Business Model Design: Which One Is Best For Your Stage of Business?

September 26, 2014

think big, dream big slogan concept presented with growing graph on blackboard, eraser smudges

Years ago I went to a business conference and looked around the room at the other 399 attendees and thought to myself, “I can’t wait to have a business that brings this many people into a room at once”.

I’ve always wanted to be on a stage. I’ve never been afraid of speaking and I’m a natural connector so with big eyes and drool coming out of my mouth I thought I could easily fill a room too.

It never occurred to me at the time my actions needed to catch up to the business model I wanted to have.

As I was watching the “Gurus” in my field I thought I could have everything they had. I had no idea that my business model needed to be designed in stages.

I’m one of those types who acts first and thinks second and typically as an entrepreneur that’s a good thing. But not when it comes to business model design.

As a newer entrepreneur I was creating courses, launching group programs, writing an eBook, and putting a deposit on a hotel venue only to find my courses didn’t sell, my programs weren’t filling, my eBook wasn’t what anyone wanted and when no one booked a seat for my event I lost the deposit on the hotel and felt utterly deflated.

What I didn’t know was that a business needs to be designed in stages and it must be aligned with the maturity of your business.

A business model that includes a 3 day event with 400 attendees isn’t necessarily the right call for an entrepreneur with a small list who doesn’t have many clients.

Courses and programs won’t be filled until you have the time to uncover exactly what your ideal clients want, what they’re willing to pay for and how to properly launch them.

It’s critical to build your business in stages for faster growth, quicker revenue and sustainability.

Here are the 3 business stages and which revenue streams belong in each:

Stage 1: Newer Coaches, Consultants and Service-Based Entrepreneurs (or those not making any money)

At this stage your focus needs to be on getting clients and doing everything you can to fill your practice.

What most entrepreneurs do wrong at this stage is they don’t focus on marketing activities to attract clients. They don’t perfect their sales skills and they don’t get enough sales conversations. They bootstrap by cutting corners. Refuse to invest in their growth by not hiring a mentor or getting a virtual assistant.

Every action needs to be centered around getting clients and closing clients. Once your practice is full (or nearly full) then you can’ go to stage 2.

The exception to the rule is to create a small product in the form of a complimentary ebook or course that you can provide as a bonus or sell separately as an upsell after someone enrolls via your free offer or a standalone product on your website.

Stage 2: A Full Practice and Ready for More Income Streams

Once your practice is full you can move on to leveraging your time through group programs, courses and products.

At this stage your focus needs to be on maintaining your client base while creating additional revenue streams.

What most entrepreneurs do wrong at this stage is they take on too much at once. Become overwhelmed, don’t get help and don’t properly plan the launch of their courses or programs. Here’s where they need a strategic coach or mentor who specializes in the development of the specific revenue streams and ways to launch them.

Every action at this stage needs to be centered around maintaining your client base, designing your additional income streams, creating a logical sales funnel and launching them.

Here’s where you can explore various launch strategies like selling from your own 1 day or small 3 day live events, video launches and more.

Stage 3: The Guru Level

Once you’ve got a full practice, multiple streams of income through your courses, products and programs and are making over $200,000 then if your goal is a 7 figure business you will need to change your business model once again.

At this stage your focus will be on growing a team, aligning yourself with power partners and possibly hiring a staff to work with clients.

What most entrepreneurs do wrong at this stage is they don’t hire enough team members to make their growth possible. They hire the wrong people for the job and or they remove themselves too much from their business and lose focus on its development. They don’t hire the right mentors who can show them exactly how to design the high-level business they want.

And this is the stage that massive 3 day events with 400+ people (if that’s your goal) is possible.

Maybe right now you’re in early Stage 1 or Stage 2. If that’s the case then I encourage you to time your growth. Be patient and strategic. Don’t go it alone, have a mentor work with you to work out the details and get you to where you want to go.

In the comments below I’d love to hear which of the stages you’re in and if you had a magic wand and could have the business you want right now, what does that look like? (Remember…the sky’s the limit, you’ve go the magic wand!)

Want to know how to create the right business model for you, especially if you’re still in Stage 1? Then register for my brand-new webinar, “How to Design an Online Coaching Business Generating $50K or More Each Year!” Click here to learn more and register.

Jeannie Spiro: Business Coach & Strategist

Hey there!

I’m Jeannie Spiro, business coach and strategist for woman coaches and service-providers. Want to make more money in your business? Here’s how I can help.

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