I see too many women entrepreneurs struggle with growing their business. Often it’s because they were not taught the right way to market themselves or to build a sustainable business that doesn’t drain all their time and energy.
It is possible to build a professional service business that is financially rewarding, gives you the lifestyle you really want, and makes a big difference in the world. I want to share with you the twelve most important principles that I have learned about being financially successful in any ‘special knowledge’ industry, such as coaching, consulting, speaking, training, etc.
This is my formula for simplicity + prosperity. It’s a step-by-step process any ‘expert entrepreneur’ can use to simplify and streamline your business so you can work less, have more freedom, and make more money. Use it to rise to the top of your field, become the leader of a micro-niche market, and shift your business model from one to one service delivery to one to many and multiple streams of income.
Here are the 12 steps in my formula for making more money and having more freedom in your business:
1. Develop a big compelling vision and a clear strategy
Create your big vision of what you see is possible for your clients and for the world. Dream big about how you can make a difference with your gifts and talents. Be willing to play a bigger game. Write down your vision and share it passionately with others, and develop a clear strategy and step-by-step plan to reach that vision.
2. Build your business based on your strengths and expertise
Get clear on what your greatest expertise, core strengths and passions are. You need to find out what your greatness is and build your business around that. Developing a specialty based on your expertise will give you a distinctive professional brand. Know what makes you different from your competitors so you can be perceived as being one of the best in your field so you’ll stand out, get noticed and get hired.
3. Choose a micro-niche market in your area of specialty
Offering unique solutions to an existing market that is actively looking to solve their problems is the fastest way to grow your business. To build a truly successful business, you must be an expert at what you do. People want to work with experts and specialists. They look for the best in a field when they need advice and solutions. Choose one market. Focus and grow it as big as you can. Be the best that you can be so you’ll stand out as the top service provider in your area of specialty.
4. Plan your lifestyle first
Have big life dreams and goals that you commit to first before you plan your business goals. Design your business around your ideal lifestyle. Create a lifestyle business plan that includes all of what you want to do and be in your lifetime. Taking regular vacations and weekends off, making time for self care and nurturing and fun, having a daily ritual that keeps you at your best will keep you refreshed, inspired and at the top of your game.
5. Develop high productivity habits
Marketing, client service, delegation, new product and service ideas, and revenue generation are your most important business activities. It’s important to stay focused on them. Identify your top priorities, take small, consistent action toward your goals, and focus on profit producing activities to grow your business. Maintaining focus and concentration, healthy eating, fitness and wellness, developing personal rituals, daily creative silence, and trusting intuition are also some of the habits to cultivate to get you out of overwhelm and support you in being your best.
6. Involve partners in your growth plans
You can only grow your business so far on your own. It’s impossible to achieve a big vision all by yourself. Create a dream team, mastermind or coaching group, or connect with a partner one-on-one to support, challenge, inspire and motivate one another. Align with joint venture partners and make strategic alliances with people and companies who serve a similar target audience to help both of you grow your business and exposure exponentially.
7. Build a community of raving fans
It’s not enough anymore to just ‘grow your list’. You want to work with people who love what you do, will tell others, and will inspire you to do your best work. You need to create a sense of community and provide an experience for that community that they will value so much that they can’t wait to tell others. You need to keep in touch with your community regularly so that you become their most trusted advisor. Static websites are a thing of the past. You need to have a two-way conversation with your clients and prospects to have them really connect with you. Using the new social media and web 2.0, such as blogs, teleseminars, podcasts, and other online technology will make your marketing more fun and interactive so you’ll feel more in tune with your market.
8. Shift your business model from one-to-one service delivery to one-to-many
Shift from the role of service provider to business owner. Give people different levels of access to you. There are new ways and models for doing business and if you’re stuck in the old models, you may never achieve the kind of success you have dreamed of and you’ll work very hard at finding new clients. Make your primary business building strategy education, not just information. Use the internet and email to spread your influence worldwide and grow your visibility and income substantially.
9. Develop a wealthy mindset
To be really financially successful, you need to release beliefs that hold you back from achieving the success and financial abundance you deserve. You need to make ‘mental shifts’ to get your income over the six figure level. Think like a person who makes money. Learn the passive income skill set. Identify everything that’s holding you back and get it handled so you can get on the path to financial freedom. Let go of beliefs that limit your success. Surround yourself with like-minded successful people in a mastermind or coaching group so that together you can make it to that next level.
10. Grow a team of loyal support staff
It’s impossible to achieve a big vision alone. Let others handle the technology and administration for you – don’t try to do it all yourself. Leverage is an important business concept used to achieve greater income, and you can’t get leverage if you are doing all of the work yourself. Use the talents of assistants, technicians, creative people and apprentices so that you can focus on your strengths and do what you do best. You can start small with delegating just a few hours of administrative work a week, and grow from there. Expert support is widely available. You just need to know where to find them and get recommendations to the best in the business from us!
11. Automate and systematize many of your business functions
When you have just a few clients, running your business is easy. But once you reach expert status with a full roster of clients, products, seminars, live events, strategic alliances and joint ventures you get too busy to handle it all. To avoid this, you need to develop systems in your business: systems for working with clients, processing payments, handling e-mail and customer support, publishing articles and a newsletter, running your web sites, and managing your schedule. Many business functions – such as lead generation, registration and follow up – can be entirely automated, freeing you up to do more high level work. Creating systems and automating will help you simplify and streamline your business so you can work less and make more.
12. Build assets and passive income in your business
Make the shift from trading time for money to trading value for money. Create additional profit centers and multiple streams of income. Start leveraging your knowledge so you can earn passive and residual income by packaging your solutions into information products, workbooks, audio programs, coaching programs and membership sites. Sell repeatable solutions so you can impact a greater number of people and build a sustainable business. When you reach this point in your business, that’s when you start living the lifestyle you love and start experiencing real financial abundance!
You can start right where you are in making some of these changes in your business. Start small with a few changes, and grow from there. Plan on a year long project to implement all twelve of these principles, shift your business model, and create passive income. Follow this formula, and over time you can easily double your revenue and time off. The rewards are well worth it to have more freedom, more fun and more income in your business!
Copyright © Jan Marie Dore ~ www.femalepreneurs.com ~ All rights reserved.Jan Marie Dore, ‘The Women Entrepreneurs’ Success Coach’, Master Certified Coach, Speaker, and Author, publishes valuable ideas to grow a professional service business and increase profitability in her newsletter ‘Success Secrets for Women Entrepreneurs’.
Jan Marie teaches self-employed female professionals to attract more clients and financial success, and as a result, live extraordinary lives. For free resources and programs on marketing a professional practice please visit Femalepreneurs.com and read the Blog Success Secrets.