We all love the relaxed vibe of summer. We don’t have to rush everywhere. There’s no homework to get done, no carpooling to coordinate. Our schedules are less strict and life is easy-breezy. As much as we love the laid-back feel of summer, however, we still need structure in our business.
A lot of us bristle at the idea of structure and organization because it feels rigid and constraining, but structure actually allows for massive creativity and improvisation. We often think of great artists as being spontaneous, riffing on sparks of inspiration. The truth is, talent must be cultivated first, brush strokes perfected, scales mastered before true freedom of expression is possible. You must learn the alphabet before you can write poetry.
Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist.–Pablo Picasso
Think of a dam, it is put in place to harness the power of the water. It captures and leverages the flow of the current. Your personal energy needs to have direction as well. As entrepreneurs we have so many ideas, ideas for products, programs, partnerships, but what we don’t have is a PROCESS. You can have the greatest idea in the world, but without execution there are no profits. You have to have a way to organize your thoughts so others can understand and implement them. This is structure.
When I work with clients on creating signature products and programs, the first thing I ask is, “What is your process?” The answer is often, “I don’t know, I just work on whatever my clients needs at the time. We play it by ear.” That answer is fine if you have a one-on-one coaching client, but if you want to create leveraged income, you need to have a repeatable system. You can’t sell a product or program to thousands of people that is customized to one person. When you do that, you are not following your process, you are following the needs of one that client.
If you don’t have repeatable systems in your business, you will never make the kind of money you could because you will not be leveraging your time and energy. When you create a signature product, it is streamlined, structured and REPEATABLE. This means one and DONE! It also means repeatable, predictable profits.
Doing things this way requires more effort up front. It requires you to think, choose, organize and edit. And while this can feel tedious, the result is a much higher-value product. More often than not, a step-by-step, easy to follow process gets better results for your clients. Better results for them means better testimonials, more referrals, and higher price points for you.
Identifying your unique process also puts you in the driver’s seat of your business. When you do take the time to organize and streamline your offerings, you more clearly articulate what makes you unique. Even the way you structure your business model can be a unique expression of your brand.
Ninety percent of the time when I work with clients to create lucrative offerings, they already have what they need. They are not going out and getting more training or scrambling to create new content. It’s already there, it’s just not pulled together in a cohesive way.
You may be thinking, “Yeah, but that’s just not how I work. I’m a creative type. I need a little chaos to get let my ideas percolate.” While that may be true for you on the back end, it is certainly not true for a buying client. What would you think if you walked into Norstrom and things were not organized in a way that provided ease of use? Do you think the shopping experience would be pleasant? Would they still be known for excellent customer service? Would they make as much money?
If you do struggle with structure in your business here are few tips to get you on track:
1. Think of what you do in your business that is repeatable. Is there something you find yourself doing with most clients? If so, document it by creating a template.
2. Pay attention to your funnel. How do things fit together? Is there a clear progression for your clients to follow? Map it out, use sticky notes, make a chart. See how you can structure things to create a more natural flow between your offerings.
3. Write it out. Too often we keep our ideas in our heads. We’ve trained, we know our stuff and we can pull it out when we are working with our clients, but putting it down in written form forces you to see what’s there and where the holes are.
If you’re still stuck, find someone with whom you can talk it through. For some people having a dialogue makes it easier to draw out your processes. Just be sure to find a way to document what you say. The idea isn’t just a brain dump, it’s a brain dump followed by a cleaning crew.
Of course, if you need help getting more clarity, you can book a brand clarity session here: Complimentary Consult
So many entrepreneurs are leaving money on the table by leaving things loosie-goosie in their business. Don’t let that be you. Get clear, get it down and get it done!
Until next time, here’s to hitting all your high notes.
Your feedback is music to my ears!
Do see yourself as more structured or more spontaneous? What is one thing you can do to add more organization to you business model right now?
If you would like to use this article on your website or ezine, feel free! Just be sure to include the following:Heather Poduska is a brand strategist, image consultant, business coach and opera singer who helps entrepreneurs and small business owners create client attractive brands, polished brand images and brand communication strategies to increase their visibility and impact in the marketplace and grow their businesses.