Empowering Business Models
Your business model describes the way you do business. It involves your products and services, packaging and pricing, revenue generation, your target market, their needs, your solutions and the value you provide. Successful businesses use empowering models. How is yours working for you?
In this article I am going to focus on the aspect of a business model called revenue generation. This simply means how you provide value and solve your target market’s problems in a way that generates revenue and then profits. I am also going to slant things even further so that I am talking about how coaches, consultants, therapists, trainers, speakers and other solo-professionals generate revenue.
Today’s solo-preneurs are now serving one-to many instead of, or in addition to one-to-one. I still love traditional one-to-one coaching and mentoring. However, in the spirit of empowering both myself and my clients, I now offer these as premium packages. This is the way I can fully commit to supporting my clients and help them achieve results
Apart from serving one-to-many, today’s solo-professional is also incorporating multiple streams of income into their business models. This means they have several avenues for generating revenue instead of focusing on one core stream of income. See part 2 of this series for practical examples.
Below are examples of revenue generation models that serve one-to-many, leverage the solo-professional’s expertise, and bring in far more revenue, with much less stress, than charging dollars for hours:
1. Subscriptions or memberships
Participants pay a monthly/quarterly/annual fee for receiving products or service, or for membership of a group/club/forum etc. Given that great value is provided, members stay on for fixed or indefinite periods, ensuring leveraged income for the business owner. These could be moderately priced or high ticket memberships. They could be open to the public or exclusive. E.g. gym memberships, mastermind memberships, book or DVD clubs, forum memberships, monthly teleseminar clubs, personal development clubs. If you can package your expertise and deliver it in small doses, over a period of time you can create a membership or subscription.
2. Group coaching/Support programs
Instead of supporting one person at a time, this model involves coaching or supporting groups. It offers a win-win solution as participants access the support they need at lower fees than for one-on-ones and the business owner profits from the volume of people served e.g. weight-loss support groups, group coaching programs, writers’ coaching programs.
3. Continuity programs
This involves providing product or support over an agreed period of time instead of a one-off solution e.g. a 6 month fitness package, with other bonuses, instead of individual classes; on-going business support for a fixed monthly fee or a weekly massage or aromatherapy package for stressed city executives. The customer agrees to keep receiving your product/service and paying for it until they cancel their membership. This way, the business owner serves a fixed number of people over a fixed term, and is thus guaranteed a fixed income for a given period. With 2 six-month programs in a year, or 3 quarterly ones, a year-long income stream is in place.
4. Events – Live/recorded; virtual/in-person
Instead of sharing the same information with each of your clients, why not hold an event and reach many of them at the same time? These could be live, as in workshops, speeches or training sessions. They could be recorded – as you deliver your workshop, speech or training session, have it recorded, then packaged as a DVD series, home study course, Do-It-Yourself system, workshop-in-a-box or paid-for broadcast. Events could be virtual, as in webinars, teleclasses, broadcasts or podcasts. Or they could be in-person events such as live classes, seminars or workshops.
5. Affiliate programs
Reach more people and earn more money by giving commissions to others who sell your products and services. Invite affiliates to sell your workshop places, eBooks, DVD series etc.
If you have a system or product that works you don’t need to be a Nobel Prize winner to have it licensed. Once this is done, you can offer others the license in exchange for licensing fees which are periodically renewed. Every time you up-grade your system or product, or licenses are renewed you generate more revenue. Examples of licensed products or services are software, training programs, cartoon character names and images, fitness systems, coaching models and educational courses.
Create a system that works and turn it into a franchise. E.g. there are coaching franchises (ever heard of a Tony Robbins or Bob Proctor coach?), Health and wellness franchises (you must have heard of LighterLife!) networking groups (Are you in Athena?) and more.
8. Bait and Hook
This isn’t devious like it sounds! A typical example would be to hold a low-cost or free workshop where you train participants to use a time management system then you keep on selling them the tools to implement the new system. For as long as they use your system they are buying your accessories. It’s the same system used by printer manufacturers – you need to replace the ink; luxury pens where you need to buy refills, or low-cost razors where you buy blades for life! What can you create that would require recurring accessory purchase? A coaching program plus journals and CD series? Business solutions plus software subscriptions? Go on, think harder. You can come up with something!
These revenue models could be used in isolation but I would recommend a combination. In my business I use the first five and have plans to add more!
There are also other models for leveraging your expertise and earning more money. Examples include the premium model (serve fewer clients but charge higher fees for the premium service you provide); freemium model (offer something for free with great value, but restrict access to higher value content/service. To access the higher version the customer must “upgrade” at a price; loyalty model (clients receive rewards, such as loyalty points or bonuses for coming back or staying longer), and more.
This concludes the series on business models. I hope you have been inspired to stop selling hours for dollars or to up-grade your business model to a more empowering one. If you would like to make changes along these lines but do not know where to start, contact me today. I am happy to help!
What revenue generation models or combinations are you using in your business?
Which do you most enjoy and why? Share your thoughts with us below!