Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Are You an 'Online' or an 'Offline' Business?

Like most business owners I have struggled with the very best business model for what I do.

Like many professional firms or consultants the greatest challenge has always been for me how does one 'scale up' and make oneself available 24/7, or make your skills available at a lower cost or on a wider playing field?

I did find that what I have accomplished after years of training, coaching and speaking is that I had created a 'job' for myself but not a 'business' - and it is all dependent on me. So I had to find a new way to address this challenge. A logical outcome of that reflection was to build an online element to my business.

The outcome of that was the launch of SalesDojo - an online membership community for small to medium businesses who want to learn the latest in permission-based, high trust, service selling. (You can visit that site or take our free e-coaching programme 'Zanshin: The Way of the Business Warrior')

That then raised the question of is an 'online' (internet only) model the best business model moving forward and how does one build and maintain trust with clients if one goes into cyberspace?

I think for an advisory, consulting or training business of any kind the online model is definitely the way to go.

It increases the scope of one's profile, helps you to create an alternate stream of income and drives you to create ever more interesting and engaging content. The more engaging and interesting and available the content - the more trust you build in your expertise.

For professional services firms it is also a model worth exploring.

How often do you take calls from clients who 'just want to run something by you' and it turns into a much greater period of time than expected - all for no fee? There is no need for that anymore.

By training your clients into using an online service you can now send them a link with your availability that week, have them pick a time, then a link is sent to them automatically confirming the time, providing a dial in number (the call is automatically recorded and an MP3 file is provided to the client) and most importantly a payment link is provided.  No more wasted billable time - unless you make that choice.

This was precisely the system I was gently encouraged to use when I requested some time recently from that great Internet psychologist, Net expert and friend Graham Jones (

The internet is transforming business of all kinds but the key question you will have to ask yourself is this: 'in the future is my business an 'online' business which generates 'offline' work as well - or is it an 'offline' business with an 'online' element?'.

The answer to that question will determine how successful you will be moving into the future because it will re-shape your strategy and vision for your business and ensure that you do the right things for the right business model and clients.

I know that it has re-shaped mine as I move to an 'online' model and look to serve ever more clients and customers around the world. 

No comments:

Post a Comment