For the last year, I’ve been seriously rethinking my online business model blueprint. As I have reviewed what works and doesn’t work as an online business, as well as what I want (and don’t want) to do, I’m focusing much more on continuity programs that are of the “fix it and forget it” variety. By that I mean I want to create more recurring income streams where I set up a service once and it essentially runs itself through automation, without a great deal more work from me. There are two that I have in the works currently that I’ll be telling you about in the upcoming months.
Your online business model doesn’t have to be at all complex, but should provide the guiding force for all that you do, like guiding you to the opportunities to accept (and those to decline), the joint ventures and strategic alliances to pursue, and the new ideas you should retain and develop, as well as those to let go of.
1. Make clients pay well for your most valuable commodity — your time. I see many service business owners tying themselves up with (and tying themselves down to) far too many 1:1 clients. You have only so many hours in the day, and at some point, you’ll hit the wall and not be able to expand the number of 1:1 clients you see. Sure, you can hire and train additional staff to handle the overflow, but in many cases, you make less money in this model while tripling your headaches. Make your 1:1 time with clients your highest-fee service, charging a premium fee to dispense your expertise.
2. Ongoing recurring revenue is key. Feast or famine seems to shape the life of the service business owner, regardless of industry. Wouldn’t your life be much saner if you knew that you could count on recurring revenue each and every month, rather than having to constantly go out and find new clients? This was one of the models I adopted early on in my virtual assistant practice, i.e. working exclusively with clients on retainer rather than a “pay as you go” model. What is it that your clients need from you that you could provide on an ongoing basis with them that isn’t time-intensive for you?
3. Always have an upgrade. Never offer a stand-alone product or program that doesn’t have a natural tie-in to the next level of program or service that you offer. If there’s no way to leverage what you’re offering into some type of upgrade, don’t offer it!
For example, a free webinar can lead participants to enroll in a paid short-term group program. From that program, plan to enroll a certain percentage of those participants into a recurring revenue continuity program. You can then upgrade a percentage of these participants into a live event or small ongoing mentoring program, and from there make an upgrade offer to your premium 1:1 time.
4. Design the blueprint. Brainstorm all of the types of programs, products, and services you might offer in your business. Your list might look like the one below:
Pick 3-5 of these items that will make up your business model, and then determine what percentage of income you want to derive from each. Your total needs to equal 100%. Then, determine the order in which you offer the components of your program over the next 1-2 years. This becomes your blueprint for action.
How do you determine your success? If your business still suffers from feast and famine, take a long, hard look at your business model for the solution. Every offer you make in your business should flow seamlessly into the next, which will result in a steady, predictable income that you can increase over time as you become more expert at designing and following your own online business model blueprint.
Best-selling author Donna Gunter works with successful business owners who are experts in their fields and established in their industry and are seeking a way to stand out from their competitors. Using her Ideal Clients on Autopilot System©, she helps them determine the exact strategies to generate more qualified leads and better-paying clients with automated systems. This proven system makes all their marketing easier and more effective and they find themselves positioned as the only choice for their clients.