What to do now to smash through your $500K service ceiling

Are you a slave to your business?

A typical service business usually gets stuck making less than $500k per year, with the owner (you) working 60+ hours a week wondering what to do to scale. Success seems to always be “just be around the corner”. The last REAL vacation you took was years ago and you are never far from your laptop. You are making ‘good money’ however the pressure on your health and future self are showing.

You did it though! Pat yourself on the back. You started your own business and while most business struggle to get any traction at all and make only a few thousand dollars, your dedication and work ethic has floated you to the top and you now have what many people would call a very successful business.

Everyone but you that is. After all… Only you and perhaps a few supportive team members know the truth… You’re working ridiculous hours, fighting fire after fire and you seem to have hit a growth ceiling.

You keep telling your family and friends that you have a plan and you’ll get your life back soon.

But it seems like it’s always “around the corner” and things have stayed the same for way too long. Some days you just want to stay in bed with the covers over your head so no one needs anything from you.

The harder you work the more you can’t see a way out. I mean, when was the last time you got to take a vacation… a real one, where you weren’t always looking at your phone worrying about the office and your clients.

The good news is, you can have the life you’ve worked so hard for. You just need to know what you’re doing wrong.

And, it’s not your fault… You just don’t know what you don’t know… So, I’ve outlined below the three steps to surging past the $500K service business ceiling and how to get your life back in the process.

PROBLEM #1:

You don’t have the “cheat code” of having an operator. 

I hear it time and time again… I try to outsource or empower my team to get things done, but the truth is… If I want something done right, I need to do it myself.

Sound familiar?

And I’m sure you are also used to hearing, “That’s why you need systems!”

Of course, the average service provider knows this, but they also know they just don’t have the time to write down their systems…. so they always end up training on the fly.

Of course, that doesn’t lead to anything but a disaster.

Here is the thing, without systems you can’t grow any further as you can’t interact with every customer yourself, at least the way you’d like to. But the REAL problem is, YOU hate creating systems. It’s not in your DNA. You’re the visionary entrepreneur. So you avoid it, or you tell team members to write things down as they do them, but everyone does it differently.

That’s why you need an in-house operator! Someone that owns, creates and manages the systems.

So who on your current team is that? Someone that can report directly to you and potentially manage not just the systems but can “manage up” and manage you and the organization.

You are the owner. They are the operator.

Operator defined:

“A person in charge of the day to day operations of the business that helps manage people and systems. They typically report to the owner directly.”

When you haven’t chosen your co-pilot in systemizing, you still have to manage all of it yourself, and since it’s not your strength, you avoid avoid avoid! When in reality, I’ve found that just having ONE person that loves systemizing that you dub the “operator” changes the way you think about systems.

It’s no longer another action on your ever growing to do list that never gets done – it’s the opportunity to talk through the business development side of things. Working ON the business instead of IN it, like you know you are supposed to do!

STORY #1: I Was Stuck

About 4 years ago, I felt stuck. I was running my business for a few years, and it was going well but it was at a point where I felt like I couldn’t do anymore. I was tapped OUT. Crawl in a corner tapped out.

My business was growing but I couldn’t handle more work, and my systems were a mess. Funny thing was, I made six figures in corporate at age 24 as a PROJECT MANAGER. You’d think I’d be good at organizing things, but in reality – I’m a visionary. Not an operations person.

Have you ever tried to run a business that felt stuck?

I was stuck in how much revenue I could do, with a big book launch looming – without an amazing team, and I had two small children…

Oh, and I moved across the country from Maine to Austin. Oh, also I was going through a divorce after 11 years of marriage and two years of marriage counseling.

YEAH… NOT SUPER FUN.

I wouldn’t recommend it.

Thankfully, I didn’t go clinically insane. And the story ends well.

I had one pivotal moment that really helped change everything for me.

I made the decision to commit to hiring an AMAZING employee, no matter what. I had a ton of contractors that had been with me for a long time. I even had part-time employees before – but I wasn’t willing to pay a ton an hour so the lack of skills and effectiveness was notable.

After I hired what I now call – “my operator” everything changed.

I was finally able to let someone else be responsible for organizing my business.

Just a few months later, I had my first 100k month.

And the divorce was the best thing that could have happened to my former husband and me. My goal is to be the best ex-wife ever and we currently have Thanksgivings, and Christmas’ all together still as a family.

A lot of the pain I was feeling during that time was because I didn’t have the “operator” I trusted enough, my systems in business sucked because I had to grit my teeth to look at small details – THIS ADHD entrepreneur is a big picture thinker! AND I had to LEARN TO LET GO!!!!

And I’ve seen it many times with clients, once we clearly define the role and WHO is responsible and the TRUST them enough to LET GO – Then they can take a deep breath and know that that they aren’t alone.

PROBLEM #2:

Falling victim to overwhelm.

You already have zero time. Let’s say you’ve put your systems captain (operator) in place. But now you don’t even know how to start the work and since your operator has never been in a business like yours before they are flying blind, even if they are better at creating them than you. And what systems do you start with that will give you the most bang for your buck in the shortest time? You can’t just pay for systems for system’s sake if they don’t help short term.

Systems are becoming a lot more open source thankfully.

So leverage from the strength of others! Just like buying a franchise – service providers like coaches, consultancies, and agencies all use similar systems. You can have your operator just implement and tweak a system that works effectively and make it your own.

I’ve worked intimately with hundreds of business owners. If you run a service based business – you all have similar setups! But we don’t share them because they are the secret sauce!

I think that’s changing. Let’s make our systems a bit more open source. I’ve gathered systems and processes from clients and from many of the 500 millionaires I’ve interviewed.

Do you want to know the most important ones?

Key systems like the:

  • Company Systems
  • Team System
  • Sales System
  • Onboarding System
  • Hiring Systems

These are the core systems to start with. I’d suggest having your operator walk you through step by step what happens now in your business. At each point, you as the owner needs to make a decision on how you want it done.

This will give you a chance to upgrade the way you are doing it now!

Then since they have all of the key decisions, then they can create and implement it, just the way you wanted it. It still has your touch, but you don’t have to interact with every client!

(And you can download our Team Template Pack to jump start this – get the most potent template for your team now! No email required!)

Your Team Template Pack includes the most potent templates you need to start diving in! We’ve included a  team roster, KPI template, Team communications template, and team meeting agenda template.

Story #2: APEX 

Before – doing almost everything themselves with almost no processes at all. They were growing, but growing and stressed out. They were sweating the small stuff, like if a new customer didn’t get their login information.

They were constantly in their email and trying to create the massive amounts of content they needed, plus they knew there were so many opportunities for more revenue but they just couldn’t get to them yet because they were stuck in the weeds.

Since they didn’t have any team members we could identify as their operator. We helped them hire an operator – step 1 – CHECK!

Then she got to work. She already had the skill set to organize all of their documents and processes. We just directly her on what worked best for their type of business.

We implemented the key systems to streamline the day to day, and we prioritized all of the low hanging fruit so they could use their time effectively.

Instead of being stuck in the weeds of what to do and how to do it, we walked their team through the critical decisions to make and then helped the team implement it.

[Side note – there is a difference between efficient and effective! You want to prioritize what will be most effective to your business – if you systemize and make something efficient that isn’t really needed, then that is not being effective!]

They could finally feel like their level of excellence was being followed by someone other than themselves! And in a ton less time, because they already had the templates, emails, workflow, and systems already in a streamlined and free system that their new team could follow.

6 Months to Autopilot and More Revenue

In less than 6 months, they removed themselves completely from the admin roles and had an operator that managed all of the new systems we helped put in place.

All they had to do was their zone of genius, one owner wanted to do sales and speaking and the other wanted to do the teaching and content creation.

They were able to grow their revenues, redefine their roles to what they LOVE to do AND take a much-needed vacation!

(and one of the owners bought their dream house within those 6 months too!)

PROBLEM #3:

You think your team still depends on you for the answers..You’ve always been the first line of defense so you are always ready, and you have conditioned yourself to hold on to the reins tight!

Problem – You are conditioned to expect something to go wrong, to HAVE to check your phone every 10 minutes (even while on vacation!) because you are the leader that everyone calls when shit hits the fan.

Ever have friends or family get annoyed that you check your phone all the time to make sure you don’t miss anything.

Last week I didn’t check my phone for 6 days while I was on vacation.
Guess what happened?

Well, the same stuff that always happens. Nothing changed because my company doesn’t rely on me to run and remain profitable.

Solution – Learn to let go.

Day by day you release your TIGHT grip on the wheel. So that you can let your co-pilot take the wheel and you can get some much-needed rest.

Story #3: School of Motion

Let’s chat about Joey.

Joey had been a client of mine for years.. He was making $500 a month with an online training company when we first started. He’s grown to 7 figures in less than 4 years.

Impressive!

And when his team started growing, we worked with him to find an operator, and start to implement the systems his business needed.

BUT… it’s funny when you started it with one person. You wouldn’t think letting go would be difficult.

If you are an overwhelmed business owner, stepping away should be easy right?

Well.. the problem is, you THINK you are letting go – because you let go of MOST of it. But then you meddle.

And it causes chaos for your team.

Empowering your team to own their own decisions is a skillset. One that Joey had to learn too!

After the moment of realizing he was disempowering his team, he took swift action to stop getting in the middle. To adhere to his own company rules instead of being the leader that kept making exceptions to the rule.

The end result? He made even more money AND was able to send me this text…

(And here’s a bit about our work together directly from Joey himself!)

He’s not the first owner to be able to head to Europe for 3 weeks! Another client did the same with his family, AND couldn’t send me a photo because.. HE DIDN’T TAKE HIS CELL PHONE.

I know you might not believe it now. But it is truly possible.

Your family will thank you, and so will your heart! (never taking a break if not good for you!) You don’t want to miss out on the life you COULD have had with your family because you were too busy MAKING yourself busy in your own business.

CONCLUSION:

Control your business so it doesn’t control you.

Now is the time to do what you’ve always done, make it happen. Not to impress everyone else, they are already impressed, but to get to the lifestyle and earnings you did all this work for.

The good news is, it really isn’t that hard, once you get started. And we want to help you get there. So while we do spend every day successfully helping service provider businesses, just like you, to slingshot past the 500K Plateau while getting their lives back, we wanted to make sure you had nothing in your way in getting to the life you deserve…. which is why we’ve created the template below to help you pick your “systems captain” and discover the low hanging fruit system that you should create right away.

Don’t worry – stick with me – I’ve done this way too many times before so I can do it in my sleep and I can show you each tiny step that will make a big difference! 🙂

You now know the entrepreneur pitfalls! Are you making things harder on yourself right now?

We can solve this for you.

If your business is cascading out of control…with success – let’s hop on a call so we can point you in the right direction.

We give you 20-30 hours of your life back per week by giving you the tools, training, and systems that allow you to not only trust your growing staff to cultivate new clients and bring them success.

You will also be able to cut 20-30 hours off of your work week. You will even take Fridays off!

(I challenge my clients to take vacations and Friday’s off, it’s a great test of their systems!)

Ownerbox delivers you the dream you signed up for when you started your business.

What Next?

Make today the day when everything changes! Can you relate to Joey and Apex? If you have similar problems in your business we would love to chat to see if we can help you, and if not we will steer you in the right direction.

Click here to schedule a quick call with us to see if this might be a fit

Click here to download our Team Template Pack

Check out our Business Metrics blogpost if you’re not sure what to measure

About the Author 

JAIME MASTERS

CEO | Entrepreneur | Author | Podcast Host

As CEO of Eventual Millionaire, a business mentoring company, Jaime Masters specializes in creating automated systems and doubling her client’s revenue. Jaime works with online and offline business owners & entrepreneurs for masterminds, group and 1 on 1 private coaching to level up your business.

She’s the author of Eventual Millionaire and a top business coach who is known for getting rock solid results. Over the past  10 years, she has taught six and seven-figure CEOs, entrepreneurs and small business owners how to optimize every area of their business. Jaime genuinely cares about helping others and loves watching her clients’  businesses grow!

Jaime is also the producer and host of her own online show and has conducted over 400 interviews with millionaires and billionaires. She has been featured in Yahoo online, Inc.com, SUCCESS Magazine, Entrepreneur, Women’s Health Magazine, and Business Insider.

Jaime loves business and all things geeky. She’s a Momma of two amazing kiddos that are already making money in business as stilt walkers and contortionists (yes, that’s super wierd)! 

 
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Hi I’m Jaime. Each and every week I bring you the top business advice from the people who know best.

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