Creating a sustainable business

Some of the businesses that have suffered the most are the ones built on bringing people together and having person to person interactions.

On the other hand for the people that have created online businesses they can run from anywhere, it’s pretty much business as usual. They may even be seeing an increase in customers/clients as people look for something to turn to in these uncertain times.

And so now these people that used to run businesses based on people being together are having to re-think their plans.

Asking themselves questions like ‘How can I transform the in person experience to an online experience without a loss of value?’. That could be as a plan to totally move their business to the online world or to be a supplement to their usual income.

An example could be in person one on one coaching, moving to online one on one coaching or group coaching sessions.

A group cooking class moving a to live online cooking class that can also be purchased afterwards.

A baked goods store moving to click and collect or home delivery.

I think the current situation has made a lot of people realise that their are different (and in some cases better) ways of doing things.

 

Price, value and auction

I recently wrote a post called Does the customer determine value?

Here are some more thoughts related to value, price and the customer.

Think about an auction, the seller will often have a reserve price (the minimum amount they’re willing to sell the item for). Yet items often get sold for significantly higher because buyers are prepared to keep bidding if they want the item badly enough.

Even if an item could fetch around 20k, the seller can never start with that price, they have to allow the buyers to build up to it. Instead, the seller can only hope that people will pay that amount or at least above their minimum price.

I think it could be said that, although the seller sets the price it is in fact the customer that determines the value of the item.

Getting more money for less work

If the service you offer doesn’t require you to be there in person then there’s a chance you can get more for doing less.

Take a coaching service for example.

Say you have 8 clients who all have a total of 4 one hour sessions a month costing £55.

That’s 32 hours a month earning £1760

But what if you batch your sessions and make them online with 2 groups of 4 but each session now lasts 1.5 hours and now costs £50

That’s 12 hours a month earning £1600

But now lets see one group of 8 with a weekly 2 hour session at £55.

That’s 8 hours a month earning £1760.

Imagine working a quarter of the time but earning the same amount, if not more.

It’s not about being money hungry but simply having an awareness that the amount you earn isn’t dependent on how much time you spend working.

Unfinished business

What happened to all those plans you made?

Starting is always exciting and finishing is always the aim. But somehow you let stuff get in the way of your plans.

You focused too much on the problems instead of how to make things happens.

You used your free time passively and felt like you needed more hours in the day.

You ran out of steam.

You listened to that person who said it wouldn’t work.

You lost faith in the plan.

You got stick and didn’t push through.

If your plans are often ending up unfinished you might want to figure out why. You might want to slow down and not get carried away with the joy of starting something new.

You might want to learn to stick things out until the end because some things are worth finishing.

 

Do I have to struggle in order to succeed?

I’m starting to wonder whether struggle has to be apart of every ‘success story’.

There’s this thing about the struggle, going as close to the brink as possible but managing to find a way to make it. That story is celebrated it’s the ‘rags to riches’ story and one of the most well known examples is Cinderella.

Her mother died, her father married a woman with 2 daughters who all treated her poorly and then her father died but in the end she married a Prince!

But I sometimes wonder if life really has to be that way. Constantly hearing of peoples struggle on the road to success ingrains that narrative in our minds and makes us think that the struggles we face will lead us to greatness.

Like my life is super crappy now but in 10 years time whilst I’m counting my big bucks I’ll tell people about how I slept on my friends couch, had to sell my car and most of my possessions just to get by but look at me now.

I currently work an office based 9-5 and I’d like to think I can do more beyond that in my lifetime. But I don’t want a Cinderella type struggle and I don’t want my hard times to be the justification for any good stuff that comes my way.

What I’m realising though is that there’s a big difference between working hard and going through hard times.

So no, I don’t think the struggle is necessary in order to succeed but I can’t deny it adds some pizzazz to the how I got to where I am today story.

Accidental networking

When you think of networking what comes to mind?

For me it used to be fancy people in fancy clothing making conversation with the right people.

Everyone would act important even if they didn’t believe it and being the person that everyone wanted to talk to was a signal to the rest of the room that yes you were really a somebody, not just a pretender.

But one morning whilst making my lunch for work, I started thinking about all the people I’ve met over the last 12 months and my growing collection of business cards.

I realised that over the past year or so I’d been networking accidentally. I’ve met people starting businesses,  brand owners, fellow bloggers, photographers, Web designers and other creatives.

When you have an idea in your head of how something should look or how it’s supposed to be, chances are you might miss it when it happens.

Bezos, Amazon and temporary things

I read an article on Jeff Bezos about a month ago and there was part of it that really stuck with me.

He basically said that the fall of Amazon was coming and that all he could do was delay it for as long as possible.

I don’t know what it was about his words specifically but I felt like there was great power in what he had said.

He’s built something iconic (despite the way the company is run for warehouse workers) that will never be forgotten but he knows that the reign of Amazon won’t last forever.

But I think Bezos’ words are a great reminder that everything is temporary, whether it’s totally amazing or incredibly blah.

That’s a lesson that comes from life itself.