6 ways to work fewer hours and still grow your one-to-one business.

Janine smiles with her thumb up. She's wearing a bright yellow t-shirt with clocks in the background. The title reads 6 ways to work fewer hours and still grow your one-to-one business

Freedom. Is it possible in your one-to-one coaching practice or consultancy?

It’s why most of us set up our businesses. To be able to enjoy our lives, earn a decent living and see plenty of our family and friends.

But it seems like this flexibility is elusive. It’s so easy to slip into our 9-5 programming with only a few weeks off for holiday each year.

And then it’s a slippery slope to sneaking in a bit of work in the evenings and the weekends…

Hang on a minute! Where’s that freedom I promised myself!?

So here are my ways to work more fewer hours and still add zeros to your bottom line:

1. Standardise the way you work with one-to-one clients by taking on similar clients (no, it’s not boring, I promise!)

2. Rearrange your diary

3. Work with fewer clients (but charge more)

4. Make your one-to-one offer easier to sell so you can spend less time selling

5. Stop procrastinating

6. Decide to do it and believe that it will work

Ready? Let’s dig in!

1. Standardise the way you work with one-to-one clients by taking on similar clients

A recent client of mine didn’t consider herself to be a people pleaser but she nevertheless found herself under-promising and over-delivering MASSIVELY.

As you can imagine, this meant that she was spending way more time on each client than she’d agreed to.

The root of the problem was that she wasn’t sharp enough with who she was targeting.

Call it niching if you like. Potato, pot-ah-to.

The result was that she was attracting a mishmash of people and there was no scope to create repeatable processes with predictable results.

Now, part of the joy of working one-to-one with clients is the ability to flex to their needs and deal with whatever comes up in the moment.

But when you have a steady stream of people coming to you with problems you’re used to solving, you can create a simple roadmap that you can take every client down.

Refining and perfecting with every client. Making the process more effective each time. And more valuable.

You could even build up a bank of resources so you don’t have to take up precious time on one-to-one calls covering concepts that you find yourself repeating regularly.

This approach also eliminates the human error aspect. Have you ever given one piece of advice to one client and then found that it’s difficult to capture that clarity when you try and share it with other clients? Or forgotten to share a helpful tool with a client only to remember later? Just me..?

2. Rearrange your diary

One of the simplest but effective things I did to save time last year was to make Wednesdays and Thursdays my main client days. 

Obviously, this won’t work for everyone. Not everyone can do three back to back client calls on Zoom and still be sitting upright.

But having ring-fenced time for when you’re definitely NOT going to be doing client work is a must if you want your business to grow beyond responding to referrals when they come your way.

Look at when you have the most energy and work your clients around that. Building in plenty of breaks and recovery time.

Learning your own rhythms and working to them is so useful. I do something similar with blogging. I’ll mindmap on a Monday. Draft it on a Tuesday. Edit on a Wednesday. Probably edit again on a Thursday and publish. I know I can’t do it all in one day so I don’t even try.

3. Work with fewer clients

‘But Janine! If I have fewer clients, I’ll earn less money!’

Not if you raise your prices. If you charged £1k a month per client, you’d only need 9 clients on your books to be reaching the six figure revenue everyone keeps rattling on about.

‘But Janine! What if nobody buys at the higher price?’

It’s true that not everyone will buy at higher prices.

So the more useful question is; who will?

Please, for the love of all that is crispy, put ‘has the money to pay me’ as your new number one item on your ideal customer avatar list. Will you do that for Auntie Janine?

It’s no shock that I’m a huge fan of charging high ticket prices. 

It solves SO many problems within any business especially ones that work closely with clients and rely on them participating fully in the process.

It’s such a quick and simple way to not only reduce the amount of clients you need to earn the same (or more) money, but also to position you as a premium option.

But I know it can be a tricky tomato to squash.

If you’re feeling really shaky about the prospect of charging more, it might be time to have another look at your main one-to-one offer.

Are you clear on the main problem you’re solving for your clients? Have you made it clear to them? Are you clear on the value yourself..?

4. Make your one-to-one offer easier to sell so you can spend less time selling

Even messaging and service positioning gurus (like me) need to take a look at their offers from time to time.

Times change, our preferences move on.

And there’s the old classic; you always need to check that you’re selling what your target market wants and not what you know they need.

The best ways to make your one-to-one offer easier to sell:

Be crystal clear on who you want to attract (aka niching)

    • Use their way of expressing their struggles and desires to call to them in your copy (aka messaging)

    • Address any misconceptions and objections they might have about your service

    • And no, lowering your prices will NOT make things easier to sell.

Do you really think that if someone’s not going to part with £1,000 for your thing that they’re going to bite your hand off at £900?


We’re not in a January Sale in Debenham’s situation here.

And remember, the lower your prices, the MORE you have to sell to earn the same money! Totally counter productive.

Here are some examples of some people I’ve worked with recently:

    • There was the leadership coach who was targeting women because she thought she had to but it turns out she absolutely excels when faced with male c-suite execs who lack charisma. Her messaging on her website now really calls to these guys and she can charge top dollar because if they get to CEO because of her work, it’s worth a 6 figure salary increase.

    • There was the nutrition and wellbeing consultant who didn’t know how to get specific about who she wanted to work with until I uncovered her personal story that meant it would be totally natural to help people who were on the same journey as her only a few years prior; new mums with chronic illness.

    • And the Executive Coach who felt she ‘could’ work with all people in management positions but whose passions lay in working with ballsy female founders of quickly growing SMEs who felt their team weren’t on board.

Can you see how much easier it’s going to be for these people to sell their offers now?

Make it easy on yourself. Be specific about who you want to work with. How you can help them. What result they can expect.

And target only people who are ready to work with you.

5. Stop procrastinating

I had quite a chuckle when writing that because I’ve been a terrible procrastinator in the past!

If only we could all buy a pill that made us able to focus like whats-his-chops from Limitless. Have you seen that film? It’s good and it makes my point really well, so if you haven’t seen it, put it on your watch list for this weekend. Ta.

Do you know the mechanics of procrastination? It does help to understand what’s going on in our noggins.

In a nutshell, procrastinate often stems from our subconscious minds trying to keep us safe in some way. Keeping us in the situation we’re already in rather than changing it to something scary and unknown. Even if our current situation isn’t very pleasant! 

So while somethings we put off because we’re simply not motivated to do them. The task is boring or unpleasant. Other actions miraculously move down our to do lists because we secretly don’t want our lives – or our identity – to change e.g. fear of failure or success.

One of the biggest and best investments that I’ve taken in my business is working on my mindset. Getting to know my inclinations. What I’m scared of. What truly motivates me. What things tend to trip me up. So much that was working beneath the surface – like unspoken code making me repeat certain thought patterns and behaviours on autopilot, without even realising what was happening.

Once you start recognising these grooves you’ve worked ourselves into, you can start to take action to get out of them. 

Not an easy job, but one that will positively impact your life as a whole and your loved ones!

6. Decide to do it and believe that it will work

This might sound facetious, but you have to actually believe that earning more without slogging your guts out is possible before you can make it happen.

For so long, I strapped myself to my desk during all working hours, and tried to take as little time off as possible. Juggling work with childcare through the holidays. Even though I know how essential it is to take proper breaks. 

It’s like I couldn’t break free from my corporate programming.

But gradually I loosened my vice-like grip. I started taking half term holidays off. Then the full Christmas period. And then the whole of August (due to school summer holidays). 

I now only work 9am-2.30pm (apart from Weds) during term times and I’m earning more than ever.

Working around kids isn’t everyone’s ideal of course. 

Perhaps you’re currently working into the evenings and weekends and want to keep it within 9-5 hours?

Or maybe you want Fridays off. Every single Friday off forever. Wheeee!

Getting clear on what ‘working less’ means to you, and the things you’ll be able to do when things have changed, will help make the decision to change more concrete. And more motivating. 

And then you can start making steps towards that. 

What’s next? 

Feel like you can handle all that on your own? I wish you well, fair traveller!

But if you’re feeling like it’s all well and good reading a blog but that it’s going to be tricky to do all this on your own then I have a suggestion for you. 

Book a cheeky little 15 minute call with me. I’ll fire questions at you like one of those tennis ball machines and by the end you’ll have a simple 3 point plan to get you where you want to be. 

Use the calendar below to book it in or click here to see the calendar on a separate tab.