3 Practical Reasons Why Your Business Model Must Be Clear
When I began this business, I knew exactly what I wanted to do and how I wanted to make money. I had a plan but didn't know everything about the marketing industry nor the blogging industry. It was all new to me, but I had my experience and knowledge plus a business model in place to keep me on track with my goals.
A business model is simply how your business will make money and from what ways (types of products/kinds of services). I researched others in my industry to see what they were doing in comparison to what I would like to offer. I also researched the details that came with different packages they offered. It helped me learn what I wanted to do and what I didn't want to do quickly. Researching helped me understand myself better with the goals I had in place.
I started this business with one large goal in mind: to earn passive income while helping an massive amount of people. However, I wanted to dedicate time to 1:1 strategy sessions the first few years of this business. I wanted to get my “feet wet”! Here’s what my original business model looked like:
I began to get clients who were DIYers (do-it-yourself-ers) after one month in business. I noticed that some of the clients really wanted to succeed, but they needed more help than others with planning and executing their business plans.They were struggling with certain parts of their business that had a large impact on their marketing results.
By noticing this pattern in clients, I saw a consistent pattern in myself. I began to understand how much help my clients actually needed. I noticed that some things I considered very easy were much harder for others. I repeatedly had the urge to help them in areas of business that I don't offer as a service. I felt bad or as if I wasn’t doing enough. I wanted to reach out to tell them that I could help them in areas I had experience in like accounting and finance. I even wanted to take their Squarespace credentials and design their website for them.
I can't offer to do this. It takes away from my big picture. Actually, I'm not even sure if I'll enjoy this much work. I was getting off course mentally with my business because of skills I had and the urge to genuinely help people. I thought to myself, “If I start these favors with one person, others will expect the same services and treatment”. I asked myself, “Do you want to go there?”, “Do you seriously want to do this?” My answer wasn't no, but it wasn't a thrilled yes either! In my book, an answer that is not solid a yes to myself, is a NO.
As I've said at the beginning of this blog, my business model represents various ways to earn passive income with a few years of actionable income (providing services for income). It says nothing about web and graphic design services. My business model is like this because I don't want to be consumed with tedious design client deadlines and last minute work. This business is created to help a massive amount of people while allowing me to live the life I’ve dreamed of for years! If I were to indulge in offering these services and helping many people, the freedom I planned to have will be lessened. My life could possibly be miserable from loads of client work. I don't want that. So no matter what happens, I stick to my vision and long-term goals even if many opportunities that “look shiny” come along.
With all said, as a business owner, you will get excited about all of your talents, skills and knowledge. You may want to help others who need it badly even though you wouldn't want to do it consistently or for everyone. You'll be challenged to stay on the path of our goals if you exercise habits of going out your way to help everyone. That's why firmly sticking to your business model is absolutely necessary! It will provide structure for you and your business. Here's 3 practical reasons why having clarity with your business model works, and honestly should be non-negotiable:
Provides clarity for your audience and clients
Knowing the products and services you'll offer and how they will help your clients will help you market your business better. Your audience needs to know how you can help them or they will not do business with you. It's your job to inform them about your products and services. It's also your job to clearly communicate exactly what you do, who you serve and who you don't serve. The best way to communicate this is to have a conversation through content marketing. This is exactly what I teach in my e-course, Content Overdose. Clarifying your business model is the key to clear, concise communication with your audience. Remember, the clearer you become about your brand and business model the better your marketing campaigns will go. Finalize the streams of income for your business and stay focused!
Provides protection for your long-term goal
Sticking to a business model, even if it slightly changes with time, will allow you to reach your goals successfully. I'm not telling you that you can't change your business model with time. As your business grows, there will be things that you'll need to change and things you'll grow out of enjoying. But, there will also be things that you'll love to do for a long while.
For example, you may start out by servicing customers as a jewelry maker. With time, you may learn that you'd rather teach how to sell jewelry or how to make jewelry instead of selling jewelry yourself. This decision will change your entire business model and marketing strategies. On the same token, if you started out by selling jewelry then later decide to teach cooking classes, how to grow a garden and render graphic design services (all under the same business name), you'd probably find that you don't want to do one or two of the three forever. Servicing many people in many different areas that aren’t aligned with your business model will cause you to burnout. In addition to this, marketing each niche will confused your audience.
During the early stages of your business, it's important not to be all over the place with what you offer. Create a plan, execute it and adjust it as you grow. Remember: Clarity is key for the success and health of your business's long-term goals.
Provides boundaries and policies
Clarity with your business model creates boundaries for clients. Let's look at the topic of making and selling jewelry the other way around. Let's pretend someone asks you to help with something that you don't offer or sell. Your business model will help you decline or reject any requests that don't align with your business goals.
Your business model also creates policies for your business. As you create each product or service offering, you should develop policies for what a buyer can and cannot do with their purchase, especially if they've purchased digital products or intellectual property.
Staying aligned with your business model is incredibly important in business. It helps you stay focused, it helps create boundaries for your business and it helps you market successfully to the right audience. Do you have a business model in place? Have you ever had the urge to over-help someone outside of what your business model entails?