From the outside looking in, owning and running a business seems like the “meal ticket” people are looking for. It appears glamorous and easy. People think: Nobody is telling you what to do. You get to work your own hours. The income is great. And while these things can be true, they don’t happen by mistake. Many business owners work more hours, are more stressed, and take home less pay than salaried employees working 40-hour weeks.
If you want to be the exception, you have to work at it. You need to build a hands-off business that puts you in the proverbial driver’s seat.
5 Tips for a Low-Maintenance Business
Everyone wants to talk about passive income. And while passive income can be “a thing,” the reality of passive is often much different than the idea people have in their heads. Passive doesn’t mean generating thousands of dollars per month without lifting a finger.
Instead, it means strategically removing yourself from your business and making it as hands-off as possible so the company generates revenue even when you aren’t physically putting in time.
Here are several tips for building a low-maintenance business that works on your terms:
1. Invest Up Front
You have to invest in a business in order to make it successful. You either invest time or you invest money (and usually both are required in the initial stages). But if you aren’t willing to invest much time, you’ll have to fork over a lot more money.
With the right financial investment, you can hire other people to run the business and get it up and running. If you do this, make sure you’re hiring people who are good fits. You need folks who are problem solvers, creatives, and who are willing to tackle challenges head-on (not come to you asking you to hold their hand).
2. Choose the Right Type of Business and People
Not all businesses are conducive to being hands-off or low-maintenance. For example, being a dentist is not low-maintenance (unless you plan on hiring other dentists to fill your building). The same goes for being a website designer. If you want to make money, you have to take the time to build the website. It’s hard to scale this sort of operation if you’re the one doing the work.
Make sure you recruit and onboard the right people. Create a new hire checklist that helps you set employees up for success. The combination of being in the right business with the best people can limit costs and headaches to operate the business.
3. Outsource Time-Consuming Tasks
Every business has time-consuming tasks that can absolutely swamp you as a business owner. To be successful, you must learn how to streamline these tasks. Outsourcing is one good option.
For example, let’s say you run a real estate investment company where you invest in rental properties. You have 25 different properties and tenants. Trying to personally handle the day-to-day tasks like repairs, maintenance, and rental collection on this many units is way too much for one individual to handle. By outsourcing to a property management service, you can reclaim this time and still run a profitable operation.
4. Automate With Tools
You don’t always have to outsource. Thanks to the rise of SaaS products and advanced smartphone applications, there are often ways to automate and streamline with nothing more than a simple tool. From accounting to content marketing to customer service, there’s an app or software for almost everything. Stack them together in the correct way and you can run a fully automated business from the palm of your hand.
5. Find Recurring Revenue
One of the keys to running a hands-off business is to escape the “time equals money” trap. In other words, find a way to generate revenue without physically having to put in your own time. A good way to do this is by adding some sort of subscription revenue stream to your company.
Subscriptions create predictable recurring revenue and are generally highly scalable. This could include monthly service, online education, newsletters, etc.
Building a hands-off business doesn’t happen by accident. It requires hard work, discipline, and strategic planning. But if you’re willing to put in the work on the front end, you’ll earn the right to reap the rewards in the future. Good luck!
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