Everywhere I go these days, people seem to be talking about how they don’t want to follow a “model”. You say to me, “Monica, I don’t want to be boxed in to doing what everyone is doing. I want to create my own model. Do it my way.” Perhaps you too would like to follow a model that is unique to you.
I understand why you might be feeling this way. The whole point of doing something on your own is to be able to create it in a way that feels natural and unique to you. And that is possible. In fact, one of the compliments that I often receive is that my long-term clients are unique – they ARE NOT mini-Monicas and they are different from one another. I love that. One thing I know is that we don’t need any more Monica Shah’s running around here!
My MBA and work background give me the ability to look at any business and determine a revenue model that will support it – and there is a lot of creativity and customizing that can go with that. Especially since everyone has a different personality type and certain strengths and weaknesses. But there are also some rules that you must follow if you are going to consistently and quickly make money – and it doesn’t matter what your “model” is for that to work.
Now to be clear here – these structures must be in place if you intend to make money within the next six months and would like there to be a consistency in that monthly income number.
1. You have to sell something. You are either selling a product or a service, a hybrid or both. I know this seems simple – but I can’t tell you how many people come to me that aren’t selling anything on a regular basis. If you aren’t selling something – than you are running a hobby, not a business.
2. Whatever you are selling must solve a wake-up in the morning problem for a particular group of people. This is an urgent problem such as needing to make more money or wanting to lose weight. It is helpful if you know the particular group of people that need this problem solved – so that you can focus your marketing on that group. If you aren’t solving a wake-up in the morning problem – chances are that you won’t sell the quantities of products or services that you need to make a decent living.
3. The price and/or quantity of your product or service must be high enough to at least let you break even in your business. I see two major issues out there.
For those selling monthly services:
They charge $100 a month, but their monthly expenses are $5,000 a month. That means you would need to hold 50 clients a month to break even. For most folks that isn’t even possible, much less sustainable.
Now I have no issue with starting out in your business by charging $100 a month. But in order for the business to survive and become profitable, you must raise your prices at some point and learn how to sell your programs at those higher prices (see the Money Club for more on this one).
For clients that are selling products:
I see people who are charging anywhere from $20 – $147 for a book, a program, a club, or an event and trying to live off of that income. The key here is quantity. Again, to generate $5,000 a month – you’d need to sell quite a few products to get there.
The key to generating this kind of quantity is building traffic to your site and building your list. Both of these activities take time – and multiple years to build.
The other option is to open other distribution channels – like selling your products in stores, in other people’s programs, or in offices.
4. Build a Sales Channel and Sell Consistently. You must have a sales channel and you must ask for money. A sales channel is a place or method by which you consistently generate leads. This can be speaking events, social media, and referral partners – whatever works for you.
And finally you must ask for money on a consistent basis – so this means that you must be having regular sales conversations – every single week. Without them – your business will never be able to generate consistent income.
Now there are so many other structures and systems that I could have talked about here – but I happened to choose the areas where I see the most people struggle. I encourage you to be creative – to choose a business model that works for you. Using these principles will also allow you to be able to pay your bills, put some money into savings and start to make buying decisions from your heart not your bank account.
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