How to increase capacity
Turning clients away? What a great position to be in. Though this could limit your capacity ceiling and consequently constrain your turnover. So how can you keep saying ‘yes’ to clients, whilst still meeting your deliverables? You may want to look at increasing your capacity and an associate model could be the solution.
Growing businesses need resource
When you make that important decision to start your own business, you are never sure how successful you will be. It’s a bit of a step into the unknown. You typically find that before you know it, you have more requests for your service than you ever imagined, and it usually takes you by surprise. Suddenly you realise that you are totally unprepared. Furthermore, for a small business taking on employees can be costly. So, what about an associate model? Could increasing capacity really grow your business? What is more, where do you start?
What to consider?
We recently worked with a professional services business, here are some pointers we helped them to consider:
- What systems & process are required?
- What documents do you need?
- Where can you find the appropriate person?
- What type of person are you looking for?
- Are their personality traits cohesive with you and your business?
- Are they able to live out your business values?
- Do they have the right skills and experience?
- Are they willing to work for a reduced rate?
- How will they interact with you and your clients?
We highlighted to the client that it’s not something that you can enter into lightly. It takes a lot of work to create things like job descriptions, a recruitment process, and a team manual, to name but a few. Think about when you were recruited for that corporate business, all the documents and the processes that you touched on. Well, you need to create those for your business.
What are the benefits?
We know from experience that initially there is a lot of work when creating the associate model, though once fully implemented, you will see lots of benefits. Firstly, and most importantly, your turnover will increase. The reason being is that you will have the capacity to accept more work, which will have a direct knock-on effect with growing your business and increasing your turnover.
So, once you have the foundations in place, you can recruit as many associates as you wish. You may even decide to have a pool of associates, as this will offer you a wider choice to select the right associate for the client. Your brand will get to a broader audience, allowing you to build a better presence in the marketplace.
Additionally, you can be selective about the pieces of work you would like to be involved in personally. Thus allowing you to be strategic and work more on your business, or focus more on your key clients. Not to mention that it can also help with your work-life balance. You can claw back time for yourself to do other things, like a well overdue holiday, having a lunch break or working normal hours, rather than the 24hrs 7 days a week work-lifestyle.
A Virtual Operations Manager can help
You are probably reading this and thinking the benefits are attractive, but how do I do all of this?
By engaging with a Virtual Operations Manager, this can all be managed by them whilst you keep doing what you do best. As experts, we have felt the growing pains that many businesses experience and we can guide you based on our knowledge and experience. Furthermore, we understand the pain-points that you are living day in day out.
So imagine breathing space during your week that helps re-address your work-life balance. Headspace to think and develop ideas that could revolutionise one or more aspects of your business. Time to look at ways to give added value to your clients. Overall, to be more proactive and less reactive.
It’s important to recognise that no business is the same, so building a strong relationship at the outset and having the experience to be able to create bespoke processes and documents for you is critical. We take time to listen to any concerns you may have and help you remedy them.
Not having process and systems can damage your business
The owner of a business administration company was reluctantly turning clients away and decided that they wanted to increase capacity. After a referral from a peer, an associate was identified and to the owner’s delight, the associate wanted to start working straight away. To make everything official, a job description was created, and a contract was signed. After the training, the associate was given several clients to work with and things were going well.
However, after 6 months the associate mentioned that they were not happy with the hourly rate anymore. They felt that they should be getting the full rate, rather than a percentage. The associate said that they would leave the business unless they were paid the full rate. Unfortunately, the contract didn’t mention this type of scenario. Furthermore, the owner had not set up the system or process to know what work the associate had been doing for their clients. The owner was between a rock and a hard place – not a great situation to be in. Though, the important thing for the owner was to protect the clients and their work. Consequently, the owner paid the associate the full rate and the associate continued working with the clients – a tough lesson to learn.
How to safeguard your business and clients
The owner had a pool of associates that worked for them and wanted to prevent this from happening again. At this point, the owner reached out to us and we helped them to implement process and systems, which protected both their business and their clients.
Not only is it extremely important to safeguard your business, it’s also crucial to shield your clients. Having a comprehensive and robust process and system is vital when increasing your capacity and growing your business.
How can we help increase your capacity?
Our blog may have got you thinking.
Why not book a call to discuss how we could help you increase your capacity and grow your business?