Setting Your Business Model in Motion
We're gonna kind of bring together everything that we've done over the last three days in this segment. I'm gonna review top to bottom, and we're gonna set a lot of goals. We're gonna set goals for this month, for six months out, for nine months out, and we're gonna review what might stand in our way, and how we can keep that kind of stuff from happening. So stick around with me so you can really create that plan for setting your business model in motion. That's what, that's what we're all about today. So, one more time, here's our little friend. I want to talk about the microbusiness earning plateau. Remember, at the beginning, things are going great. If you're there now, awesome. Feel that energy. Use that energy. Keep it going. Keep it going. Keep getting those wins. But inevitably you're going to hit that place. Maybe you're in it now. Maybe you can see it coming. Maybe you're starting to get really freakin' tired of it. This is the microbusiness earning plateau. It is a barren was...
teland of burnout, stress, and way too much hustle. It's unfortunately a place where a lot of people get lost and a lot of people drop out of their small businesses, out of their microbusinesses. And so my goal for these whole three days has been to give you sets of tools, systems that you can execute, new ways to think about your business, to instead of leaving you here, get you up, up, up, up, up, up, where your revenue goal is so you're off the plateau, and your up at the mountain peak. How do we do that? Well, now we really get to say hello to our little friend. That's our business model. We need a business model that supports us, a business model that's healthy, a business model where all the different parts of our business are working together to make our lives easier, to free us from our businesses, to earn the money we want to earn, to live the life we want to live. That's our business model. If you remember from day one, there's three things that make up this part of your business, or there's three things that we're really focusing on, or that we've focused on over these last three days. The first was prices that serve your customers, right? Remember that prices tell a story, prices help us understand what a product is and how it's gonna be valuable to us, and so when you're setting prices, you need to think about prices that tell the story you want to tell, so that they serve your customers the way your customers need to be served, want to be served, so that they can make the best buying decisions for them, so that they can get the solutions that they want, so that they can find the meaning that they want to find in your products. You also need products and services that address your customers' needs. We've spent a lot of time laying out what exactly it is that our customer needs, what they want, what questions they have, what frustrations they want eased. And so we need to base our business model on exactly those things. It's not enough to say, "Well, I want to have an ebook and an ecourse "and one-on-one coaching," or "I want to sell this many earrings, "that many necklaces, and this many bracelets." It can't be just about the products themselves. It has to be about the value that they're giving our customers in the form of addressing their needs. And then finally we need marketing and sales strategies that give us freedom. Marketing and sales strategies that don't leave us chained to our desk, that aren't even just automated, but really get more impact out of less work, more impact out of less work. Let's break this down another way. So, one thing that we talked an awful lot about was understanding how your customers' needs change as your customers change. Your customers' needs change as your customers change. Then we talked about how to create a set of offers that actually addresses these changing needs, and we laid that out in our business models. We need to price these offers to tell a story. And then we need to connect those offers, right? Connect all the different systems together with marketing and sales strategies that both build your audience and leverage your strengths. Let's look at each one of these things a little bit closer. Understanding your customers as their needs grow and change. We looked at charting the course, right? We looked at the fact that your ideal clients are not static moments in time. They're not a single problem. Your customers are not a single need, or a single frustration, or a single question. Your ideal customer is really made up of lots of different points, lots of different ways you can solve problems for them. Your ideal customer will come to you for one thing, and need many more other things from you as time goes on. The problem that so often happens is that we don't understand how our customers grown and change. We focus on one particular point, and then we don't have a business model that allows our customers to be loyal. We don't have a business model that allows for the very easy process of follow-up offers, of selling something new to the same existing customers on a regular basis. Remember, it's multiple times more expensive to bring new customers into your business than it is to sell to existing customers. So is your business model, is the model that you've created over the last three days, set up to encourage loyalty with your customers? 'Cause I guarantee you that's gonna make your life easier. It's gonna make your life so much easier. All right, next thing, we need to create a set of offers that address these changing needs, right? And so that's when we really picked this business model apart, and we looked at those six separate questions. Each product or service in your business model needs to answer, you need to have an answer for each of these six questions. First, what will this help my customers accomplish? Again, it doesn't matter what form that product takes. What matters is the value that it's creating. What matters is how it's changing your customers' experience. How's it changing the way they feel? How's it teaching them something new? What's it allowing them to accomplish that they've never been able to accomplish before, or achieve that they've never been able to achieve before? Now, who needs this? These two questions work hand in hand. You need to know who your customers are, so you can know what you want to help them accomplish, and vice versa, you need to know what you can help them accomplish, before you can really pinpoint who those customers are. Pinpointing your customers, of course, isn't about just demographics. It's not just about 30-year-old women to 50-year-old women who are single, who need to find a partner. That's not the only part of who your customer is, right? We also need to know who our customers are in terms of their personal values, so that we can tell them a story that makes sense to them, so we can tell them a story that matters to them. We need to know who they are in terms of what their other interests are, so that we can create details that make sense and create a consistent experience that make our customers more comfortable. And we just need to know all this stuff so that we can answer the rest of the questions, so that we know how our customers want to be treated, so we know what's gonna work for them at different times in their life and different points in their life cycle. The next question we need to answer for every single product or service in our business line, or business model is how will we approach our relationship to these customers? How will we approach our relationship to these customers? Do you want to have a one-on-one, ongoing, longterm, really supportive relationship? Do you wanna have a really transactional relationship, where they give you this much money, they get this answer? Do you want to have a kind of community relationship with them? What kind of relationship do you want to have? Make the choice, and make it intentional. Then, then you can ask, what does this solution look like? What does this solution look like, or what could this solution look like? For every product or service, for every idea of value that you, or for every idea that you have of creating value, you can deliver that value in different ways. So don't start, or, with your business model, format first. Start with it function first. Know what you want to deliver and how you, before you know how you want to deliver it, all right? Second to last, how will we let our customers know about it? Different kinds of customers and different kinds of relationships with us with different kinds of needs and different kinds of products need to be marketed to in different ways. When we talked about this, I also talked about the fact that marketing is bigger than promotion. It's about telling the right story to the right people for the right reasons, to create awareness about the problems that your customer has, and the solutions that are available to them. Marketing is so much bigger than promotion. It's the stories that you're telling on a day-to-day basis, the way you design your brand, it's the way you find the right people. And then there's also sales. Sales plays very nicely with marketing, but it's a separate process, and if you don't think about it separately in your business, then you're gonna miss out on the opportunity to, well, make better sales, right? So sales is all about guiding your customers toward making a buying decision. Once they're aware, once they know a solution exists, once they're aware of their problem, you can guide your customers toward a buying decision. And then finally, how much is this all gonna cost? What's the price tag you're gonna put on the item that you've just created, or that you've just designed, and what does it cost to you? And I know there were a lot of aha moments here about the time that it takes to deliver a product, or the energy that it takes. We also talked about some creative costs, both with Tiffany and with Sasha, where they have products that they're creating and delivering that are not allowing them to take the creative time they need to deliver bigger, better products, or things that are gonna turn them on more, which will help turn their customers on more. And so both of them, I think, had some aha moments, and I know we had a lot of aha moments along the same lines online as well. So really consider those costs. What are the financial costs, but also what are the soft costs? All right. Then, well actually first, right? We talked an awful lot about price. We talked about price a couple segments ago as well, but on day one, we talked a lot about price, and value pricing. And we learned that to price with confidence, you really need to know how much you need to earn to live the life you want to live, because the entrepreneurial money mindset is all about creating the business model that is going to serve the life you want to live, serve the business you want to create, as opposed to the paycheck money mindset, which is having a starting-off point, and then slowly whittling it away. It's essentially being told how you're going to live, right? You get the opportunity to switch that around. So you need to know how you want to live, and how much do you need to earn to get there? You also need to know how your customer values your product. What is it mean to them? That same question, what does this allow them to accomplish that they haven't been able to accomplish before? What place does this product have in their life? What place does it have in their daily routine, or in their monthly ritual? How does your customer value your product? And then finally, how much does she expect to pay for that value? We talked a lot about how vast the marketplace is, and that people find different kinds of solutions, different kinds of formats, different products, different services, to solve very similar problems, and to achieve very similar desires, and if you're not considering that whole vastness of the marketplace, you don't really have a context for setting the price that your customer might expect to buy for. So that's really important. Know what's on the high end of your business. Know what's on the low end of your business. And then finally, we talked about connecting all of our offers together through marketing and sales strategies that build your audience and leverage your strengths. And I want to just put in another plug for that leverage your strengths idea. Yesterday we talked about onliness, your special something, that unique set of traits, passions, skills, experience, and the way that you work best, the way that you create best, that makes up what really makes your business unique, what really can shape the way you deliver offers. Way too often we ignore that special something because we wanna do things the right way. We wanna blog the right way. We wanna Tweet the right way. We wanna Facebook the right way. We want to write the ebook the right way, and we ignore our special strengths, our special something. That special something should be like the good angel that's always sitting on your shoulder. And always guiding your business decisions. We talked so much about making more intentional choices with your business model. Every time you're faced with making a choice, ask yourself, where does my special something tell me to go? What would work best for me? Not, what would work best for Tara? Not, what would work best for Robin? Not, what would work best for Jay Kale? What would work best for me? That's the right answer. And you can use that. You can leverage that to make a bigger impact with less work, to align with more of the right people, and to get more traction more easily on the marketing and sales strategies that you use. So let's, whoops, let's review that sales cycle real quick. There we go. There it is. So that sales cycle that we just talked about in the last segment, so I won't spend a lot of time here, is start the conversation, get people talking, get people thinking. Tell them something surprising. Ask them a ridiculous question. (instructor laughs) Give them something to chew on when you're starting the conversation. Get their attention. Get their attention. Next, share a vision. What is it that they want? What is it that you want for them? Show them that you know, and that you can help them get, what it is that they're thinking about, what it is that they're dreaming about. We all want to buy from people who know where we wanna go. That's what helps us align with a brand, with a company. So share that vision. Next, connect a problem to that vision. Know what your customers, know what they're perceiving as their problems, know what they are frustrated with right this minute. Know what questions they're asking right now. And connect it, connect that problem to why they're not currently hitting that vision, why they're not living that ideal life right now, why they're not living the dream. Connect the problem to the vision. Next, present a solution. Show them what's possible. Give them hope. Give them health. Hold their hand, maybe. Present a solution. Finally, or not finally next, make the offer. That's when you make the ask. This is your pitch. This is your opportunity to say, "Have I got the solution for you." And then finally, strengthen the relationship. Follow up. Show them what's next. Give them more resources, whether people buy or not. Keep that relationship going, strengthen that relationship. Keep the cycle moving, so that you aren't constantly in the start, stop, start, stop mode of launch-to-launch business life. All right? So, this is your opportunity to share with me, what's you're number one take away so far? Use the hashtag #taraLIVE, get on Twitter, hit me up at @taragentile or @creativeLIVE. What's your number one take away from the last three days? Let's go to the studio audience first. What's your number one take away? Tiffany?
That by not building profit into my business model, I was funding my business out of my paycheck. Therefore I wasn't actually paying myself what I really thought I was.
Wow. (Tiffany laughs) That's a good one.
It was big.
Yeah, (Tara laughs) we all got to see that up here too.
Yeah, we all watched it.
That was awesome. Yeah, great. Great take away. Riana.
I'd say that I need to create systems and processes to sustain the business, like talking about business models, but also the sales aspect, the sales cycle, so that I'm not constantly having to restart, or lose momentum with the current group that I'm already working with.
Great, great. And that's so important with you.
Your customers are so young. (Riana laughs) Even if they're not the ones paying.
They're so young. You have such an opportunity to support them and be with them and see them achieve that vision.
If you can keep that momentum going. That's awesome. Cool. Bridget.
I've never really thought about bill cycles and the idea of planning ahead.
I've always been sort of blogging and guest posting, without much thought about like planning the bigger picture.
And I think that being able to plan the bigger picture is going to completely change my business.
It will change your life.
Absolutely, absolutely. Because then you know that vacation you want to take six months from now? You can actually plan it into your revenue, plan your marketing, plan your sales cycles, absolutely. Not only from a perspective of "Well, I'm gonna take that time off," but "Hey, I'm gonna make an extra 3,000 dollars "the month before so that I can have "a luxury vacation instead of going backpacking." Unless you like to go backpacking, which I'm all for, well, I'm not all for that personally, but I'll take the hotel, thanks. (Bridget laughs) Right, so you can work that into your plan.
You can really think, what do I need when? What would make me feel comfortable? What's gonna make my life easier? Love that you picked up on that. Thank you so much. Anything else people want to share? Shana?
That it's okay to determine your price by what you want in your life? You know, I think we get so stuck in, like, well what would my customers pay for this? And although that's obviously a valid conversation, it's okay to talk about what I want to get out of this too.
Absolutely. It's a necessary part of the conversation. Yeah, great. Sasha.
I think a validation of the idea of experimentation, and that it just never ends, because I think I had a feeling of, like, a little bit of a feeling of failure, like oh I didn't figure this out within less than a year about a way to make this work, even though I'd gotten to that plateau of, I had the great hockey stick going up of success, of response, but it isn't really the model that I need for the long term, and I felt like, I mean, literally I was that person a couple of weeks ago at therapy saying, "I'm done with this."
I'm gonna be a writer, and I'm gonna get a regular job, and this is just not gonna work, you know? And I do feel like, okay, this is gonna take some time, but I can do it.
Mmm-hmm. Awesome. Awesome. Very cool. Responses from online?
Yes, definitely. so, Fioria is saying, "For me, it's crafting a business model "is a constant experiment, and it's never done." And Sophia is saying their number one take away is, "Etsy is not my target market or environment "where my business values shine. "I love Etsy. "It's great, but I need to sell exclusively "on my own website."
Beautiful. Love that.
And Guest2396 is saying, "It's just systems." That's what they take away.
Hollywood says, "I need to sell "and not be afraid to ask. "My story will lead them at this point." And then Creativegenius says, "Got myself new mojo. "If you can sell to one, you can sell to many."
Love it. Awesome. Yeah, this idea of experimentation seems to be a common theme, and, you know, think about the big businesses that are out there. Think about, I mean, Facebook just turned, what six years old? And they're a pretty big business, and they're bringing in an awful lot of revenue. Are they still experimenting with their business model? Absolutely. They're still experimenting with the product that they are offering. And when will they stop? Never. They're never gonna stop. Apple, still experimenting with their business model. I mean, iTunes just went through a whole change when they introduced the radio option. You know, these businesses are constantly experimenting. If you're not constantly experimenting, if you're not trying new things, you will lose. You will get Netflixed. Someone will come along and put you out of business, for real.