Businesses of every type need a business plan. Don’t think you can skip by on this important step because you offer a service instead of a physical product. Every business can benefit from a business plan.
First Step, Focus.
When you create a business plan you need to focus on the reasons for the business: Who do you want to serve? What do you want to provide? When do you want to start? Where will you set up shop? Why do you want to start such an endeavor? How will you meld all these things together to create a prosperous business?
These are the primary reasons why you’re going into business and they should always be at the forefront of your mind when making decisions.
Something else to focus on is your big dream. How much money do you want to make over the next 5 years? Do you want to sell multiple products or have several locations? Everyone’s big dream will be different but you should write it down as part of the plan.
Second Step, A Plan.
Think of your business plan as a mountain. Your mission statement is at the base of the mountain while your big dream is at the peak. Everything in between is what you need to plan and these steps should also be incorporated into a business plan.
What products do you want to create? How often do you want to produce a product? How can you implement some passive income or affiliate income into your business? Are there any speaking engagements or online summit opportunities that will expand your reach and your followers? What can you add to your sales funnel for those not yet ready to commit to coaching?
Third Step, Action Steps.
This is where your planning steps are broken down into smaller, actionable steps. Instead of just saying I want to write a book, break the process down further. How much time can you dedicate each day to writing? Do you want to self-publish or find a publisher? You’ll need to hire an editor and someone to design the cover. These are actionable steps that can easily be crossed off your to do list once completed.
Don’t be thrown off here. You don’t need to plan 5 years’ worth of action steps at one time. The idea is to plan a year at a time, keeping your focus in mind, so that the action steps become a pathway or a blueprint to your big dreams.
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About The Author – Allan Dib
Allan Dib is a serial entrepreneur, rebellious marketer and technology expert. He has started, grown and successfully exited multiple businesses in various industries.
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By now you probably have figured out that I’m a big believer in creating low end products for your consulting business. There are plenty of consulting gurus who tell you to go after the high end clients and you might think you can’t get those clients without offering high end products.
But let’s think about it this way…does a high end client start off as a high end client? Or does that high end client start off as a low end client who increases her earnings year after year to eventually become a high end client?
Food for thought.
Your own consulting success won’t be based on how other consultant structure their businesses. Your success is directly correlated to the amount of work you put in, the products you create, and the way you market yourself. Take control of your own destiny and make your business choices based on what YOU feel is the right move.
Just because Consultant A is basing her clientele around that high end demographic and doesn’t offer products doesn’t mean you have to do the same. Yes, be aware of your competition and what they’re doing in their business but do things your own way.
Be original. Identify your target market and their pain points. Jot down their demographics and where that audience can be found online. Ask them what types of products they would like to see or that they desperately need. Plan your pricing based on what your market can handle as opposed to your own monetary goals.
What Types of Products Can Consultants Offer?
You’re only limited by your own creativity but some of the easiest products to create are ebooks, workbooks, ecourses, and recurring revenue sites. They should be easy to create because you’re using your own expertise and experience to create these. No need for expensive ghostwriters or a team of researchers.
I have no doubt that before you opened your consulting doors you thought long and hard about the branding of your company, from the logo design to the colors of your website. The same kind of branding strategy should occur when you’re creating products for your audience.
While the product graphics don’t have to look exactly like your website, there should be repeating elements so your subscribers and clients will recognize the product as being yours. Whether that’s the same color palette or font, repetition develops trust and name recognition. And once people trust you, they are more likely to become repeat buyers.
Repetition is also important when you have a series of products, whether it’s a series of ebooks, webinars, or classes. For instance, you know that section of Amazon that shows the “Customers who bought this also bought” section? If an author’s series of books shows up, all looking similar in design, the reader would know right away that this author is a credible authority because, after all, look at all the books she’s published!
If the books in this section are all different in design – whether it’s because they are by different authors or because the series author didn’t think about consistent branding – the credibility rating is not as dramatic. The readers might think they belong to all different authors or they cover topics different from the original book they published. Make it as easy as possible for customers to recognize and purchase your products through consistent visual branding. Making them confused or having to jump through hoops will lessen your sales and possibly hurt your credibility.
What Types of Products Should You Offer?
So many consultants focus on the high end products and forget that not all their clients will purchase their high end product right away. In fact, that’s the rarity instead of the norm.
In most cases, people will hear your name and want to learn more about you. But they’ve worked hard for their money and will likely want to hear you speak or understand what your consulting practices and beliefs are prior to buying a package from you.
What better way to encourage potential new clients than to offer low end products for them to test out before buying a high end consulting product?