- by Don
You know that dream of making a living without having to invest any time?
You go to the beach, relax, work on your tan, maybe swim a bit… and then return to your RV, check your phone, and find that thousands of dollars have been deposited in your bank account!
That night you go to sleep, and when you wake up the next morning, you check your phone, and find that thousands more dollars have been deposited in your account!
Yes, that’s the dream: TONS of passive income, without having to do any work.
But the reality is, it’s exactly that: a dream!
Achieving your dreams with scalable delivery
The truth is, you receive money by providing value. If you solve other people’s problems, give them what they need, help them achieve their goals, or help them fulfill their wants and needs, then you are providing a service, and you can and should be compensated for that service.
So the question is, how do we provide a level of service to our clients that generates the income we need, without having to work around the clock? After all, we want to RV full-time for a reason… and for most of us, that reason isn’t so that we can work all the time!
You may be holding back from starting a business because you’ve always heard that a small business owner has to work around the clock. But the reality is, as a small business owner, you can’t work all the time. Doing so isn’t healthy for you, and it isn’t healthy for your relationships. Not to mention that it’s a recipe for burnout. So how do we as small business owners create income, keep our customers happy, and not work all the time? The answer is through scalable delivery.
The 3 keys of steady income
As I mentioned in my 5 excuses you won’t start a business series, there are 3 keys to providing steady income in your business:
- Solve a big problem.
- Stand out from the crowd.
- Use scalable delivery.
1. Solve a big problem
The bigger the problem you solve, the more people will pay you in return. There are two ways to determine a problem.
The first way is to solve a really big problem. For example, find a problem that is creating a lot of pain for your clients. Let’s say you’ve found a way to save your clients a million dollars a year. After working with you, your clients will save a million dollars a year, every year. In this case, you can easily charge six figures for that solution. So then you’d only need one client a year to have a six figure business!
The second option is to solve a problem that perhaps is creating less pain, but is widespread. In this case, you can charge less per client and serve more clients. This option can also provide significant income. However, you will need to use scalable delivery in order to comfortably serve more clients.
2. Stand out from the crowd.
You also need to develop a clear brand identity. You need to be your authentic self, make connections, and build relationships with your potential clients.
Additionally, you need to clearly and succinctly describe what you do and how you help your clients.
If you don’t stand out from everyone else, if you sound bland, boring, confusing, and like everyone else, then there’s no compelling reason to do business with you, and you can only compete on price—if you’re even considered at all.
3. Use scalable delivery
This is the primary focus of today's post. If you solve a big problem and stand out from the pack, then you’ll be attracting clients to your business. And that’s a good thing… until you attract more clients than you can handle. Then you end up working long hours, burning out, and failing to deliver for your clients. And that’s disastrous both financially and for your health.
To avoid that problem, you need to utilize scalable delivery. Being scalable means that you can add additional clients without significantly increasing the amount of work required from you.
The types of scalable delivery
There are several ways to utilize scalable delivery. Scaling allows for a diversified revenue portfolio and is great for increasing revenue overall. Scroll through to learn more about the types of scalable delivery you can use.
Online learning is a very popular way to scale your business, and you’ve no doubt received offers or seen ads to take online courses. If you’ve been around as long as I have, you might even feel inundated with online course offerings.
Online courses are appealing to both the provider and the client. Your clients benefit from a “learn at your own pace” environment, allowing them to take lessons as they have time. And you only need to teach the material once: After that, it is readily available to multiple clients. Adding additional clients takes almost no time; once the client signs up and is given access, they can move through the course at their own pace.
The main disadvantage of online learning is that it has a very low success rate. Typically, fewer than 15% of clients will complete the training. In fact, many will sign up and never even start the course! As a result, online learning by itself also has a lower value than other methods. Delivering lower value means you must charge less, so to derive substantial income you need to increase sales. To increase sales, you need to reach a wider audience, which means you will likely incur advertising and other marketing costs.
Combining online learning with other methods can increase the overall value, though, because it helps keep students on track and provides feedback if they have questions or become stuck.
Many options are available for online learning. You can choose a platform that allows you to host the course, you can use an online course provider, or you can use a course marketplace.
Online learning: hosting your own courses
I currently host courses on my own website using Thrive Architect. I prefer it for a couple of reasons. I already have a Thrive Membership, so Thrive Architect is available at no extra cost. It is a WordPress plugin, which means it runs on my platform, giving me complete control.
Most importantly, I find Thrive Architect to be well designed, with the features needed to enhance the learning experience. It supports text, video, or combination courses. Using the Thrive Architect editor, I can create visually pleasing courses. And it includes a Comments section, so my students can ask questions and provide insights to each other. So students not only have access to the material, they form a community and benefit from the synergy of working with other students.
Online learning: upload courses onto a platform
If you don’t have a website yet, or you don’t want to go through the process of setting up a course platform on your site, you can use an online course platform or a course marketplace.
Online course platforms allow you to easily set up your course, usually with a drag and drop editor. The course is hosted by the platform, which means you don’t need a lot of tech skills, but at the same time, you don’t have a lot of control.
Zippy Courses, Udemy, and Teachable are examples of online course offerings that use the providers platform. While using the provider’s platform gives you less control, many of these platforms have ways to market your course, so you may benefit from their additional marketing.
Online course providers vary in cost. Typically, they will charge a monthly fee and/or take a percentage of course sales. When selecting a provider, note that different providers attract different types of students, with different pricing expectations. For example, Udemy typically offers very low priced courses. With this option you can benefit from the platform’s marketing.
Online learning: course marketplaces
Course marketplaces are one of the fastest ways to get your course up and running. Your course will be hosted on the provider’s site. Setup is easy, and requires few technical skills. They typically have no or very low monthly fees; instead, they take a percentage of all of your course sales.
Masterminds typically consist of small groups with common interests and goals. The group works together to provide accountability and mentoring to each other.
When you create a mastermind, your role is to facilitate the group. You do not need to provide any teaching, and you don’t directly need to provide accountability or mentoring. Instead, the group members provide these services to each other.
In order for the group members to provide support to each other, they need to be able to interact with each other. As a result, mastermind groups usually max out at around 8 to 10 members.
While this is a fairly small group, and supporting larger numbers of clients means you’ll need to create multiple groups, since your job is only facilitation, they don’t take a lot of your time. Thus, creating mastermind groups is one way to scale your business.
Masterminds can be held locally, where all the members meet in person. However, members do not need to all be in the same location. Instead, they can check in via phone, video call, or email. I am currently a member of two Mastermind groups: one meets weekly via video conference, and the other meets twice a year in person, and communicates via email as needed.
Zoom is a popular platform for Masterminds. Zoom provides both audio and video capability, and participants can use their phone or computer to participate in audio/video meetings. Additionally, participants can participate using audio-only by calling in from their phone.
Group coaching allows you to interact with a large number of clients at one time. With group coaching sessions, it takes the same amount of your time whether one person, 10 people, or 25 or more people show up for the group coaching session.
While the one-on-one time with each client is limited, this method can be quite effective, as many of your clients will have similar problems; a client who hears you work with another client with the same or similar problem will also benefit from the coaching session. Many coaches record the group coaching session so that members who can’t attend the live coaching event can still benefit.
Since you are leading the coaching, it’s a one-to-many relationship, whereas Mastermind groups are many-to-many. Consequently, you can handle larger groups with group coaching, making this an effective way to scale your business.
Group coaching is easily provided via teleconference or video conference. Zoom is a popular platform for Group Coaching, as it allows for video conferencing and also supports dial-in calls without video.
Done for you services
Believe it or not, providing done for you services can be a way of scaling your business. With done for you service, you provide a service for your client. For example, you might provide a basic but functional website; or you might create and implement an automated workflow.
You must be careful here, though… It's all too easy to end up spending a great deal of time implementing a service for others. If that happens, then you’re not implementing scalable delivery.
In order to scale using done for you services, you must implement systems that describe how you implement the service. With a good system in place, you can be assured that you deliver the service identically to each client. Additionally, since you don’t have to stop and “reinvent the wheel” you can become very efficient at implementing the service. Lastly, as your business grows, you can hire others to provide the service by following your system - by hiring others, it frees up your time to onboard more clients.
Live events and workshops
Live events and workshops allow you to work with many clients at once. Similar to group coaching, it takes the same amount of your time whether 1 person, 100 people, or several thousand people attend.
Due to the amount of effort required to schedule and plan a live event or workshop, though, they are most effective when you can attract larger groups.
Which method of scalable delivery is best?
Now, none of these strategies are necessarily “standalone.” Each method provides different benefits. For example, Online training is great for teaching skills, but it offers little to no ability to provide accountability or mentoring.
Mastermind groups allow group members to provide accountability and perhaps some mentoring to each other. However, the format does not readily support teaching of new skills.
Group coaching is perhaps best used to provide mentoring. If you track the callers and what they are working on, and follow up with them in subsequent sessions, you can also provide accountability.
A done for you service essentially provides accountability to your clients. The purpose of accountability is to ensure clients are achieving their goals directly through the fruits of your labor. And since you provided it for them asa done for you service, you’ve assured that they met at least this step.
Live events are useful for providing in person or online training. When coupled with workshops, which allow the participants to practice immediately applying the principles you're teaching, you can also provide a level of mentoring.
So while you can certainly offer an online course, you can create more value by offering online training as an element of a larger program which combines online training with other methods to keep your clients on track.
Similarly, you can offer a course that ends with a live event; or offer a live event that ends with an opportunity to upgrade to a larger course. There are almost unlimited possibilities in the opportunities to scale your business.
The more you scale your business, the more you're able to help your clients. Start small and work your way up. Choose one that makes sense for you and your business, then slowly begin to diversify as success is achieved.
Taking the steps to create and implement scalable processes can be daunting if this is your first rodeo. Working with a business coach experienced in scaling businesses will save time & energy, provide clarity, and reduce stress. I can guide you in your journey, as I have learned from common rookie mistakes and reduce the speedbumps from trial and error - because I know what works. Schedule a call with me today to get started on scaling your business!
Scale your business now!
Working with a business coach experienced in scaling businesses will save time & energy, provide clarity, and reduce stress. I can guide you in your journey - schedule a call today!