Great article Richard. This has started me working on some brainstorming ideas to better monetize my skills. Thanks.
Chasing the moldy carrot on a string...
Do you have a business or a job? If you are being paid for your time you have a job. How's that working for you? Want to make more money and work less? Read on...
Many of us left the corporate world, i.e trading time for dollars, to have more of both. We wanted to be our own boss, set our own hours, make as much money as we want. We were tired of someone else telling us what we were worth. (Sounds like an ad for the Bartending Academy!)
We took the plunge, hung out the shingle and we were "in business." Nirvana. Sort of. Do you have a business or just a job?
Are you running after the almighty dollar, chasing the moldy carrot on a string? Are you still trading your time for dollars? If you can't take a month off without losing income then you have a job, not a business.
Michael Gerber set the standard with his books The E-Myth and The E-Myth Revisited. Gerber explained the difference between working IN your business and working ON your business. Most of us spend most our time doing the business (massage, planning, programming, etc.). We should be delegating day-to-day operations to others (employees or outsourcing) while we focus on planning and growing the business.
OK. I can see how that works for Bill Gates. Hire people to do the work and spend your time on business direction and planning. But how does a solopreneur do that? How can I leverage my time when people are paying me for a massage. Hard to outsource that!
Here are three strategies to consider:
1) Automate your scheduling and billing. Hire a virtual assistant to schedule appointments. A VA can handle scheduling, reminders, billing and cancellations while you handle clients.
Better yet, use an online scheduling software solution. Send clients to your web page (you want them to go there anyway) and click a link to schedule. Your calendar is updated and they get a reminder notice. There are even providers that have a call-in option for a few dollars more per month.
Add a payment option to the web site. There are many shopping cart solutions like KickStartCart or PayPal. No more waiting for payments. (Clients are more likely to keep appointments when they have paid in advance, too!) If you use a WordPress blogsite there are even more plugins for eCommerce.
2) Monetize your website. There are so many ways to use your website to grow your business and produce substantial passive income. Do you host teleclasses? Record them and add the MP3's to your shopping cart. Have you written several articles on a topic? Create an eBook. You can sell it or use it as a giveawayto encourage people to join your newsletter email list.
Microsoft adCenter ads, Google ads and links to affiliate programs can provide welcome content and solutions to your clients while padding your bank account.
3) Leverage your time. Can you provide services in group settings? Seminars, ecourses, and teleseminars are a great way to speak once and get paid many times. I watched a couple of fitness trainers holding group workouts on the beach at Alki this summer. One instructor with 6-10 clients. The only thing missing to leverage the classes was a video camera.
You quit one job to work for yourself. Now quit the job you created for yourself and let the business work for you. Hey you might as well. After all, now you HAVE to go home with the boss.
Learn more about the author, Richard Baum.
Comment on this article
Posted by Corbet Curfman, Bainbridge Island, Washington |
Sep 08, 2008
Posted by Elizabeth Lee, Seattle, Washington |
Sep 08, 2008
Great title for an article Richard. Where ever did you come up with it?
Posted by Richard Baum, Phoenix, Arizona |
Sep 08, 2008
The title came to me while I was organizing my thoughts after our Lunch on Alki. OK! Thank you Elizabeth for the great line. I wonder how many Biznikians will read the title and see themselves chasing the moldy carrot?
Posted by Kate Phillips, Seattle, Washington |
Sep 09, 2008
I didn't know there was appointment scheduling software that clients could use on a website... great idea!