When building a profitable market leading business you need to ensure that first off it has huge profit potential by creating a profit plan. Otherwise, you’re going to be struggling against the tide and working really hard for very little money.
First question to ask yourself to begin your profit plan is-
Desirability is important to your business because if it’s not desired, you’re going to have a hard time dominating your market for market leadership.
A question that I have been asked a lot over the years related to this is -
The answer is - yes you can, however there still has to be an underlying need.
By this I mean - it needs to make sense to people as to why they would buy it.
Businesses that are preaching from their ivory towers on what their market ‘should’ and ‘shouldn’t’ be doing only persists to turn people off.
To ensure your marketing and sales messages actually grab attention and elicit buying action, focus on looking at how your service / product actually solves a current problem or desire that they are experiencing right now.
To do this you have to get clear on a specific individual. The more specific you can get, the easier it’s going to be to identify the problems & priorities your ideal client is experiencing right now.
Think about the fears & worries that they have, this will help you to see how your service will help alleviate them. If you’re more of an aspirational seller (someone who focuses on helping people achieve goals from a place of positivity), then you can think about what goals this individual is seeking to achieve and how your service plays a part in achieving that.
Ultimately you want to have one clear problem and one clear goal that your service can help this particular individual with. Depending on whether you are an aspirational seller or problem focused seller you would lean more heavily on the appropriate one. Do not forget that you need to talk about both for it to make logical and emotional sense to your market.
If you’re struggling to find an existing problem that feels compelling enough for your ideal client to buy into your service then another route is to talk about the imminent problem they will experience if they don’t take action. This isn’t as powerful as talking about existing issues that they are already experiencing but in certain cases where your entire market is less aware at the moment - some education may be required. Gauge the awareness of your target market and for less aware groups make sure you educate them on the painful problem that is waiting just around the corner if they don’t take action.
Or perhaps you have something that will actually make life so much easier. Henry Ford famously said ‘If I asked people what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse’. If you have something that is going to improve the way we do things then education on this is essential, especially when it’s brand new. But understand that whilst Henry Ford innovated something radical he was still helping to solve the need to travel place to place in a faster time; there was still a problem and goal that his market were experiencing.
Aspirational sellers use this same strategy when their target market isn’t necessarily experiencing a bleeding neck issue but need awareness around the dangers of solving the issues without using your service.
I would still suggest talking about the impact of inaction and not buying into your service as well as the impact when they do - this will help them to step into making a positive buying decision by seeing all the cards laid out on the table.
Solution focused businesses tailored around existing problems and goals will always be in demand. Your job is to then show them the hidden problem that is the root cause of their existing problem (or the hidden saboteur that is waiting to ambush/delay their goals) and how your service can help alleviate that.
The problem that businesses have when serving a market with a well known problem/goal is that many other businesses are also serving that market and so standing out as a market leader can become more difficult. Stay tuned in the coming episodes where I show you how you can stand out of the saturation and dominate your market.
The next thing to focus on when creating a profit plan is scaling. This is a typical buzz phrase of many entrepreneurs - ‘and how are you planning on scaling that?’. Whilst this phrase is now used as an ‘in’ joke mainly by business coaches it is a deadly serious question that is necessary to think about. We need to look at how our business will grow financially and find ways to remove the glass ceiling on the earning potential. If you want to become a market leader - it’s worth bearing in mind how you will cope serving a large proportion of your target market.
Scaling can happen in one of two ways -
Sell more of the same product or
Charge more per product
When it comes to service based businesses scaling is slightly harder than a physical product based business, as there are usually time constraints and capacity issues at play.
However when it comes to scaling there are many ways to peel an orange -
Productise your service into a ‘self consumable’ digital product. This can be done B2C or B2B by creating a product and licensing it out.
One to Many delivery enabling more people to consume at once.
Creating a systemised solution that can then be taught and delivered by other trained experts under your umbrella.
In some cases like in our travel company we have partnered with trusted suppliers to outsource a portion of the service.
Creating a membership or subscription model which can combine points one - three potentially using a community. This is only suited to certain businesses and is not something I recommend for all businesses.
Create high end value propositions and charge more per product. This is perfect for those who want to bring high transformation for clients with big problems or big goals. You will still experience a ceiling on profit (even though large) due to time and capacity so it’s advisable to think about other income streams as well.
Use a combination of the above, adding a new arm to your business as your business grows.
By having a view of the ways in which you can scale you can navigate the scaling of your business and choose ways to grow that suit both the business type, target market and your preferred delivery style.
The third thing you need to be thinking about in your profit plan is your pricing. Are you pricing your products fairly?
By this I mean value for both the service AND the consumer.
You need to make sure that the product is appropriately priced so that the consumer feels like they have extraordinary value (a good return on investment) and that you feel like you’re being paid well for your services.
I’m all for high-ticket pricing but in order for that to work you need to focus on solving big problems and/or big goals and offering serious value for money. For some businesses big goals may mean more high-end luxury, but not always; for others it means offering a high-end experience, exclusivity and high transformational results.
For some businesses a low ticket offering is more appropriate because the product genuinely doesn’t warrant a high ticket - in this case you need to look at generating a large audience to sell more of your product.
I always advise businesses at the earlier stages or those that need money fast to sell high-ticket. The reason being is that you can keep your business financially afloat with large cash injections whilst you grow your audience and then shift (if you wanted) to offering a lower ticket offer requiring less of your input. Sometimes high-ticket isn’t always possible depending on your expertise but it’s certainly worth considering.
I’ll be talking more about pricing over the coming weeks on how not to compete on price, but for now the message I want to leave you with is - to ensure you’re not giving away your best for less than it’s worth; you need to make a profit. And that your clients always leave with a great return on investment for them; knowing what that looks like will help you sell your services with ease resulting in more revenue.
When pricing your services ensure you take into account this formula -
RESULT = Transformational result they will get from receiving the service
ROI = The return on investment and positive wider impact of achieving that result.
ENERGY EXPENDED = Support level provided
YOUR LEVEL OF EXPERTISE = Take into account your personal value/collective expertise of the company in what you bring to the table.
Ensuring you have these three key areas covered will ensure you create a great plan for profitability.
In this guide I reveal -
Jen Hall is Business Clarity Coach for Coaches, Consultants & Experts who want to become Unrivalled Go-To Experts. Jen not only gets you clear on your micro-niche, message and what makes you unique and desirable, but she helps you to define what makes you an irrefutable offer to the market so you can position yourself as a high-end 'must have' option for your prospects. She is a Multi-Award Winning Speaker and Best Selling Author of Expert Unrivalled.