“I want to burn my business to the ground.”
I’ve heard this exact statement from many coaches. Coaches that have very glamorous Instagrams of high cash months and raving testimonials.
The truth is, growth can be painful and if your business isn’t ready for the high volume, it can be an absolute nightmare leading to intense burnout.
This week on the Scaling to Freedom podcast I break down scaling vs. growing and what you need at minimum before ramping up the volume in your business with ads.
Here’s a closer look at what I discuss in this episode:
- The difference between growing vs. scaling
- The importance of processes and systems
- How having a reliable team will make or break your business
- The importance of reviewing your product suite
You are listening to the Scaling of Freedom podcast, and if you are an online coach or course creator, you are in the right place. I’m your host, Christina Bernhard. I’m an ads agency owner that gets an inside look every day on what’s working and what doesn’t. In the online coaching space, I’m here to share with you what we see works in our agency as well as what we see happening and changing in the industry. Stay tuned to up-level your coaching business to have the freedom you want. Let’s get started.
Welcome to this week’s episode where we are talking about whether you are growing or scaling. So this is really important because whenever you start with ads, it’s going to increase volume. So ads are going to amplify whatever is going on in your business. So it’s really important that your business is ready to scale and not just grow in volume. So first, let’s talk about the difference between the two. So growing means that you’re going to have more clients, more customers, more revenue, all of those things, right? So you’re just growing it, it’s becoming bigger, all the things. Um, scaling is a way that you can get more clients or customers, um, or revenue without necessarily more work, or at least without a lot more work. So if you were to double your client load right now, would it double your hours you’re working because at some point you will hit a cap.
So you have to have a way that you’re going to scale so that that doesn’t happen. Because if your funnels and offers sell, then you run ads to them, it’s going to amplify that. So you have to be prepared for that volume. And there’s a lot of talk about increasing revenue, wanting more money, and all of these, you know, glamorous things, but it can actually be a nightmare situation. So more revenue isn’t always a good thing. Um, if it’s not coming in a more sustainable way, I have seen it become a nightmare. So being someone that is behind the scenes of a lot of these coaching businesses, I have seen how chaotic, and I mean, honestly, like a nightmare situation, it can be to have this increased volume without being fully prepared for it. So it’s really important that you understand the differences. Um, because if you, if you haven’t listened to my podcast about, um, the lessons I’ve learned from my seven figure coaching clients, that’s a really popular episode for good reason.
And in there I talk about how in this space, the insane amount of burnout that I’ve seen, and that is one of the lessons that I learned is that burnout is real, and burnout can be very intense. And so this is what happens if we focus on the money more than everything else as a whole. Um, because, you know, again, you think that you want just more revenue and more money, but, um, in reality, if it’s not, if your SOPs are not set up, if your, um, team is not integrated and set up properly, then it’s going to be insane. So what needs to happen to be able to bring in this revenue without being at risk of the burnout? So, um, I’m gonna go through quickly just a few things that I’ve seen that a lot of my clients and myself also have done to prepare to scale instead of just grow.
So, I’m gonna go through these things and I recommend going through, um, these, this process before starting ads or before ramping them up at least. And this is also before we get into it, this is also an ever ending process. So this is not something that you just do over a weekend and then it’s done. This is something that’s always, always evolving. And as things progress forward, you’re always going to have to, you know, recreate these things for a whole nother level, a whole new, um, set of different kinds of, you know, problems or, um, needs in your business. So the first thing is having really thorough SOPs. So at minimum, you want to have client onboarding to be very, very smooth and easy. Um, and then you want your service related SOPs to be also very seamless. So if you are, um, if you have an offer that’s kind of customized to people, um, I would recommend, and this can take time too, I would recommend taking that and having some sort of offer that is more streamlined and more, um, I guess, uh, cookie cutter for everyone as far as what you are offering as far as calls, um, or any kind of support that you’re offering if you’re a coach, um, if you have any access to material, things like that.
Um, and then you can customize things on the specific calls or, you know, the, those pieces of support, because with the SOPs, it’s really, really difficult to create SOPs for a million different offers that you’re customizing all the time. So in order to scale, it’s not very scalable to have fully custom offers. It’s very difficult to scale that. So if you have something that is more standard and have a template of your services, you want every little piece of that to be recorded into an sop. And this takes a really long time. Um, this, my brain actually works really well with systems, and I really struggled with realizing how long this took , like I pulled all nighters. I’m not necessarily recommending that whatever works for you, but I’ve done so many hours of work to create the SOPs that we have and, um, it, it was totally worth it.
If I went back, I would do it again for sure. Um, so just be prepared for this to take a really long time. And this might seem fairly basic, but I’ve seen coaches that make seven figures not have these pieces in place. It is possible, um, to make it there and not have these pieces in place, but I will say that it, again, it’s very, very chaotic and it’s a lot, a lot of stress. So that’s the first thing is having your SOPs together. Um, so you just need some sort of step-by-step system that you use every single time with every single client. Um, you know, with onboarding, offboarding, service related, definitely hire an OPM or talk to one. Um, a lot of them do v i p days or, you know, one time intensives where they can set a lot of this up for you.
So that’s gonna be the first most basic thing. Um, the second thing is an integrated team. So this actually, I would say of the three things I’m going over, this is probably the most difficult that I see because it’s been, you know, it’s, it’s always a journey trying to find a team of people that work really hard, that work really well with you, that are a good fit, um, and are here to stick around. I see a lot of turnover and whenever there’s turnover, it’s just incredibly difficult to pick back up and restart that portion of whatever their role is. And so the best thing that you could do is to, you know, really take the time to train them well, or at least have those systems that this is another SOP that you can have, um, onboarding systems so that they have the resources that they need to do a really good job.
Um, I do really love the idea of hiring slow and firing fast. Um, I personally have, uh, struggled to do this in the past. Um, specifically the firing fast . So I have definitely held on to people for too long, and it’s always just makes it even worse whenever you do have to let them go, because then you find someone else that does a really great job and you’re like, I wish I would’ve done this a long time ago. My gut knew that this was probably not going to work out. And so that is just one thing that I have struggled with in the past. Um, and I really do love that I’ve seen that, um, just ring true over and over again in my business. But even just working with clients, we often have to work with their team members, and I’ve seen turnover and it’s a pain for us, and we’re just, you know, their agency for their ads.
And I can see the kind of chaos that it stirs up in the business. And it’s just really difficult because, you know, once people are really integrated and they’ve been with you for a while, they just know what to do, right? So they’re so much more independent, you don’t have to worry about them, you don’t have to micromanage them if you are a micromanager, um, you don’t have to worry about those things being done because they know what to do. They can also, they’re better equipped to be able to make decisions and, um, just under be able to navigate different scenarios that don’t come up all the time because they’ve just had experience in your business. And that has been really, really helpful, um, just for my own business. But also it’s really nice to work with a team that’s integrated in our client’s business because they just just have the answers most of the time, and it’s really, really helpful.
Um, rather than whenever you do have that turnover and they’re always, you know, rehiring that position that we’re working with and that person leaves things undone and, you know, we’re having to start over and get people up back up to speed on what our process is. Um, it’s just a lot. So an integrated team is really gonna help you scale because they’re gonna be able to handle that load as well, because they’re not always, you’re not always having this new person that has no idea what they’re doing, um, all the time because you’re constantly having this turnover. So that integrated team is going to be huge for scaling. I mean, at minimum, I can’t imagine trying to amplify and scale without a really good integrated team. The third thing that you can do to scale is go through your product suite or your services. So, you know, think about ways that you can se, uh, scale, and I’m specifically speaking mostly to coaches with, um, coaching programs or maybe you’re doing one-on-one.
So think about, you know, do you need to have co-coach? That’s a really common thing that a lot of my clients do is that, um, you know, you hire on co-coach to also provide value in your programs. I’m also a co-coach in a few programs. So, you know, you can have different experts from different, um, expertise and have them also give value in things that maybe you aren’t an expert in. And that’s a really great way to make your programs more well-rounded, but also it makes it where you’re not having to coach every single call, um, but your people still get a lot of value. So while you do have to hire co-coach and that’s another expense potentially, um, it is a way that you can actually scale. Um, you can also look at, you know, group programs of course is really, really common. If you are only doing one-on-one, um, or you’re doing, um, uh, smaller group programs, you could have, uh, group programs that have, um, multiple groups.
So you’re still keeping them small, but you’re just having an extra call, but you are able to serve more people. Um, this will of course be a lot easier if you do have co-coach and al also your co-coach. Do not have to be people who have expertise in other things other than coaching. You can actually have, um, coaches that in some ways replace you and they can just help with like questions and things like that. Um, and then you can come on and do like a monthly or biweekly, uh, training with people. Um, this can also help with like Slack support and things like that outside of calls too, if you do have some co-coach to just help out with that support, that way you can serve more people. Um, another thing to look at is standalone courses or memberships, things that you can sell within Evergreen Funnel as well.
That is one thing that a lot of our clients do. So that usually has, you know, that reoccurring revenue that really helps, um, cushion, um, clients whenever they are going through, you know, their revenue goals. When you’re able to have something like that, you can stack that revenue without necessarily having to do more work. So your group programs don’t necessarily have to grow. You can also have something that is on the side that is just that reoccurring revenue. Memberships are a really great way to do this. Um, or also, uh, standalone courses that you can sell on an ongoing basis. So the topics of these, um, it, you know, if it’s a standalone course, it has to be something that ideally is fairly niche, um, and certainly wanted of course. Um, and then we’re taking the time to build out to that funnel. I will say that takes time.
Um, I feel like most people don’t understand how much time and money and effort it takes to have something like that, just bringing in money every single month. Um, we see it all the time is absolutely possible, but it does take a lot of time and money, um, and attention. So those are the three main ways. So going through those SOPs, having that integrated team, which is huge. The team one is honestly huge. Like that’s the one that I probably see the biggest struggles with is just the turnover and dealing with that. Um, very hard to, you know, hit the ground running when your team is just constantly changing. Um, and then the third one is of course your product suite, um, and your business model and just making sure that that is in a place where, especially in coaching, when it’s you as the main, um, per service provider or the coach, um, that is going to be, uh, huge as well to make sure that you’re able to actually increase that revenue without having to constantly be on calls. ,
Um, I will add also with that, um, sales calls is another thing that I’ve seen a lot of my clients outsource. Um, I only recommend outsourcing it if you are like bombarded with sales calls. Like you literally can’t take them all. Um, or you can also do some sort of, um, application process and not in like bypass the call completely, but I’ve seen, um, I have some clients that have a lot of success having a sales team, uh, for their calls that take their calls. Now again, they have a very high call volume, so that’s what how they’re able to, um, I guess not necessarily justify, it’s just sales calls are just a really good practice for all of us, honestly, for business, because you’re able to talk to people and really understand where they’re coming from. Um, you’re able to hear the objections and you’re just getting a front row seat to your, the people who are ideal on the people who aren’t.
And it’s really, really good information for building funnels, writing, marketing, copy, speaking to your audience. All of those things are so, so good. So, um, I recommend staying on sales calls as long as you can, but um, it is if you’re in a place where you need to scale, um, that is something that you can outsource and still have a lot of great success with that. So that is what I have for you this week. I wanted to go over these things just so you know, for people who are, again, running ads, but wanting to really amplify things. Um, maybe you’re in the thick of this. Um, if not, uh, if you are considering ads, um, this is definitely something to consider because the revenue and all the growth and you know, all the things that look so glamorous on social media, I will tell you from behind the scenes, it’s not really so glamorous if the right steps are not taken ahead of time to make sure that you don’t end up creating your own nightmare in the future. Cause that’s not what we’re doing all of this for, right? So, um, that is what I have for you this week. I will see you guys next week. Thank you for listening to the Scaling to Freedom podcast. If you are a seven figure coach looking for ads management with an agency that partners with you to get your work out into the world and amplify your impact, see if we are a good fit by applying for a spot in our firstname.lastname@example.org/apply. Find the link in our show notes.