If you want to be successful there is no point working hard

So my dad always told me “you’ll never get rich working on your own” and after years of trying…eventually I conceded!

Working long hours, working hard is not the answer to making more money. Working smarter definitely is…but sometimes it feels wrong

The problem with working on your own (in most cases) is that your income is linear. This means you work an hour, you get paid for an hours work. In essence the only way to make more money is to work longer hours, working longer hours basically means working harder.

This is how my business grew for many years. You end up working longer and longer, get a reputation for being a workaholic and then you realise that you are stuck in a routine and assume this is the only way to make money.

What you need is to find a way of getting paid where you work less and get paid more. Sound like a dream? Not really you just need to re-think how you run your business.

Here are my top tips for how I turned my business around and started making money money than I ever had before:

Recognise Sales are Key to Your Business Success

Without sales coming in you don’t have a business. Put more effort into driving sales up and your business will naturally grow.

Leverage Other Peoples Sales Skills

Or in other words get other people selling for you. Selling or managing a sales team was a big weakness for me so I basically outsourced the concept to other people and created a highly motived sales team in the process who only got paid on results. There were 3 ways I did this:

  1. Commission Only Sales People
    Find great sales people, offer a great commission for them selling for you. Don’t worry it may seem like you are paying them a lot — but you are only paying on results. Give them a big incentive and give even bigger incentives for bigger results
  2. Affiliates — commission for referrals
    No need to go and look for customers. Other websites, entrepreneurs and business do that for you. They generate potential customers via websites, email and marketing. They refer them to you, you pay the affiliate commission once a sale is made.
  3. Franchising
    Franchise the rights to your products, business or service. Other people generate customers, take care of the selling and even deliver the product or service. You earn a smaller amount of commission, but normally have an upfront fee from the franchisee

This isn’t designed to tell you how to do any of these 3 ideas, but really to open your eyes to the potential that exists.

In my previous business (ukdomains.com) I created the 5th largest hosting company in UK / Europe using affiliates and zero upfront investment in marketing. In my current business The Travel Franchise, we franchise our business to over 300 highly motived entrepreneurs around the UK. Each one is highly motived and pays the company a small commission for each sale they make.

Other successful travel companies in the UK are reporting growth of 5–10% per year. We are growing at 200% per year.

That is not said to impress you, more to impress upon you the potential of franchising.

Downward delicate business activities

One of the best ways of increasing your income is to get use to downward delegating…or rather than you do something, you give it to someone who’s cheaper than you. The only challenge with this is you need to get good at delegating. Which as an entrepreneur is often a difficult skill for an entrepreneur to master as it requires to you to accept that things won’t necessarily be done exactly the same way you would do them…however they do get done and it frees you up to earn a higher income.

Outsource

A brilliant book to read which epitomises the concept of working smarter, not harder is ‘The 4 Hour Work Week’ by Tim Ferris. The general concept is simple (again requires you to allow other people to work for you). You pay other people who are much cheaper than you to do the work you would normally do. In particular to outsource to countries such as the Philippines where education standards are high, internet is good and English is spoken very well, but hourly rates are very low. For example you could outsource tasks for as little as $3–6 an hour, where you would normally charge yourself out at $50–250 an hour.

You reduce your work load, increase your earning capacity.

Your time is then spent managing low cost resource who will hopefully get more done for you.

I know my initial reaction was “it won’t work” and “they won’t be able to do it the same way I do it” and “this job has to be done here where I am”.

However when you really question yourself and the logic, you’ll probably find it makes a lot of sense.

The concepts above work. Entrepreneurial instinct often suggest you want to do everything yourself, but trust me…. it’s a lot easier and a lot more profitable to get other people helping you.