they have to trust you. Everyone needs to know what their role is, what their responsibility is, and how everything works together to get where you're ultimately going.
As you're scaling your business, you have to uncomplicate it. You have to. I don't say this lightly. I know a lot of people feel like the secret to scaling and growth is just adding more and more and more to their business. But the truth is, each time you add something to your business, each time you add a new product, program, or service, again, you're adding three new systems that need to be developed: a marketing system, a sales system, and a delivery system.
This means each time you're adding something, there's a multiple of three. If you have three offers, that's nine systems. If you have five offers, that's 15 different systems that you're trying to keep track of. It means each time you're trying to promote that thing and get that offer sold and delivered, your team is constantly shifting gears. It makes it a lot harder to know what the priorities are. It makes it a lot harder to keep everyone on the same page.
Most of the people who you are following, who have successfully scaled their business, did it with very few offers. I think about my friend Denise Duffield-Thomas. She has sold her Money Bootcamp for years and years and years. She's gradually added a couple things but only once she crossed the seven-figure mark. That's generally what I see.
It's hard to see that if you haven't been following somebody's journey since the beginning, but a lot of people would test a few things in the beginning, once it has legs and it's really working, they really prune back everything else so that that one thing can grow.
Think of it like a tree, if you are in a garden or you're gardening, you prune back the dead weight, you cut off everything that's not essential so that everything that you want to grow can continue to grow. How can you uncomplicate your business and really go all in on one thing as you scale?
As you're doing this, you need to increase your visibility dramatically. In the previous checklist episode for stage two, we talked about needing at least one core Attract strategy. By now you have mastered that Attract strategy. You have one strategy that you're doing consistently, you're consistently showing up for it. You're consistently seeing results from it in traffic, email list subscribers, and requests for consults, etc. Now it's time to double down and it could mean you just doubled down on that one specific thing or it could mean you're going to come in and layer something else on top of it.
A great example of this for me is podcast interviews. Podcast interviews have been my go-to Attract strategy for as long as I can remember, I've done hundreds of them. But when I decided I really wanted to scale my business, I got consistent with my podcast interviews and I hired somebody to help me pitch and land them. On average, I do four to five a month, which I think over the course of the year is something like 50-ish podcast interviews a month or a year is what I ended up doing.
I don't have the capacity to add any more to that right now so I knew I needed to add another Attract strategy to it. What else do we add to it? Well, this could be maybe you add on some additional speaking, maybe you're adding on some additional media, maybe you're doing joint venture partnerships, so you're actually collaborating with other people to get in front of their audiences. You're picking another way to get in front of other people's audience.
Maybe you're doubling down on search. Something we're experimenting with right now is Pinterest. We know that Pinterest is a great opportunity. It's been growing quite a bit even though there's not a lot of people talking about it. We're looking at how we can double down on search.
We're looking at TikTok. You've heard me talk about my TikTok experiment. That is an Attract strategy. It's a discovery engine. I've doubled down on that. Then I also have a team that's running ads for us for the Fired Up & Focused Challenge. We have really amplified our visibility quite a lot and this is what they say top of the funnel, casting a wider net to get in front of more people. That's a huge part of scaling your business because you have to have more people find out about you in order to have more people buy from you.
The other thing that happens in this stage is you probably will find that you need more than one pink spoon or irresistible free offer, freebie, or whatever you want to call it, the thing that encourages people to join your email list. The biggest asset in any business is always going to be your database of potential customers.
As you increase your visibility, you will likely need to create and test multiple free offers in order to make sure that not only you have one that is working really well, that's converting really well, but you'll also find as you cast a wider net for potential clients, people aren't one-size-fits-all, they're all going to have different things that are their primary problem. You'll end up with multiple free offers in order to address different subsets of challenges within a bigger audience.
For example, the Fired Up & Focused Challenge that we run is all about productivity. That is a free offer that we have, a free five-day training. We run the Plan Your Best Year Ever Challenge, which is all about creating a 12-month plan. We have the Business Growth Checklist all about knowing what the right next step is, theceocollective.com/checklist, that's what we're talking about right now. We have the CEO Date, how to save time every single week by planning your week. That's a whole different offer.
I have all of these different things because they subtly address different challenges that my potential clients could be struggling with. Someone might say, “Oh, I don't actually have much of a problem with productivity but I would love to know how to plan better or I would love to know better what the right next step is for my business.” By doing this, you're able to tap into more people in your Attract marketing.
The next piece of the puzzle is Nurture content, and this is one of the easiest places to start getting support honestly, because you will probably be driving a lot of the Attract marketing. Unless you're hiring it out or getting a support team, you'll probably still be spending a lot of time there. But you can probably start getting some support with your Nurture marketing and this is where people sometimes drop the ball. They stop emailing their list as often, they stop showing up on social media as often. You need to still have a core Nurture channel that you are building the relationship with your potential clients.
The easiest way to do this I find is to batch-create content, like I'm recording three episodes right now in my office for the Promote Yourself to CEO Podcast. I batch create that content. This is the foundation for our newsletter. This is a foundation for our social media. Once I have sat down and done the thing that only I can do, my team can take it and create the rest. That's your Nurture content. Start getting ahead of it.
I am recording this six weeks before it's going to go out. I generally am anywhere from 6 weeks to 12 weeks ahead on the podcast, specifically so that I can pass it off, tag in my team, and it can go from me, to the podcast team, to the social media team, to the email team, etc. Because there's different people who handle each of those different parts. So important.
This is the stage where you may decide to level up your brand. You may notice if you listen to the last episode, I didn't talk about leveling up your brand in stage two. The reason I don't include that in stage two in the checklist is I find often people use a rebrand as a distraction. They use it as a way to procrastinate all the other things that they really, really, really need to be focused on.
People who work in branding will tell you they get frustrated when people are coming to them to do a rebrand because they think, “Oh, if I just make it look nicer, then everything else will start to work.” But often, those people, because they have been avoiding doing their marketing, they have been avoiding really going out there and getting new clients, they never have the messaging dialed in, and they really don't understand what they want that brand to be or reflect.
I generally say wait for the big rebrand until you're super clear on what your message is, you're super clear on who your audience is, what their pain points are, what their challenges are. Then it's time to invest in a rebrand. As your business grows, there might come a point where you've really outgrown your existing brand. I just went through this last year. I made the decision that it was time for me to go all in on The CEO Collective being the brand instead of it being rachealcook.com.
I have a lot of reasons for that. I should make a whole episode about that. But it was just this is how I felt like I was going to scale, by making this more of a standalone brand that wasn't associated necessarily with just my name because I have a team behind me, I have a team working with my clients. It was a good time to invest in that rebrand. It's also a good time to start investing in marketing support.
Marketing support is often one of the last things that people want to let go of, because as you start getting into it, you're probably more used to being the person doing it and it's going to be hard to be like, “How can somebody create my social media content for me? How can someone write my newsletters for me?” But it does take a tremendous amount of marketing to scale a business. If you are looking at scaling to seven figures and beyond, you need a team. You just need a team and this could be hiring experts who are very specialized in what they do, or hiring people just to come into your business and they can do quite a few different things.
We actually have a combination in my business, like my podcast production company, Stacey Harris with Uncommonly More, all they do is podcasts. I love that because I know that they are always going to keep me on the very cutting edge of whatever's going on with podcasting. They're going to keep me in the loop. They're going to take amazing care of me. All they do is make sure this podcast is doing amazing.
As you're starting to do all these things, the goal isn't just to keep creating-creating-creating. Yes, it's a lot of marketing, but I want you to think about it as assets. It's all about creating a business, creating marketing, creating sales, creating assets that you can rinse and repeat. This is where scaling is not about creating new all the time. It's about rinsing and repeating what you know works. You should be repurposing your core assets with some small tweaks the majority of the time.
Somebody I think about a lot is Brené Brown. Brené Brown is such a great case of this because if you follow her, if you listen to her podcast, her Netflix special, her HBO special, or her TED Talks, you'll hear that she's talking about the same things over and over and over again. Often even the same stories, and I never get tired of it. But that's how she's continued to get her message out into the world. It's just talking about the same thing again and again and again. People need to hear it from you multiple times.
This was a really hard lesson for me. I felt like I was always needing to create new. Then I realized no, I've built some things that not everyone has seen yet. The Fired Up & Focused Challenge, we just ran it earlier this month and so many people joined who had never, never taken that challenge before even though I've been running a version of that challenge since 2014.
Now, I do that every single year. I do a live Fired Up & Focused. Every single year since 2016, I do a live Plan Your Best Year Ever. The content for that has barely changed. I rerecord it, so that it's got the new branding so I'm saying the right year when I'm talking about planning, but it's repurposed.
My goal personally is that 30% or more of what we do is repurposed and the rest is new, fresh content. But even then, I'm finding I'm talking about the same thing. Here we are with the Business Growth Checklist. I created the first version of this years ago. This is probably the third iteration of the Business Growth Checklist. Here I am talking about it again on the podcast.
You don't have to always be creating new because there's always new people who haven't heard of it. If you're doing so much Attract marketing to scale your business, those people have not heard your best hits. Play your best hits. Stop putting out new albums and play your best hits.
Let's talk about sales as you're scaling. This is where you really need to start systematizing a lot of your sales. You need to systematize and automate what you can. The more you can systematize and automate, the easier it will be to sell your offers. One of the biggest things I see, again, is people feel like they need to do it all from scratch, they need to create all new sales emails every time they go to launch something, they need to create a whole new sales page, they need to create a whole new webinar, they need to create everything new from scratch each time they promote it.
You don't. You can do the same thing multiple, multiple times. Maybe once in a while, go in and tweak it or edit it, but try to make it as rinse and repeat as you can. There are a lot of times where we use emails we've used before in a sales campaign and we just tweak it, we just zhoosh it up. Now instead of writing a whole campaign from scratch, we probably have, I don't know, half a dozen variations of the FAQ email or half a dozen variations of the Cart is Open email. Because we've built that out, we’ve build a system out, it's so much easier for our team to implement on any sales.
As you're thinking about scaling, like I said, as we kicked off, you need to make sure that you're focused on your clients. That means making sure you can deliver what you have promised them. This is beyond having someone who responds to customer service inquiries in the inbox. Now you might be at the point where you really need to hire additional people to support your clients.
This could look like having people to moderate your group. This could look like having people to be experts in your program. This could look like having people who are working directly with your clients or coaching your clients. There are so many different variations of how this could work. I think it's so important, especially if you are offering a higher-level, higher-ticket offer that you are scaling, you really need to make sure that there is adequate support for your clients.
Now, how do we make sure that we are making money from all of this? Because scaling is very expensive. It's expensive to scale. You have to be making sure you're paying attention to maximizing your profits. We want to make sure we're maximizing our profits, we're increasing our return on investment, we're increasing our sales. You might be at the point where you need to increase your prices.
This is important to think about especially now, your cost of doing business may have gone up, you hire more team, your cost went up. It used to only be just you and maybe a few people. If you have people delivering on your program, it got more expensive to run that program. You have to know what it costs for you to deliver that program to each person and make sure you've built in the profitability.
You also want to increase your customer lifetime value. That's another great way to increase profits. How can people continue working with you? How can they continue paying you? How can they continue this journey with you and your team? You want to make sure that your profits aren't tied to your time, that you can take time away from your business, that your team can run the business, and you are far ahead enough in the work that you are responsible for that if you want to take time off, it's not a big deal.
You probably are also at the point where you might want to create next-level offers. I'm not just talking about another offer that you promote, this could be something like a certification. You have a certification in your specific methodology. I have a client doing this right now. They're creating a whole training program for their specific methodology. Maybe you are licensing or white labeling your product, program. I have some clients who've done this.
I have one client actually she was on the podcast, Leesa Klich, who white labels essentially blog posts that her clients can buy from her and publish that as their own content. She even created a white-labeled program that they could run. She had a whole program that they could purchase and put their brand on it and run and sell that. That's exciting; different ways to get your content, your methodology, your intellectual property out to the world and get paid for it.
Maybe you start thinking about adding on a high-level mastermind, high-level group coaching program. Maybe you want to host a live event, conferences, retreats. One of my other clients, Lisa at Women in Business Education, is hosting an amazing conference coming up next year. She hosted her first one this year. It's a huge thing to pull off something like that. Events are no joke. They're super expensive, a lot of moving parts, a lot going on there.
You might even consider expanding into an agency model. Maybe you're really wanting to have a lot of people come into your business to deliver for your clients. You're going to be hiring people on your team. You might need an operations manager, day-to-day administrative team, customer service team. You're going to want to invest in your team.
I love the idea of creating a team culture deck. I took this from Netflix culture deck. If you don't know what that is, just Google it. This is something they became famous for. They created a culture deck; it was like a PowerPoint that outlined their team culture and how they were able to grow so quickly. I've co-opted that myself and taken that idea and I now have a culture deck for what our values are, what we're doing, what our focus is, how we work here, how we communicate here, how we handle things just so everybody's on the same page and knows what we do here and how we operate.
Make sure you actually have a training process for your team. You need to make sure they know not only how to do their job but how to work together, how to work with your clients and how we make sure this is a great experience for everybody. You probably will also need to create some brand deck.
Now if you didn't hear, there was an episode that went out I think it was last November with Beth Gebhard all about marketing strategy and we talked about the importance of having this brand deck so that you have clear guidelines for all aspects of your visual brand, your written brand, your communications, how you show up, your brand values. That's going to be so important.
One of the biggest challenges I hear from a lot of entrepreneurs as they're scaling is you're trying to hire people to do marketing for them, but then they're feeling like they're just not getting it right. “It's not my voice. This isn't how I would say that. That's not how I want to show up.” Chances are if people are missing the mark with your marketing, it's because you haven't communicated your brand very well to them. Sitting down and taking the time to create a true brand deck so they know what to expect.
You want to make sure you've protected your business, you've protected your intellectual property, you'll probably file some trademarks, make sure that you have everything protected. Probably hire a financial team on top of a legal team. These are the people who are not just there to help you when you're in a pickle. They're there to help make sure that you have things set for where you're going. They're helping you get there. They're helping you make sure you put the right pieces in place as you're growing.
As you're growing your team, you'll probably start putting in place some things like benefits and perks. If you have employees, you want to think about “How do I want to treat people? How do I want to take care of my team?” That means also investing in yourself and your leadership skills. Your business success is usually determined by your leadership and your personal development.
I definitely believe that your business will grow in accordance with your level of personal development. People will stick around when you've done your own work, when you've created a safe environment for them, when you've created a culture in your team and your business that people want to be around. That's a game changer because it is super expensive to be churning through team and it is super expensive to be churning through clients. It is way better when both sides, your team and your clients, want to stick around for a long time. I think that's a testament to people who are great leaders.
You want to make sure you are giving yourself a raise. You want to make sure you're continuing to compensate yourself well. I always say this is the time to level up your personal success team and your personal projects. As your business starts growing, your role as CEO is not to keep working more, you need actually more whitespace, more thinking time because a lot of the things that you're doing right now are so big picture, you can't do that if your head down buried in the day-to-day, you can only do it if you've created space, if you're putting yourself in inspirational environments, if you're doing things that get your creativity going.
Sometimes those things might not look like they're related to your business at all. I get the best ideas like I've been doing a whole project doing some updates in my house. I have to say, painting is so therapeutic to me. I get so many ideas that I keep my phone near me if I'm painting. I just repainted my living room and I have so many voice memos to myself because I would just have this idea as I was painting.
Having those personal projects are so valuable. Having a personal success team, making sure there are people there to make sure your life is running smoothly, that your health is being prioritized, that you are making space for the things that matter to you. I think those are just as important. It's really interesting to me, I feel like a lot of women will grow in their business and grow in their careers, but then on the life side of things, they'll still be carrying the burden of being the default parent or running the household, etc.
You have to ask for support, you have to surround yourself with support. Who do you need on your personal success team who's going to help you have the focus, attention, and time you need, not just for your business but also for your family and the things that people who matter to you?
I hope this was helpful for you. I hope you enjoyed a little bit of a Rach rant episode. It was definitely fun for me. As you can tell, I have a lot of opinions on a lot of things with how I see people doing this poorly in a way that is out of integrity, or at least my integrity. I want to see more people growing businesses and scaling. I want to see more women having super successful businesses and creating the type of jobs that people really want. I want to see that for so many of us.
If that's what you're after, I would love to support you so please make sure you are reaching out to connect and chat with me over on Instagram at @racheal.cook. Of course, if you're listening to all this and thinking like, “Yes, this is what I want to be focused on as I'm scaling my business,” then come learn more about The CEO Collective, the waitlist is now open. We will be opening the doors again in November. But we would love to support you, especially if this episode and the last few episodes in this series has resonated. Thank you so much. I'll talk to you soon.
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