Choosing a business that gives you time off

Sep 3, 2019

Business owners worry about not taking time off. It’s all about choosing the right business model. I list a few of my favourites and discuss their merits.


One of the big perks about working for yourself is, well, working for yourself.


No bosses to answer to, no colleagues playing office politics.


But it wouldn’t be fair to just give you the upsides without the downsides.


There’re 2 sides to every coin right?


And one of the biggest downsides I get asked about, particularly from students about to start their home businesses, is this – what happens if I, as a solopreneur, fall ill or just need some time off?


I’ve been under the weather the last couple of days, and so I thought it might be a good time to address this.


When I first started, that was one of my concerns too.


As an employee, when you fall ill, there’s always colleagues you can fall back on.


As a business owner, the buck stops with you.


So what we need to do is to make sure our business is automated enough so that when you do fall sick, your business carries on making money for you.


We teach a range of home based business models, and I personally run a number of these.


I’m going to attempt to rank them, in descending order, from the one I think is the most automate-able, and has the least impact if a business owner were to want to take some time off.


#1 – Affiliate Marketing

This is where you sell someone else’s product and make a commission when you make a sale.


I love this business model because if you pick the right product, you practically have no business overhead (no rent, no staff), and you hardly need to be involved in the business, except to drive online traffic to advertisements.


Plus, this model literally allows you to take as much time off as you want, and to work whenever and wherever you want.


I literally make sales in my sleep with this.


#2 – Price Arbitrage E-commerce

This is where you buy low and sell high, earning the margin in between.


In this day and age, this is highly automatable too.  There are models where you do not need to take inventory, so, again, no rent and no staff, but margins can be higher if you do.


Again, this will allow you to take lots of time off, and work wherever you are, but you’ve got to keep an eye and buy and sell prices and adjust to keep a healthy margin.


#3 – Your Brand E-commerce

You’ll get higher margins than just price arbitrage with this.


This is when you have a suite of products that you’ve built your brand around.  You definitely get higher margins if you’ve branded right.  The thing is, you’ve now got to take stock, meaning you’ve got inventory, which means rent and possibly staff cost.


While your business can continue without you, you’re now managing a brand and employees, so you need to be present to ensure the smooth running of operations.


#4 – Agency – Consulting delivered by someone else

This is sometimes known as an agency model where you get the client, but someone else delivers the work.  An example is website building, or email marketing.  You client trusts you with the work, but you get someone else to do it, you do the quality control and client management.


You need to be on the front end of this, but you don’t need to actually do the work, or even know how to do it.


So, when you do need to take a day off work, the delivery is still happening, as long as it’s not a day you need to face your client.


#5 – Traditional Consulting – Delivered by you

This is your typical lawyering, or accounting, professional services model.


We can teach you to get more clients, but you’re the one doing the work, and you’re the one facing the client.


In this model, if you don’t work, you don’t get paid.


These are all models that we teach, and you select the right one, you can take a day off or a month off, and your business could still run.


As a caveat, when you are starting your businesses, I typically advise students not to think of taking time off in the first few months.  Starting a business, no matter how automatable, is not easy.


We can make it easier, by showing you how we succeeded at these models, our lessons learnt, as well as the lessons we’ve seen our students learn over the last few years.




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