I was doing the happy coach dance in the biggest way last week. A current client told me they had achieved their goal – and all I could do was throw my arms over my head and cheer.
But let’s jump in our time machine to one year ago, September 2020.
In 2020, most meetings were canceled due to COVID-19. Travel wasn’t happening. In-person meetings weren’t happening. Meeting planners were overwhelmed with cancelations.
My client’s company suffered financially and they were left wondering what they should do next. They had been in business for over 10 years and had excellent client relationships, but they were really tired and beaten up by September (understandably).
Because I am an expert in the entrepreneur to employee career transition, we had a conversation about whether they should look for a job, or fix their business. They wanted to explore job possibilities, so we created a compelling resume and LinkedIn profile, and in the process, they remembered what a rock star they actually were.
So, realizing they couldn’t come close to making what they had in their business (and they would be doing the stuff they didn’t love doing in their business), we set about reimagining their business.
Embracing technology and bringing in support
Meetings still needed to happen and their clients knew this. While my client wasn’t very technical, they partnered with someone who was an expert, and were able to bring value and expertise to desperate clients. It wasn’t easy adapting to virtual meetings for a highly regulated industry, but they did it.
Adopting a business owner’s mindset
We did an inventory of all the things they did in their business and identified the activities that sucked the life out of them.
Conveniently, these were activities they could easily hire a contractor to do. They found a stay-at-home mom with industry and job function expertise who wanted to work part time. Bingo!
After the initial training period, including mapping out processes and creating email templates, this contractor is self-sufficient, and my client is able to focus on the parts of the business they love.
Identifying a profitable niche
As a solo business owner, it’s exhausting to try to do too many things. In our coaching sessions, we talked about which types of clients and meetings were easy and profitable. Very quickly, we were able to land on a profitable niche they could focus all their energy and resources targeting.
Connecting with other business owners
During that time, I started a mastermind group for solo business owners because I needed to find my heart for my business again. This was a no-nonsense group of professionals looking to make an impact. Our group calls were filled with joy and heart, and outstanding insights and suggestions.
Many of the members had not been part of a mastermind, and all would tell you how incredibly valuable it was.
My client would tell you that showing up on these calls and getting comfortable talking about their business and client issues made a huge difference in the way they now show up for client meetings.
Creating a plan for success
The group started toward the end of the year, so in January we presented our plans for 2021. My client blew us away with their BHAG (big, hairy audacious goal), and then proceeded to break it down in a way that made it seem achievable. They just needed three new clients by Q4 and they would be on track, given the revenue a typical client brings in.
They did it! By showing up as a business owner, instead of someone who has a business, they got three new clients! By keeping their eyes on the prize, they stayed focused and on track. They are now concentrating on serving their current clients – and building out some thought leadership on a topic related to meeting planning.
Following these steps may help you reimagine your business.
If you’re too close to it and need an outside opinion, feel free to book a time with me using this link.