Entrepreneurs use these hacks to break £1 million a year

Entrepreneur-Avasam

While our team aren’t millionaires (yet!) we’re always on the hunt for tips that will help us on our way to having seven figures in our bank accounts. We find that although we’re working hard on our businesses, there are always ways that we can work more efficiently – and so in this post we’re rounding up some of the best tips we have heard, read and picked up from different sources. No matter what stage you’re at – whether you’re building your plan to get to a million a year, or you’re well on your way to it, we’re sure you’ll find something to help boost your productivity in this post.

Entrepreneurs identify their goals – then break them down

Rarely are you going to encounter a situation where you can do a deal that will result in a million appearing in your bank in one go, so like many entrepreneurs do, the key is to work out the steps to get there. To get to a million in the bank inside a year, you need to do some sums to establish how that breaks down.

£1,000,000 divided by 365 days means that you need to earn £2,739.73 each day.

At first, that sounds impossible – because that is much more than many people earn in a month, let alone each day. But if you break it down further, it becomes more manageable as a goal. Let’s use retail as an example:

If you can sell 1,400 products with £2 profit every day – you’ve hit your target.

If you can sell 548 products at £5 profit every day – you’ve hit your target.

If you can sell 274 products at £10 profit every day – you’ve hit your target.

Now, this is incredibly simplified, and of course, it isn’t anywhere near as easy as this. We haven’t included marketing costs, or any kind of expenses, let alone taxes and so on in these calculations, and most entrepreneurs have different aspects to their business. But you’ll see our point – essentially, when you have a huge task to achieve, breaking it into more manageable chunks means you’ll be able to see the steps you’ll need to hit in order to reach your end goal.

Entrepreneurs set SMART targets

There are a lot of different business analysis tools that help entrepreneurs to achieve their goals, but one of the simplest tools is to set SMART targets. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (although some people use slightly different words, the idea remains the same). Setting goals in this way will help entrepreneurs to stay on track – and to motivate them to keep working on their business when Netflix is calling.

Those goals might be planned on their calendar, with milestones put in place on there too. But there are plenty of other project management tools that work fantastically well – Kanban systems like Trello allow for tasks to be organised easily, and can integrate with calendars to help plan time more effectively too.

Planning ahead means that they know exactly when different milestones on their journey should be met. And the key word in that sentence is should – because everything doesn’t always run to plan, does it?

Entrepreneurs find a niche that they are passionate about

If you’re indifferent about your business and are working at it purely to make money, there is a much smaller chance that you’re going to succeed. Being absolutely passionate, and excited about your business will mean you’re much more likely to want to get started in the morning, and to really push the company forward.

This helps them with our next point: they are consistent with the effort they put into their business.

Entrepreneurs work hard consistently

Although building a business that takes care of itself and continues to grow income is a wonderful idea (and some of your business will be able to do that, using automation and outsourcing, which we’ll get to in a moment), the reality of making more than a million every year is that you need to work hard. Automation and outsourcing simply free your time to identify those other opportunities – which is what will help give you the edge, and those extra pounds in the bank.

Even much down time and self-care time is spent helping them make their way to their goals – and traditionally, that might have meant working on deals during a round of golf. Today, golf might still be involved, but it is more likely to mean:

  • Listening to podcasts during journeys
  • Watching videos while they are in the gym
  • Playing a game to learn a skill like coding, or a language through an app while they are watching TV
  • Reading links from their social media feeds during dead time, such as waiting for an appointment

Entrepreneurs plan their working hours effectively

We’ve all created to-do lists that have felt so overwhelming that we have tried to do everything all at once. Multitasking can sometimes feel productive – especially when you’re doing housework – but in business, it often ends up with mistakes being made, or tasks being completed much more slowly than they would have been if they were done properly, one at a time.

To avoid falling into the trap of doing too many things at once and getting none of them done, successful entrepreneurs use their calendar to plan when they will be concentrating on different things.

It doesn’t matter which calendar you use – whether you prefer an old fashioned pen and paper, a calendar that is linked to your email and can be displayed on all your devices or a completely different solution – the key is you’re your calendar will keep you on track. Schedule tasks when they come up, and concentrate completely on them.

Entrepreneurs eliminate distractions

Have you ever worked early in the morning, or late in the evening when people are in bed? Have you noticed how much easier it is to get things done, simply because there are no distractions? Well, if you’re not an early bird or a night owl, you don’t have to change your sleeping pattern to benefit from no distractions.

Our phones help us run our businesses, but they can get in the way. Use phone settings to minimise your notifications, or restrict the time you allow yourself on the apps that drain your time. You could even use location services to switch off access to apps if you find it hard to stay off them.

When it comes to your PC, there is a lot of potential distraction to try and avoid too. Make use of adblockers to keep yourself away from clickbait articles where it is possible, and use website blockers to prevent accidentally getting pulled into websites that you know are easy to waste time on.

While you’re cutting the noise and distractions, unsubscribe from those marketing emails that you don’t need. While some are useful for your business, others are likely to encourage you to click through – so if you’re waiting for your favourite clothing store to go into sale, have those emails in your personal inbox rather than your work one. You’ll still benefit from seeing the emails, but on your time rather than work time.

Entrepreneurs schedule their downtime

Stopping work to do what seems like nothing might appear counter-intuitive – but you need a break! Humans aren’t robots, and if you keep going all day, every day, eventually you will become burnt out. Burn out is a real thing, and often leads to illness, whether you get physical symptoms, or your mental health is impacted. Either way, it isn’t going to be good for your goals.

Many entrepreneurs schedule their downtime to ensure they don’t get to that point. Whether there is an element of their downtime that can help the business (such as if they socialise with work associates) or not, having time away from the business can ensure that they return to work refreshed and ready to tackle their next challenges head on.

Planning downtime to rest both physically and mentally is important too.

  • Binge watching the latest series on Netflix can be a good way to recharge the brain
  • Exercise keeps everything ticking over physically

Whether it is as simple as taking a walk, going to the gym or something much bigger on a schedule, such as taking an afternoon to play golf, go sailing or (my personal favourite!) having an evening on the calendar to go dancing, planning for both physical and mental downtime will ensure you have that time to look forward to and help you stay healthy. If you’re thinking you don’t have time for both, then you could combine watching that Netflix series with when you’re in the gym.

Entrepreneurs deal with little things ahead of time

Decision fatigue can cause huge problems and time delays. We mentioned subscription services and outsourcing clothes shopping, but some famous entrepreneurs take this even further. Remember how Steve Jobs would always be in the same clothing? That wasn’t an accident. Rather than wasting time in the morning, Steve would reach for a black rollneck jumper, Levi 501 jeans and trainers every day. There are many analyses of his choice of ‘uniform’, but other successful people do the same thing – rapper and businessman Dr. Dre wears Nike Air Force 1 trainers every day, Barack Obama wears only grey or blue suits, and Mark Zuckerberg wears the same grey t-shirt each day.

If you’re not ready to pare back your choice of clothes to this extent (most people enjoy some variation!) then don’t. Instead, streamline your morning routine by getting your clothes ready the night before. Set your morning tea or coffee up before you go to bed, and if you’re heading out to the gym, pack your bag in the evening too. These small steps will help your morning run much more smoothly (especially if you’re dealing with other people in the mornings too) and prevent panics from not being able to find the right shoes, which means you need to change your entire outfit.

This sort of decision making in advance applies to your business too. If you know where you’re buying your packaging from, where your products from your DropShipping activities are coming from, and so on – things can run a lot more smoothly.

Entrepreneurs have contingency plans in place

You can have the best intentions in the world and your plans set perfectly, with brilliantly applied SMART targets – but life almost always finds a way to throw a curveball. Whether it is catching a nasty cold, your web server going down unexpectedly or simply a flat tyre interrupting your day, there will almost always be something that stops plans progressing as intended. Planning for these interruptions means that there is more chance that your business will be able to stay on track.

While nobody could have seen the COVID-19 pandemic coming, it has highlighted to many that they should have prepared better. Looking at the worst possible scenario in advance means you can prepare for it in a much more efficient way, and have your plan B (and maybe even plan C, or D) ready to put into action if you need to. And if you don’t need it – well, you’ll still have the comfort of knowing you DO know what to do if something does go wrong.

Entrepreneurs use automation

In years gone by, entrepreneurs would have completed all their tasks manually. Replying to customers would have been done by hand (perhaps by an assistant), marketing would have meant design work needed doing by hand and catalogues posted to customers – and that’s before we consider how accounts would have all been written in a ledger! Today, so many tasks can be taken care of automatically, using systems that cost very little (if anything at all) that there really isn’t any reason to do those things manually. Think about:

  • Creating social media posts in batches and scheduling them
  • Setting rules on your email to allow you to deal with them more efficiently
  • If your business is retail, using software to manage inventory, orders, send updates to sales channels
  • Expanding retail operations by using DropShipping – with automated updates and returns processes

These are just a few of the ways that automation can benefit your business. If we think of how you can automate things in your personal life – well, there are quite literally millions of apps to help with that!

Entrepreneurs outsource tasks

As an entrepreneur, you have a lot of tasks to take care of. Entrepreneurs play to their strengths, and where they can’t do a task – either at all, or efficiently – then they outsource. That means getting their accounts dealt with by an accountant, it sometimes means finding a freelancer to take care of aspects of their website such as their blog, or paying a virtual assistant to handle their customer service. While these may cost the business, time is money, and having someone else to deal with those things that would cost more in the long run is a wise move. Finding this sort of help and support isn’t hard, since there are lots of freelance marketplaces to get the right support for your business.

But they don’t just outsource in their work life. Outsourcing tasks in their personal life can give them more time to run their business more effectively. That might mean:

  • Hiring a cleaner once a week
  • Ordering their food shopping for delivery (or using a recipe service that sends all the ingredients for each meal – further saving time since they don’t need to make decisions about what to order)
  • Having a personal trainer come to their home or workplace
  • Using subscriptions to get essentials – whether that is having repeat orders from Amazon or other types of services
  • Getting clothing from services that curate and send boxes based on information the customer provides about themselves. They save time shopping and making decisions; they simply try on and keep whatever they like in the box

Finding ways to save time like this might cost a little more in monetary terms, but the time saved that can then be put towards the business are well worth the investment.

Entrepreneurs build their team

It takes a lot for a superhero to run their operation. Iron Man has Pepper Potts, Batman has Alfred, and Robin… You see where we’re going – having support for your business is essential. If you’re at the early stages of growing your business, you might not be able to employ a sidekick, but you can still find support.

Getting support for yourself means having friends and family you can talk to about your endeavours, and to be encouraged by when it gets difficult. Furthermore, if they know your goals, but don’t have a full understanding of what you’re doing, their questions when you get stuck might be enough to unlock the answers in your head! Your support doesn’t need to be purely business-based though – having friends that will drag you out for dinner or drinks now and again, or to hold you accountable to your fitness goals are all really important too.

If you can’t pay anyone to be on your team full-time yet, then it might be a case of building a network of great part-time or freelance staff that you can work with on a semi-regular basis until you’re ready to take on an assistant. Look outside the box for your part time staff too – if you can find a keen A-level student to help you, or an older (but technologically knowledgeable) person, they are likely to show you plenty of dedication, and offer a perspective that you might not have thought of.

Finally, if you can, many entrepreneurs say it is worth finding a mentor. Someone who has been in the business for some time will be able to offer you guidance, help you find the right connections, and may even be willing to step in and help you with certain aspects of your business from time to time. This kind of support can be invaluable for newer businesses. LinkedIn is a fantastic place to start building your business connections, but you might also look at local Chamber of Commerce events as well as industry events to make those connections.

Entrepreneurs use finance wisely

When you’re setting up a business, or looking at how to expand, it might be tempting to rely on credit cards and other easily accessible credit. The problem with that is, if something goes wrong with your business, you’ll be left with the debt to repay personally, as well as costing a lot of money in interest.

Using credit cards wisely – especially if there are 0% deals available to you – can be one way to start, but other financing might be desirable, so look at options such as using your savings, taking loans from friends or family, crowdfunding, and using lines of credit that some suppliers make available.

Entrepreneurs have more than one income stream

If you’re relying on one business model to earn more than a million a year, you’re likely to be waiting for a while as your business builds. Having more than one way to bring money in means that you’ll make your targets faster, and if something goes wrong, you’ll still have those funds coming in to cushion any expenses.

Many entrepreneurs create passive income in order to keep money coming in. This might include investing funds in high yield portfolios, buying property for renting, or creating passive income from their online endeavours, such as starting a blog, creating a course, doing influencer work or using affiliate links on their website. These aren’t the only ways of building passive income though – and there are so many opportunities we can’t list them here, since we’d be here all day! Adding that passive income can be key to your success though, so do your research and find out what can work for you and your business.

Entrepreneurs are up to date with technology developments

Technology will never stop evolving, and for your business that means you need to stay current of the most pertinent developments for your industry. For us, and many of our sellers, that means getting on board with social commerce, and advertising on other social media platforms to Facebook and Instagram. Having shoppable posts on TikTok, being able to buy directly from an Instagram post and making use of product pins on Pinterest – they are all ways to make more sales, without needing to drive customers to your listings.

There will be so many more types of technology developments that will be launched – even over the next few months – that we won’t even start to list them. But we know that entrepreneurs, and their businesses that embrace technology do much better than those that stick with old ways of working ‘because that’s how we have always done it’.

Keeping an eye on developments by subscribing to trade publications or newsletters. We love the Retail Systems newsletter to keep us up to date with what is happening in retail and eCommerce generally, but there are plenty more – so find the ones that work for you. Just remember to schedule your time reading them on your calendar!

Entrepreneurs switch strategies when they don’t work

Successful entrepreneurs don’t persevere with a strategy that isn’t working – either for them personally, or for the company. Even if the plan should work on paper, if it isn’t providing the desired results in a certain amount of time, it is better to try a different approach, whether that means switching to a different project management tool, or changing the order of the day.

For example, if scheduling a work out in the evening means that you often end up working late and missing it, switching it to being at the start of the day means that you can take care of yourself first. (Let’s face it – without you, your business isn’t going to go anywhere – so prioritising your health is essential!)

It is the same for other aspects of your business. Let’s say you’re DropShipping, and a certain product isn’t working for you, then you can switch it out and sell something else – especially if you have your DropShipping suppliers in place as you do on Avasam. If you’re a retail business and you’re not selling the way you’d like to by holding stock in your warehouse, adding items to your inventory using the DropShipping model can help transform your business, particularly if you’re thinking about seasonal products, or items that might not sell (but then again, might be the next big thing!).

You’ll get our point – changing lanes is no bad thing.

The Takeaway

Building a business is rarely an easy thing to do. But few things that are worth having are easy, or happen quickly. If you’ve got the time and the dedication to build your business, then we’re sure you’ll succeed – especially if you add these hacks into the way you operate.

If you’re looking for ways to diversify your business, adding DropShipping can be the answer. For an initial discussion about how it could suit your business, book a call with a member of our team, or sign up for your free account. We’ll have you up and running in no time – and managing your DropShipping activities is simple, straightforward and profitable.

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Dawn Matthews
Dawn has worked in technical and customer supporting roles for over 20 years. Most of her career was spent in technical services at top rated UK universities, which has given her a keen eye for detail. A lucky escape led her to the field of eCommerce in 2017, and she’s never looked back.Dawn studied in the field of social sciences with the Open University, achieving an MSc in Forensic Psychology at the same time as working two jobs. She regularly applies principles of psychology from her studies to her work, and outside of her role at Avasam she is busy writing her second book.Follow Dawn on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/dawn-matthews

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