The Four Elements to Creating a Business you Love
How would it feel to own a business you actually LOVE to run, as opposed to a business you create around something you love, but then end up surprised to find you don’t enjoy it as much as you thought you would?
Well, there are 4 essential elements to think about that you also need to enjoy for this to be a reality.
You see, it’s not enough for you to build a business around a “thing” that you love or love doing – you have to love ALL these other elements of your business as well, or you simply won’t want to do them and your business may end up feeling like a heavy rock you’re pushing up a riverbed!
I talk about this as being your “business model”.
What is a business model?
When people talk about business models, usually they’re talking about the delivery model of your business. For example, when you’re starting out, you’ll probably be working with people 121 because that’s the easiest way to get clients from a standing start.
After a while, you might feel ready to leverage your time to run group online programmes or a membership like my Business from the Heart membership where people pay a recurring monthly subscription. In fact, in between 121 and group programmes, you’ve got a whole range of different variations of how you could deliver your work.
None of them are “better or worse” it’s just about finding the one that works best for you – and your clients.
How I see Business models
However, when I look at business models I take things a step further – I consider 4 key elements you need to have in place and that you enjoy doing so you can create a business you truly love to run. But don’t worry if you can’t figure it all out straight away – it’s normal that it will take some ‘trial and error time’ when it comes to figuring it out. This is why Stage 3 of my Business from the Heart Pathway is called Finding your Flow. (And it’s also why, 5 years into running a perfectly successful business, I stopped running a business mentoring programme that brought in over £100,000 each year to start over again with a low monthly investment membership model instead).
So it can take time to figure out these four parts of your business model and find your ‘sweet spot’. The sweet spot is what you love to do merged with what works for your ideal clients.
And you do have to love it – because if you don’t love doing something, you won’t do it consistently and you won’t want to do it for the long term.
The 4 key elements
These 4 elements of your business model are:
Let’s unpack them all to make sure you are creating the foundations that will help you to be in flow and stay fulfilled and happy.
Client attraction is the point at which someone goes from never having heard of you before to now they’ve heard of you and they know what you do. It’s actually super simple – letting people know that you exist and what it is that you do. There’s really nothing more complicated about marketing than that!
So now you know that client attraction is nothing more than letting people know you exist, the next question to ask yourself is: “What feels juicy, in flow, and fun for me as a way of doing that?”
Do I want to walk down every street in my town and knock on each door and introduce myself? Do I want to wear a sandwich board and a silly hat and walk down the high street? Do I want to run Facebook ads? Do I want to build relationships on LinkedIn? Do I want to create partnerships and collaborations with others in my industry?
(I talk more about the different ways you can market yourself in my article: The zillion million ways to market your business )
The most important thing that I can tell you today is that there is no one right way for you to get clients. the only right way is the one that lights you up and that you enjoy doing. Of course, it also needs to work to attract your ideal clients – they need to find you.
Let’s pretend someone named Nancy has come across me for the very first time. Five minutes ago she didn’t know that I existed and now she does and she’s interested in what I have to offer…
What’s the gap going to be between the moment she discovers me and the moment she pays me money to join one of my programmes?
Well, the answer is that it might be infinite. Nancy might never pay me for anything ever!
Or perhaps the gap will be a few months. In which case I will need to nurture a relationship with her and keep in contact with her until she’s ready. Maybe when I next open up my membership she’s going to feel ready to join because she’s been part of my world and she’s been receiving value – then she’s ready to buy.
That gap might be a matter of hours, months, or years… and it might be infinite. So it’s important you find ways to stay in touch with people until they are ready.
If you’re building a fully online business, you could nurture the relationship through any of the following:
- Email marketing – sending them valuable content,
- Through a free private Facebook group
- Via social media posts and messages
If you’re building a business offline, you might keep in touch in a more high-touch personal way:
When I worked in the recruitment industry in London many years ago, I used to pick up the phone with key contacts every three months. I would find different reasons to call, but ultimately I wanted to make sure I was at the top of their mind and the one who got the first call when they did need to work with me.
Sales is the thing that happens in your business that gets somebody to a point of saying, “Yes, I do want to work with you, and I’m willing to make a commitment and actually pay you money”
A lot of people run around doing lots of marketing without a clear system for how they’re converting that activity into paying customers. And I promise you, it doesn’t matter how many people know you exist – it could be 10 million – if you don’t have a process by which you encourage any one of those 10 million people to commit to paying you money, you may be famous, but you still don’t have an actual business!
So again, what is that thing that you do that has someone say “yes, I want to buy from you and here’s some money to prove it”.
For most people in the early stages of their business, it’s usually through one-to-one sales conversations – and to tell the truth, this is the easiest way there is to make sales.
But as you become more established and are able to attract a bigger audience, you may choose to switch to selling “one-to-many” as I do – this could be via a webinar, a live talk, a video series or from a sales page.
Once someone has handed over their money, now you are in the delivery space of your programme.
And again, you will have a sweet spot for your delivery – that method of working with clients that lights you up, works for your lifestyle and gets the best results for your clients.
Pricing comes into your business model too – there is a huge difference between working 121 selling single sessions for £85 and selling 6 month packages for £6,000 (this is a transition one of the members of my community has made in the 17 months since she first joined my ‘Get More Clients Saying Yes!’ course). There is also a huge difference between a membership where people pay you £47 per month and an online course you only run once a year where you charge £1,000.
And none of them is wrong, right or better – it’s about figuring out the business model and pricing structure that works for you, your lifestyle and for your clients.
Now you have a Business Model!
- A client attraction method that doesn’t feel like work
- A nurture strategy that fits easily into your business routine
- A sales method that works because you’ve put in the work to master it
- A method of delivering to your clients that lights you up and doesn’t feel heavy
And this is what makes the difference between a business model that will burn you out and see you giving up after just a couple of years and a beautiful business you’ll be happy to run for the next 10 or 15 years (I’m in year 10 of mine and I’m still in love with it – though I also had my own false starts and needed to make some courageous changes to create the business model I have today).
Since I started my business 10 years ago I’ve seen countless other businesses come and go. Often they reach a level of success and then disappear off the scene completely because they started all guns blazing but soon fell out of love with it along the way.
What I want for you is that you build businesses you can stay in love with over the long term – just like I have.
Business from the Heart Membership – Enrolment is Opening soon!
If you’d like to get greater clarity on the perfect business model for you, then I’d love to support you within the Business from the Heart Membership. This is a thriving community for heart-centred business owners committed to doing business in alignment with their values. I’ll be opening enrolment from 20th – 26th May.
And from 16th May I’ll be running Business from the Heart Experience – a full week where you’ll get the chance to experience what it’s like to be part of the membership – for free!
Click here to find out more and register in advance.
With Love & Gratitude,