Knowing the stage of business you are in is SUPER important. I often see people who are not clear about the stages of business and what’s appropriate to them get stuck or simply fail to gain traction. This is because they either (1) use strategies that are not suited to where they are at, or (2) they hit a wall in terms of their time and income potential with their current way of doing things.
In stage one you are building your client base to about 70% full and at least $5000 in fairly consistent income. A lot of service providers get stuck in this stage because they don’t know how to create that consistent income and regular clientele.
In stage two, you have crested out of stage one, with over $6,000 per month in consistent income, and relatively consistent clients or numbers of client sessions. I’ve worked with a lot of clients in this stage two who are successful in that they have reached these benchmarks. They also have maxed out their time with client sessions, and their income because their time is full.
To move from stage two to stage three, you have to shift your business model. You can no longer simply do more of what you are already doing in order to increase your income. You have to have a quantum shift – a shift in KIND – in order to expand. Today’s article focuses on the four keys you need to make this shift.
(1) Develop multiple income streams. You need to keep always focusing on where the money is coming from in stage two, but you get to start diversifying your income streams. In stage one, you are still focusing mostly on getting private clients. That’s the foundation of any service-based business. Once you’ve got consistent clients and consistent income, you can look at adding more income streams.
At this point, you can begin to add group programs and explore building out your multiple income streams. You can have VIP Days in your offerings early on, and a few different options (sessions, packages, and programs), but mostly you want it pretty simple while you are building to stage two. That’s because you need a client base and a database in order to be able to offer group programs and actually have enough people enroll in them!
In developing your multiple streams, you need to be guiding your people from one offering to another so that they have obvious ways to work with you, and obvious ways to take the next step. This includes going from free offers, to paid offers, from lower priced products and programs to higher priced ones.
NOTE: If you at one point had consistent income and clients, and don’t at the moment, it’s important for you to go back and build that base. If you have a big enough and dedicated enough database, your offers might generate multiple streams, but chances are you don’t. That’s why your income has dipped, right? So it’s important for you to be honest with yourself about the situation you are in, and go back to basics.
(2) Invest in your business growth. Investing in your growth is critical at this point. Without it, you will remain in stage two because you don’t have either the mentorship or the team to support you to expand. Part of this is getting used to bigger numbers. Bigger numbers of income for you, bigger numbers of investment in your team, and bigger numbers in investing in the coaching and training you need.
(a) Get the training and mentorship you need, and be willing to invest at a level that scares you in order to get the real thing. That’s what I did when I finally decided that I wanted to stop trying to figure out what to do from all of the different programs I had invested in that gave me information, but not the coaching I needed to put it all altogether and thereby accelerate my growth. I have invested frequently and out of my comfort zone in my training and coaching, and that’s what made it possible for me to quadruple my income, not once, but twice (yes, that’s x16).
(b) Developing your team. You need to be delegating more and more to team members – a virtual assistant, a client support person, a web designer, and don’t forget the bookkeeper! Yes, you should be building a team that includes these characters. One of the biggest issues for entrepreneurs in stage two is learning to ask for help, training other people to do what they’ve been doing, and also learning from their support staff how to do things more effectively and efficiently. Ideally your support team will be able to provide you with ideas, directions on how to create systems, and helping to develop your infrastructure.
(3) Develop your database. In this day and age we call that your email list, or just your list for short. In earlier days it was your rolodex or your phone book! Whatever the form, entrepreneurs have always understood the value of what I call your Village. The people who know who you are and what you do, who are interested, some of whom will buy from you now and into the future. In stage two, you begin to put a lot more emphasis on building your list because you now have a support team who can help you do that more effectively. This entails making use of the power of internet marketing to spread the word about what you’re up to, and what you’re offering.
This of course is a huge area, but the main emphases are virtual events that include multiple speakers who all promote the events, joint venture partnerships, and social media campaigns.
If you want support for moving between the stages of business growth, then join me for my Business Breakthrough Intensive where we focus on exactly that. I only offer this twice a year, and it’s coming up soon. Go here to find out more: www.soulsignaturesuccess.com/OstaraBBI.pdf