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How Service Business Owners Can Work LESS and Make MORE

How Service Business Owners Can Work LESS and Make MORE

Aren’t you tired of putting your entire life into your business and seeing no growth?

Here are a few things you can do to achieve service business growth

while working less “in” the business.

Growing a service business takes time and effort.

You know that already. You’re spending every waking moment working in the business.

And nothing’s happening. You’ve hit a standstill. Revenue has plateaued and you can’t figure out how to improve your service business.

As for your personal life…

Let’s just say your partner’s not too happy with how things are going. Why would they be? They haven’t seen your face for more than five minutes in months.

Something’s got to give.

Do you just up and quit? You built this business into what it is today. Can you really just walk away from it? Of course you can’t.

That means you’ve got to stick with it. However, you don’t have to keep doing things the way you’re doing them right now.

You can achieve service business growth while spending less time working.

Growing a service business isn’t about how many hours you put in. It’s about getting the right things set up so that your people handle all of the heavy lifting.

Here are a few things that you can do.

Tip #1 – Build and Evaluate Your Systems and Processes

You’ve started this business because you’re an expert in your field. You can install an HVAC system in your sleep. Landscaping jobs are your bread and butter.

What you haven’t learned along the way is how to build systems and processes into a business.

Now what do I mean when I talk about systems and processes?


This is a sequence of steps that you must follow to complete a task. Your morning routine is a system. You get up, shower, brush your teeth, get dressed, and eat your breakfast. Then you’re ready to go. An example of a system in business is using automation for collecting data from several spreadsheets to create a report.

Simply put, a system is the combination of steps that you need to take to make something happen.


A process pulls together a lot of mini-systems that usually involve multiple people.

Let’s take money handling as an example. This process includes the following systems:

  • Taking cash or a check from the customer.
  • Sending that money to the finance department so they can do what they need to do.
  • How that money gets to your bank.

These are all little systems that have to work together to create a process.

Your business needs these systems and processes. Yet so many service business owners don’t implement them. Or, they make the classic mistake of “setting and forgetting”.

This isn’t a one and done thing. A process that worked when you started out isn’t going to help you in growing a service business.

You’ve got to build, implement, and measure your services and processes.

The key to good management is to build great systems and check them regularly. Get everything running like clockwork and maintain it. That means you spend less time in the business while giving yourself the structure needed for service business growth.

Tip #2 – Craft a Winning Culture

How important is culture to service business growth?

Just ask Ted Puzio. He’s been a Warrior since 2014.

  • Ted Puzio runs Southern Trust Home Services, Inc. When he came to CEO Warrior, his business was at a standstill. He put so much of his time into the business but he had no clear direction for growth.
  • Transforming his culture helped him to change that.
  • Before becoming a Warrior, Ted says the business had a poor culture if any. Today, the company has a defined vision and a strong management team. That means he’s able to step away safe in the knowledge that the business can operate without him.
  • Since 2014, the business has gone from making $800,000 per year to $5.2 million.

It’s a simple message. Culture is the key if you’re trying to figure out how to improve your service business.

Here are a few things that you can do.

  • Build a Warrior Team from the off. Set out your vision, make sure everyone understands it, and unite the entire team behind it. This means you spend less time resolving conflicts and set the stage for service business growth.
  • Make a list of the people on your team and write down the things they need to know to do their jobs better. Focus on giving them the tools and holding them accountable for their work.
  • Create start-doing and stop-doing lists and execute everything on those lists. You’re setting an example for your people to follow. Be the person that you want your people to be. That’s how you create A-players who can take the responsibility off your shoulders and help you grow the business.

Tip #3 – Talk to Your People

Let’s come back to your systems and processes for a minute.

They don’t all have to come from you. Your people have their own little systems and processes that they’ve created for their work.

You probably don’t even know about them. But they may be things that you can implement across the entire business to make it more efficient.

You have to understand the power of good communication. That’s what Bart Palmer learned after attending a Service Business Edge event.

  • Bart Palmer runs Rues, LLC. The business did decently. But decent is the enemy of good and good is the enemy of great.
  • Bart wanted to make things great.
  • To do that, he had to learn more about himself so he could become a better leader for his people.
  • Since becoming a Warrior, Bart’s business has doubled its yearly revenue from $5 million to $10 million.

Quality communication is a key aspect of becoming a better leader. Your people have to feel like they can talk to you and share their ideas.

The best part is that those ideas can help you to build systems into your business that save time and help you grow.

Tip #4 – Create Checklists

So you’ve got all these systems and processes in your head. But if your people aren’t executing them, you’re going to spend too much time correcting them.

You want this stuff to be clear and easy so that the business can grow and you can spend your time on more important stuff.

I have a solution that’s just so simple that you’ll kick yourself for not thinking about it.

It’s checklists.

Using checklists is key to growing a service business.

They help you nail down all of the steps you create. You can hand that checklist out to someone and know that they have all of the information they need to get the job done.

Teach your people that following each step on the checklist is very important. It builds consistency into the service you’re offering. That consistency is going to help you build a great reputation that leads to more business. It can even be one of the X-Factors that you build your marketing around.

Tip #5 – Use Leverage to Motivate Yourself to Execute

Leverage is something that every business owner wants. But it’s so hard to get, as Josh Hedges discovered.

  • Josh Hedges of Pristine Clean came to CEO Warrior with a simple question.
  • How do I get more leverage?
  • What he really meant was “how do I motivate myself to achieve what I really want from my business?”
  • During the event he attended, Josh made a commitment. He committed to donating $100,000 to a charity of his choice if his business didn’t make $3 million for the year.
  • Now he’s got his leverage and the motivation he needs for growing a service business.

So what does leverage mean in the context of how to improve your service business?

It’s all about motivating yourself. Josh’s commitment is something that’s going to cause him a little pain if he doesn’t achieve his target. He may not even have the money to make the donation.

That’s going to give him the push to actually take action instead of just talk. And that’s the key to all of this. It’s all just talk until you take action and start making changes.

It’s that mind growth that’s so important. That’s how you start treating yourself as a leader instead of just another member of the team.

Use your leverage to motivate yourself to take action.

The Final Word

So how can you improve service business worth while working less?

It all comes down to your systems and processes. Getting them in place gives your business the framework it needs for growth. They also ensure you’re spending less time on fixing problems because you know you have systems in place to keep things running and growing.

Step back and figure out your systems and processes. Create checklists that nail down all of the steps and talk to your people to see what ideas they have.

Focus on crafting a culture that makes people want to give more of themselves for the business. And create the leverage that’s going to motivate you to take the actions you need to take.

CEO Warrior can help you achieve this and so much more. Our community of service business coaches and business owners are here to support you every step of the way.

I’m going to leave you with one question:  Has success been elusive and you feel stuck?
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