We are so excited to introduce Episode 028 of With Grace and Gold: The Podcast — 5 Actionable Ways to Make Small Business Ownership Easier — a business education podcast for small business owners and entrepreneurs. With Grace and Gold: The Podcast features 5-minute episodes with clear, actionable steps to guide you toward successful small business ownership. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Spotify, or elsewhere!
Have you ever had an extremely busy work week — or had a completely overwhelming workload — and thought to yourself: “Well, that’s just the way it is for small business owners.”
While owning your own business is different from working for someone else’s business, I wholeheartedly believe there are decisions you can make and systems you can create in order to make small business ownership easier, more profitable, more sustainable, and more fun.
Over the years, in addition to being a small business owner, I have taught Entrepreneurship at the college level — and one major overarching lesson I try to instill in students is: the way you design your small business matters. The intentional choices you make about your business can play a role not only in your future success, but also in the way your business operates from day-to-day… influencing the way you feel about your business as a whole.
And best of all, when you design your business well, you can better serve your customers and clients, because a strong foundation is in place for you to do so.
Today, I want to share 5 actionable ways to make small business ownership easier — 5 decisions you can make on behalf of your business to experience more balance and peace of mind each day — to avoid burnout, and to begin running your small business the way you’ve always envisioned.
Episode 028 of With Grace and Gold: The Podcast
Welcome to Episode 028 of With Grace and Gold: The Podcast, 5 Actionable Ways to Make Small Business Ownership Easier.
Today’s episode is brought to you by Sourced Co. For small business owners, finding great-quality, elevated, and diverse stock photography and videography can be a challenge. We’ve personally subscribed to Sourced Co. to source our stock photography and videography — for photos and videos to use in our website templates, in our social media marketing, and more. A new collection of elevated, unique, and professional stock photography is released monthly. Visit sourcedco.com to learn more — and use code WITHGRACEANDGOLD for 15% off the first 3 months of a subscription and 15% off any purchases in the shop. That’s sourcedco.com!
Have you ever felt like maybe your small business was really a runaway train in disguise? We definitely have.
In our second year of business, we experienced a season of overwhelm. And for better or for worse, we realized we were responsible. We had designed our business in such a way that we were too busy and we were working too many hours — while also believing being too busy and working too many hours were simply part of small business ownership.
Believing small business owners have to be busy and overwhelmed caused us to feel that there was no way to experience balance and be small business owners.
Then, we took a deep breath, took a step back, and discovered that little by little, decision by decision, we could press the reset button and fix problems at the source. For example, we could be less busy by raising our prices and reducing our client capacity, we could work fewer hours by decisively setting and sticking to business hours.
We discovered that small, intentional decisions could make a major difference in our business, and for the past few years, we have committed to a 4-day work week, serving a limited number of clients, and developing tried-and-true systems for each area of our business.
Today, we want to help you to discover what those decisions look like for you. What are some clear and actionable ways you can make owning your small business easier and more fun — while remaining profitable and sustainable?
5 Actionable Ways to Make Small Business Ownership Easier
- Find your niche. Perhaps a more actionable way of saying “find your niche” could be “Decide what you want to be known for.” What do you want to be considered an expert in? Why should customers and clients choose your business? At With Grace and Gold, for example, we would love to be known as a go-to business for custom brand and web design. This has helped us to design our business with intention — with our niche and our goal in mind. When you know your niche — or what you’d like to be considered an expert in — each decision you make can be made with purpose. Listen to Episode 015: 3 Signs You Need Clarity in Your Business, for some added inspiration.
- Knowing your niche, curate your products and services. For many small business owners, having a curated collection of products or services helps to guide customers and clients who visit your website. According to research and sources like “The Paradox of Choice” having too many choices can give customers and clients anxiety — but having a curated amount of choices can help to guide customers and clients toward the products or services that are best for them. When you curate your products and services, you not only give your website’s visitors a more seamless experience, but you also simplify the processes and procedures you have to maintain behind-the-scenes of your business. In Episode 008, we ask the question “Are you offering too many services?” So, if you’re unsure, be sure to listen to Episode 008.
- Limit your client workload. Determine how many clients you’re capable of serving each month. If you find you’re not able to make ends meet serving your maximum amount of clients, it may be time to raise your prices. In Episode 014: When and How to Raise Your Prices, we share our approach to pricing and how it can help you to experience more balance within your business.
- Set business hours. We can’t stress enough the importance of setting business hours. Setting business hours helps you to experience more balance personally, and it also helps to set expectations professionally. When you set business hours, you can bring structure to your day, and you can provide a professional experience for your clients, too. In addition, in Episode 019, we share how to create a structured, balanced workday — and in Episode 024, we talk about how to create healthy boundaries! Both of these episodes can be a big help!
- Embrace the beauty of learning and running your business. This is one of my all-time favorite lessons in small business ownership. Once you’ve made strategic, intentional decisions for your business, give yourself the gift of fully learning and running your business. If you think about the previous jobs you’ve held, chances are, it took time to learn to do your job well. You read the training manual, you had on-boarding, you had a training period, and after months and maybe even years, you finally hit a groove in how you did our job. The same thing applies to small business ownership. By fully learning and running your business, you can work the kinks out, ensure your systems are well-designed, and create a well-oiled machine you can confidently say is serving your customers and clients well… all while experiencing more balance and peace of mind with regards to your business. Be patient with yourself, and avoid the pressure to add new layers to your business until you’re ready. (In Episode 011, Your Passive Income Action Plan, we share how to approach adding layers to your business at the right time.)
What do you think? Which of these 5 tips can you apply to your business before your next busy season arrives? We are so hopeful today’s episode helps to guide you in creating a business you love and enjoy running.