10 Proven Ways to Scale Your Online Business in One Year

Once upon a time, I worked in a super-stressful, drama-filled work environment. My anxiety was through the roof and it made me physically ill and emotionally detached from my life. (Please know that you are not alone if you are feeling that way right now!I)

I knew I couldn’t keep on like that, so in just three months, I left that super-stressful full-time job. After a few pivots and a few gentle shoves, I niched into the specialty of Executive Virtual Assistant and began working from home for myself. 

While it wasn’t linear, it was fulfilling. I was doing work that I wanted to do and that felt like I had a purpose and a direction again. After niching, I grew my client roster and scaled my business to Prestridge & Co, a team of Executive Virtual Assistants supporting and uplifting online entrepreneurs.

I’m telling you this because if I can do it, you can do it, too. As I said, Prestridge & Co started out as just me. I grew from a team of one to a team of many, so I know you can scale your business, too. 

One of the values of my company is EMPOWERMENT. We help clients feel empowered to take risks, dream big, and are committed to supporting them along the way. I completely believe that you are capable of doing whatever it is you want to do. 

With a little support and a little encouragement, I was able to pivot my business and land in a fulfilling, happy, peaceful version of my life. That happened for me and I hope this helps you see what’s possible for you, too!

Step #1: Decide WHY You Want to Build and Scale a Business

Without a clear vision, you will have no idea where you’re headed. And that’s when you end up taking on all kinds of tasks that don’t make you excited to sit down at your desk every day. When you decide WHY you’re doing what you’re doing, you’ll have a guide to measure your decisions against. You can say, “Yes, that fits within my vision and will help me get to where I need to go.” Or you can realize it won’t and say no with grace. Trust me, you do not want to skip this step and really get specific with it, as it will be the foundation for your scaling journey!

Step #2: Get Clear on Your First Goal

When thinking about scaling your business, starting a business, doing anything really- it all is done one step at a time. You may get overwhelmed thinking about all the steps that are between you and the incredible heights you want to bring your business. My advice so that you don’t burn out from the start is to just pick your first goal and focus on that. 

Once you determine what that goal is, it’s much easier to have clarity on where you’re headed and keep that WHY top of mind. When you niche in, as I did by restarting my business as an Executive Virtual Assistant, I knew exactly who I was talking to and exactly what my goal would be. Eventually, I met that goal, so I moved it a little down the field, then lathered, rinsed, and repeated.

Related Reading: 10 Tools for Online Entrepreneurs to Make Your Life Easier

Step #3: Start Taking Action…Right Now

You know how they say, “There’s no time like the present”? Or maybe, “A year from today, you’ll wish you had started”? They’re things that belong on inspirational magnets, but it’s true. Don’t wait until….fill in the blank with your preferred excuse. (And yes, it is an excuse.) There’s never a perfect time. And you are capable! Even if it doesn’t always feel like it. 

If this is your dream, commit to what you want and do whatever it takes to get there. Look for the next right step that will move you toward the goal you identified in Step #2 and get your booty going. Imperfect action is better than perfect nothingness.

Step #4: Let Go of the Excuses Running Your Life

Excuses will keep you stuck. If it’s important enough, you’ll find a way to make it happen, excuses be damned. Before I left my desk job, I’d work 8 hours in the office, then come home and go through a VA course. I could have said that I didn’t have time, or that I was too tired, or that I didn’t feel motivated, but it was so important to me, that I couldn’t make time for it.

Just like you identified WHY in Step #1, now it’s time to identify why not. As in, “Why am I not taking action on this dream?” Once you discover why you aren’t doing something (hint: it’s often fears dressed up as excuses, so dig in a bit!), you can address the reason you’re holding yourself back from scaling your business and take steps to move past that belief.

I’ve found that entrepreneurship is a path of continuous evolution and growth. Give yourself some love, lean in on those fear blocks that are stopping you, and even if you feel the fear- do it anyway.  

Step #5: Align With People Who Can Teach You Things or Help You Develop Your Skills

Sometimes this is a coach, other times a course, or just chatting with friends on Instagram! But either way, you need to get thoughtful, smart support.

No matter what the resource, find someone who knows more than you, who can help you avoid the traps they’ve encountered in their business, who can help you plan out the big picture for your business, and, ultimately, support you as you scale your business.

Step #6: Get Comfortable With Your Offerings and With Raising Your Prices

You won’t scale your business unless you find more clients, so you have to talk about what you do with clarity and confidence. No one is going to buy from you if you can’t tell them what benefits you offer. If you sound unconvinced and unsure about them, your potential clients will pick up on that and be unsure about it, too. You are valuable and 100% deserving of your biggest dreams. Talk about your business as if you are the most amazing CEO (even if you don’t believe it now) and you’ll start to do it naturally.

Further, raising your prices shows that you value yourself. It’s also a sign that you’ve put in the time to make yourself better in your craft. That price should reflect all the schooling, trainings, networking, workshops, experience, and so on that have gone into mastering your skills. If you started your business 5 years ago and you haven’t raised your rates, now is the time to do so. (Actually 4 years ago was the time!) You have 5 more years of experience and value to offer your clients!

Related Reading: 5 Reasons Why You Need a Custom Client Welcome Packet

Step #7: Define What You Do In Immense Detail

If you don’t know what you’re creating, how can you create it? Defining what you do will help you easily make decisions as you transform your business. It gives you a way to measure if something will help you scale your business or if it’s going to be a distraction pulling you away from your dreams.

For example, I had to tell certain clients I couldn’t support anymore when I got specific and niched my business into Executive Assistant work. But because I was very clear on what I wanted and was not willing to accept less than that, it made it easier to see the possibilities opening up for me rather than the doors I was closing.

Step #8: Get the Message Out

This step does not have to be at a specific time in your scaling process, but rather a continuous refinement. As you start to scale and grow, your brand needs to reflect that to your audience. Are you only doing higher-quality packages and working with a very specific client? You need to show that through your website, brand, and social media platforms. This does not mean you need a whole rebrand before you can scale. But it is worth it to understand that your intentions behind your brand may change as you scale. Let your people know with clarity who you are and what you’re doing! 

Step #9: Release What Doesn’t Fit

Don’t be afraid to release clients as you get clearer. Not everyone will stay with you on your journey, and you have to make peace with “losing clients” along the way. I narrowed down my client roster to one person when I went from a VA to an EVA. It was terrifying (especially since it happened right around the holidays) but I knew I couldn’t grow in my new niche if I was still hanging on to folks who needed general VA support.

When you’re releasing what doesn’t fit, refer back to your WHY and your definition of what you do with immense detail. If someone doesn’t fit, they’re no longer an ideal client and must go. It’s important to note that you have to trust that new clients who are a perfect match will come along. It’s a hard step, but it’s so necessary.

Related Reading: How to Fire a Team Member Who No Longer Supports You

Step #10: Find Support

You need to have support as you’re growing your business — support from family, spouse, friends… you name it, the people you care about need to have your back. They don’t need to “get it,” but they do need to give you positive energy and stand with you in your choices.

My husband didn’t “get” what I was doing when I was building my business as a VA, yet he brought dinner to my desk every night for three months while I was learning everything I needed to. I couldn’t have done it as quickly as I did without his support.

Eventually, you will want to hire outside support for your business, too. That’s a good problem! You’ve scaled your business so much, that you need to delegate some things that aren’t in your zone of genius so you can do the work that really matters to you! Look for the areas where you have gaps in your knowledge or things you dislike doing and hire an Executive VirtualAssistant, coach, or another person to step in to assist you.

Related Reading: 3 Ways an Executive Virtual Assistant Can Support Your Business Goals

I hope this post inspired you to dream big for yourself! As I mentioned before, this isn’t linear and you’ll have to return to some (or all) of these steps as you continue to grow and scale your business. But it’s worth it because this system works. I scaled my business from $200 months to $20k months in the space of a year.

At Prestridge & Co, we work with action-taking, motivated women who are passionate about seeing their businesses grow. We know that it is possible to step outside of our comfort zones and into our zones of genius. And we know that this growth is entirely possible for you if you’re feeling called to this journey. You will be able to scale up quickly as long as you put in the effort and follow these steps.

If you’re interested in working with an Executive Virtual Assistant to provide support and be your #1 cheerleader as you continue growing, growing, growing- then click this link and let’s talk about how to make those dreams a reality!

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