A 9-5 job is the perfect example of trading time for money.
You show up, put in your required number of hours, then collect your paycheck.
There’s some degree of freedom in this arrangement – as long as you put in your time, you’re guaranteed to get paid.
As you might have noticed, however, running your own business is a little bit different!
Sure, income is (somewhat loosely) correlated with time spent in your business. But is this really what you want? Do you want to run yourself ragged, working more and more hours in order to make more money?
Unless you want to spend ALL your free time running your business – and limit your income potential significantly – I’m guessing your answer is a resounding NO!
This post will show you 11 ways to STOP trading your time for money, so you can work LESS and make MORE money than you ever dreamed!
1. Hire a VA
One way to add significantly more hours to your day is to hire a virtual assistant. While this is still trading time for money, at least it’s not just YOUR time you’re trading!
A great VA can take many of your administrative tasks off your plate, leaving you more time to focus on growing and building your business.
VAs aren’t just great for helping with emails and scheduling – you can find VAs who are also great with bookkeeping, writing, trip planning and more!
Wondering whether you really need and are prepared to hire a VA? Check out my post, Do You Need to Hire a Virtual Assistant? Here’s How to Tell.
2. Create Online Products
Creating a digital product is far and away one of the best ways to stop trading time for money.
The beauty of an online product is that you create it once, and then are able to sell it again and again to an almost-unlimited number of people (at least potentially!).
Some types of online products you can create and sell include:
- Online courses
- Audio books
While you’ll obviously still need to market your digital product, handle customer service, etc., this will still require far less time than working a traditional service-based business.
For guidance on getting started with this, check out my blog post, How to Create and Sell Profitable Digital Products and Services.
3. Up Your Rates
Too many business owners limit their income potential significantly by taking on too many clients for too little money.Too many business owners limit their income potential significantly by taking on too many clients for too little money. #BizTips #JustSayin'Click To Tweet
For instance, a coach who charges $30/hour needs to find twice as many clients – and work twice as long – as one who charges $60/hour.
Even if upping your rates means adding more value to your current sessions, this will still likely require far less work than taking on all those lower-paying clients.
4. Offer One-To-Many Services
Most service-based businesses are stuck in the one-on-one model. This basically means you – the business owner – provide individual services to individual clients.
Some examples include business coaching, bookkeeping, consulting, etc.
The one-to-many model means you’re able to offer your services to more than one person at one time – meaning you’re trading far less time for money.
While not every type of business is suitable for this model, if you can do it, it can definitely be worthwhile both for you and for your clients.
For instance, why offer one-on-one coaching for $80/hour when you could offer group coaching services for $30/hour per person? You can make far more money, spend less time, and your clients get help for their problem at a discounted rate.Why offer one-on-one coaching for $80/hour when you could offer group coaching services for $30/hour per person? You can make far more money, spend less time, and your clients get help for their problem at a discounted rate. #BizTips #JustSayin'Click To Tweet
It’s a win/win!
With so many amazing tools out there now there’s almost no excuse NOT to use automation in your business.
Automating basic or repetitive tasks can save you a ton of time, freeing you up to focus on the “big picture” stuff related to your business.💣 Automating basic or repetitive tasks can save you a ton of time, freeing you up to focus on the “big picture” stuff related to your business. #BizTips #BOOM'Click To Tweet
Some ways you can easily use automation in your business:
- Plan and schedule your social media posts using Agorapulse
- Using an email marketing service like AWeber, create email autoresponders to automatically connect with new subscribers
- Communicate with your entire team at once using a tool like Slack
- Automatically reuse and repost blog posts using a plugin like Revive Social
For more of my favorite tools, check out my post, Top 35 Small Business Tools for Today’s Entrepreneur.
6. Get Affiliates
Finding a steady stream of customers is one of the most important but most time-consuming aspects of running a business.
One way to help automate this process is to start an affiliate program for your business.
Here’s how it works: After setting up an affiliate program, your affiliates basically promote and market your product or service on your behalf. For every sale they make, you pay them a predetermined amount or percentage.
While this obviously ends up costing you (in the case of digital products, often 50% or more of your sales price), this is largely passive income; meaning your affiliates do most of the work while you just collect your money!
7. Use a Subscription-Based Model
You’re likely already familiar with this model, especially if you’re subscribed to a service like Netflix.
In this model, your subscribers pay a monthly fee to receive something of value from your business. In the case of Netflix, this is obviously continued access to TV shows and movies.
However, there are many other products or services you could provide as part of your subscription:
- A membership site where subscribers get access to new content on a regular basis
- An e-commerce site where members are automatically sent new products each month
- A paid community where members can ask questions or get support (could be in the form of a forum, Facebook group, etc.)
- A group coaching program where you work with clients for a monthly fee
The beauty of this model is you only need to get a customer once – and then they automatically get charged a monthly recurring fee.
This lets you spend more of your time creating value, and less trying to find new customers or clients!
8. Document Your FAQ’s
What questions do you consistently get asked by customers or clients? Do you have these written down, or do you have to re-write your answers each time you get an email or message?
Keeping a running document of frequently asked questions can save you tons of time, AND ensure your responses are consistent.
Stop doing the same work over and over again – and provide better customer service at the same time!
9. Use Your Website to Generate Passive Income
Are you using your business website or blog to its full potential? Or is it simply a place for customers to read the occasional blog post and get your contact info?
A website or blog can be an excellent way to increase your income without putting in a ton of additional time or effort.
There are a number of ways you can make passive income from your site, but some of the most common are promoting affiliate products, selling your own digital products (see #2 above!) and offering ad space.
Are you overwhelmed with potential leads and customers, but don’t want to lose out on all those sales?
Consider outsourcing your work to a freelancer. If you can find a reliable, competent freelancer to take a bunch of work off your hands, you can spend less time in your business, while still collecting a regular paycheck.
11. Create a Program
In a way, this is the same as creating a digital product. But, think of a program as the MOTHER of all digital products!
Think about what end result your customer or clients are looking for:
- To lose weight
- Get more leads through social media
- Become a more confident parent
- Learn how to cook easy, healthy meals so they can ditch the takeout
Think about the #1 pain point, problem or goal your audience is concerned with, and create a program that will show them exactly how to fix/solve that issue.💭 Think about the #1 pain point, problem or goal your audience is concerned with, and create a program that will show them exactly how to fix/solve that issue. #BizTips #TimeSavingTipsClick To Tweet
While this will be a ton of work to create, if you’ve done a good job of identifying your audience’s biggest issue(s), your program should virtually sell itself!
Why continue to work more and more hours when there are so many great ways to stop trading your valuable time for money?!
Each of the strategies above will not only help you spend less time on your business, they’ll help you make MORE money – and sometimes even let you help MORE people.
So, what are you waiting for? 😉
Which strategies above are you going to implement? Share below!