by Cara LumenI
just did my umpteenth Business Plan and discovered some new insights. Every time I go through the process I add a dimension that had not been there before. It’s like slowly peeling back layers to get to my core passion, my core involvement, and my exact place to be in service.
Let your niche find you
If you niche is too broad, no one will find you. We put great effort into selecting and defining a niche. At the beginning of creating a business you mentally and emotionally search for and find your perfect target audience. But in the long run, you don’t find your niche, your niche finds you.
Here’s how. Notice the times you are in service that you feel the most successful. You may have effortlessly written an e-book, or brilliantly coached a client through their process into a great “ah-ha.” What organically comes up in your process of serving that people are asking you to provide? It may be a new skill you discover, it may be a new need you must meet. Let the needs of your current clients and customers define what you offer. This is how a niche finds you. It is a combination of what you love to do and what people love to receive from you.
Be patient with yourself. The discovery of your perfect niche may develop over time. Just remain aware of what continues to show up in your business and your heart.
How long do you serve one customer?
One of the aspects I saw more clearly in creating this business plan was exactly how long I can serve one person. Do I coach them for 2 months, 6 months, 9 months? Then what happens? What do I have in place to continue to offer to those people I have worked with 1:1. If I don’t find something, I have to go find more clients. It’s much more economical to continue to build relationships with those who already know you and like what you are doing.
How long do you serve one customer and what can you do to extend that time?
How has your business changed?
I’m not the same person I was even a year ago. My business is not the same. My target audience has changed. That means my actions have to change. I need to reevaluate my products. I may have to revise or add to my services.
A huge shift came for me when I realized that basically I am a teacher. At the core of what I do is a love of learning and the joy of sharing it to others. That allowed me to make a business plan that schedules more teleclasses to be made into digital products. It allowed me to stop offering services that were pulling me off track. It helped me write stronger copy for my home page and my coaching pages.
And don’t forget to add passive income sources to your business plan. Create home study courses and e-books that can be purchased on line while you’re off doing something else.
Look for what your clients and customers need next and expand your business to accommodate them.
Who is your competition?
When the business plan asked me to list my competition I thought, “there is no such thing as competition, we are each unique.” But the form was asking me to find my uniqueness by looking at what other people in my field did, and write down what made me different, how I stood out, how my products and services were unique. It wanted me to identify what benefits I offered that others did not. With that information I can craft my copy and content to emphasize those unique benefits and appeal more to my target audience.
What makes you stand out from the crowd?
The Umpteenth Business Plan
Each time you complete a business plan it will elicit different answers based on where your awareness is at the time and what circumstances have come up in your business since the last time you wrote one. Sometimes, it’s as simple as finally being ready to hear or pay attention to one aspect that you were not ready for before. That new willingness will draw forth fresh responses from you.
A business plan also helps you expand your vision. Where do you want to be? What do you want your business to look like? How do you plan to get there? Some things in your business plan may not change, but each time you go through the process to complete one you with change your awareness, recommit to your vision and take a giant step forward.
Whether it’s your first, your fifth, or your umpteenth business plan, schedule time each year to see where you are and where you want to be. Then create and adjust for success.