Scaling Your Business Beyond the 1-1: Ultimate Guide
How to earn more money and serve more clients once your calendar is full
As a consultant or a coach with a thriving practice, one of the most pressing business challenges is figuring out the right next steps for scaling your business.
And doing it in a way that’s aligned with your vision of your dream business while keeping the integrity of client results.
You built your successful practice and co-created great results with your clients by working directly with each client.
So that created a model where the amount of money you can make and how many clients you can serve is directly correlated to (and limited by) the number of hours you want to work.
In the beginning, this can feel fun and exhilarating – being fully in control of your income. Spending more time serving dream clients meant more money for you and your family.
You hustled, you put yourself out there – you drew in your dream clients and you helped them create amazing results.
And then your calendar became full.
At first, this feels like a “heck yes!”.
You’re no longer struggling to fill your schedule with client calls and your days are full of making an impact.
Slowly, you start getting tired and overworked. Especially for the amount of money that you’re making as a result of all this effort.
Could you squeeze a few hours out of your schedule to do more client work and make some more money? Sure, but you don’t want to.
Because that would mean missing outings with friends, your kids’ events, and date nights with your partner.
Your bank account is not reflecting how hard you work and how much value you bring to your clients.
You start feeling like a prisoner of your business rather than the joyful and free business owner you were envisioning when starting out.
Yet you still love your clients and your work (at least in theory) and you’re not ready to throw in the towel on what you’ve created.
But you know it’s not sustainable
You know there’s more … more impact, more freedom and more wealth than your business model is allowing you to create.
You know scaling your business is something that can serve you but you’re not totally sure what the right next step for your particular situation is.
If you’re shaking your head ‘yes’ as you’re reading this, you know that it’s time for a shift in your business model.
You created your business to be something that makes your life better, not something you have to sacrifice your life for.
If this is where you are today, just know that this is a perfectly normal part of the process.
You had to be here to get to the next place.
The place where your income isn’t limited by your time or effort and you’re able to serve more clients using less of your time.
That starts by being really (REALLY) good at serving your clients – which is exactly what you’ve been fine-tuning all of these years.
You’re in the perfect place for the next step.
The questions that come up for many here are:
- How do I reclaim my time without sacrificing results?
- How do I continue to provide amazing service and maintain that brand integrity I spent years building while scaling my business?
- How do I clone myself with technology without fully abandoning the personal touch that’s at the core of my work and my ability to get amazing results?
Read on to get the answers …
There are several options for scaling your expert-based business.
Want a simple pro/con overview of these options?
For this post (and my work in general) – I refer to scaling your business as growing revenue AND profit margin while reclaiming your time.
For those of you who need a quick refresher – your profit margin is your profit divided by your revenue. Growing profit margin means that your expenses grow slower than your revenue.
A higher profit margin means more profit to reinvest into your business or to take out for yourself.
Reclaiming your time means that you don’t have to use as much of your truly limited resource – your time – to grow your business.
Your Next Steps
Once your 1-1 work is dialed-in and your calendar is full, you have three options for scaling your business to the next level (and I recommend that you implement all three:
1. Raise your prices. This is a simple, first step to increasing your revenue and profit. If your expenses don’t increase, then as a percentage of revenue, they will decrease, increasing your profit margin. If your calendar is usually full and especially if you have a waitlist, then you’re probably undercharging. The key to proper pricing (outside of the scope of this post) is to optimize both time and revenue. Meaning that your prices are high enough that you have space for one more dream client at all times – you are not overbooked at a lower rate.
2. Become more efficient. There are two sub-segments here. Client work and ‘all other’ work.
a. You’re more efficient at serving your clients than you were when you first put together your packages so why not reduce the time you spent per client? (and if you’re still working on hourly rates, please just STOP IT. Seriously. No one benefits from that model). For example, if when you were starting out, you needed an hour with each client, you can now get the same results in 45 minutes – reduce the length of your standard sessions. (Are some limiting beliefs sneaking in when you read that? Maybe your competitors do the longer sessions and you’re worried about prospects judging your value by the length of your sessions? Out of scope for this post, but just know that these are thoughts, not facts and you can attract clients regardless of the length of your sessions). b.The second part of this strategy is to become more efficient at all of your non-client work. This can be outsourcing or automating.
b. Implement a business model that allows you to serve more clients using less of your time. This is true ‘scaling’ because not only are you not using more money (expenses) to run your business, but you are also using less of your time – your one true non-renewing resource. Please note that this business model does not need to replace your 1-1 work if you love doing it. It would be in addition to it. So you would keep serving your dream clients in a 1-1 manner and add one of these powerful models to supplement your income and improve the way you deliver your services.
[bctt tweet=”There are three things all fully-booked practitioners must do: 1. Raise prices 2. Become more efficient 3. Upgrade business model”]
Top Business Models
Here are the top business models that I recommend to experts who are ready to scale beyond the 1-1.
- Group Programs. Instead of an hour for one client, you can serve an entire group in that time. This one is very tempting to most coaches, yet in practice, it can be a bit nuanced to get right. If you don’t have experience doing group facilitation work, there may be a learning curve to be able to execute this in a way where results don’t suffer. Totally not impossible but not as simple as internet gurus may make you think it is.
- Hybrid Online Programs. This one is my favorite! At the core – it’s using technology to ‘clone yourself’ for anything you say over and over while keeping the connection to your client in a 1-1 or group support format. I have a short ~2-minute video on this one that you can find here.
- Automated Online Courses. This is the unicorn of the online coaching world. The promises of millions of dollars effortlessly hitting your bank account as you sip margaritas on a far-away beach. If it sounds too good to be true … There is absolutely a way to do this correctly (though still unlikely to the extent of the internet ad promises you may have seen) and it isn’t difficult, but it does have to follow a proven process, and for best results, follow on the footsteps of the Hybrid Online Program (i.e. Create and launch that first, then add a tier for a fully automated course).
- Train / License Other Coaches. This is another model that sounds great (and it is) but it takes a level of knowledge, systems, and coordination that many don’t have at this stage in their business. The systems created during the creation of online courses (see subsequent options) will better set you up for success in creating and implementing this model.
[bctt tweet=”These are the 4 best options for fully booked experts to scale beyond 1-1 work: Group programs, Hybrid online programs, Automated courses, Training/Licensing”]
I curated these options for you with client outcomes in mind. Meaning that if revenue and profit are your only concerns, then you have other ways to scale your business and I’m not the best expert to help you on that path.
I love helping experts who are AMAZING at what they do scale their work to make a bigger impact, earn more money, and create more freedom in their lives.
If that’s you – I invite you to apply for one of my limited Free Discovery Call spots where I can offer you guidance and feedback on scaling your business for your particular situation.
Want a pro/con overview of these choices? This simple, one-page infographic provides you with that.
Hi, I'm Jane
I am the founder of Scale YOUR Genius® and I am on a mission to:
- Rid the world of crappy online courses
- Demonstrate that online does not have to equal cheap, poor quality, or providing inferior results
- Inspire and guide coaches, experts, and consultants towards building more wealth, creating more impact, and having more freedom in their lives by helping them create results-driven, profitable, and sustainable online programs in their area of expertise