As a freelancer or service provider, you usually have ONE key goal: Increase Revenue.
More often than not, that requires one of two things – either work more hours or go the agency model and have a team of people to work for you.
When we started our business in 2011, we adopted a hybrid business model that included both digital products and services… but over a period of time, the demand for our services grew rapidly and the product side of our business took a back seat.
Here is what we have done over the last year or so to increase our revenue by 50% WITHOUT working more hours OR going down the agency route.
Last year, in 2016, we decided to launch either a product or a productized service every quarter and grow our product side of the business.
We also retired all our previous products to make sure all our products were in tune with the latest trends in the industry and the latest developments in the particular niche.
Why Juggling Can be Bad for Business
When we decided to focus on products, we started by dedicating a whole month in the quarter to a product launch, which essentially translated into no client projects for 30 days in a quarter or for 4 months in a year.
This meant that for a third of the year we were making ourselves unavailable for client work. Not very smart!
Also, the nature of freelancing is such that client projects ebb and flow so you want to be available for work when the flow is thick and fast.
Even today 60% of our revenue is from client projects so we definitely didn’t want a situation where creating more products and increasing our stream of revenue with information products came at the cost of client work.
At the same time, we also didn’t want to create fewer products since scaling that part of our business was equally important for us not only because of revenue but more importantly, because of our desire to serve a much wider client audience.
We wanted to move to a model where we were available for client work throughout the year barring the big holidays or our annual vacation AND at the same time we wanted to consistently keep our product line churning out eCourses, eBooks, Master classes smoothly.
How To Increase Revenue by 50% While Working the Same Number of Hours
The secret to doubling our revenue lies in one tiny element: Our Work Schedule.
We work a full workweek and do half days on all Saturdays and half days on alternate Sundays.
Between the two of us, we put in about 90-95 hours in a week.
In September 2016, we started to keep our calendars open for client projects each month but schedule working on the projects on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays.
So, we have 48 hours in a week (between the two of us) for client projects and Wednesdays and Thursdays are kept only for creating products or productized services, like the Fully Loaded Launch Copy package.
So… this means we have 32 hours in the week to dedicate to our products.
A schedule like this gives us enough time to come up with a launch almost every 6-8 weeks while keeping our client pipeline full.
Weekends are kept for Content Bistro-related work – writing blog posts, scheduling social media content, admin-y work, team meetings, etc.
Also, by carefully tracking our past projects we have a fair idea of the hours required to deliver, say… a Sales Page or an Opt in Page or an article on Tech/Finance.
This helps us to accurately predict our project start and end dates and also, our availability for future projects while being able to provide shockingly fast turn around times.
Just by assigning days in the week to ONLY one kind of work (Project Or Client) we have improved our productivity phenomenally and this has given us the opportunity to keep growing both sides of our business while working the same hours.
The last 10-11 months we’ve grown by over 50% while working the same hours with this simple change to our work schedule.
What does your work schedule for the week look like?
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