As the UK’s lockdown begins to ease, you have a great opportunity to build a better coaching business.
Why? Because the world is different and whatever business you’re in, customer behaviour and expectations have shifted. As a coach, you’ll know that the widespread switch to remote and home working means that people are looking for different services and different ways to access them.
The world has changed. The question is, are you changing with it?
Not a face-to-face world anymore…
The idea that you need to be physically present to deliver some kind of value has been dealt a deathblow in the last year. Recent articles from both Forbes and McKinsey confirm the shift is global, predicting that by 2025, 70% of people will work remotely at least five days a month.
Dispersed teams, Zoom meetings, and virtual training events are now common. In fact, they’re expected. The pandemic has forced a culture change away from direct contact. If your business relied on face-to-face meetings or workshops, it’s a choice of adapt or fall behind.
Broaden your time zone…
Remote working and remote consumption both throw geography out of the window. It’s time to think in terms of time zones.
When you offer your services by virtual means, you can operate freely across different time zones, not just within your geographical area. No venue worries, no travel worries. Time zone thinking can broaden your customer base — if you’re in the UK, the whole of Europe and most of Africa are ‘within two hours’; and if you’re talking services that don’t need you to deliver them personally (pre-recorded sessions?) then the whole world is your oyster.
It’s time for thinking big. Whether you do or not, you can be sure that your competitors and customers are.
Spend less time with more customers
Surely the Holy Grail is more customers, more business, but less time needed. With the current shift in customer attitudes, it’s more possible than ever.
As an example, let’s say you make a digital version of a service that doesn’t need you to ‘deliver’ it. For the customer or client, this digital service may be easy to access, anywhere, anytime. For you, it’s a way to increase your revenue without increasing your time commitment. Set things up so that service is selling and repeating in the background and it’s practically passive income, requiring only maintenance input to keep it relevant and up to date.
It’s all in the perspective…
Take a fresh look at what your customers want. This isn’t about what you’ve sold in the past, or what you’d like to sell in the future. It’s about what your market wants and is prepared to pay for.
Now build an offer that satisfies what the customer wants, and a sales process that doesn’t need you (e.g. ordering online instead of by phone). Next, price that offer based on the value the customer gets from it. Never mind the amount of work it is (or isn’t) for you. What are the outcomes, the results of your offer, for the customer. The value to them is what you charge for.
The acid test of your offer is, do you have to explain it to sell it or is the appeal self-evident (and therefore self-selling)?
But… “I need to be face to face with my customers!”
Let’s be blunt: do you, really? Before the pandemic, were you delivering the same services in the same way as five years ago? Probably not.
The world changes constantly. So do customer demands. So do the businesses that supply them.
Go back far enough and goods were delivered by horse & wagon. Then by train… ship… car and lorry… right now, we’re half a step away from drones arriving at our front doors instead of postal workers. A business that doesn’t keep up is storing up changes for the future.
Besides, if you have customers who still want a face-to-face service, why not offer a choice: online or offline. But remember to charge more for the face-to-face option — it’s premium access to your time.
But… “I don’t have time to do all this!”
This is always a major stumbling block to making a change, especially a significant pivot like developing online/distant versions of what you do.
And, as always, the time issue is really a perception issue. Pivoting to ‘delivering at a distance’ will cost you less time in the long run and give you a better work-life balance. Remember, your offer is “repeating in the background”.
But there is an initial investment of time in setting it up. That investment is worth it because decoupling your time from the value you deliver is how you build a better business post-lockdown. The key is delivering the value your customers want with less effort from you. Don’t get left behind.
Build a better coaching business
After the last year, video-conferencing and other ‘at a distance’ technology is everyday stuff. Similarly, customer demand for online ordering and services has skyrocketed. Coaching businesses that tap into the market as it really is in 2021 are primed for success.
Think big, build online offers that deliver real value to your customers, at a price that reflects that value. You’ll attract more leads and see an improvement in your work-life balance over time.
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