You don't have to hire full time staff. You don't need an office. You don't need a large team.

In my book “From Single To Scale”, I write about scaling your business but remaining small and agile.

After the book was published, I had people writing in explaining how naive and wrong I was.

“You have to hire people to scale. I don't know what magical land you're living in, but as the manager of a large firm I can tell you that unless you hire people, your business doesn't grow.”

Partially true, but not exactly the case. Another email had a different problem.

“Mike, I see where you're coming from but we want to stay small. I don't want to scale because I don't want the risk of losing staff and salaries.”

Again, understandable but not always the case.

Last example, I've saved the best for last.

“You're a fucking idiot. Worst book ever.”

At least they bought the book I guess.

Some people are wrong

The concept of the book is that while entrepreneurs have ideas and promises we make to our customers, the old notion of factory style workers doing our jobs for us, is outdated and ineffective.

Most of these people were angry, because I was challenging what their idea of scale is. It's very confrontational to say to someone “you know that thing you've learned and used for 10, 20, 30 years? It's wrong. There's a better way”.

Yes, the logistics example before needs manpower. But the first stage was to remove the owner from delivery. And WE have the massive advantage of running a digital business.

We don't need logistics, transportation or physical goods. We can scale our business and deliver incredible results to customers, without the dangers of salaries, expensive investments and being strapped for cash.

And this is where 99% of businesses go wrong. This is the biggest mistake that funnel businesses especially make and I see it happen all the time.

Stop buying tools

When business owners want to remove themselves from the business, or scale their business, what do they usually do? They go out and buy a new tool.

A plugin, a piece of software, a tool, an app, a platform. Essentially, it's a new toy.

Does this sound familiar? You've got 101 things on your plate. Stuff you need to do for customers, stuff you need for your own life and stuff you need for the business.

Design a new landing page, write emails back to those clients, finish that proposal, fix that customer's website bug.

You want to start blogging, creating video content, networking and finally taking that copy-writing course you've been meaning to finish.

There are Facebook groups, LinkedIn threads, amazing YouTube videos and Instagram stories all to watch, read and “engage” with. Over and over the cycle continues until someone puts a miracle cure in front of you.

A silver bullet that will solve all your problems. It's THE tool that bloggers use. It's THE platform for social engagement. It's THE app for client emails (and it's on a lifetime deal).

Doesn't that sound amazing! It's more than coincidence, it's like the universe is looking out for us!

You're not investing

Let me ask you. How many plugins, tools, apps and software licenses have you bought, that have never been used to their full potential? How many of them only added to your workload?

The reason this is the biggest mistake that funnel businesses make, is because it's doing the exact opposite of what it's supposed to do.

When you were reading the paragraphs on the transportation company, if you're like me, your stomach was churning at all those costs. Trucks, staff, travel documents, loading equipment. It all costs money.

The idea of investing thousands (sometimes millions), just to do our job sounds terrifying. Even reckless.

But in the same breath, we'll spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on tools that aren't going to be used to their full effectiveness. I completely understand the rationale behind it, that this tool could take a job off your hands. But it's all backwards.

What happens is that you end up spending so much on tools and apps (even if they are a deal), that you're eating into your time and revenue. Because the app never really changes your life, it just adds to your workload.

What if I told you, it's possible to grow a 6 figure business without EVER buying another app?

What if there was a way to grow your business, scale your revenue and attract more clients without buying more tools and plugins?

You can only ever automate something that you've done manually. That is the golden rule for automation and productivity.

Rather than buying a new tool to start a new process (like blogging, YouTube or email), you should only ever buy a new tool for a process you're already doing.

Think about this. You decide that your funnel business is going to be as specific as the delivery company above.

You're only going to build optin forms for blogs to increase email lists for businesses. There's a few more specifics, but that's the gist of it.

When you've focus on one area of delivery, you become the expert. You do that day in and day out. Eventually, you work out the pattern and steps to installing, launching and maintaining a blog optin system for your customers.

Sell one product

Eventually, you buy an optin form plugin because you KNOW the process inside and out. You know what you need and you know what works. The new tool, even though you didn't buy it at a lifetime deal, already makes money because you've got customers that need it and use it.

Let's take it one step further. You now work solely on blog post optin systems. The process is so standardised that you could do it in your sleep.

So you write out the process and hire someone on a flexible project basis, to take over the installation and maintenance of the optin.

They follow your instructions and they do a great job, because you're only automating what you've done manually, before.

We can go one step further still and imagine that you never need to buy the optin. Would you be able to find someone on a flexible project basis to install, maintain and deliver the optin? Almost certainly.

If you had a series of checklists and instructions on what you needed from them, they could take care of everything. The customer pays you, you pay the supplier. Your job now becomes helping as many businesses as possible, without getting stuck in the delivery.

There's nothing wrong with buying apps and tools, if they're replacing a manual process that you're already doing.

If you can honestly know that the new tool will replace your TIME instead of take up more time, then of course it's a decent investment.

That's all well and good. The system makes sense in theory and it certainly sounds like a better business model. But there is still the massive, undeniable elephant in the room.

It's the thing that almost every funnel builder in the WORLD has to compete with, to start making money. I reckon you're probably thinking it right now…

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