Have you ever uttered the words “that won’t work in my industry”?
Many business owners fall into that line of thinking because they move forward with blinders on, and never actually see how something new can apply in their world.
I ran into one such owner this past week.
“I’ve never had success getting clients online. I have a site and a Facebook account, but frankly I don’t use them much. I don’t connect with any new business that way, and I’m just too busy to dedicate time to learn how to use it and put things into action. I’m intrigued by what you have to say, but I don’t see it working for me. But I’m willing to hear what you have to say, so, what should I be doing differently?”
Now this woman is a smart woman. She has a very successful holistic healing practice and works with a variety of clients every day. She’s busy; she makes a good living. But she was exploring her options for two reasons.
1. She was tired of working 50+ hours per week. She’s been doing it for years, loved her clients and loved what she did. But her income never went up substantially and she remained busy 8+ hours every day. If she took a day off, she knew she would spend hours the next day making up for all the things she didn’t get done the prior day. If she took a week’s vacation, her income was affected. So she rarely took more than a long weekend away from her business. In short, she was burning out.
2. She wanted to stretch her business and start working with some new clientele and offer new services. She had been working with the same types of clients for years. She’d often thought about adding a few new services she’d heard other people in her industry were using, but she didn’t have the time to put the programs into place. She even thought about exploring writing a book. But if she stopped some of her existing services to make time for these new ventures, her business and income would drop. It was a catch-22, so rather than exploring how to make it possible, her new ideas always went to the back burner.
I knew I could help her. So I started by asking a series of questions to gain her immediate response.
Then I quickly went into action and showed her how altering her online world could substantially increase the way she reached out to clients and prospects, and how she would ultimately change her lifestyle in the process.
1. What is the good?
With every business, you have clients you love and clients … well, not so much. You have things you like to do and things you would pass on if you had the choice. She quickly determined the service she loved the best, and what frustrated her and would be the prime target for moving away from.
2. Where is the bad?
The 80/20 rule applies here. Find the 20 percent of your clientele that gives you 80 percent of your headaches. What do you see in them? What if you eliminated them?
3. Who’s your ideal client?
Once you’ve looked at the good and the bad, you can probably give even more depth to your ideal client. It may be a variation of someone you already have in your practice. Or it maybe someone you’ve dreamed about when you’ve thought about your new potential service. Define them.
4. What more could you give them?
For many business owners, especially in practices or services, we fall into the 1 size fits all mentality. You have one service – $100 an hour – and you never think outside of the box. What if an existing client wants more?
5. What do they want?
What you want to offer may or may not be what they want to buy. As a busy practice, she could quickly put together some ideas and poll her clientele to see if there is any interest. When she finds it, she’ll know. And she’ll know how she can package things to bring in clients for more than what she currently is doing.
6. What can you give them?
Chances are as a business owner you have mentors or know of other businesses that are offering things that would bring in more income with less work. Many holistic businesses work one on one only, and she was no exception. What about working with groups? What about writing books and self help training materials?
7. Where did she want change to occur?
Did she want a new product? A new service? Write a book? Create a training program? Offer a group coaching opportunity? She had some idea of what she wanted to do, but it needed to be mapped out to make it a reality.
8. Your clients … times 10
When you have a one on one practice, you can only fit so many per day. And chances are they drive in and see you from your local community. The more you define them, the more you can find like-minded people from all over the world. And reach them in many other ways.
9. How do you automate?
This is where the online world succeeds. Lead generation. Enticing offers. Traffic. Value in information. Autoresponders. Blog posts. Social media. Yep, this is where a lot of this lumps together and comes into play to help you build. Automation is key. If you do the same thing more than once, there is a way to automate it. Yes it may take time in the beginning, but if you spend 10 hours on it today knowing it will eliminate 1 hour from your week for the rest of your business life, wouldn’t you do it?
10. What do you focus on?
It’s hard to look past today. Yet if you don’t, you lose tomorrows potential. See the plan. Draw it out. Put numbers to it. See what your life looks like. The more concrete it becomes now in your mind, the easier it is to implement in the coming weeks and months.
11. How do you build it?
The only way to build something new is to find the time and space to do it. Yes, you may be working 50 hours a week now. But is that all productive? Can you give up a three hour networking meeting each week to spend the time developing new products? Can you get up an hour earlier in the mornings to put undivided attention on your new projects? It isn’t a permanent addition to your life. Knowing the outcome can give you the boost you need to get things done.
12. One step back, two steps forward
What if you lost $500 of income this month only to replace it with $1000 of income next month and every month after that? Would you be willing to cut back one month in order to move forward for the rest of your life? Of course. But you have to be willing to take that step back. It might require dipping into savings. It might take a little planning to put a little money away. It might require giving up something you love for the time being. Again, with an end in mind, knowing where you’ll be when you complete this phase, it’s worth everything to help move you forward.
Sounds simple enough when you see it in 12 steps. But the process can be difficult at best. Even armed with this 12 step program, it’s easy to fall back into old routines. They are comfortable; why mess with something that works? Which is where coaching comes in to play. Are you ready to play bigger than you’ve ever played before?