Two Reasons Your Business Isn’t Scaling - Rick Mulready

rick mulready

Two Reasons Your Business Isn’t Scaling

January 28, 2022

There are two things I see, time and time again, that hold people back from scaling their business.

I’m speaking from experience, because I went through these myself for a long time in my business.

Today on the show, I’m going to share these two roadblocks with you, how to overcome them, and start growing your business. I’m going to give you two key pillars that you need to have in your business so you can start scaling, increase your profit and impact, all with less hustle.

We’re going to talk about how you can delegate responsibility and decisions in your business, how to empower your team and give them more responsibility, and how to remove the bottlenecks that are preventing your business from growing (spoiler alert: you might be one of the bottlenecks).

It’s a great show, and I know you’re going to get a lot out of it.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How to identify the bottlenecks in your business that are preventing growth
  • Getting comfortable with delegating your most important tasks
  • How to create processes and systems to streamline the business’ productivity
  • Giving ownership and autonomy to your team
  • What to do when your team makes mistakes
  • The 24 hour rule I give my team for making decisions

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Other Episodes You’ll Enjoy:

Quick Tip: My #1 Mindset “Hack” for Scaling My Business

Quick Tip: The Counterintuitive Approach to Scaling Your Business

Scaling With Simplicity w/Brandi Mowles


Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Rick:
Alright. Welcome back to the show, my friend. Pumped to dive into today’s episode with you. Thank you, as always, for tuning in.

So, in our Accelerator coaching program, we help our members do lots of things. Namely, we focus on three key pillars. We help them increase their profit, increase their impact with less hustle.

And we do that through the lens of optimizing your systems and processes. Optimizing your sales and marketing, and optimizing your mindset. I’m going to share with you two things that I see time and time again, that hold people back from scaling their business. I speak from experience on this because I went through these things…

for a long time in my business, and my team would probably argue that one of these things I’m still doing in the business to an extent much, much better than it used to be.

So, I’m going to share with you what those two reasons are that your business is not scaling, which actually hits on each of these two things; hits on those key pillars of the business that I just mentioned: your profit, your impact, and the amount of time that you’re working on your business.

Before I share those two things with you, regarding our Accelerator coaching program, we’re accepting applications. Accelerator is a one-on-one, group coaching, and mastermind experience all wrapped up into one program. This is for established online course creators. Maybe you have a membership, or online coaches.

And by established, I mean you’re already doing at least 100K per year from your online business, or maybe you’re pacing to 100K right now, and you want to scale. You want to take things to the next level, right? You want to have a bigger impact, and generate more revenue and higher profit without working all the hours.

But you’re not quite sure how to get there. You’re not quite sure what the next steps are to do that. You’re likely feeling overwhelmed. You’re doing all the things in your business, and you’re maybe feeling stuck. That’s the worst feeling. I know, I’ve been there many, many times.

Well, these are the things that we help you overcome and blast through inside of our Accelerator coaching program. We’re all about helping you increase your profit, increase your impact, with less hustle. I say profit, because revenue is great, but if hardly anything of that revenue is actually going in your pocket, going in your bank account.

Profit. It’s all about profit, my friend, right? Again, top line revenue is very, very important, but how much of that is actually going in the bank? We help you optimize that as one thing inside of Accelerator. So this is application only if you want to learn more and apply, go to Rick forward slash Accelerator.

Okay. All right. So for the base of this discussion on two reasons why your business isn’t scaling, I’m going to make the assumption that you’re already doing. At least six figures in your business, maybe you’re doing multiple six figures. Maybe you’re doing seven figures, whatever it might be. Okay. So for the baseline of this conversation, that’s the assumption.

I also want to add to the baseline for this discussion. I want to share a story with you of a student that was messaging me recently. and they’re feeling. Really, really overwhelmed in their business. They’re feeling very scattered in the business. The business is feeling very heavy to them. They are an expert in their niche and their niche is actually, quite niche.

But they’re, they’re an expert in it. Okay. And they have a really successful membership and like so many of us, like so many of us entrepreneurs, right. they have shiny objects. In, in their niche, there’s a lot of different things that they can do a lot of different directions that they can go. And so outside of the membership, this person is doing a lot of other different things that have presented themselves.

Because again, there’s a lot of opportunities to serve people and the niche, but. It is causing a lot of overwhelm. Their team has grown really quickly. There’s the stress of, because of that increased size of the team, you know, payroll and so forth. And so let’s use that as the foundation.

Okay. Again, they’re their main thing and the business is a very successful. But they also have a bunch of other things, courses and events and other opportunities that they do, which is causing again, it’s causing really good growth in the business and it’s giving them an opportunity to help more people.

But at the expense of the business feeling really heavy, and a lot of unhappiness in the business. And like every month there’s a fear of, you know, will I be able to pay my team because my team is. Okay. So with that as sort of a baseline and the assumption that you’re already doing a minimum of six figures in your business, okay.

The first reason that your business isn’t scaling is that you are the bottleneck. You are the bottleneck. Everything has to go through. again, I’m speaking from experience to here. I went through several years where everything had to pass through me. I had to approve of everything I had to, you know, say, you know, yes or no, before this went out, or what have you, when your hand is still in every part of the business and every decision needs to come through you, you are slowing down forward progress in your business.

This is going to affect your. Because for progress in your business, isn’t happening as quickly as it could, if you weren’t the bottleneck. Right? So the amount of revenue, the potential revenue that you could be making, if your business were moving more quickly without you being the bottleneck, I’m not saying speed.

Just for speeds. I’m saying things are slower because you’re slowing them down because you have to approve everything or everything has to come through you or you have to do everything. So that’s going to affect your profit, certainly going to affect your impact. Because if we are only, if we’re the one person who’s holding things up from getting out there, it is limiting our impact.

Right. And that has certainly impacted. The whole hustle thing, right? Because that is certainly not cutting down the amount of time that we are working. We’re actually probably working more because we’re having to approve everything and do everything, et cetera. Okay. So you are the bottleneck, you being the bottleneck, it will hold you back from scaling your business.

So, going back to the example of my student before one example of this was they were, they, the CEO of the business was notifying. They send something special to their members when they join. And that person, student, my student was notifying the appropriate person on the team when to send something out to a new member for.

That’s just a very simple example of something that there is a process there that needs to be improved a system that needs to be improved. Right. the other thing too, is that this person also has created again. Lots of opportunities to serve the audience that this, this person is in.

The niche that they’re in. This person also has another, almost like another business unit, which is very successful, but it’s being held back. The growth of it is being held back because this person, the CEO is actually overseeing that business unit along with everything else. So that person is a hundred percent the, the bottleneck and there’s tens of thousands of dollars per month in revenue that is not coming in because of the bottleneck.

Okay. And so here’s what I recommend that you do instead. Few different things. Number one is you’ve got to create a, a process and a system for what you want to have the final say. And what doesn’t need to go through you. Okay. So for example, like super, super simple, if you are sending an email out to your email list, and let’s just say that you have somebody writing those emails, you get to decide whether you are the final person to review that email before it goes out.

Or is somebody on your team responsible for that? It’s just a super, super simple example, right? Or if somebody is doing your social media, are you approving everything before it goes out? Or is, are you empowering the social media person? Who’s doing it. To do that for you. That’s just a simple example.

Okay. So number one, you want to create a process and system for what you want to have the final say in and what doesn’t need to go through. Okay. and it’s pretty simple, right? And again, there’s no right or wrong there, but there, it does become an issue when we want everything to go through us.

And so. Keep in mind here that this is systems and processes related, but it’s also very much a mindset, a mindset of letting go. It’s one of the hardest things that, that we, you know, get to do as the CEO, when we go from day-to-day entrepreneur to the optimized CEO of our business, is that. The the, the nest, this necessity to let go of more and more things empowering our team.

So that brings up the next, the next bullet point here is to give ownership to your team rather than just giving them tasks, because when your team has ownership in. Certain things, for example. So let’s just say that you have somebody on your team whose sole responsibility is to increase the number of leads coming into your business.

And they have a goal that they’re working towards. maybe it’s a thousand leads a month or something like that. Just simplicity. Well, they own that goal. How they go about doing that and achieving that goal is up to them. Of course, as long as it’s through the lens of your values, et cetera.

Right. But they own that goal. You are not, unless they come to you with a question by the way, when they come to you, they should be coming to you with at least two possible answers, recommendations, and then you both can decide, or you can put it back on them to decide. Right. But they own that.

They own the result. Okay. So that you have to give ownership to the team. And then the next thing is you need to empower. To make decisions based on whatever they’re owning through the lens of your values, your goals, and your vision for the business. And then the next thing there with, with these things is you got to let them make mistakes.

This is super hard as CEO, but you have to allow them to make mistakes. It’s okay to make mistakes right now, if the same mistake is happening over and over and over, that’s an issue. Right. But if we don’t allow, if the team doesn’t feel like they can make a mistake, that’s not a good thing.

Right. So you have to let your team make mistakes and you have to let them know that it’s okay to do that, right. Again, if it’s happening over and over, that’s a problem, but they have to know that it’s okay to make mistakes. Hopefully we’re learning from it. We’re looking at why things happen, et cetera, et cetera.

Okay. And the final point here is, and I heard this from a coach I had years ago, was, what we call the 24 hour rule. What that means is if you have to make a decision on something and the team, or the person who hasn’t heard back from you, or is waiting to hear back from you, I should say on whatever you say, if they haven’t heard back from you in 24 hours, they make the decision that they feel is best and they run it.

I’ve used this in my business because I’m often slow to get back to my team. Sometimes it’s like 24 hour rule, like 24 hours has passed and you’re waiting on me. You got the green light to make the best decision that you think is, is right. And run with it. So. What would it be like if you, instituted a 24 hour rule in your business and you told your team like, look, if you are asking me a question that you need my okay.

On something for whatever reason, and you haven’t heard back from me in 24 hours, you got the green light, go for it. Make the best decision that you think is possible. Okay. And so being the bottleneck is a hundred percent slowing you down. In your business, being a bottleneck could also look like if you are doing multiple roles in your business, still as the CEO.

Here’s what I mean by that one thing that I think my students should, that this example I’ve been sharing with you, one thing I absolutely think this person should do is to hire an integrator. The integrator is the how person you as the CEO is the visionary. You’re the what? And the why person you say, I want to do this.

And I, you know, whatever that might, whatever this is and the why, what is the context? Why do you, why do you want to do it? Where does it fit into the overall, you know, the goals of the business, the vision for the business, the values of the business, because when we just say like, I want to do this, and then you stop there.

Personally and teams like, okay, we all go do it, but It means so much more to your team when they understand where this fits into the overall puzzle of the business. So give them context as to why what you’re asking them to do is important.

So you’re it. You’re the what and the why person as the CEO, as a visionary, you’re integrating. Is the how person they figure it out. They either do it themselves, or they align the necessary resources on your team. Or if there’s not somebody on your team, they will find the person. Okay. So the integrated.

I can remove you being the bottleneck of being responsible for so many things in the business that you’re moving more slowly because of the fact that you’re doing so many things and working so many hours, which is going to affect, you know, burnout and happiness and all that’s whole other. We talk about that here on the show.

Okay. So. Number one reason. Number one, you being the bottleneck. You’ve got to remove yourself from being the bottleneck in your business in order to scale. The second reason that is keeping you from scaling is simplicity or the lack thereof. As I like to say, simplicity scale. Simplicity is actually what can scale your business more quickly because the more complex your business, the more moving parts you have, the, the harder it becomes to scale, because your attention is scattered is so much more in your business.

And that complexity usually often invites. In your business because things are, so complex. Okay. And a lot more than they need to be. Okay. So the simpler that your, that your business is the easier is going to be to scale. So let’s look at this. in some concrete examples here, number one, as I’ve often talked about here on the show before.

I highly recommend you have one offer in your business until you’re say at like half a million dollars. Now, if you are, You know, if you’re a teacher author and you’re creating resources and stuff like that, that’s going to be different for you. You got to have lots of different resources. Maybe you have a membership, maybe have a course.

So you’re going to have a lot of different things there. Right. But outside of that, if you’re a course creator or your online coach, or maybe you have a membership, one offer focusing on that one offer until you hit say half a million dollars. In revenue from that offer, then you can start thinking about additional offers.

I made this mistake early on in my business because I thought the more offers I had, the more money I was going to make. And at one time I had a Facebook ads course for online. Entrepreneurs. I had an, a Facebook ads course for local businesses. I had a Facebook ads course for ads managers. I had, a very early version of my Accelerator coaching program.

I had a membership, I had five different things. In the business. And I was having to speak to three different types of people and online entrepreneur and ads manager, and a local business, like talk about, you know, my attention and my focus being split so much like that just, oh man, that just drove me to number one.

I did burn out from. And it just, added so much complexity to the business that was so unnecessary. And I learned my lessons. Right. And it’s been in the past few years that I have gotten far more simple in the business. Okay. So that’s number one, simplification of your. The next thing, when it comes to simplification is you have a system for marketing.

You’ve got a system for sales and you have a system port fulfillment. Right? How do you market yourself? How do you market your business? How do you market your. Right. and that goes along with, you know, building your email list. Do you have a podcast? Do you have a YouTube channel? Do you have a social media strategy?

You know, the idea there is what is your consistent content strategy? How are you attracting your ideal audience to your business and getting them to join your email list? Because again, you own your email list. You don’t own the Facebook group, for example, right? Mark Zuckerberg decides to just tweak something and the algorithm or whatever for groups and your group gets shut down.

For whatever reason, you know, you don’t own that. They’re, they’re gone. So get people on your email list. So you want a system for how you market your business and I’ve done other episodes here in the show in the past about this exact thing. Mark is a systems for marketing sales and fulfillment.

So I’ll link that up in the show notes for today’s episode. The next system is you want a sale system. How do you sell your offer? Do you sell it via whatever email marketing do you sell it via an automated webinar mixing in with live. Launches you know, do you sell it after a video, you know, send people to a video, whatever it might be.

You want a clear system for how you sell things in your business, sell your offer. The next thing is fulfillment. What is your system for fulfilling on when you sell your offer? So when somebody enrolls in your coaching program, What happens? What does it look like? What’s the experience like what are the steps that happen?

And so you want to make sure that that is happening in the business. So what I’ve just described to you is simplicity in how you market, how you sell and how you fulfill in your business. And then finally, what kind of team do you need to support those systems? And for where you are taking your business.

Notice, I didn’t say where your business is right now, because you want to be building your team for where your business is going. Right. And so this is what I’m talking, everything I’ve just described. There is very simple notice. We don’t have five different offers and we’re like, oh, we can do this. But, you know, I’m, I’m doing like, $80,000 in.

Core sales, which is great by the way. But then we, what happens nine times. I see this all the time is people say, well, I can add a membership to this. And so that adds a whole other number one, it splits your focus. And number two, it adds another layer of complexity to the business. I’m not saying that a membership is not a good idea to add to your course.

I’m saying, wait, Put more focus on growing your online course first. And then if it makes sense, and if it’s something that you want to do then think about adding, your membership to it. And then we talked about the systems, we talked about the team. Okay. So with these two reasons in mind, okay.

Being the bottleneck and simplicity, going back to the example I’ve been using here. With these two reasons in mind, this is what I, these are some of the things that I would do to create the ability to scale my students’ business. Okay. Number one, from a simplicity standpoint, I would put my sole focus on the membership.

My sole focus is on growing the member. Now, when I say growing that also includes because this membership is already very, very successful. I would make sure that my churn rate is sub 5%. Okay. Preferably around 3%. And I’m not sure what it is right now for this person, but that is a form of growing your membership because you’re keeping people longer in the membership then also is how are we getting, you know, what is our, what is our marketing system?

What is our sales system? And then the fulfillment side is sort of the next thing here. I would do an audit of the team who do I have on the team? What roles are they in? What are they responsible for? Are they providing an ROI in what they’re doing? And when we talk about ROI, I’m talking, yes, I’m talking about a revenue ROI, but I’m also talking about a time ROI because you might have a role on your team.

Simply giving you your time back. And I don’t want to say simply because that’s super important. It’s giving you a time back. That is a form of ROI. Maybe you have people on your team who are giving you both a revenue and time, ROI back to you. You know, then including in this audit that I would do on the team, do I have people in the right seat?

If you will, the whole Jim Collins, good to great thing. Right? Do I have people in the right seats and then I’d be adjusting the team accordingly? Because my sense is that the team has grown, really quickly and maybe they’re not being, Maybe they’re not set up for the best success for the business.

And again, I don’t know this for sure. We’re going to be digging into it, but those are the things that I would start to look at the next thing, considering, you know, team here, I would absolutely hire an integrator, in the business again, to be the how person, the CEO, my, the student I’m referring to.

They’re the CEO, right? They’re the vision. They are saying what they want to do. And then the integrator goes and makes it happen. Now, as I mentioned before, this person also has sort of like the second business unit that is only being held back by resources to be able to, to run it. Right. I would have somebody maybe hire somebody new or somebody on the team to run that business.

And when you hire the integrator, the integrator can be responsible for finding somebody to run that business unit, because it can be very profitable. side of the business it’s already set up. There’s a ton of people that are wanting it, but the only thing holding the growth back is resources to apply to it.

Okay, that’s what I’d be focusing on. First and foremost it’s the membership, and how do we make that the best membership that we possibly can. Lowering churn, increasing sales. We do this through having a marketing system, a sales system, and a fulfillment system. I would be doing a deep audit on the team, looking at who do we have?

What are they responsible for? What are they doing? Is there an ROI from each person, do we have the right people in the right seats? Then, making adjustments accordingly.

Finally, I would absolutely hire an integrator for the business, because this person is doing far too much…

day-to-day, definitely the bottleneck in the business, making a lot of decisions. Because the integrator can be making these decisions, or the integrator can be empowering the people on team to make decisions.

So, I want you to look at your business. How can you be making your business simpler, everything you’re doing in your business.

I want you to ask yourself, do I need to be doing this? Is this necessary in order to generate revenue and increase profit while also allowing us to have a bigger impact? Then, I would also really want you to ask yourself, where are you the bottleneck in your business? Where are you holding things back…

because you are holding on too tightly and not wanting to let go of control?

That is the only way you’re going to grow and scale your business, my friend, is by letting go of control. It’s not easy. Not saying it’s easy, but these are the things you need to be thinking about if you want to be scaling your business.

Now, as I mentioned before, if you would like my and my team’s help, of coaches and the group of amazing online coaches, online course creators and online membership owners to help you take your business to the next level. To scale your business to whatever you would like it to be—because success is highly individual, highly dependent on whatever you deem success looks like for you—I want to invite you to apply, it’s application only, for our Accelerator coaching program. Go to

Alright, my friends. As always, super appreciate you for coming to hang out with me today. Hope all is going well. Thank you so much. Until next time, be well, and I’ll talk to you soon.

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