... do more work or charge more for the work you do.
Either is viable, but focusing on doing more billable work can easily put you on a constant high pressure treadmill.
When you concentrate only on reaching a certain total sales goal, it becomes tempting to take work at prices lower than you should just so you can get one step closer to the income you need.
If you're taking any work that comes along, it costs you in 2 ways:
...you have to work more for less, and you don't have time to find better work.
When you're really busy meeting demand for under-priced services, you don't have time for strategic marketing.
Not having time for strategic marketing means you're right back where you started – needing to pick up any work just to meet required sales. Welcome to the endless cycle of barely keeping your head above water!
By focusing on strategic marketing, you'll spend your time targeting the clients who are the best fit for you – those most likely to value your expertise and most likely to be able to pay the prices you deserve. This is the most sustainable way that a service business owner can increase sales and profits.
After all, the world is filled with business owners who work many long hours to barely keep their heads above water. They see getting more work as the only way they can increase sales, but they have no more hours in the day!
When you follow through on marketing strategically to land the right clients and the right projects, you'll find yourself working less and making more. Then, as you begin to book work out in advance, it frees you up to increase your prices for new clients.
Raising your prices by 10% each time you're booked out for a couple of months (or whatever cashflow runway you need to maintain) will result in you getting increasingly better clients over time until you reach the point of equilibrium – where you're truly charging what you're worth.
Either way, your profits increase relative to the amount of time you're working.
Can you imagine that feeling? No more getting up in the morning and wondering where your next sale is coming from... for many, that thought is unimaginable. You really can do it, though!
If you're ready to get serious about strategy but not sure where to start, you can book a 30-minute call to pick my brain. I'm happy to talk with you about how you can improve your business, and promise no gobbledygook!