You want to know how to run a business but all the things you are told you need to do feel impossible with the time you have.
I will tell you that trying to run a business on 10 hrs per week is not a whole lot. But if you are intentional with the time you have it can be done. But you need a clear action plan so you can get right to work building your successful business.
As a side note: If you want to one day transition to the business full time you are going to have to give it more than that. OR be ok with it taking a lot longer before you are at a full-time income. Instead of a few years, it could take 3-5 years before the business grows to the level you want it to.
I don’t want to dash your hopes but I also want to tell you the truth so you don’t have the wrong expectations. It can be done but you have to set it in your heart and mind that you will never give up.
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If you are trying to build a side hustle income from your farm than you can do pretty well running the business side of it on 10hrs a week. BUT you have to stay focused and take intentional action on your business plan and not get distracted.
Are you ready to commit to that? Awesome!
Then grab your walking shoes my friend because this is a journey worth taking.
Think About Your Life And Business Goals
This is key to having a fulfilling life that makes your soul feel good.
As much as people in the business world like to say that helping others is fulfilling this can be a thankless job at times. You can not keep going without enjoying the pieces of business you love to do.
Social media is a big push these days and I do think it has its place. But its not everything. You can run yourself if you push to do all the things that everyone is screaming at you to do.
So before you do any of these tasks or business platforms that I share with you I want you to think about what you envision your life looking like in two years. How do you see yourself spending your days?
Do you spend your days writing blog posts more than anything else? Or showing up on social media every day?
Are you happier going by unnoticed in public? Or do you love having people notice you? These questions will help you decide which platforms might serve you best with the goals you have for your life.
The three Basics Of How To Run A Business
There are 3 areas that every business needs to have in order to sustain itself. Without them, you can’t expect to make money or grow your business.
This is a quick overview and then I will dive in a bit more deeply into each.
Audience/Customer Attraction – Work continually to bring more eyes to your business.
If people don’t know you exist you can’t build a relationship with them and they won’t learn to trust you. If they don’t trust you, then they won’t buy from you.
Build A Relationship – You have to earn your audience’s trust and give them a reason to buy from you. This is key for any business no matter what you are selling.
You do this through emailing them, showing up consistently on social media, or your core place for producing content. Showing yourself and not hiding behind the screen.
Helping them even if they may not buy from you.
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Maintenance – And every business has maintenance work. Whether it is packing up products or planning content. This is stuff that you have to do no matter what. Tedious? Maybe, but it is necessary. When you are running a business on a tight amount of time you need to be very intentional about your action. And that takes planning.
Each section has a chunk of time you should be giving to that area. If you can give more then do it.
Audience (Potential Customer) Attraction – 4-6 Hrs Per Week
This section gets the most time because there is no way your business will survive without marketing or outreach. You need to constantly be bringing people in.
Whether that is social media, blogging, YouTube, collaborating with other business owners, or finding features you have to be continually bringing more eyes to what you do.
If you have very little time I would say starting with ONE social media platform would be your best option. It doesn’t cost anything to start and already has an audience on the platform. You just have to get them to look in your direction.
Here is the amount of time I would estimate each platform would take if you put the proper amount of time into them each week.
- A blog post. – 4 hours minimum after you have done the keyword research.
- Youtube video – 3 hrs to record, edit, upload, create a thumbnail, add the youtube description and tags.
- Facebook page – 1hr per week to post 3 times per week.
- Instagram account – 2hrs per week to post 3-5 times per week and do daily stories.
- Other video-centric platforms – 3-5 hrs per week.
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Your business is like a funnel. You need to meet lots of different people because only 1-3% of the people you meet are going to buy from you.
I know it’s sad but that is the average. People also have to see something 7-11 times before they will take action on that thing. Whether it is a post about coming to see your Facebook page or to actually buy something.
What tasks could also go into this category of time?
Tasks that could be included in this section are things like…
- Writing a blog post.
- Doing keyword research (important for any platform, even social)
- Writing social media posts
- Sharing on pinterest – Use these pin templates to make your life a whole lot easier.
- Sharing content from other pages.
- Researching what THERE PROBLEM is and finding ways to answer it.
- Creating videos (to go with your blog posts or to build a YouTube channel.)
Build A Relationship – 2 hrs Per Week
Whether you sell a physical product that can be shipped, something that has to be picked up, or you sell digital products and services you have to give your audience a reason to want to buy from you.
Unless you are Wal-Mart or Amazon people are not going to come to your website and buy from you no questions asked. But think about this. We don’t buy from Walmart or Amazon because we like them.
We buy from them because they are the cheapest or they can get the product to us without leaving our home.
As business owners, we have to use a marketing strategy that causes us to stand out from the crowd. It makes the customer WANT what we have.
How To Build A Relation Ship
This means you are nurturing the people who already know you exist and hang around learning in the corners. You need to keep showing up giving them little tidbits that show them what you are all about.
These three categories are the topics that I find work best for people in the farm business industry.
- About you and behind the scenes.
- Tips and education.
- Your product and how it works or what it does.
Rotate through these topics each week to build the trust of your audience.
Maintenance – 2hrs Per Week
Maintenance is simply that. The stuff you have to do to keep the doors open. Whether that means setting up a system, answering emails, packing products, or planning a sale.
The more maintenance you have to do the less time you will have for the other areas.
An example for me would be in the rabbitry when new litters are in full swing and I will be setting them up for deposits I am going to be talking to a lot of people. The amount of DMs I get will 5X at least. So I have to be aware of that and do the work ahead of time in the other areas.
Get out a pen and paper and make a list of your business structure and the steps you take on a daily basis.
What needs to be done regularly? What do you have to do for someone to place a deposit.
Using Tools To Help You Run Your Business
If you start to add up everything that needs to be done you might need to and you don’t see a way for you to do it yourself look for tools to help you get that task done.
Business tools have come a long way since I’ve gotten started and they are coming up with more every day.
Things like social scheduling tools and Ai writing assistance are out there to help you get the job done faster.
Here are some of the tools that I use personally or have used in the past.
- Keywords everywhere
You can do this. It just takes time to refine your methods when you are trying to run a business.
Know that it takes time but if you make time for your business the little things will add up. You will have to put in a lot of hours first before you see the reward.
Key Points of Running a Business That Will Help You Succeed
Understand the market of what you plan to sell.
This is hard for some people to grasp but it is so important. You need to know the demand for the thing you sell. What causes people to want to buy that thing? Is it something they need to live or is it a luxury?
Does it depend on something else happening in the world to be sold? Do people need it more in certain locations than others?
Learn about the people who will buy your product? How much money do they have at their disposal? How do they THINK about life and the things they spend their money on.
Are they frivolous or do they count their pennies?
How you market your vegetables to a person who cares about homegrown veggies that are organic and environmentally friendly vs the person who wants quality products but is budget careful are going to be two different things.
What Are Your Business Milestones Or KPIs
Do you want to see more traffic to your website, reach on your Facebook page, or DMs on your social accounts?
What are your indicators that what you are doing is working? This is going to help you make a business decision like knowing when you need to change what you are doing or just keep plugging along.
Most people want to see lots of money in the first year or two. But the problem with that is it takes time to see a big return on investment of time or money.
I know when I first started raising my rabbits it was hard to keep going sometimes. I wondered where the next sale was coming from.
But as time went on it got easier and more people were talking about me. So in turn sales went up.
While money is a good indicator I think it shouldn’t be your first focus right out of the gate… Just keep an eye out for some kind of growth.
Create A Business Plan
This is a good idea to some extent but I also don’t think you should be worrying about 3-5 years down the road.
SO MUCH changes in this online space at the drop of a hat and your whole world could look different. The way you get traffic, the way you get eyes on your business, the tools you use to sell can look so different next month.
I had the dream of using Google and Pinterest as two main traffic drivers that would work in tandem. But today Pinterest is a very small sliver of my traffic. It still sends a little bit but not a huge amount. So my business marketing plan had to change.
The best example I heard to give a visual to how you should look at your business plan is like driving a car in the dark to a destination.
Even if you are only driving a few miles you don’t get to see the whole path you intend to drive. Your headlights show you a few feet in front of you and you have a good idea of where your next turn will be. But that’s it.
You have to take it one turn at a time.
Be Unique In Your Customer Experience
This is one thing that I have strived to do in the rabbitry. Find ways to be different and stand out from the other rabbit raisers.
From having a clean beautiful website, answering people’s questions regardless of if people bought from me, providing content that helped educate people, creating a professional and automated deposit and pickup experience, and more…
I am always working to grow and find new ways to add a unique touchpoint (any interaction with me, I want to be reaching out and doing something extra for them)
Now, this also comes with a warning label.
Find cool things you can do that don’t take up too much extra time. Because you have to be able to do it for all of your customers.
A few seconds is ok and even a few minutes. But purchasing something from your farm does not mean they get to call you at 8 pm at night during dinner. Extra but with boundaries.
Customer service is great and even important. But the customer will respect you a lot more if you stand on what you believe in, hold to the truth, and do what’s right.
Build Trust With Your Customers
Your business must be built on trust with your customer base. Build a loyal community and ensure that your products do exactly what you say they do.
AND if something went wrong stand up and fix it. As scary as that might be you will be so much happier in the end.
What do you need to run a business?
You need a product, an ideal customer to sell it to, and your one method to reaching that person. Thats what it boils down to in its simplest form.
How do I run a successful business?
Know your end goals and what you are working towards. Then be willing to change your tactics to get there. BUT not the end goal.
Business and the world is always changing. Adaptability is what will define your business success or failure.
You can run your business on a few hours a week. But make sure you are strategic in your business processes, cut distractions, and stay on task. Avoid shiny objects trying to take you off your course.