Are you a virtual assistant, online business manager, graphic designer, web designer, copywriter, etc… struggling to build a successful business that allows you to provide a service you love AND the financial support you need to live?
If you just answered yes, you need to PRINT this article as I share 5 Steps to Building a Successful Implementation Business.
The reason I chose the word ‘steps’ instead of keys, tips or alike to express how to make your business successful, is because I want you to think about or picture the actual up levelling that takes place at each step I mention. Ask yourself these 3 questions: “What is required of you?”, “What is required of the business?”, “What is required of your process?” to be successful at each step.
Step #1 – The Mindset
The first step to ensuring you are building a successful implementation business is ensuring you have the right mindset around your business. I talk to hundreds of implementers a year and am always surprised when they treat their business more like ‘extra’ income or a hobby rather than an operational business. How you see your business will be the extent of how others will see it, both clients and team. Your mindset about your business will determine how much money you make, how quickly it grows, what type of clients you attract, etc… What is your mindset about your business determining for you?
If you see your business as an extension of yourself then you will only create what you can see in yourself. But if you have the mindset that your business is the result of an executed skill set meeting an in-demand need, well then, your business can be anything you desire it to be (regardless how you think or see yourself.) This is a huge mindset shift because many of us get so caught up in what we do or do not see in ourselves and that limits how we see our businesses. Set your mind on being a business owner, not a service provider. The service is the product your business sales…
Step #2 – The Model
I cannot tell you how many implementation businesses are trying to build their 1:1 service based business on a 1 to many model. This simply does not work. Your model is not the same as what 90% of the business coaches are teaching on how to build a business online. As an implementer, you provide a 1:1 service (even if it is your team who is providing the service this is still the model.) The model that fits a service provider is different than a passive income model (think product based sales) or a leveraged income model (masterminds or mentorships), instead the way to successfully build an implementation model is on systems, processes and proven result based initiatives.
If you want to get out of the day to day business operations of 1:1 service required of an implementation business you will need to hire someone to provide that service. Therefore you will need a solid process structure in place for that person to easily follow and provide the same result you have to your clients. Skip this step and you will work 24/7… develop this step into mastery and there is no limit to what you can build in your business.
Step #3 – The Mastery
Once you have settled on your mindset and your model the MASTERY is where success actually begins to become a reality. In mastery, you learn to manage the time, effort and result of every aspect of your service. With mastery comes the ability to train others, create solid workable processes, streamline systems or automation to how you deliver your services. It will allow you to see what is coming and have a better grasp on the ‘potential’ unknowns that slow down production. With mastery, you become a better communicator of both your skills and what is needed to be successful in a given project. There is a greater sense of confidence that leads to you being able to charge more, promise more and produce more.
As you master your craft you will no longer be an implementer but instead a problem solver, the one who generates solutions rather than simply executing tasks.
Step #4 – The Marketing
Time and time again I speak with Virtual Assistants who essentially are having to ‘start’ over… either they have worked with the same clients for a long time and now need to take on new clients or they are new to being a VA and need to take on new clients. Either way, the same thing comes out: I have never had to market myself. But the truth is if you want to build a business with any longevity at all you will need to master this skill of marketing your services as quickly as possible. Again, this does not have to be done the same way as other business models. You don’t always need to grow a list, but you do need to keep your site up to date and with the most up to date templates. You don’t need a blog, but you do need solid copy on your site that intrigues the prospective client and shows you know what you are talking about.
Think about your web presence like this… if you were going to hire a housekeeper and went to their house and it was a mess or even less than your expectation would you have them come and clean your house? Your client’s web presence is their house and many times as implementer’s we are the ones who keep it clean, tidy, in good running order… they need to see that from your web presence as well. Not only your website but also your social media presence is being considered by every prospective client. IF you are complaining how you have so much on your plate you don’t know how you are going to get through the day, then a prospective client takes a peek at your facebook post, you just lost a client. Could be that was the most IDEAL one you have been hoping for…
Step #5 – The Money
Ahhh the money conversation… seems as implementers we tend to really avoid this aspect of business. We either don’t charge enough, don’t bother to even bill (invoice) or inflate our value, not giving the client what we promised. I hear every angle of the money issues from both sides. This is what I know to be true… if you do what you say you are going to do you can charge what you believe it is worth and no one will ever question you. If you believe you are charging more than what your service is worth everyone will question you (as you are out of integrity with yourself) or if you charge more than what you deliver on, there will always be a money problem at hand.
The truth is everyone has money issues at some level, we do, they do, everyone does. Now what to do with it is the question. If you don’t figure this out you will never really make any money in your business. If you don’t overcome this issue you will continue to fall into its traps. So what to do?
Make a plan is my answer… know exactly what you need to run your business (include paying yourself), know what you desire beyond your need, come to terms with what you are willing to do to make that money, then do the work and GET PAID. Ensure you have a solid contract in place with clear expectations of payment (how much, when to be paid by, etc…), then do the work and send the invoice (if you are paid in the rears) or require payment before you do the work.
It really is that easy… but if you see it as something else, give it an emotional weight, or allow it to revolve around YOU and not the service you provide. Then there can and will be breakdowns in your ability to both generate and collect money.