Several years ago I realized that there was a big flaw in my business model. The FLAWED part of my model is that, after years of serving as a career coach for women, I realized that my business is simply too limited in focus and too narrow in terms of the types of products and services I offered, to be financially successful at the level I wanted it to be.
My narrow service niche (career coaching for women) — which I deliberately and intentionally designed — has turned out to be too confining and limiting for me. Career coaching alone isn’t tapping into all the many marketing, business development, communications, and strategic planning skills, talents and experience that I’ve earned in my 20 years in the corporate arena.
I had chucked out the idea of using those marketing and business development skills (or, more accurately, before now it hadn’t even occurred to me to utilize these skills as a consultant) because much of my corporate experience had been so emotionally unsatisfying for me that I threw the baby out with the bathwater! But doing so meant I was stopping myself from serving thousands more women whom I truly want to support, in ways I’m uniquely capable.
As a result, the financial and emotional success results of my business were limited for me as well.
Below are several core nuggets of learning from these past 10 years of shaping my new professional life and business:
1) Marketing won’t help you, when your business model is flawed
No matter how strong your marketing is – no matter how well planned or executed – if your business, services and focus are too narrow or only tap into a very limited group of clients/customers, then your rewards will be limited as well.
Scrutinize your business model intensively – look at the niche you serve and the products and services you offer – and make sure there’s sufficient breadth, depth, and reach to make the money you need to, each and every month.
2) Marketing also won’t help you if you don’t know how to run your business or manage your money.
There are 5 “M’s” that are essential to running a successful business. They are:
Don’t skimp on mastering these “M’s” or getting outside help to do it. Running a business successfully is a large endeavor, and you can’t do it alone.
- Click through to read the blog article the 5 “M’s” of Entrepreneurial Women’s Success.
3) Determine ALL the talents you have that you want to use, and create a plan to utilize them all
For me, I’ve learned that there’s another vast and growing group — women entrepreneurs – whom I want to help and support, along with all the women in corporate America who are in urgent need of career transition assistance. I know now that I want to offer career growth support, as well as top-level strategic marketing, business planning and development, and financial guidance to help women entrepreneurs create their businesses to succeed and thrive, from the moment their business launches and onward. And it turns out I have the experience and skill to do it.
4) Make sure that the niche you want to serve is big enough, and has the ability to utilize, hire and pay you
Another truism in business – if you want to be profitable, you have to make money. This is NOT a volunteer endeavor, this is a business. So make sure that the target group you serve is big enough to support your business, and full of thousands of people whom you can reach, who are in the emotional, financial, and behavioral condition to utilize your products and services fully, and can pay for them easily, without strain.
5) Spend money on marketing your business only after you have clarity
After you’ve developed a sound business model, then and only then should you invest in marketing your business and branding. Don’t spend thousands of dollars on marketing before you know what you need to offer and provide.
6) Think bigger about yourself
Identifying a defined niche and serving it well is essential, but in doing that, don’t limit yourself to only one facet of yourself and your skills. Use all of your talents and skills, and expand to new dimensions that allow you to use ALL of who you are, for the greater good of your business, and for the world.
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There’s a great deal involved in creating a successful entrepreneurial venture, and crafting a long-term career that you love and that brings you success and fulfillment. But you can do it! Get help to master the 5 M’s of small business, and build a strong model and foundation for your business, get help where you need it, and be open to learning what you don’t now know. Then you’ll be well on your way.
About the author: Kathy Caprino, M.A., is a nationally-recognized women’s career coach, entrepreneurial marketing consultant, speaker, and author of Breakdown, Breakthrough for women. Founder/ President of Ellia Communications, Inc. – a career and marketing coaching and consulting firm dedicated to helping women achieve breakthrough to create life and work as they truly want it, Caprino is a trained psychotherapist, seasoned career coach and marketer, and sought-after writer and speaker on women’s issues. She is a popular blogger on women’s career topics and trends, and as a top media source, she has appeared in more than 100 leading newspapers and magazines and on national radio and television. She is writing her second book on Women Succeeding Abundantly. For more information on Ellia Communications’ programs and services, visit www.elliacommunications.com or write to Kathy at Kathy@elliacommunications.com.