What NOT to Do to Build a Profitable Business

I love that show “What Not to Wear” on TLC.  I love how Stacy and Clinton ambush some unsuspecting, fashionably challenged woman and turn her into a fashionista. 

They tape secret footage of her wearing sweatpants and ratty old t-shirts around town and then they have her bring her wardrobe to New York so they can look at everything and toss out the stuff that just isn’t working.  By the end of the show she has a brand new wardrobe worth $5000 and looks amazing!

Today I’m going to share with you what not do in your business.  And believe me, ditching these things is well worth over $5000 in cash, time, and energy.

  1. Work with anyone and everyone.  Sure, what you have to offer could probably benefit most everyone on the planet, but please narrow it down a bit. When your niche is not well-defined everything is kind of generic (your marketing, your message, your services, your products, the benefits you provide, etc).  Not having a niche makes it hard to stand out from the crowd. Your ideal clients will likely have a hard time finding you and you will have a hard time finding your ideal clients if you haven’t decided who they are.  You don’t have to marry your niche, but please choose one for now.  You can always tweak it as your business evolves.  Not having a niche is costing you precious time, money, and energy.
  2. Toil away at tech projects. I see solopreneurs spending countless hours working on things like setting up shopping carts, building websites, and who knows what else.  Unless you are really tech savvy and enjoy doing this kind of thing in your spare time—you need to delegate your tech projects to a professional who can do it faster and better than you can.  It‘s one thing to upload a video or even a newsletter every now and then, but don’t get carried away.  Remember your role is income generation.
  3. Agonize over administrative tasks.  Just say “no” to the following:
    1. Bookkeeping,
    2. Doing your own taxes,
    3. Answering the phone,
    4. Scheduling new clients,
    5. Weeding through emails,
    6. Writing your own contracts,
    7. And anything else that takes longer than 30 minutes and falls outside of your “great work.” None of these things brings in the dough. Hire a bookkeeper, tax advisor, accountant, lawyer, and/or a VA.
  4. Wing it.  Put systems in place that save you time, money and energy.  If you have to do anything more than once, figure out the most effective, efficient, and cost-effective way to do it and then do it that way all the time. 
  5. Fly by the seat of your pants.  Make sure you have thoughtfully planned out how you intend to generate consistent cash flow in your business.  Is your business model sound? What are your weekly, monthly, or yearly goals?  Are you doing all you can to achieve them? If you want a profitable and sustainable business you have to be very  intentional about building it.

What one thing can you kick to the curb that would positively impact your business? Leave a comment below—I’d love to hear it.

© 2011 Tiffany deSilva, Order and Balance, LLC

Want to reprint this article?  Be my guest; just remember to include the following message:

Tffany deSilva, founder and CEO of Order and Balance, LLC, specializes in helping women entrepreneurs build rock-solid, financially successful and sustainable businesses that not only run seamlessly, but integrate seamlessly with their ideal lives. Visit http://www.RockSolidBusinessSuccessSummit.com  to register for  the Rock-Solid Business Success Summit.  Registration is FREE so don’t miss this opportunity to overcome overwhelm and start making great money doing what you love.

10 Response to “What NOT to Do to Build a Profitable Business ”

Jeff Brunson
September 2, 2011
9:38 am

Comment :

Boy have you got me thinking! One thing I’m toiling over is my website. I keep up two blogs (one of them around my book). I love writing. I don’t love the website any longer or thinking of ways to keep it fresh. So, there is my challenge!

Heidi Alexandra Pollard
September 3, 2011
2:52 am

Comment :

Spot on wake up call in this list.
In particular I love point 3 – just say no and your yardstick or rule of thiumb that anything that takes over 30 minutes. great way to measure and track delegation success!

Tiffany deSilva
September 3, 2011
4:51 am

Comment :

Jeff, you just hit on one of the biggest challenges I see–consistently creating new content for websites/blogs, social media, etc. I know you do some of this already, but here are my energy saving tips that I give my clients:

1) Reduce. Reduce the amount of time you’re spending on your website, newsletters, or what have you, by focusing only on content creation. Hire a VA to do the techy parts like uploading everything and making it all look pretty.

2) Reuse. Reuse older posts from your blog and explain why they are timely, relevant, or meaningful now. You can even use someone else’s article as a guest blogger, with their permission, of course.

3) Recycle. Repurpose existing material into blog articles, facebook posts, and tweets.

4) Reconnect. Whenever you what to generate new ideas for content, reconnect with your readers. Ask them what they’d like to read, what questions they might have, or give them an opportunity to write content for you. I think something like an essay contest would be awesome!

As I’m writing this reply, I’m thinking this could very easily become a blog post with a little tweaking. I could also make it a facebook post. I could send it off to my VA and have her break up the tips and load them up for twitter. I could even post a question on LinkedIn groups like “What’s you’re best tips for consistent content creation?” Or “What’s your biggest time challenge?”

Jeff, I know you are a brilliant writer and you like to think outside the box, so I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Tiffany deSilva
September 3, 2011
4:58 am

Comment :

Thanks, Heidi. I like that you called it a “wake up call” because I think it’s so easy for entrepreneurs to get lost in work that’s not moving them forward. And the worst thing is they’re not fully aware that it’s happening.

Sue Painter
September 3, 2011
12:26 pm

Comment :

Like most people, I delegate the big stuff for my website but end up tweaking things here and there when I need to quickly change something. But it always takes more time than I think it will. That’s probably my biggest challenge.

Mary Ellen Miller
September 4, 2011
2:31 pm

Comment :

Great tips Tiffany! I really like #5. As solopreneurs we must have a plan!

Bill Painter
September 4, 2011
7:26 pm

Comment :

For me number 4 – Winging it versus a having a system (written down or a check list) is great way to waste time, especially when you have to remember how to do it each time you do a repetitive function.

carol doyel
September 7, 2011
7:17 pm

Comment :

Would love to share one of your articles on our “women-in-business” page on our site.

Really like the article “What NOT to do to Build a Profitable Business.”. I agree with you on comments about NOT working with anyone and everyone, we really need to be sure to define our demographic, customer, client, etc.

If you would like us to publish this on our site along with your credits and hyperlink to your site please contact me via email thanks!


Renee Preis
September 11, 2011
7:10 pm

Comment :

Love your blog Tiffany!! So often we are so busy doing so much we forget to get rid of the stuff that’s taking precious time away!! Thanks

Georgia Watson
September 12, 2011
7:14 am

Comment :

Number 3 hit home for me. Bookkeeping always gets behind and then it takes forever to catch up. However, I enjoyed the whole article. Gives me food for thought.

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