Look at Tara's Own Biz Model
Let's take a look at my business model and so I'm gonna actually ask you to go back to the spreadsheet on page 17 in your workbook if you are following along with us. And maybe this is an opportunity. You can go back in and continue to fill this out a little bit more. We will be coming back to this grid over and over and over again so don't worry. And it's definitely something that you can do on the next break as well. So I'm gonna talk to you about the two main products or the two main offers that I'm selling in my business right now. And this is not a sales pitch, this legitimately is your examples, okay? So the first product is something called Kick Start Labs. It's one of the purchase bonuses that we have today. It's an entrepreneurial support community and my resource library. Why did I develop this product? Well, 'cause I'm a creator. I like makin' stuff and I'd fallen into that trap of more offers equal more sales. And I realized that not only was it not working that way, but it...
wasn't easy. It wasn't easy. I was getting overwhelmed by the amount of planning I had to do, the number of launches that I had to do. It's like this should be easier, which is a great question to ask, by the way, how could this be easier? So I thought, "Well I don't wanna stop making stuff. "I don't wanna stop answering questions. "I don't wanna stop creating resources for people. "What I wanna do is just put it all under one offer. "What if for one low price you could have everything? "What if I only had one thing to sell? "What if that was all I had to launch? "What if positioning that was the only thing "I had to worry about the vast majority of the year?" So that's where Kick Start Labs came from. It was my opportunity to do what I love, to interact with people on a regular basis, give people the support that they desperately wanted from me at a price they could actually afford. So how does that break down with the questions that we have? So the product is Kick Start Labs. What does this help my customers accomplish? Well, my customers desperately want the answers to their questions. So one, it gives them the answers to their questions, to build bigger, better, more free, more liberating businesses. Alright? Two, it gives them a DIY solution. A large part of my market are people with really strong DIY ethics, right? They have a really strong value to being able to figure things out themselves. I get it, I'm there too, right? I love figuring stuff out. My Kick Start Labs members are curious people, right? They've got questions and they will find the answers for them, alright. So that's another thing that it helps my customers accomplish is it helps them figure stuff out for themselves. 'Cause another thing about Kick Start Labs is yes, we answer questions, but the whole idea is empowering people to experiment with their businesses. So it's less about the one, two, three and it's more about the have you tried this or have you tried that or try this and report back to me with the answers. Report back to me with the information. So it allows them to not always be searching for the right answer, but it empowers them to feel smart and engaged with their own businesses figuring out their own solutions. So that's the very long winded answer to question one, what does this help my customer accomplish? Who is it designed for? Microbusiness owners of all stripes. Just like you guys, makers, service providers, writers, doctors, graphic designers, web designers, all sorts of different kinds of people. But also those people who have strong DIY values. It's not enough to just name the demographic, right? I wanna know what these people value. What's important to them? What does their business mean to them? And that's who those people are. What kind of a relationship am I nurturing with these people? Well, Kick Start Labs is kind of unique in that it is both a transactional relationship, you pay a certain amount, you get a certain thing, and because it's a subscription, it's also an ongoing relationship and because I set certain expectations through the sales page, through the marketing, in the community itself, it's not the kind of ongoing support relationship where people feel like I'm always going to be there for them. They know it's a dip in, dip out, get what you need and leave, not really, (laughs) but, you know, it's that kind of light support that makes people feel like there's somebody that's got their back, but that they're still in control. That they're the ones that have to execute. They're the ones that have to do the work. So that's the kind of relationship, again, in a long winded way. It's transactional and it's also a little relational. How much will it cost to us and to them? So how much will this product cost to me? Well, it cost me maybe three or four hours a week. Not a whole lot. Most weeks probably not even that much. Two calls a month for an hour, that's two hours a month. I answer some questions in the forum maybe once a day for 15, 20 minutes and I send out a weekly email. Then on top of that I'm developing new products, new resources for that group on a regular basis. Maybe I release four a year. So that cost to me is very little. In terms of just hard costs of the program I had to set up an E-Commerce cart and that's about it. So the total cost, I think I mentioned this yesterday, was maybe $700 dollars all told. I have templates for all of my resources and things so I just put the information into Pages, Pages spits the PDF back out to me, that doesn't cost me any money. It only costs me time and energy. This particular offer costs me very, very little so I'm able to set a fairly low monthly cost for my customer which is $39 a month. But you add that up over 200 members and that starts to be a very nice revenue stream, right? And it absolutely becomes worth my time. That's scale, that's leverage which we're gonna talk a little bit more about. We're gonna talk a lot more about it in the next segment. Alright so hold those questions about leverage. Oh no, sorry, Susan?
Well I was just gonna ask, but you also have to add in your expenses like your office and your assistant and so it's not just about how much you had to pay to set up E-Commerce.
Absolutely. There is overhead as well. There is overhead as well. My overhead for my business is fairly static and it's fairly, I mean relatively low. I have the outside office now which adds a considerable amount, but still in terms of the size of my business and the revenue that I generate, my overhead is really low so I'm able to, yes, I certainly consider it. I kind of consider it more on a big picture scale for my business for the type of business that I run than on a product by product basis. Do my sales and revenue goals, are they high enough to help me comfortably cover my overhead? On a business like yours where you are doing micro-manufacturing of jewelry, absolutely you need to figure in almost a per piece, at least a percentage of your overhead per piece that you're going to sell. So that's a really good point and it absolutely changes depending on the type of business that you have. So thank you. Yes?
Will you take a very specific example, would you mind doing that for this particular section?
Jake2014 is saying, "We are four watching this. "It's an interior designer, a furniture retailer, "a massage instructor and therapist, "and a real estate agent." So quite a combination of viewers here right now.
I could see some really awesome luxury through this there.
Yeah, absolutely. So they would really love it if Tara could reference some of these in application examples, not just the jewelry and coaching so it would help them because I think that would help them brainstorm even more. Is that something we can touch on briefly?
Yeah, that's actually something we're gonna be doing throughout the next couple days. I wanna give you kind of an overview right now just using my business and then we're going to break up and we have a whiteboard coming out (laughs) so I'm actually going to be breaking things down question by question and by different business type. So we will involve all the different kinds of service providers from the audience and I would be happy to hot seat maybe an online audience member as well. That could be a lot of fun as we break this down. Sound good?
Yes, stay tuned, Jake, and all your friends.
Yeah and thanks for watching four of you together. That's awesome, what a great way to learn. Alright, so final thing, what does the solution look like? It's a monthly program. You get access to Q and A calls, you get access to the community, you get access to all the resource library. Gosh, the what does it look like? That's the easy part. (laughs) Alright, alright, so let's talk about the other main offer in my business model right now because it is completely the opposite in almost every way. So the other product is a mastermind coaching program called 10ThousandFeet. The goal of 10ThousandFeet, this is the what does this help my customers accomplish is that it helps them get out the trenches so out of all of that busy work and start thinking of themselves as the CEO of their business. So instead of being the person that's always just do do do do doing the work, they're the person that's leading. They're the person that's making the decisions. They're no longer feeling backed into a corner. They have all the tools that they need to constantly be, constantly and regularly making those leadership decisions for their business. It's not that they're gonna stop doing some of that trench work as well, but it pulls them out and allows them to see things from the CEO level too, from the 10,000 feet level, alright? That's what it helps my customers accomplish. Who is it designed for? Well it's still designed for microbusiness owners who are writers, coachers, real estate agents, interior designers, graphic designers, web designers. It's still designed for those people, but they have a slightly different set of values or they're in a slightly different place along their customer timeline which I'm gonna tell you more about this afternoon. These people are at a place in their business, generally they're in the microbusiness earning plateau, where they need hand holding . They want one on one support. They are tired of having to supply all their own answers and they want someone to be bouncing ideas off of. They want someone answering questions with more questions. They want someone who's gonna support them in a big change in growth. That's a very different customer than the Kick Start Labs members. They look the same on the outside. The demo is the same. But they're at a different place. They have different needs and they have different values. And so they want a different solution which leads me to the what kind of relationship do they want? They want the relationship where they know I am in their corner. I am there for them. Their email is or an answer to their question is 24 or 48 hours away. They want somebody who isn't just kind of around. They want someone who's there. That's the kind of relationship that this program builds. So that leads me to the how much will it cost. How much does it cost to me? This program takes up a good bit of my time when it's in session. Might be as much as 10, 12 hours a week which is a lot of time for me. (laughs) It's a big chunk of my business week, right? Of my working week. That's answering a lot of emails, it's delivering a lot of feedback on their homework, it's a 90 minute call every week, and it's supporting them in their forum. That's a lot of time for me. So how much does this program cost to them? Well it's $2,800 over four months which is about equal to what they would pay or what I have charged in the past, I should say, for one on one support. So relatively speaking the price, the value makes sense, alright? 'Cause they're actually getting more than what they would if they were coaching with me one on one. Plus I don't do that anymore. So that's how the cost works out us to them. How will I let them know about it? Well, 10ThousandFeet sells out pretty easily. So it's not quite invitation only, but it's pretty close. You gotta be on the interest list, you gotta be paying attention. The launch period's fairly small. I don't talk about it a ton 'cause I don't need to and so I'm looking for people who have already stood up and said, "Hey, can we do this?" Absolutely, let me tell you about it. So email marketing. Email marketing to a specific list is generally how I fill this program. Which means the marketing and sales is super easy for me. All I need to do is start the conversation with a small group, say, "Hey, it's just about time. "Are you dealing with this? "Have you questioned yourself on that? "Well, if that's you I'm here to help." It's a pretty easy process. I generally do open it up to my larger list as well and kind of have a final call for participants if we haven't filled up yet, but that's basically it. It's really easy, it happens predominantly over email. The other way people find out about this program is through referrals. I love this part of this program. When people are done with this program they tell all their friends. And here's the thing, these people have taken other programs before. Maybe they've taken B-School, maybe they've done this program, that program, so they're already in entrepreneurial communities. They're really connected to their colleagues. So if all I say, well they do it on their own, but also if all I say is, "Hey guys, "if this was good for you, can you share it "with a couple people you think might also need it?" And then they go into their communities where they call up their friends or they say in their mastermind groups, "You need to check out this program from Tara Gentile. "It's awesome." And that's the other way people find out about this program. And again all I need to do is tap that into motion. Give it a little tap, make a small ask, and boom, it starts going. That's a really good system. What does this, yeah?
Because it does take up so much of your time, what's the limit of people?
Yeah, yeah, so enough that I can, you know, I have on the top of my head all of the different questions from all the different people. I know who every single person is. I can very quickly respond to email because of that or really quickly respond to questions on a Q and A call. I don't need a whole lot of background information, but it's also a good number because there's inevitably overlap in that group which is a value add for it, right? There's more than one person with the same question. There's more than one person who has a particular need and so we can really quickly answer those connecting questions as well. The other thing that comes out of that is in a group of 15 there's inevitably someone else who can help them. So if there's someone who needs a new website, there is inevitably a web designer or a graphic designer in the group and they hook up and it's beautiful. And they also, those relationships are also great because those people don't need a whole lot of background information either. They're starting off on a hey we're already friends foot so that's cool. What does the solution look like? It's a group of 15, they get an audio every week, they get homework every week, they get feedback on that homework every week from me, and then we have a call every week. It's four months long. That's what it looks like. It's super simple. I try and keep my stuff as super simple. I actually have a value for simplicity and I expect that my customers do as well. If you want all the bells and whistles, I am not your girl. I am not your girl, I am not trying to attract you. If you like simplicity, if you like ease, if you wanna fit things into your schedule as easily as possible, yes, I can help you. That's part of my unique approach. It's part of what separates me from the pack. It's what allows people to align with me much more quickly so I don't need to do all the promotion, all the sales mumbo jumbo that I would have otherwise. It makes things easier because I've identified that. I have a value for simplicity, I have a value for curiosity, I have a value for experimentation, and I try to attract people that have those same values. And I announce those values. If you want simple come to me. If you want to experiment with stuff, if you don't always need to know the right answer, come to me. I will help you. I will guide you. And that makes it really easy for people to say, "Yep, she's my girl." And that makes my marketing and sales process so much more easy. It helps my product development process because I can say, I can constantly be saying as I'm developing a product, "Am I making this more complicated than it needs to be? "Am I trying to give a right answer "where a right answer doesn't exist?" And if I am I can pull back, I can change course. So those questions are constantly first and foremost as I'm determining how I'm gonna create value, deliver value, and exchange value and that's what makes my business model really work. Alright, it's time for a share. I hope you're still with me. (laughs) So it's time for a share. This is your opportunity to get on Twitter, get in the chat rooms, use the hashtag #taraLIVE, tweet at me @taragentile and @creativeLIVE. What opportunity is standing out to you right now? What opportunity in front of you in terms of your business model, in terms of how you sell or how you market your business? What opportunity in terms of what needs you've started to think about? I asked you a lot of questions earlier. Things that were blocking your business model, opportunities that might be right in front of you, people asking you particular questions. Maybe you've identified that you don't have enough loyalty in your business, that your customers aren't sticking around enough. What opportunity is standing out to you right now? What do you see as something that you could get really excited about? Maybe it's something a question has helped you pop into your brain. Maybe it's something that you've connected some dots on in this segment. What opportunity is standing out to you right now? How bout from the audience first? Robin?
Well one of the things that you said that really spoke to me was that when you're talking to your customer kind of what feedback they've given you and we created a course last year specifically on the feedback because people weren't getting something we were talking about and we thought, "Okay, let's do a two week intensive "to really help them out" which was fantastic so now it's gonna be one of our Evergreen courses which is great, but what's come a lot recently is wholesaling and how do you go about wholesaling if you've never done wholesale or if you're starting to do it just because that's something that I've done a lot of in my experience and my business partner also had a wholesale line so we can come at it, it's something we're talking about and also creating another course specifically to answer very specific questions about it and I'm super excited about it.
Fantastic, so let me identify another opportunity for you there too, because what I'm hearing is not only is there an opportunity to create something that people are asking for, but there's an opportunity to create a very regular and strategic sales cycle. So people can finish up with, what's your big program called?
We have two big courses. We're currently doing Laying the Foundation and then we have Multiplier Profits.
Okay, so maybe people finish up Multiplier Profits and that's when they really start asking that wholesale question. I know wholesale is right for me, I know I wanna get into this, but gosh, I do not have the time or energy to research this all on my own or I don't wanna make all those mistakes myself. So you work them through this program, you give them maybe a couple weeks off, and then you start a sales cycle that addresses the wholesale issue with those existing customers. So you start the conversation and then a few weeks later you present this offer to them. "Hey, I know you're thinking about wholesaling right now. "We just so happen to have a resource for this. "If it's something you're interested in click here. "We've made it accessible to you. "We've figured these things out for you "so you don't have to." And, you know, if you can you might be able to automate it. It may be something that just doesn't take up a whole lot of your time, but moving from one place where you know there's gonna be these questions that come up into the next sales cycle is another, that's just a perfect example of tapping your business into avalanche mode. Make sense?
Okay, cool. What other opportunities are really standing out to you guys right now? Sasha?
Well, two things. I like the way that you described your values and it just made me think I can be really explicit about what I care about and if you like adventure, personal growth, same thing, experimentation, curiosity, and just to be clear about who I'm attracting for whatever the things I'm offering because I have so many different kinds of people. And the other thing was that what people really want from me is to meet other quirky people and you know, for example, for a long time it's been like, should there be a Quirkyalone dating site? But that's such a huge undertaking and so I admire your community and I mean I feel like it's something that is simple and that I could do.
Yeah, so just kind of a word of caution here. Community or creating a community is thinking about what it could look like before you answer all the other questions. Not that you haven't answered those other questions before, but I wanna make sure that we're not jumping the gun here so what I'm hearing is you wanna help your customers accomplish meeting other quirky people. So what are all the different ways that could look like? You don't have to have an answer for that now. We're gonna talk about it later, but what are all the different ways that that could be accomplished? How could that look? Retreats, going on a tango adventure, is absolutely a way people could be meeting each other and so if you identify that that's actually a job that you need your product to do, it's something, just like you said with the values, it's something you can explicitly call out. "I hear you guys asking me to start "meeting each other more often in real life. "This is your opportunity to do just that." So now you've got multiple ways to position this offer. Maybe you've got a whole email sales cycle right here where you can say, "I hear you saying this" or "I know you have values for this, here you go. "I know you really want to accomplish this, here you go." It's the same thing, but I'm trying, I'm hittin different ideas, I'm hittin different points. Make sense?
Cool. What about online? What opportunities are standing out to people?
We've got a lot. We'll tell you a couple each. Yeah-moon-ya, I hope I said that right, is saying opportunity is creating a community for my customers so they can connect to each other. And Karla Kano is on the same thing. They're saying starting a community, that's exciting to them. And a girl named Michael is saying going from helping small businesses to growing into web design and social media marketing.
And D Touch, "We need to finish "our green business certification and promote it."
I love that.
And then Guest3140, "Opportunity is in that laser focus "rather than that hopeful flashlight."
Oh, I love that! I love that, good job, yes, okay. (laughing) Alright, I wanna take a moment just for any kind of final questions that we have on this overview of business models. In the next segment we're gonna talk about leverage. We're gonna talk about making a bigger impact with less energy and what that might look like for your business, but do we have any questions on kind of this overview that I've given you on business models? Shauna?
I'd like to hear you talk about kind of being focused in the products and services that you offer without having, you know, the jack of all trades kind of a thing, but now we're talking about kind of keeping our customers in a great cycle that helps them so how do we balance those? How do we create things that are helpful, but that don't start widening ourselves too much?
Yeah, great question. So there's two things. One, you can have that laser focus instead of the hopeful flashlight. I love that idea. And still answer lots of different questions. Like there are lots of different questions, for instance, that come up around business models. So let's say I'm an expert in business models. I could focus on that and still help people with different things. Like let's just say I could create six different offers each from these six different questions, right? And I could know that people start here, then they need this next, then they need that next. And I'd still have that focus. I think when I'm talking about jack of all trades, I'm talking about really offering things that aren't connected, that aren't part of the same story. So ask yourself what is the story that my customers are on right now? We're gonna get to that this afternoon, but what's that journey? Where are they trying to go? Where does my story intersect with their story and what are all the different questions that make sense there? What are the needs that make sense there? What can I teach them that make sense with that story? And I think your business is a great example. What you were talking about yesterday where you're starting with one pinpoint on their journey which is birth, but that one pinpoint is actually on a much larger story both for you and for them, that allows you to keep your focus without, without stagnating on that one milestone that they've reached. So it doesn't even just have to be like, "I'll be there for your first birth "and your second birth and your third birth." There's so much more that's happening in between there and I am sure your clients want to have a relationship with you even after the baby has come, right? They're probably hungry for contact with you. You've been there at such an intimate moment. How can you be part of that story? What is that story and how can you be part of it? The other thing, which is on a much more kind of technical, tangible note, is that to avoid becoming a jack of all trades, master of none, you can incorporate something called affiliate marketing. And whether that takes the form of affiliate marketing that we know from Amazon or that we know from recommending someone's ecourse and then giving them money or whether it's more just a strategic partnership and we say, "I don't have the answer to this question. "This isn't part of my story. "This isn't part of what I do, "but I know somebody that does." That can actually be part of your business model. Especially if there's a potential for revenue in there. It can actually be an offer that you make as part of your business model, it's just not something that you do. So it doesn't change how your customers perceive you, but it does make you an even bigger resource for them. Same thing in a maker business. Let's say you make quilts and the quilts are, oh no, I'm sorry, let's go back to the interior designer, the real estate agent, and I forget what the other one was, and the massage therapist. But let's use the real estate agent and the interior designer. This is a perfect example of a way that there can be revenue exchanged or not. When a real estate agent sells a home, those new homeowners probably need an interior designer. Fantastic, so there's a hook up there and that hook up makes the relationship with the real estate agent that much stronger. It starts the relationship off with the interior designer off on the right foot, but it doesn't leave the real estate agent trying to give interior design advice and looking a jack of all trades, right? And it doesn't leave the interior designer having to go out and get the real estate certification, but those needs can be met and they can be met together. Make sense? Yeah, awesome. Any questions from online?
We do have something similar to that. Let's start with Wileesha's question.
Yeah, she says, "I offer a virtual assistant "and writing services. "Should I really have a buy button slash "calendar scheduling on my page? "I think this is why my website isn't really converting "and is more of a showpiece for my blog."
Ah, really good question. So we will definitely talk more about that particular thing in sales cycles so if I don't mention your exact question then, which is tomorrow, come back to me, but what I can say is you wanna think about how it's most natural for your customers to buy. Are your customers the kind of customers who when they contract that type of service they want to just be able to hit a buy button? Do they have a strong value for instant gratification? Or are your kind of customers or your kind of clients the kind of clients who wanna have a conversation with you first? In that case, your call to action is different. Your call to action is fill out this contact form, call me, email me with your needs. Email me with your budget. You need to match, in this case, your call to action which is your sell, essentially, your ask, to the type of customers that you have and the way that you want to communicate, the way that they want to be communicated with and the kind of relationship you want to have with them. When you put a buy now button and a schedule now button on your site you're kind of starting more of transactional relationship. It's more of that, like I said, instant gratification. When you have a conversation, when you have a sales conversation, you're starting more of a support relationship. You're starting more of a long term relationship. So think about that as you consider who your customers are and what their values are. That can really determine what is going to convert best for you and what's gonna feel best for your customers and start the relationship off on the right foot.
Fantastic and we have some more questions though but you won't go into too much detail here, but just to get a quick answer from Tara, for instance, Sunshine2 is saying she works in making soap and body products, but her customers are always asking for candles. She has no interest in getting into the candles business, but should she find a partner who will so to help fulfill and similar question from OneBlockWest, she feels that she's being, she does arts and bead, she always being asked for things like key chains and stuff. She doesn't wanna get into that 'cause she thinks it will lower her value.
So I think two different answers here. For the soap maker who gets asked for candles, absolutely you need a strategic partner there. Absolutely you need to find somebody who you can pull into the business, you can fulfill this value for people whether it's just through a referral or whether maybe it's through white labeling this other person's products. You can bring them in, have them supply the product, you slap your label on it, and you do the fulfillment or maybe they still do the drop shipping. So there's that option. Oh gosh, I just totally blanked on what the other one was.
She does beads, bead work, et cetera, but she's asking, people ask her for things like key chains that she doesn't wanna do.
Yeah so then that's a great question or that's a great time to say, I think, you don't need to offer everything that people are asking for. So if you inherently know that this kind of product is gonna devalue your other products or you just have that gut feeling, listen to your gut feeling. It's probably very likely that you are exactly right. You should think of the questions that people ask you, the things they ask you for, as jumping off points for product development and not necessarily orders. So really consider that and go with your gut on that one.
Tara, what are we gonna do when we come back? Doing less, I gather? (laughing)
Yes, we are going to be doing less when we come back. Yeah, when we come back we're gonna be talking about getting more impact in your business which means impacting your customers more deeply, impacting more customers, and impacting yourself more, but all with less energy.