One of the biggest differences for me moving from the corporate world, to the online entrepreneur space, was the lack of diversity when it comes to business models. When it comes to the online space, filled with coaches, consultants and other service based business owners, we tend to see four types of common business models.

  1.  121 Coaching: Most common with new business owners who are trying to generate maximum profit in the quickest time (and a super sensible way to start!) The problem with the 121 coaching model however, is that as your business grows, you become limited to the amount of clients that you can take on – and find that you’re still trading time for money.
  2. Online Courses: This is most popular with business owners who’ve been successful at generating a small-medium sized audience and who want to diversify from 121 coaching into a model that allows them more profit, in less time. However, creating an online course and selling it successfully, usually relies on a warm audience to begin with… and then consistent and sustainable traffic. This traffic usually comes through high profile launches/ ad spend – and can require a lot of upfront capital before each launch.
  3. Membership Sites: The model that I think is touted most often as being ‘the easiest’ when it comes to recurring revenue. Membership sites can be fantastic sources of recurring revenue if; – you have a large, warm audience OR – you have access to a lot of ad spend. Membership models take time to build (and launches that generate over 100 members immediately, require large warm audiences) and also face the ‘attrition issue’. Membership sites usually have a 25% attrition rate – and people leave fairly regularly which means that you’ll need to replace members regularly, plus get more traffic in order to keep your income level rising. And that doesn’t even get me started on the need for consistent support for members, management of the ‘behind the scenes’ and need for constant content creation.
  4.  Low Ticket/ High Volume Products (think printables, e-books etc): This is a super popular model for those business owners who want to create ‘passive income’. Now, there’s no real such thing as ‘passive’ income – but that’s a post for another day! This model requires a TON of traffic – and a solid sales funnel. Without those, it’s practically impossible to turn these into revenue generation streams that will be able to provide those £10K months that people aim for.

You might be thinking, “Well okay Jess, this is depressing. What exactly CAN I do that will build my business without costing me tons of start up capital and get to bed before 4am..?” And the truth is, that there isn’t any business model out there that won’t require a bit of hard work and hustle in the beginning to make it work. But when it comes to designing your business model, there are actually lots of places that we can look for inspiration – that can add some super quick and simple extra revenue (and recurring revenue!) streams to our businesses too.

So let’s take a little look at some innovative business ideas – and how you can tailor them to fit your service based business.

Subscription Models: Have you heard of Netflix? HelloFresh? Various magazine subscriptions? Subscription models are taking over the market at the moment and are a great way to be innovative in your industry and add a recurring revenue stream to your business. Perhaps you fancy creating a print subscription newsletter… or monthly subscription webinars… or even (if you’re feeling fancy!) a subscription box that delivers something specific to your clients.

Franchise Models: Now I’m not suggesting that you buy a McDonalds – but the world of franchising is very lucrative (and super quick to set up!) Think about the skills you have. If your clients are getting fabulous results and you want more clients but taking up less time… why not create a certification with your skills? Or whitelist some of your content for annual fees.

Freemium Models: Remember the last time you used a piece of software that offered you a free level – until a certain point/ threshold? And then you had to pay? That’s a freemium model. Having a certain amount of content for free – and then they pay to upgrade to the next level. Big companies like Dropbox, Buffer and ZoHo all do this successfully.

Affiliate Models: Love a particular piece of software? Always recommending a certain coach? Then you could be asking for an affiliate fee! A percentage of the overall sale/ a simple referral fee to say ‘thanks for helping us to expand our customer base’. I offer a $50 referral fee for successful referrals into my membership – and it works really well. And if you’re interested in the software that I recommend (and proudly affiliate for!) you can check out my list of ‘must haves’ here.

MLM/ Network Marketing/ Direct Sales: I can practically hear you screaming from here… and I know, MLM is not necessarily the most popular choice. But there are ways to involve a network marketing company successfully in your business without turning into Sleazy McScumbag. So if you have a large and engaged audience – and there’s a certain product that you just adore, then why not think about becoming a direct salesperson for them? Hey… if you’re recommending it anyway, you may as well get paid for doing so…

Speaking Models: Want to get your message out to a wider audience and get paid for the privilege? Then speaking might be a great option for you. This year, I’ll be getting paid to speak at over ten key industry leading events, increase my audience and have an absolute blast meeting delegates and other speakers. Want to know where you can hug me in person this year (or get a list of potential places to speak in 2019)? Check out my press page here and you can get the inside scoop on where I’ll be throughout 2018 or book me for your next event.

Investing Models: Have you built up a certain amount of capital in your business and think that you’d like to make it work for you? Then investing might be a great option! Personally, I’m a fan of investments that rely on compound interest (thanks to my friend Julie Feuerborn and her amazing money skills,) but you can also look at investments in things that are much more interesting; wine (okay – yes I invest in that too!) gold, stocks and shares, cryptocurrency and more…

So – if you’re feeling like you’re bored with the cookie cutter online business models and you want to create something innovative and exciting for you and your audience, then trial out a few of these ideas for size! Let me know in the comments where you’ll be focusing your efforts for the rest of 2018 – and if this blog has made you think – I’d love for you to share it with anyone you think it might help. Just click the social icons to share across your favourite social media platforms.

PS. Want to implement / execute a new business model and start making money from it immediately – but you’re not quite sure on how to make it work? Click here to book your FREE Supersize Your Sales Strategy Session where I can help you define your next plan to increase your income without increasing your effort.

More Helpful Resources:

Scaling Without Burnout: Podcast Episode

Three Ways To Generate Immediate Revenue: Podcast Episode

Scaling Your Passive Income: Podcast Episode


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