Designing The Right Business Model
Before I start talking about business models, as there several meanings out there, when I’m talking business models here, I mean how you structure your business. Others talk about business models in the sense of the following business model types: B2C (Business to Consumer), B2B (Business to Business), Subscription, On Demand, Franchise, etc.. In this post go a level down – Yes, you will be B2C or B2B (for example) but how you then structure your business and offerings is, to me, the true business model.
Being clear on your business model from day one gives you focus.
When you are looking at your business model, how to structure your business, think not only of your ideal client, but why you are starting the business (what success is to you). If you are after more time and freedom, build a model that supports that.
When we start our business we focus on the services we think our ideal clients want and what we think we want to do. What we don’t always think about is how it links back to the overall goal we are trying to achieve.
As for most of us this includes having more freedom, why do we then create a business that is based on 1-2-1 activities; things that require us all the time? How does that help create the freedom we dream of?
When creating your business, think about your end goal. If freedom is something you want, consider what services or products you could offer (remember it doesn’t all need to happen now) that don’t need your time on a 1-2-1 basis. For example, could you offer group sessions or workshops. Are their guides or books you could create that people would want to buy?
Building a business from the start that allows you to reach your ultimate end goal, saves you from headaches later down the line. Yes, you may start with 1-2-1 but have in your strategy plans to evolve and how you will adapt to ensure these additions still stay on brand.
Assess Your Business Model
Take some time to assess your business model against your end goals. Does your business model currently support your goals? Does it allow you to scale and expand without causing you to rebrand? If not, then you need to sit down, work out what it is you want, create a high level strategy (five or ten year one if you prefer) and start looking at where you can start to introduce freedom into your business.
You will only get freedom if you create services that do not require your time. Although you may not see how this can happen in your industry, believe me, there is a way. There are a few ideas on the next page to get you thinking.
When you are looking at ideas for your business model that help generate income that don’t require 100% of your time they are called semi-passion (some of your time) and Passive (none of your time). They require most of the work to be done upfront so don’t think they are a quick win, but once they are up and running, you have more freedom but earning, in most cases, more money. Just remember that with these semi-passive and passive ideas, marketing is key.
Remember these ideas are items that run alongside your main business. They are meant to supplement your income so you can have the freedom you desire. You can start these from day 1. You don’t need to have an established business. It’s about identifying you as the expert and building your audience.
You may wish to have a fully semi-passive or passive business model once you have built up your reputation and have a following; that is possible and I can recommend an amazing passion income coach if that is what you want to achieve.
Before looking at semi-passive and passive ideas, here are a few other things to consider to help you achieve more freedom with your business model:
• Staff – Consider taking on someone to do some of the work to free your time. This could be a VA (virtual assistant) or PA (personal assistant), a marketing assistant or agency, a cleaner or nanny, a general assistant or even just a receptionist. These people can all do tasks to free your time.
• Automation – Automating your processes is something you should do as soon as possible. There are so many ways to automate that, if you’re not, you are wasting some of your precious time. There are loads of free and paid tools for you to take advantage of. Just be careful not to impact your customer journey and make sure it stays personal.
• Streamlining – If you don’t review your processes regularly and get feedback from people who are going through your processes, you are missing a trick. There is always a way to improve a process so make sure you do review and get feedback regularly.
Do you find yourself saying the same thing over and over to different people? Is it something that needs your physical presence but could be done as a group? If so, an in-person workshop is a good start. You provide the same message as you would 1-2-1 but to more people. It’s takes the same time to tell 20 people as it would to tell 1 (although you may want to make time for a Q&A).
If it doesn’t need your physical presence, save money and do it online. You can use video software like Zoom and even record the session to share with participants afterwards so they have something to refer back to. Depending on the quality and value given, the recording could be sold as a lead magnet at a low price. If you are selling it, do review it quarterly to make sure the content is still applicable. Having low-cost items in your business model is great at building your list, building trust and bringing a few extra pounds/dollars in.
Low value, low maintenance. These are a great way to share your knowledge and make some money. These are normally low cost, however, once you have created it, it have little maintenance except for the odd update. You can set it up on your website fairly easier and link it to either Stripe (which I recommend) or PayPal for instant payment. Once paid, they can download the item instantly.
With these, you cannot just create it and put it on your website (or chosen platform). You do have to do some marketing for them. Depending on their cost, you may wish to just use organic marketing to maximise the profit.
If you sell do-it-yourself kits or your client is more of the do-it-yourself kind of person, you can create a few how-to video series. You can use the first one as a lead magnet to build your audience, with the others as add-ons. This way you are increasing your email list as well as sales.
As with e-books and guides, these are lower priced but low maintenance. If you are doing videos, remember to include subtitles/captions and a transcript.
These are a great way to share your knowledge in small bite-sized chunks. Normally low cost (less than £500 but mostly under £250), these courses normally lead on to something more expensive (intensive course, 1-2-1 work, etc.). They can be delivered in a variety of ways so think about what is best for your ideal client. You want them not only to buy it but do it so it has to be relatable and easy to follow (especially if it’s pre-recorded). Remember there is no input or support from you included in these so make sure they are self-explanatory.
Formats for these can include:
- Email sequence
- Pre-recorded videos
- Course portal (i.e. Teachable or Thinkific)
This type of course is normally semi-passive as it requires some of your time for people to see the benefit of the cost. You will be expected to deliver at least some of the content live in a closed community and provide support within a closed group environment (Slack, Facebook group, Mighty Networks, etc.). Normally priced between £500-£2,500, these attract people who are serious about taking action.
You need time to build this type of course and have a community as well as delivering some (if not all) of the content. VIP options are always a good way to offer something a little extra for a bit more.
If you and your ideal clients love being part of a community, a membership could be a good option for your business model. Just bear in mind that you need a larger following of raving fans for a membership so start with 121, then a course or group programme before moving on to a membership. There are exceptions of course, but this is normally the best journey to follow.
Memberships are normally low-cost but are recurring. Be clear on what they get for the fee each month and the terms of cancellations. You need to have a clear plan for the membership for it to be successful and keep everyone engaged.
I personally love masterminds and love the ones I’ve been part of. These high ticket items can only be described as a community where everyone learns not only from the instructor but the other members of the mastermind. It requires you to find the right group of people so an application process is a must and you cannot accept everyone that applies. Members are low but the price tag is high. The cost of masterminds varies considerable so you need to do your research to work out the right price for yours. They start from around £5,000 and go up to over £100,000.
Just be careful how you market a mastermind. People have high expectations of them and you have to deliver on your promise.
These are just a few ideas to consider when designing your business model end state. Making sure you build a business model that will work towards achieving your end goal from the start will save you time and money. You will also appreciate the time it takes to get there more as you can see the path you are taking and how what you are doing is moving you forward.
If you want to learn about business models and setting your business up right from the start, why not contact me today to see how I could help you. My business model gives you the opportunity to work with me in a number of different ways.