All posts tagged: Consulting

Bring your breakthrough ideas to life. Learn from successful innovators

In 2003 the Indian environmental researcher Narayana Peesapaty spotted an alarming trend: Groundwater levels in the region of Hyderabad were falling precipitously. He examined rainfall records but found nothing to explain the drop. Looking deeper, he discovered that the culprit was a change in agricultural practices. Many area farmers had abandoned millet—a traditional crop increasingly regarded as “the poor man’s food”—in favor of rice, a thirsty crop that requires 60 times as much water to grow. And because they had access to heavily subsidized electricity, the farmers were continuously pumping water into their fields. Peesapaty tried to influence agricultural policies by documenting the problem in government reports, to no avail. So, he looked instead for ways to boost demand for millet. He hit on the idea of turning it into “edible cutlery”—a solution that could attack not just the groundwater deficit but also the scourge of plastic waste. Peesapaty quit his job to pursue the project. A decade later, after a video he posted about the cutlery went viral, orders began pouring in. Two crowdfunding …

10 things you need to consider before you launch your second career.

Thinking about launching a second career as a consultant, coach or content creator? It’s time to grab a notebook and pen or pencil and start jotting down the thoughts that are going through your mind about your new business venture. I do strongly suggest that you do physically write down your ideas rather than typing them on an electronic device. Research has shown that the act of writing by hand leads to better retention of ideas. And if you are like me I love a high quality note book combined with a fountain pen. There is something deeply satisfying about liquid ink gliding over smooth paper. But then I know I am a bit of a throw back.   Consult your spouse, partner, or significant other. You may be planning a second career but your partner maybe dreaming of lazy days at the beach, lake or even home. Take the time to discuss your plans and reach an agreement between the two of you of what is going to work. As a generation we are …

Affiliate Marketing

Following the various ideas we have covered in earlier episodes you may have been able to build a substantial following. Now is the time to consider affiliate marketing as a low-cost option to generating income.  This is particularly attractive if you do not yet have a product to sell. What is affiliate marketing? It is an agreement where you agree to promote a product or service in return for a share in the income generated from your lead. If effect it is a fancy term for the historical, but still relevant, finder’s fee. The most widely known affiliate program is the Amazon associate program where if someone clicks on your link you earn a commission on anything they buy in the next 24 hours, with some caveats. It is easy to set up your associate status, I did it in a few minutes. But there are a few things you should know, and I will share them in my new blog The Geriatric Entrepreneur launching to tie in the start of season 9 on IBGR …

Lower cost options – Help all your followers.

You can cater to the rich, and I’ll take the rest; the good Lord made more of them. Kemmons Wilson founder Holiday Inn Not everyone can afford to spend a couple of thousands of dollars for a course. And it is likely that many of your followers fall into that category. They have been devouring your free content and would love to buy something from you. But $2000? That’s way beyond their budget. If you have built up a decent following it is possible to generate an attractive income from a $100 product or even a $10 product. Jason Van Orden of Internet Business Mastery thinks of these varied product offerings as ascension ladder. He says it is foolish to only think of selling big ticket items. Instead, you must think about customer lifetime value. A customer spending $25 per month over five years is worth $1,500. And done right your marginal cost of serving this customer can be near zero. That $1,500 is pure profit. And the folks who do buy your big-ticket items. …

Build a Speaking Practice.

Last week we learned how you can start building your brand and then ways to use that brand to monetize your skills. We looked at the steps needed to build a consulting or coaching business. And then how to break away from the tyranny of the clock, which limits your earnings to the hours you can work. If you can command $300 per hour, and very few consultants are able to charge more, then earnings more than $250,000 per year are possible. But wouldn’t it be nice to earn that, or more, working fewer hours.  We learned lessons from folks who have developed as systemized approach and others who had the courage to offer a premium product that could be sold over and over again. To some extent this week we start by returning to a paid by hour activity. Building your own speaking practice. The difference? Once you have established your credibility as a speaker your hourly rate will be very very attractive. Event organizers often have a generous budget speakers. And why not? …

Break free of the clock

Continuing to learn from Dorie Clark’s excellent book “Entrepreneurial You” In an earlier post I mentioned Michael Port’s book “Book Yourself Solid”. Let me share with you the changing ways Mr. Port was able to capitalize on his book’s success. After publishing his book in 2006 Mr. Port suddenly had a massive new audience. He now had the scale needed to build a group coaching program. He started with teleseminars, most internet connections at the time were not fast enough to support video conferences. The cost for a three-month program was $1,200 and demand was strong. Then he tried a yearlong mentoring program for $8,000 per person which entitled his clients to several training calls per month and three, three-day retreats per year. His initial program had 40 participants. Even when he increased his price to $12,000 demand remained strong attracting between 150 and 250 clients each year. But his participants found travel to the retreats pricey, and Michael Port found executing large live events, costly and stressful. Like all good entrepreneurs he took the …

How to build a successful coaching/consulting business?

Continuing to learn from Dorie Clark’s book “Entrepreneurial You” Step 1 Develop your initial market. Tell your family, friends, contacts about your decision to launch a consulting business. Ask them for introductions to folks who are able to hire and who you may be able to help. If time permits you should do this with a personal call or e-mail. And be specific about the type of client you want to attract. I would love to work with anyone in the aviation industry, or ask do you know anyone in Google, they would be my dream client. Of course, this assumes that you have a clear idea of what type of coaching/consulting business you want to build.   If it is not obvious to you where your skill set lies, or maybe you are a generalist, complete an assessment of your areas of expertise.  Some pointers from Bozi Dar who runs an online business as a side gig, Understand what you are well qualified to share. In her book Dorie uses the phrase uniquely qualified, …

Monetize your expertise.

Continuing to look at the ideas contained in Dorie Clark’s book “Entrepreneurial You” Building up the courage to charge for your services is challenging. What if no one wants your product? Or people complain that you are overpriced?  Or call you a sell out for charging at all? Yes that may well happen. But you cannot help others with your advice or great product or outstanding service if you cannot keep yourself in business. It’s strange, people willpay $200 per hour for a psychiatrist  but will look askance at paying the same rate to tap into your decades of experience. I “lose” many potential clients when I tell them my charges, for me this is often a cause for regret, not because I have lost a potential client but because I know I could deliver them many times more value than I charge. Should I reduce my rates? No! I charge what I am worth, as is borne out by my client history. My clients can terminate my services at any time, I do not …

Build Your Brand

The underlying advice contained in Dorie Clark’s “Entrepreneurial You” is that most entrepreneurs in the coaching, consulting, speaking field fail to diversify themselves. Diversification can enable you to earn more and mitigate risk. Too many entrepreneurs focus on earning revenue from one or two activities, such as consulting and coaching. To stop being held a slave to the clock, trading hours for dollars you need to develop multiple streams of income. In her prologue to the book Dorie states that her business model has seven distinct streams. Before you tune out at the thought of developing seven, yes seven, income streams, keep in mind that it has taken Dori over ten years to get to this stage. As she describes in her book “The Long View” it takes time to achieve great things. Not all potential income streams will be appropriate for you, select the ones that match your business goals. Your objective, and its mine since reading Dori’s book, should be to be earning money while you sleep.  And although I will focus on …

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.

At this stage of our business cycle, you are profitable and growing organically. Maybe this is the end game for you, you are earning a nice living for you and your family. But many entrepreneurs want to continue to see their businesses grow. And to stand still means to go backwards in this every changing world. You do not need to grow like crazy, but you do not want to stagnate either. As a minimalist entrepreneur you have a built a business that you enjoy working on, it’s a pleasure to go to the office every day. But sustained growth presents its own set of challenges.  One tool that may help you decide the best path for your business in the Ansoff matrix which I discussed in episode 29 of season 7. To listen to that podcast CTRL Click here When a business fails, it is not usually due to a tide of unforeseeable events, its usually for a handful of reasons. The most common of which is running out of money. In his book …