At Thinkific, we love client businesses. In fact, a large proportion of our most successful customers are entrepreneurs that worked as freelancers, coaches, consultants, and service providers before they started creating and selling online courses.
What we appreciate most about service providers and client businesses is that they are doers. They’re in the trenches. And although working with clients on a one-to-one basis may not be as scalable as other types of business models, it gives these entrepreneurs the opportunity to truly master their craft, and prove that what they do works – not just for themselves, but for their clients as well.
Sunny Lenarduzzi, a customer of ours that built a successful business teaching video marketing, for example, started off as a marketing consultant that worked directly with her clients to help them with their social media and video marketing strategy. And she was good at it.
But like most service providers that are good at what they do, they eventually reach a point in their business where the demand for their services exceeds their available supply. Their calendar fills with client work, and they literally can’t help any more clients even if they want to.
This is one of the greatest challenges that service-based businesses face. Because they’re trading their time by working directly with their clients, there is a limit to how many clients they can work with at any given time. When they reach their capacity, it’s difficult for them to grow.
When you trade time for money, eventually you run out of time…
The biggest problem working directly with your clients on a one-to-one basis is that you have no leverage. You’re trading time for money, and since there is a finite amount of time available each day, this imposes a limit on how many clients you can work with on daily basis.
Can you build a profitable business and support a great lifestyle working directly with clients? Absolutely. But there are only so many clients you personally work with at any given time before you risk burnout.
When your calendar is full, the growth of your business plateaus. When that happens, there are 3 things you can do to increase your impact and income:3 Ways to Scale Your Client Business, Increase Your Income & Impact #coaching #consulting Click To Tweet
1. Raise your prices
The first thing you can do to increase your income is to change what you charge for your services. For many entrepreneurs, this also means changing how they charge.
A lot of service providers charge by the hour (or some other increment of time) for their services. This “hourly pricing” model creates two issues:
- It incentivizes you to take a longer time to work with your client. The faster you help them get the result they want, the less you get paid. This is a direct conflict with your client’s goal of getting their desired result as quickly as possible.
- It causes you to charge based on how much you think your time is worth, which often has little correlation to the value of your services to your client. A large number of service providers that charge by the hour for their services are actually undercharging.
The solution: to shift from hourly pricing to result-based pricing
The key to raising your prices, and perhaps more importantly, to be able to justify the increase in your pricing to your clients, is to charge based on the value of the outcome you help your clients achieve.
Don’t charge based on the amount of time you devote to a client. Find out what it’s worth to your target market to solve the specific problem or achieve the result that you help them with. And then design your fulfillment process to require as little of your time as possible. The byproduct of this approach is that your hourly rate actually increases.
Charging a higher price for your services will enable you to earn more revenue without taking on more clients.
2. Help more clients
The second way to scale your client business is to help more clients. Of course, helping more clients requires more time, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be your time. You can hire and train other people to trade their time to work directly with your clients. You can build a team.
Building a team of people that can handle the majority of client fulfillment frees up your time to work on your business rather than in it. Even if you have the ability to generate demand for your business, if you don’t have a team in place to handle client fulfillment, your hands are tied. You can’t take on more clients, even if they’re asking you to.
Greg Hickman, CEO of System.ly (a digital marketing consultancy), recommends removing yourself from as much of the client fulfillment process as possible. This requires creating standardized processes, repeatable steps, and utilizing automation to bring the amount of time that you personally invest with each client to a minimum.
If you’re the only one working directly with clients in your business, you are the business. If something happens to you and you’re suddenly unavailable to your clients, your business (and your clients!) will suffer.“Scale is a function of acquisition and optimized delivery.” @gjhickman @systemly Click To Tweet
3. Create online programs
The third way to scale your business – without having to trade time for money or hire more team members – is to create online courses or training programs.
By productizing your knowledge and methodology into an online course that teaches your clients how to get the result they want, you separate your income potential from your time. You create an asset that gives you leverage.
Another major advantage of creating an online course is that it only has to be created once. Once your program is created, you can utilize sales funnels and automation to sell your program to as many people as possible, with minimal fulfillment costs. This allows you to reach and help more people than you ever could working directly with every client on a one-to-one basis, increasing your impact (and your income!) in the process.
Learn how to scale your business using online courses
At Thinkific, helping people scale their business by creating online courses and training programs is our specialty (take a look at some of our customer success stories here).
If you want to learn more about how you can scale your business using online courses, check out our free online training to see exactly how entrepreneurs are using our platform to create more leverage in their business and their impact and income successfully.3 Ways to Scale Your Client Business, Increase Your Income & Impact #coaching #consulting Click To Tweet