If you’re running a service business you’re probably exchanging your time for money. That means that to really grow your earning potential you need to:
- Charge more per hour or day
- Employee people and charge their time out at more than you pay them
- Find a way to earn residual income where you do the work once and get paid many times.
Most people have at least half an eye on market rates for their industry – but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put your prices up. If you’re confident that you deliver value (or course you are) and you get positive feedback from your clients, they’ll pay to have your expertise working for them.
Employing others can be a double-edged sword! If you find the right people and have a 5-star training programme to polish them to perform at a really high level (and ongoing refreshers, skill upgrades, etc) then it can make growing your business straightforward.
In the real world small business owners often take on new staff and then are so busy that they don’t have time to provide really good training. Then you get people who may not be ready to provide the same high level of service you do yourself – less satisfied customers and staff who leave quite quickly, as they don’t feel they’re getting real job satisfaction.
Then there’s the issue of doing the work once and getting paid many times for it – how does that really work? Well, it depends on your business. If you are delivering a service you almost certainly have a bank of knowledge that you deliver to your clients, but what about all the people you can’t serve?
They may not be able to afford your service or simply hadn’t heard about it – but there are definitely lots of people who fit your client profile that you haven’t reached or don’t have enough hours in the day to help. If you convert your expertise into a knowledge product – an ebook, a series of video tutorials, an online resource, DVDs, CDs, podcasts, etc. – you have packaged your knowledge into a product that you can sell.
Most of us have bought these and paid from £5 to hundreds, depending on the product and our perception of what the knowledge it holds could do for us. People are always looking for a better way to make their business better; to give them more time, earn more money, grow their business to a bigger organisation – everyone has different goals. What do you know that you could package?
Of course, creating the product is only the first step – then it’s getting it ‘out there’ so people know about it, but it’s a start.
We’ll talk about getting visibility in the next blog, but first you need something to sell. Get a piece of paper and jot down the skills your clients appreciate most. How could you turn these into a knowledge product?