I know this sounds cliche at the moment… but the world is changing. The way we do business is changing. Business structures are changing.
According to Global Workplace Analytics, there has been a 159% growth in global remote work over the last 12 years and people working from home reported to be more productive, less stressed out and on average, they earn more money.
I mean, it's pretty great – there's no commute, there's more time to spend with loved ones… and really, it's amazing how much more work you can get done without constant interruptions from Gwen telling you about her kids and Tony who taps his foot all day. Heck! You can even wear no pants if you want.
Some people are loving these perks so much that they don't want to go back to the office and are looking into becoming their own boss. And it's the perfect time to do this because it's the new normal to run a business from home. Plus, your audience is way more engaged because we are all online more than ever.
Where am I going with this?
Well, right now we have so many opportunities available to us and I want to help bust this myth going around that everyone is struggling and that it's hard to get clients. I know times are tough for quite a lot of people, but you have an opportunity to either start a new business or work ON your business right now.
Take, for example, this Google review we just received:
As you can see, by working ON her business right now, it saved her business.
OK, so I can't teach you everything that she learnt in the Blueprint course here. But I can teach you some important foundations for your business which will help you get clients. They're not quick fixes like some of these ideas, but these are important foundations for the long term.
1. Find Your Niche and Do What You Love
It's pretty simple really.
You're a hotel manager and you're looking for a web designer to rebuild your website so that you can get more bookings. You're searching on Google and you have one designer that has a pretty portfolio of all kinds of websites. Then you have another designer that has a website solution for hotels to get more bookings.
Who do you choose?
The person who knows the industry and your needs of course!
The Objections to Niching
Let me guess, your first thoughts were “I can't afford to turn clients away right now!” and “FOMO! What if I choose the wrong niche and there are no clients there? Who will I be missing out on?”
Firstly, if you can't afford to turn away clients right now, that's fine, but you can start pivoting your business while you serve them. (More on that to come).
Secondly, the whole point of niching is to find the industry or type of clients you actually want. So all you're missing out on is the boring sh*t you hate. And if Covid-19 has taught us anything, it's that life is too short to be doing stuff you hate!
Find the thing that you do best and the thing that adds the most value to your business. When you're operating from there, this is what happens:
- You'll actually enjoy your work
- You will end up with happy clients which leads to referrals
- Speaking of referrals, people within industries chat! If you knock the ball out of the park on a project, word will get around and soon you'll the go-to person in that sector
- You're adding some sort of extra value that makes you stand out from the pack which allows you to charge higher fees
- You feel pride in your work because you're good at it
How To Discover your Niche
It's no secret that building your own business is hard work. The majority of small businesses fail within the first two years. It helps if you enjoy what you’re doing. It also helps if you have a natural aptitude for it.
Here are some questions to get you brainstorming:
- What skills are you good at and what do you enjoy doing at work?
- What are you passionate about?
- Is there an overlap between these two? Can they be combined?
- Who do you feel most aligned with? Whose problems do you understand the best?
- Who do you want to bounce out of bed every morning to serve?
I put together a worksheet to help you find your niche or as I like to call it, your “sweet spot”.
2. Find the Right Business Model
There are three business models for working from home:
- Consulting (done for you)
- Coaching (done with you)
- Online Courses (do it yourself)
Consulting is the done-for-you approach, for example, making a client a website or managing a client's social media for them. If you're just starting out, then this is where you will be.
- The client gets your undivided attention and focus
- It's the quickest business model to use to make money fast
- You're only getting paid when you're doing “the thing” and its hard to leverage
- There is a lot of work involved which can be stressful and lead to long hours
- The client doesn’t learn anything and will always have to rely on your help
- While you can charge a large sum for consulting, the profit margin might be slimmer than expected once you look at how many hours you put into projects
- This model isn’t scalable as it limits how many other clients you can work with
Coaching is the done-with-you approach, where you share your expertise with your clients and support them make the changes themselves. One-on-one coaching can be time-consuming, but group coaching is easier to scale. If you've been working in your craft for quite some time, this might be the time to pivot your business towards this model.
- You don't have to do “the thing” and there's more leverage in it
- You and your clients work together to achieve their goals and they are learning how to do it themselves
- With group coaching, everyone has a chance to contribute, ask questions, and address concerns that others might not have considered or were too afraid to broach on their own
- There is a greater degree of accountability
- You need a process and a system dialled in that gets results for your customers
- You need case studies and social proof
- If you don't have the right framework or boundaries in place, then you risk the client wanting to reach out with any small problem they encounter and becoming too reliant on you
Online courses are part of the do-it-yourself business model where the end-user does the work themselves.
- You only need to create your course once then there are more hours available for marketing and working on your business
- It’s a good way to reach a large volume of customers at once
- You can use this as supplemental income around your main business
- It's a highly competitive space so you need to have tonnes of social proof
- Price points tend to be low, so you have to sell a lot to be profitable
- It's not a “quick fix” it takes time and a lot of hard work for this to grow and be profitable
There you have it, you've got a lot to think about so make sure you download the worksheet and have fun with it!
If you want us to help you get some clarity on your business and it's direction, then jump on a free clarity call with one of our helpful team members.