Moving beyond selling your time
Have you considered creating an online course or membership site?
As a small business, income potential is often limited by the hours we have to dedicate to our business. If you are working on a billable hour or day model, you earn when you spend time with clients. To increase your turnover, you need to increase the time you spend with clients. That may work when you are starting out, but what happens when you are successful? You are likely to be spending more with clients and less time working on your business. Where do you find the time for visioning, marketing or business planning?
The truth is that a business based purely on billable hours is rarely sustainable in the long term.
So what's the alternative?
If 2020 has taught us anything, it is flexibility. Living in a world of uncertainty has forced us to be more responsive. Working from home became a norm. So we learned how to be productive in a team, even when sitting together wasn’t possible. We moved our meetings online. And became so comfortable with that concept, that ‘zooming’ is now a word in our vocabulary. In short, the online world changed very rapidly, and the idea of home-based learning is now more popular than ever.
Online courses and membership sites are nothing new. Internet marketeers have been selling “how-to” self-study courses since the advent of e-Books. What is significantly different now is how large swathes of the population have embraced learning online – from infants working with their primary school teachers to grandparents learning a new skill or hobby to fill the gaps in time during the endless hours of lockdown living.
Of course, the downside of this shift is that we now have thousands upon thousands of courses flooding the online market and not all live up to their promises. But we would be shortsighted if we didn’t spot the opportunity for our business.
Could the answer lie in creating an online course?
If you are wanting to move away from a billable hours model, online courses and membership sites can be the perfect way to increase your audience reach and generate an additional revenue stream. They aren’t a quick fix and they certainly won’t work in every context, but done right, they can provide a return on investment of time and energy for years to come.
Over the next few blogs, in a ‘Starter for 10’ series, I am going to share inspiration and ideas for creating online courses or membership sites. I want to show you how easy it can be to start small (and low-cost) as well as helping you to be prepared for your future business aspirations.
Keeping things simple and cost-effective is essential to your business growth. You may well be able to create everything you need yourself. But if not, we are here to help make the process more straightforward and enjoyable.
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