Note from Michele: This is a guest article from Shawn Driscoll, who just joined the Love-Based Business family with “Love-Based Business Models.” One of the keys to having a business you love is having a business you feel aligned with, and that all starts with your business model. But, how do you choose the right business model for you, especially when there are so many best business models out there. And how do you know if you’re “off” with your business alignment? Read on for more.
I recently received an email from a former client who is loving her business and life right now. She said she has the ‘abundant and fully-satisfying’ business of her dreams. I was so happy to hear how well things were going for her.
Because it wasn’t always that way.
There was a time where she was working too much for too little reward. It was overwhelming. And exhausting.
But she has done the work to shift her business alignment so it better meshed with who she is. Part of that shift was discovering who she was—as an entrepreneur—AND who she wasn’t. She discovered that trying to build a content-heavy business with online programs, online marketing, and blogging was simply going to derail her. It was not her path to success no matter how many experts insisted it was the way to profit. She just wasn’t wired that way.
But once she liberated herself from a model that wasn’t a fit, she was able to embrace her unique gifts and talents and choose a model that allowed her to thrive. She built a model that took advantage of her incredible coaching gifts and ability to be in the moment. And she gave herself permission to be the best of herself, and to not force a model or approach that drained or derailed her.
Now she works with clients she loves, and they love the results they get. It’s a win-win partnership and the basis of a thriving business that fits her life.
These are the transformations that I love seeing.
Loving your business and feeling truly aligned with it starts with your business model
You see, when you choose the right business model for you, you can love your business. And when you love your business, you’re better equipped to serve your customers exceptionally well. You’ve got more than enough energy, creativity, and confidence to deliver on your promises. In turn, those customers love you back. And that’s what builds momentum and future success.
If you choose your business model by default, following the first advice you receive or modeling the most common model in your market, you may start to experience problems: with revenue, service, marketing, messaging, clients, conversion, and certainly fulfillment.
You may end up feeling trapped in a business that might make money, but that also overwhelms, drains, and frustrates you. Or you find ‘diminishing’ returns as time goes by, because you simply run out of steam. What worked once, doesn’t work long term, because you don’t have what it takes to sustain it.
And, if you’re like so many of the entrepreneurs I’ve worked with, you may not even know why you’re experiencing these problems.
Top 10 Signs You’re “Off” With Your Business Alignment
Here are just a handful of consequences your business might experience if your model is out of alignment:
- Your business grows slowly, or not at all.
- Your products and/or services don’t sell well, because your marketing and messaging don’t connect with your prospects.
- Your clients/customers aren’t satisfied, or they’re not getting the results you know are possible. Your confidence is shaken.
- You attract too many ‘difficult’ clients and customers, and you’re not sure why.
- You’re drained, financially, physically and/or emotionally.
- You feel overwhelmed or confused, overcome by chaos and/or the complexity of the details.
- You’re dissatisfied and have lost your joy… you know there has to be a better way.
- You experience low customer retention, which includes customers who leave and who become “one-and-done” buyers.
- You start going in multiple directions to figure out what’s wrong, and you quickly get nowhere at all.
- The sacrifices you’re making (family time, fun, health, travel, relationships) outweigh the rewards you’re getting from your business.
I know it seems like a smart strategy to find a business model that seems to be working well for others in your industry, and to follow what they’ve done. But that doesn’t always lead to success.
Remember, a truly smart business strategy is loving what you do, standing out, serving your customers exceptionally well and of course, being profitable. Those are the best business models.
And to achieve that, you must know exactly what the best business models and strategies will work for you (and WHY). You can’t afford to waste too much time and effort on trial and error.
When you’re clear on the best business models that are right for you, YOU have control.
You’re proactive rather than reactive.
You are strategic and can analyze why something isn’t working.
You step into being the CEO of your business and are no longer tempted to hand over ‘creative control’ to the next person who convinces you they know best.
It’s exciting, isn’t it?
So, how do you choose a business model that’s right for you? There are so many best business models options—from memberships and associations to multiple streams to info marketing funnels to premium pricing—it’s tough to know what to do.
The best business models are a strategic match between who you are, what you are naturally gifted at, who your clients are, and what they value.
When you understand how to position your skills, expertise, and talents with what your clients want and HOW they want to receive it, you will thrive. That’s how you achieve amazing and truly satisfying business alignment.
It is absolutely possible to dramatically shift your business model and achieve business alignment without making a mess of everything you’ve already built. The key is to focus on just a few smart, strategic steps and take care of your own energy and enthusiasm as you do. You are becoming a different business leader in this process, but you’ll be tempted to retreat into familiar territory. By focusing on one pivotal move, having more of the conversations you really want to be having, and leveraging the best of what you’ve already built, you’ll be able to quickly navigate the transition.
Rarely does it make sense to scrap everything and start over. So take inventory of what’s already working in your business as it is today. Who are the best 20% of your clients or projects? What do you enjoy doing? What relationships or connections do you have that can help you cross the bridge to your new model more quickly? Who is just sitting there, waiting for you to offer them something bigger, better or more valuable?
Another great place to start is with my book, “Love-Based Business Models: A Simple System to Building a Business You Love.” When you read it, you’ll be able to quickly pinpoint what business model type is suited to you, what will work best for you to experience true business alignment and what approaches are simply going to drain and derail your success. Grab your copy here.