When I talk to business owners, we often get into the conversation of how much should a business owner expect to make?
My rule of thumb is simple… Take what you think you’re worth as an employee… And multiply it by 3…(3x)” That should be your minimum expected take home, after tax wage! For most people in business this blows their minds. They look at their current profit and realise this figure is an order of magnitude away!
So, lets look at why 3x? It’s simple. When you decided to become a business owner, you probably did it for one of 2 reasons.
- You either wanted to make more money, work less hours, or just be your own boss.
- Or you didn’t have a choice, you were retrenched, made redundant, or are just unemployable.
When it comes to setting a goal for your business, the main number you need to look at is Leftover, not Turnover. That is net profit. As an owner, this is the reason we run a business. The problem is that this number can be highly variable. What I mean is that when you have a quiet month, you will still pay the bills, the wages, even the tax man. But the first person to miss out is you.
So the reason we aim for 3x your wage is risk. And risk is something that very few people value and expect to be paid for. You see, in a job you get holidays, sick pay, superannuation, long service leave and other benefits, when you decide to run a business, you sacrifice all of that for the dream of freedom.
Now for the brutal truth…. It is nearly impossible to be self employed and maintain this type of income. The only real way to achieve 3x is to build a business that works without you. The first one will be hard, but once you’ve mastered the skill, it becomes so much easier.
One of the best kept business growth secrets is acquisition… yes, buying other businesses is the quickest way to grow yours. I call this the big game of business, and it cannot be played when you are stuck in the engine room. You see, building your business system and your team is really about giving your the time to play the big game. That is, acquiring your competitors and expanding your service by adding complimentary services.
When you get to this stage, business growth is exciting and rewarding. One of my favourite books on the subject is “The Magic of Thinking Big” by David Schwartz.
So don’t let the day to day busyness get in your way. Start today by committing to building your leftover to 3 times your wage, and get to work on building your business system so that your business can work for you.