Are The Current Business Models Still The Best?

My head hurts from thinking! You see, the last few weeks I have been mapping out the direction for my business for the next 12 months. I have a lovely problem you see. Even though my current price for private mentoring is just under $2000 per month, I have a waiting list and I have to turn people back. I only have so many hours per week I can commit to working closely with people and to be honest…I have much more leveraged ways to make an income.

But I love working closely with people and seeing them go from frustrated to clear on their direction, taking action and making money. I hate turning people back and so have the challenge of creating a system that allows me to help more people in a more leveraged way.

As with everything I do, I hope by sharing my research and thoughts it will help you make decisions in your business too.

You may have a similar situation or you will have in the future. If your business is to grow you need to find as many ways to help as many people as possible…with as little of your resources as possible. There are many models that work and are used by many people though I can’t help but wonder if the effectiveness of some models is decreasing. It is too easy to look at others and think “well it works for them, I’ll use the same model” when your target market may be looking for something slightly different. My question to you is..are there better ways?

Some Models & Who They Suit

Group Teleseminar  and / or video coaching programs

These are great for both parties (you and the client) and really allow you to leverage yourself. These seem best if you are teaching a step-by-step system with a definite end.

The disadvantage, is people may not move at the same pace as the program. If they get stuck on one step they may get left behind.

A thought? Is this an effective way to learn for you and as the business owner, do you like this model?

Business in a box

This can even be a way you leverage the recordings of your group teleseminars. Every thing is prepared step-by-step and is delivered to the customer to work through at their own pace.

The disadvantage is again, if people get stuck and have no-one to talk to they may not take action.

A thought? Is this an effective way to learn for you and as the business owner, do you like this model?

Year long group coaching

This is often the basis of a “Platinum” program. The customer has a weekly or monthly class, another Q and A call and you move at a slower pace. Often these are supplemented with a physical workshop or retreat.

The advantage is people know they have you for a longer period of time

but if they are an action taker, the pace may be too slow for them. You are also tied into a program for a longer period.

A thought? Is this an effective way to learn for you and as the business owner, do you like this model?

“Platinum Groups”

Often this is combined with the year long tele-class support. People also get to come along to 3 or 4 weekend workshops, perhaps with an extra day for hotseats and brainstorming.

This has the advantage that customers can form relationships with others in the group and help each other.

Disadvantage: It is a greater time commitment for you and for the customer and usually more expensive.

A thought? Is this an effective way to learn for you and as the business owner, do you like this model?

Mastermind groups

We already help our customers form peer mastermind groups and they are incredibly effective. Another way to help a lot of people is to have guided mastermind groups. These could be via phone or actually meet in person. For these to be effective the groups need to be small (I would not want more than 15 in a room to do this). On the phone 6 to 10.

Advantages: Collective wisdom and people get feedback on their ideas

Disadvantages: Open structure means people still need support to action what they get inspired to do. Smaller groups means the price is higher per participant to make it worth your while.

A thought? Is this an effective way to learn for you and as the business owner, do you like this model?

New Ideas

The more I have been thinking about models that work the more I wonder if new models are needed. For example:

Step-by-step courses with assessment tests at each stage so you can’t move forward until you’ve completed a step.

The bare basics – do this and trust me it will work, with detailed stuff you can go to if you want to (for those who never read the novel at school, instead bought the study guide)

Week long retreats with pampering for your soul as well as business building strategies

Collective projects so you learn while creating joint products

Twitter mentoring – all questions answered via twitter or perhaps through facebook groups

Weekly classes sent direct to your iphone or sms with an action for the week

Accountability and mindset coaches to keep you on track when you stray.

What Works For You?

I’m curious about models you have experienced, what you liked about them and what you didn’t like. Have you experimented with different models as a business owner? If we share our ideas here we can all benefit from hearing what works for everyone else and hopefully create some innovative ideas.

After all you don’t want your customers to be comparing apples with apples. You need to be an orange to stand out, while building on top of what already works for the apples.


  1. Hi Janet
    Love this! I’ve also been pondering models in preparation launch my new program. I think we sometimes follow (blindly at times) what others are doing, without taking time to assess (and feel!) if they will work for us.

    I have conducted a few teleseminars and am starting to question if my local market (Australia) are really “into them” as a learning tool.

    The Platinum/Diamond/Gold models are very American and can work – but if you’re starting out (like me) it can be difficult to launch a program with this?

    I like your new ideas and believe each have their positive aspects. I suppose it comes down to what really works for each business. I too don’t want to spend all my time personally mentoring clients. I appreciate your post!

  2. Hi Janet,

    Wonderful post….I have to say, I love challenging the “accepted ways of approaching things” and truly looking at what works for client and coach.

    As a participant, I have experienced a number of different modalities now, and for me, what works best is a combination of:
    1. A step by step process that I can undertake at my own pace (audio recordings with transcripts and checklists are best for me).
    2. Group mastermind process – where we ‘meet’ at least once per month (meeting can be by phone or in person).
    3. Access to a facilitated group Q & A (could be weekly or monthly by phone)
    4. Quarterly workshops on business building topics (advanced from step by step program) followed by a day or two of facilitated mastermind (depending on group size)
    4a) Week long workshop retreat every six months which would incorporate number 4 above – but perhaps have more workshop content (and fun). For me, nothing beats face to face contact, networking and the learning that takes place during breaks and over a few drinks, sharing stories – just love it!
    5. One on one phone access to coach. Although this would necessarily be time limited, having the flexibility to use it when it is most needed (rather than a set day a month) would be of MUCH more value to me as a participant. For example, I might need 3 x 30 minute sessions in first 6 weeks, but only need 4 x 10 minute sessions for next 6 months.
    6. Having the option, or an understanding about, additional one on one coaching if required….especially once program finished.

    hhhmmm, come to think of it….pretty much what you have been offering already Janet!

    From a business owner’s point of view, the above combination would allow me maximum leverage for all but the one on one coaching and workshops.

    However, if structured well, I would also benefit a lot from the workshops: as the content should really be cutting edge, the networking and goodwill of the attendees should help my business, and of course, I could leverage the workshop content for future products.

    I suppose the ‘one on one’ coaching is really the sticking point. That is where business owners need to consider carefully what is being ‘sold’ – the system (whereby you can train someone else to coach for you) or YOU!

    Personally, in designing my business, I have decided that from the very beginning it is the ‘system’ that is being sold – not me. And this has been very deliberate – taking into account past business experiences, my age, health, lifestyle, family commitments and, most importantly, the level of personal attention I believe will be in the best interests of my clients (in the area that I am ‘coaching’).

    For me, it needs to be a win/win all round… and I don’t see how that could happen in my business, with a single person as the only coach.

    Phew, great to have an opportunity to put my thinking down on paper.

    Thanks Janet,

  3. Personally I think there are so many different and creative ways to grow yourself and your business, that it really is a case of horses for courses.

    Some love it all laid out for them in a process that they just follow the yellow brick road and arrive at their destination. Others want the thrill of learning it for themselves the hard way. So I think if you are going to cater for everyone you could really get exhausted searching for the perfect mix.

    As an experiential learner myself, I personally prefer something that is creative, engages my whole person and is accessible in terms of dollar value and time commitment.

    What I am currently doing is one-to-one coaching and like you, Janet, I find it very resource intensive and although incredibly joy laden, not the most effective business income builder.

    I’m about to trial a new program, a six week Action & Results focused mastermind group in Perth, that will bring together business owners into a personal and business pressure cooker. Six weeks of looking at themselves and their businesses, formulating strategies, taking action and then evaluating it’s effectiveness. I really VALUE accountability, which I think having some very regular get togethers with other brings to you and being part of a group setting really helps in so many ways – emotional support, wisdom, resource sharing, joint ventures, objective perspective etc – so I personally love group process, but not everybody feels comfortable in that setting.

    Perhaps we need a mix…one-to-one for those we want to invest in, machine gun teleseminars/webinars for finding new clients and testing content, mastermind groups for accountability and intense growth, and workshops for specific topic skills development. As I read in a post recently, if you walk into a shop, if there’s one bottle in the fridge you might buy it in desperation but really you’d prefer to see a few different varieties on the shelf. I think a good mix of models without over stretching yourself and your resources is key here.

    At the end of the day flexibility is premium. If you package in modules, adopting a user pay methodology, then that allows the client to pick what works best for them, so I am a keen supporter of module based pay as you go programs, rather than buying into long programs that you may not get the full value out of because of life’s interruptions.

    Just some thoughts from me…hope it helps. :))

  4. Another brilliant post, thanks Janet and very timely for me. You didn’t tell me you also read minds. đŸ˜‰ Have a great day.

  5. Hey folks what great responses you have given. Thank you. It’s a real challenge isn’t it? Hayley I like your analogy of the varieties of milk. There is a fine line between providing options which will increase your chances of helping more people and thus having more customers.The other side of the line is if people are given too many choices they usually choose not to act at all!

    I think I’ve NEARLY decided on what I will offer.

    One thing I have noticed while looking at my current and future offerings is…if you tend to over-deliver then it becomes difficult to decide what to add to higher end programs. This is an interesting thing I notice other people do as well. You need to keep something extra to give đŸ™‚

    For me, one of the biggest things I can no longer give as easily is my time. The bigger my business becomes the more people want and value my time and the more I value it as well.

    It’s actually been a lot of fun deciding the best way to help as many people as possible. In everything I’m looking at what outcome people will get as that should be the main consideration. If people invest in a program they should get results. It’s a good place to start.

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