Posts

calculating expense and return on investment

Business Coaching: Expense or Investment?

Do your clients see your services as an investment or an expense? If you are a business professional, such as a coach, consultant or accountant who provides services to small businesses, the answer to this question is key to your growth potential.

What is the difference? Aren’t those terms interchangeable? No! The underlying beliefs around expenses and investment dictate your client’s perception of YOUR value.

Expenses are a necessary evil…

Let’s explore beliefs around expenses. In the mind of a business owner, expenses are a necessary evil, something to be kept to a minimum. Expenses represent money that leaves the company, never to return again. Expenses are often on the chopping block. The client will use price as the deciding factor between competing products or services.

So who wants to be considered an expense? Not me!

When a business sees your offering as an expense, they will consistently evaluate not just whether they can find a less expensive option, but whether they can cut that product or service all together.

An investment today implies a return in the future

The word investment implies something totally different. When you make an investment today, you expect to get a return in the future that is GREATER than what you initially invested. For business coaches, consultants, strategists and other professionals, the key to receiving high value for your services is to demonstrate that your clients will get an exceptional return from their investment.

If you and your client both receive high value from the work that you do together, you have created the ultimate win/win!

If you would like to learn more about how to Be A High Value Business Coach, click below to join our week-long Bootcamp (presented by Donna Leyens and Mike Michalowicz).

Be A High Value Business Coach

How to define your ROI

The next question you want to know the answer to is how to define the return on investment (ROI) so that your client knows what they are getting. A financial gain is very straight forward. For example, if you invest $10,000 in a coaching program and you gain $20,000 in sales as a result, you have just received a 100% return, or double, on your investment.

There are other ways that professional services can provide a return. For example, let’s say the work you do results in your client saving 2 hours of time per week, or increasing productivity by 50%, or eliminating employee headaches. Those results also have value, and you can determine what those things are worth to your client.

Another factor in determining the investment value of your offering is risk. Every investment has a risk/reward ratio. The riskier the investment, the higher the expected return.

When you offer a service, such as coaching or consulting, the results are not guaranteed and therefore the client’s perceived risk appears high. Clients might hesitate to invest if the chances of achieving their desired results (return) feel unlikely. If you can point to past or proven results, however, the investment feels less risky and the client is more likely to move forward.

“I love the Pumpkin Plan Strategy Tools. They’re fantastic. And I just continue to get more and more value out of them every time I use them.”

Christeen Era, Certified Pumpkin Plan Strategist, Founder, Core Growth Strategies

Would you like to learn more about creating and receiving high value for your business coaching/consulting services while helping your clients grow profitable businesses? Apply to get certified as a Pumpkin Plan Strategist.

Tina Smith Connect to Creative

Pumpkin Plan Your Business for Profit and Happiness: Tina’s Story

Tina Smith Connect to CreativeDoing it the Hard Way

Tina Smith of Creative, Inc. was building a successful small business the hard way. She was working long hours, providing a variety of great services to a variety of clients, but not getting the profitable growth and overall results she knew her business was capable of.  Her company’s finances were always tight and it felt like a huge struggle to make any progress towards greater profitability without working even longer and harder. As a result, she didn’t feel like she was always a very nice human being! And then she read The Pumpkin Plan.

“I was constantly trying to do a passion project alongside of work to make money because we are trying to make the world a better place. But I was so grumpy all the time because I didn’t have basic needs met.”

Creative, Inc. started out as a traditional marketing agency that offered a lot of different marketing services. They did everything – running ads – both online and print, social media marketing, website design and development, and more. Each of those services required specialized knowledge and specialized tools and resources.

The Change that Made the Biggest Difference

When Tina discovered The Pumpkin Plan, everything started to change. The first thing Tina did was the Top Client Assessment. As she put together her list of clients and started looking at their individual profitability, she realized that many of her most “difficult” clients were also paying her the least amount of money. Light bulb moment! Those unprofitable clients were the low hanging fruit, and she quickly off-boarded them by suggesting that they would be better off with a different agency.

Tina’s next step was to dive a little deeper into the services that she was offering and which of her clients were buying which services.

“Because we offered so many different services, we were attracting all sorts of different people. One of the things that I did was figure out what services we liked to provide and which ones we just hated.”

Tina was able to clearly and specifically define who her company serves and what services they provide to those clients. She eliminated the services that they no longer wanted to provide (such as social media marketing) and streamlined her operations to focus on website design, SEO and email marketing funnels. Tina was then able to eliminate the expenses and resources that were necessary for the services that she was no longer providing, leading to much greater profitability.

Once Tina narrowed her focus to a specific niche, growth also became easier and more profitable. Her marketing became much less costly:

  • She was marketing to a very specific group of people so she could be very targeted with her marketing dollars
  • She was speaking to a specific group so her message resonated extremely well
  • Her specific and targeted marketing lead to more word of mouth and more yeses


An Ongoing Process

Tina recognizes that The Pumpkin Plan is an ongoing process of refining your strategy and evaluating your results. After her initial success with her Top Client Assessment she decided to work with a Pumpkin Plan Strategist to guide her to amplify her results.

“You can read The Pumpkin Plan and do some things that will help you out immediately. But until you get an expert who’s seen this over and over with different businesses, and they can tell you which lever to pull at the right time, it’s hard to get as much out of it as possible.”

Working with a Certified Pumpkin Plan Strategist at Tap the Potential, Tina has continued to refine her strategy and create the processes that enable her to deliver her services efficiently and profitably, without having to work harder and longer hours.

“Every time I go through the process, whether it’s the Client Assessment or the Client Wish List or something else related to our Sweet Spot, we get better and more profitable.”

Taking the Leap

Many business owners are afraid to narrow their focus because they worry it will cause their business and their income to shrink. Tina initially had this same fear, so she took small steps in the beginning and built momentum. As she started focusing on a specific niche “something kind of magic happened.” As she started saying “no” to the less than ideal clients it opened up the possibilities for saying yes to the right clients. Tina experienced a dramatic improvement in her finances and her satisfaction with her business with much less effort. Her only regret is that she didn’t make these changes sooner!

Today, Tina says she is a much nicer person. Thanks to The Pumpkin Plan she is working with clients that she loves, she has a predictable income selling the services that she loves to offer, and she is happy instead of grumpy!

Are you passionate about supporting small businesses to grow and thrive? Become a Certified Pumpkin Plan Strategist

Would you like help and guidance to reach your business goals? Hire a Pumpkin Plan Strategist

Pumpkin Plan

The Business Strategy that Changes Lives

Successful but Miserable

Christeen Era was a successful business owner with a thriving business. And she was miserable. She had built her business from scratch. But there were elements of the business that she just hated. She had clients that made her life miserable on a regular basis. Sometimes she didn’t even want to answer the phones. She had employee headaches. She had no control over her time. Eventually, she realized that this was not how she wanted to live her life and something had to change. So she took that business apart and started over with a new business strategy.

As Christeen was building her new business and trying to stay on course, she discovered The Pumpkin Plan: A Simple Strategy to Grow a Remarkable Business in Any Field, by Mike Michalowicz, and the light bulb went on for her.

The Pumpkin Plan is based on the idea that when you are operating in your Business Sweet Spot, business growth stops being hard.

The Sweet Spot is the place where 3 key elements of your business align: your Top Clients, your Unique Offering and your Systems and Processes.

Pumpkin Plan

When you have an identifiable Top Client Niche, a Unique Offering that your Top Clients want and need, and the Systems and Processes to deliver your Unique Offering to your Top Clients efficiently, effectively and profitably, you are in your Sweet Spot.

As Christeen read the book, she was able to identify the reasons why she so was unhappy in her first business, and make sure that she didn’t make the same mistakes again. The last time she was not operating in her Sweet Spot. This time would be different.

Life Changing Transformation

Christeen was so impressed with the power of the The Pumpkin Plan method, that she decided to become a Certified Pumpkin Plan Strategist so that she could help her clients undergo the life changing transformation that she was experiencing.

(Go HERE to watch a video of Christeen talking about the impact that becoming a Pumpkin Plan Strategist has had on her business).

For Christeen, that transformation started with the Mission, Vision,  and Purpose exercises from the Pumpkin Plan Program. Getting really clear on her long term vision and her business mission, as well as her core values, made a huge difference to the direction of the business. Putting these thoughts on paper enabled her to see how her business vision could enable her vision for her life.

She saw that she could have a profitable company, she could buy the house of her dreams, she could go on vacations with her family, and give herself space to not have to work around the clock to achieve her financial goals. According to Christeen: “I don’t think we would even be here where we’re at now, if we hadn’t applied the mission, vision and purpose exercises the way that we did.”

The Power of Niching

Christeen’s business, Core Growth Strategies, is a high end accounting and business growth consulting company. Initially they were serving a diverse group of small businesses. After doing the Top Client Assessment from the Pumpkin Plan, Christeen identified a niche client base – the Lawn Care and Landscape Industry. She recognized that she had a found a group of business owners that really needed her help, and she felt uniquely qualified to serve.

As she slowly started getting rid of the clients who were not ideal for her company, everything started operating more smoothly, efficiently and profitably.

Christeen saw such a big opportunity to go all-in serving her client niche that she started a separate business with a partner, Green Profit Academy, specifically focused on delivering profitable growth strategies to the Lawn Care industry. Because she knows the industry so well, and she knows their issues and challenges so well, she has been able to take a deep dive into finding solutions that are specific to their industry. She has created tools and processes, and customized the Pumpkin Plan and Profit First tools to meet the specific needs of her client niche.

Specialization has had many benefits for Christeen’s two businesses. Because they are serving a specific niche, she has been able to streamline her operations, making it easier to run her businesses.

Christeen’s team members know exactly what her clients need, and they have the systems to support that. Her employees don’t have to learn about or ask questions about many different types of businesses, because they are focused on serving one type of business.

Christeen and her companies have become known as the experts, the go-to accounting and coaching firms in the Lawn Care industry. The word has gotten out, and prospective clients are finding her. Her marketing has become highly streamlined and effective, as she can speak to the specific needs of her clients’ industry. The return on her marketing investment is high, creating higher profits in her business.

The Biggest Transformation

The biggest transformation for Christeen, however, has been how she feels about her business. She and her team members are really passionate about what they do. They know that they are making a real difference in the lives of their clients and that is very rewarding for them. Thanks to The Pumpkin Plan strategy, Christeen is bringing in the income that supports her lifestyle, she has control of her time, she is doing work she is passionate about, and she has fallen back in love with her business!

Are you passionate about supporting small businesses to grow and thrive? Become a Certified Pumpkin Plan Strategist

Would you like help and guidance to reach your business goals? Hire a Pumpkin Plan Strategist

Running a Successful Small Business Doesn’t Have to be Hard

As much as we love being entrepreneurs, there are a lot of things about running and growing a small business that are hard. Getting clients, dealing with clients, hiring employees, getting your employees to perform to your expectations, finding time to do everything you want. All of those things are hard, right?

The Missing Link to Profit

The Missing Link to True Profit and Freedom

One business owner recently shared with me that her business feels like a treadmill that keeps speeding up on her, demanding more and more of her. From the outside looking in, she appears successful and her business is growing continually. But she has reached the point where she is maxed out, feeling like she can no longer keep up with the demands of her growing business.

Avoid These Costly Mistakes When Onboarding New Employees

Payroll is one of the biggest expenses in small business. Most small business owners are not getting their money’s worth from the investment they are making in employees. Taking steps to optimize employee performance directly impacts your profit.

Short and Sweet Meetings that Motivate Employees and Drive Profit

Do you ever wonder if the meetings you have with employees are effective?

See if this sounds familiar… You hold a meeting intending to motivate employees and get everyone working together as a team to do their best. You talk. They listen. They may seem interested, or at least they nod their heads in the right places, but then. . . . they go out and do the same old things and nothing has changed. Ugh!!!

WARNING: Don’t Coach THESE Employees

Have you ever wondered if you can “rehabilitate” an employee? Many business owners spend lots of time trying. There are some employees you can not “rehabilitate.” Read on…

1 Strategy to Get Employees Thinking for Themselves

Does it ever feel like you could get more done, if only you had fewer interruptions?

Because you’re the business owner, you tend to be “the one who knows how to do everything” in the business.  It’s tempting for employees to come to you with questions before trying to figure things out on their own. In the interest of “saving time,” it’s tempting for you to answer their questions and move on.