Most businesses start out with just one or two products or services. Maybe you’re selling services like coaching, event planning, personal training, web design or massage therapy, or maybe it’s an online info product like an e-book or course. Whatever it is, before long you find yourself selling time for money with your income limited by how many hours there are in the day, or you work hard to get lots of clients but the sale amount is so low and, since it’s a one time sale, you’re barely breaking even.
The result is that you work harder and harder but your income still isn’t where you want it to be. I call this the Treadmill Business Model. You do a limited number or tried and true marketing activities that have worked in the past; you get clients and have to constantly fight to keep the pipeline full. Meanwhile you have an income ceiling.
The problem comes from thinking like someone who has a job instead of thinking like an entrepreneur! Well it’s time to change all that. As an entrepreneur it’s time to develop a business model or strategy that will accomplish 3 things:
1. Maximize repeat business: get people to buy from them multiple times
2. Maximize sales: increase the transaction value of each sale
3. Maximize referrals: increase referrals from customers
You need to create a product funnel that will lead people from one initial purchase to the next and the next. You can do this using one of 2 approaches.
1) Vertical – this is where product #1 logically leads to product #2. It could be either a next generation product, an upgrade or an add-on to the original product. Microsoft has certainly mastered this. You need to keep buying their latest operating system or software. Many technology companies use this strategy. But another example would be a program or course where you offer beginner, intermediate and advanced levels that are sequential.
2) Horizontal – in this model you develop products or services that help your customers solve other problems or fulfill other desires, something that is complimentary, but not exactly the same as their original purchase. For example, if you sell cooking classes, you could also sell the cooking utensils and gadgets people need. Of if you make window treatments, you could sell the hardware necessary to install them. If you sell online you could sell related affiliate products.
Another way to create a horizontal strategy is to re-package or re-purpose something you already sell and make it attractive to another market or industry. This works quite well if you sell educational or info products or courses.
You can also maximize sales by creating a business model with recurring income like:
* membership programs
* packaged programs
* repeat order products like vitamins or beauty products
Buy creating this process and setting up the systems to keep it working, you’ve created a natural buying sequence that increases sales, keeps customers coming back again and again, and creates multiple profit streams in your business. You’ll be able to easily create passive income so you don’t have to spend years just selling time for money. You’ll easily see your sales DOUBLE and then double again.
So take some quiet time or even brainstorm with an advisor, mentor, coach or successful entrepreneur you respect and start to map out your business model—the one that will help you dramatically increase sales.© Copyright 2009 Janis Pettit