Heart-Centred Business Podcast with Tash CorbinHello amazing entrepreneur, it’s Tash Corbin here. Welcome to day 6 of Tashmas! Today’s episode is about a very interesting and meaty topic that I could spend hours talking about.

Nailing your stage of business, and when it’s the right time to move on to the next level of strategy in your business as well. A lot of people come to me and think they are ready to launch online courses, but they actually haven’t nailed their niche. Or they are trying to create this amazing automated drip-fed funnel, but they don’t know what the right messaging is to use in that funnel, because they haven’t nailed the foundations of their business.

Hello amazing entrepreneur, it’s Tash Corbin here. Welcome to day 6 of Tashmas! Today’s episode is about a very interesting and meaty topic that I could spend hours talking about.

Nailing your stage of business, and when it’s the right time to move on to the next level of strategy in your business as well. A lot of people come to me and think they are ready to launch online courses, but they actually haven’t nailed their niche. Or they are trying to create this amazing automated drip-fed funnel, but they don’t know what the right messaging is to use in that funnel, because they haven’t nailed the foundations of their business.

How do you know whether you’ve nailed that stage of business, and you’re ready to move on to the next level?

Having this sorted and understanding the journey can really help you save a lot of money and time, particularly when it comes to Facebook advertising, investing your time creating online courses/memberships, and strategies that you are not ready for yet.

It’s a really juicy conversation for us to have, so let us first have a chat about the stages of business. What are the stages of business that we are working through, to get to the point where we can scale to the $1 million mark.

Stage 1 I call direct sell. This is particularly relevant for service-based businesses. When you are first starting your business, you need to get really clear on your messaging and your niche, plus you need to start making sales quickly. We want to get into profitability really quickly.

The best way to do that is to use direct-sell methods to get in contact with (and start selling directly to) your ideal clients in a very connected way. So the direct sell stage of business would be identified as that time in your business when you are mostly selling to people who already know/friends of friends or through referrals, and those sales come through a very short sales process. People aren’t jumping on to your list and going through a 12-week onboarding sequence, then being sold a paid lead magnet with an upsell into something else.

We’re not talking about long-winded, involved or complex processes to get people into your business and start selling to them. The reason being is that you want to build your funnel process from the bottom up, and that means you need to prove that people are willing to pay for your services as quickly as possible, and the fastest way to do that is to offer them direct to consumer.

So how do you know you’ve got this direct-sell stage of business nailed so that you can start scaling the way you get people in the door. First and foremost, you need to know what your niche is and make sure it’s really well-defined.

Not only can you talk about the demographics of your niche, but you can also talk about the signs/symptoms that they’re experiencing that would let them know that they need some help with something and that you may be the right fit for them to help them through this process.

You would also know at what stage of the journey your ideal client is at as well. A lot of people spend time thinking that their audience is very uneducated, they have no idea what they’re doing or even know that they have a problem, and you end up spending a lot of time educating them before they’re ready to buy from you.

I also see a lot of people who say they’ll only work with people who understand what is up and are ready to invest significantly to fix the issue, but a lot of those people are potentially so far along in their journey that they’re following other mentors in this space which puts you in a hotbed of competition.

You have a lot of other voices that are speaking to that audience. For most people in the direct sell phase of business, their ideal client is somewhere in the middle. They understand the tipping point in the journey at which someone is going to be really warmed to spending money and investing with someone to work on this particular issue.

So if you’ve nailed your niche and know exactly who it is, that’s a good sign that you are ready to move on. Your niche isn’t women in business aged 35-55 who have 2 children, that’s not a niche. A lot of people think the niche is about the desire:

“She thinks she’s destined for greater things and really wants to get out of her own way and achieve it.”

Also not a niche. A niche is a person and to be able to define your niche is to understand:

Who she is
What stage of her journey is she on?
What is the problem that she thinks she has?
What does she think the solution is?
And what does she really need?

You might want to write those down because that’s how you know you’ve got your niche really well-defined.

Sign number 2 is very well related to that. You need to be able to present a compelling message.

Now, what tells you that you can present a compelling message to that particular person?

It’s that they give you their money. They purchase the thing that you’re talking about.

You can present a compelling message to your audience, and you know that when you present it the right people will understand what you’re saying and purchase from you.

That leads to sign 3, you need to make sales every week. You’re not going through these big dry spells in your business. You know that every week you’re in business, you’re going to sell to some people.

In the Take Off program where I help people with this stage of business, our goal is to make them sell to 3 people every week, and one of those 3 people to become a VIP. You want to be working with them for an extended period of time.

The final sign that you’ve nailed the direct sell stage of business is that your tribe will come to a webinar or a free event that you facilitate. Whether that be in person or online, you know that you can get a good 50-100 people signed up to that and a good proportion of them will come along.

Usually, it’s 1/5, 20% of the people who sign up to something actually come along to it for an online event. For an in-person event, it’s closer to 50-60%.

So to reiterate. You know you’ve nailed direct-sell when:

  • You know who your niche is.
  • You know how to message to them.
  • You make sales every week.
  • And you can get them along to something for free just by spreading the word consistently.

You can see that there are a lot of core foundations that we get right in the direct sell phase of business.

The next stage of business is scaling and systemizing.

A lot of people get stage 2 and 3 mixed up, and also try to combine them. I’m totally okay with that, as long as the scale and systemize part isn’t lost when you reach the launch and leverage stage.

Launch and leverage is stage 3 and I’ll about that in a bit more detail later. But I do like to see people really nail that scale and systemize stuff before they go into launch and leverage.

The four signs that you’re nailing stage 2 of business are:

Number 1 – your list grows on auto-pilot. You have scheduled posts that go onto your page, or a system that you follow that you know will grow your list every single month. The goal that I set for my peeps when we’re working together is at least 100 people per month coming into your list when you’re in business, as usual, i.e organically.

So you can see to get 100 people on your list per month, you need to move beyond posting into Facebook groups and creating new stuff all the time. To really systemize and have your list growing on auto-pilot, we need to think about:

  • How are you getting in front of your ideal clients beyond Facebook communities and things that take your time?
  • How can you start to systemize the process of reaching your audience and reaching new audiences consistently
  • What are the avenues and channels you need to be focusing on?

So for some people, it’s a YouTube channel, or they need to be focusing a guest on other peoples podcasts and video series. Maybe they need to interview some big names consistently. There are lots of really fun ways to grow your reach, and I’m going to be doing a Tashmas training just on reach alone because I think this is one area where we can really let ourselves down in our businesses. Keep an eye out for that one later in the Tashmas series!

But ultimately, that key sign is that your list grows on auto-pilot.

Sign number 2 – You have a regular content and news cycle.

For me, that’s my podcast being released every week (every day in Tashmas), and I do a newsletter to my mailing list every week as well.

That regular content and news cycle does the following:

  • Nurtures my peeps, gets fresh content in front of them
  • Helps them to learn about a new concept and move forward in their businesses
  • Builds the trust factor to help them feel that I’m going to help them with their businesses
  • And provides an opportunity for me to regularly promote to people on my mailing list

Sign number 3 – you make sales from emails.

You don’t have to have a 1:1 conversation with every person in order to make a sale. This is really the sign that you’ve nailed your messaging and value proposition of your products and services.

If you can make sales from an email without having to answer questions and objections, you understand your market well enough.

You understand what the questions and objections are going to be, you can present something really compelling to them just via an email, and you know you’ve got to the point where you’ve mastered the idea of a written sales pitch as well.

Making sales from emails is a great sign that you’ve nailed the scale and systemize part of your business model.

The final sign that you have nailed the scale and systemize stage of business is that you follow documented steps in your business.

So when you create a video, blog post, or podcast for your business, you don’t just sit down and just make it up as you go along. You’re actually following the steps that you have written down elsewhere. If you run a webinar you have your own checklist so that you know every step involved in creating, promoting, and delivering your webinar, as well as follow-up emails.

You can also look for spaces to document and follow your own steps through thing such as your social media presence. Do you have a spreadsheet of all the Facebook groups that you want to be in? Do you know their theme days? Are you clear on what you’re going to be doing every time you jump into those Facebook communities? This is a great example.

Maybe it’s to do with the backend of your business? Do you document the steps to reconciling your transactions in your business? Do you have documented steps on how to deal with customer questions and issues? Do you have FAQs for your services that someone else could use to help with the customer service of your journey for you?

In the scale and systemize stage of your business, you need to find something where you can follow these documented steps and start to outsource the steps.

Because I believe you cannot effectively nail the next stage without having some form of support, be it an online business manager or a VA to help you in your business.

Now for stage 3 – launch and leverage.

This is where you’re starting to leverage your time, instead of working 1:1 with people you’re working 1: many, and as you can see I recommend your business is well systemized before you get into the 1: many space. I understand a lot of people skip that and need to catch up on it, it’s totally fine! We’ll work it out together.

So you could either be running a mastermind, an online course, a membership program etc. Regardless of what it is, you are leveraging your time in the delivery of your services and you, therefore, need to launch something consistently to sell that thing.

I was in the launch and leverages stage of my business after a year when I launched the Take Off program, which is my signature startup program and is around to this day. It’s still one of my favourite places to support people.

If you’re in the launch and leverage space in your business, you are the kind of person who is probably launching 3-4 times a year, and it’s the same product over and over again. Here are the 4 signs that you’re nailing it in launch and leverage.

Number 1 – You have a repeatable launch that converts people into purchasing from you.

So you know that if you run this webinar and this challenge, and you get 500 people through those 2 lead magnets, you’ll get 12 people on to your online course or program. Something along those longs, those numbers are made up, but as long as you have a repeatable launch process that you know will convert, you’re on the right track.

Number 2 – You are supported effectively in your business.

You don’t feel like you’re going to be burnt out during that launch phase of the year. When you go into launch you feel that you are adequately and effectively supported, and it’s not going to be a crazy time where you’re totally freaked out, working 12 hour days, and worried that your business is not viable. If you’re in that space, you’re not in launch and leverage yet.

Number 3 – You can reach new people without time cost.

This is where advertising comes in. Usually, in the launch and leverage stage of business, you’ll begin to use Facebook advertising, or other forms of paid ads to reach new people for your courses/programs. You need to know that you can grab these new leads without it costing you significant time. You don’t want to have to go into 30 new Facebook groups in order to reach new people.

You don’t want to have to spend 20 hours doing 20 podcasts interviews in order to reach new people. It needs to be time-friendly.

And number 4 – You are delivering in a way that works.

You are starting really good testimonials, case studies, and people are shouting out to you and talking about you online because your program works. For me, this is a really crucial part of nailing launch and leverage. It’s all well and good for people to say they love being in your program because it’s fun, but it’s a significant jump to them exclaiming how your program grew their income by 3x, or it helped you lose 15kg, removed a huge business roadblock etc.

You can see those kinds of testimonials are hyper-powerful for potential clients coming into your business and finding out about your program.

So you know that you’re delivering a program in the way that works and it’s getting significant outcomes for your audience.

Here are those four points again:

  1. You have a repeatable launch that converts people into purchasing from you.
  2. You are supported effectively in your business
  3. You can reach new people without time cost.
  4. You are delivering your course/program/leveraged product in a way that works

The final stage of business is the process orientation phase. This is the stage of business that I’m up to and the stage that most people who are going beyond $300k – $400k per year are in.

The 4 signs you are nailing your process orientation are:

Number 1 – You have a well-oiled team

So you don’t just have a VA. You probably have an online business manager, a virtual assistant, and maybe project leaders for significant projects in your business.

When it’s time for you to review your website and create some significant changes to it, you’re not sitting around playing with WordPress in the back of your business and freaking yourself out. You hire appropriately to keep you in your zone of genius. Your team needs to make you feel really supported in your business so that you know (for example) that you could go away for 3 weeks and everything would still be okay.

Number 2 – You are constantly attracting new people into your world.

At this stage of business, I would be expecting list growth in the realms of 500 to 1,000 per month, and even more than that during a launch. I know that I haven’t nailed process orientation at this stage of my business because it’s only during launches that I really get a huge surge of people coming on to my list, and my launches attract 500 to 1,000 people, but on a monthly basis, I’m still not at that level.

That’s why I’m hiring a Facebook advertising agency to support me in my business in 2019, because I know that’s where I’m really missing out on that process orientation. You need to be constantly attracting a large number of people into your world.

My goal for my next launch is to gain an extra 3,000 people on my mailing list during that process.

Number 3 – You focus on big decisons and being your business.

You shouldn’t be focused on all the little tiny things in your business. In the corporate world, we used to call it “being in the weeds,” you’re not meant to be in the weeds, you should be focused on the big decisions in your business. You are forward and future-facing.

You are your business.

When you show up on social media, it’s not for admin, it’s to be your business. It’s to do Facebook Lives, or create brand new content, to be present with your audience and be the face of your business.

For number 4 – You are operating months ahead.

So you’re batching your content at least 3 months in advance. You are operating in a way that you know in 3-4 months time, you have this launch happening, the emails are ready, the ad strategy is there, and you know where you need to show up and when.

As you can see, this stage of business is really about refining the backend of your business but also making sure that marketing machine is working in a really well-oiled way and not causing this sense of frustration or sense of burn out for you.

So here’s those 4 again:

  1. You have a well-oiled team.
  2. You are constantly attracting new people
  3. You focus on big decisions and being your business
  4. You are operating months in advance

Hopefully, that’s been a really juicy conversation for you and you have got some ideas on where you need to focus your energy and attention to really cement the stage of business that you are in right now. The biggest question that I get asked by people is what to do if they have already launched a program, but they haven’t nailed the direct-sell or scale and systemize phase.

The answer to that is: everything can be worked out. Everything can be figured out. Don’t freak out, just map our your plan to really get those things working, and make sure you have the appropriate support for it. Maybe it’s time for you to hire a virtual assistant, or look for a business coach to help you get stuff nailed much faster than if you were just doing it yourself.

That’s why my special offer for this episode of Tashmas is the first 3-months of Heart-centred Business Academy at half-price.

The Heart-centred Business Academy is my membership program where I support people who are beyond direct-sell but are looking to nail scale and systemize as well as launch and leverage in their businesses. The Heart-centred Business Academy is a membership program that includes plug-and-play modules that you can grab at any time that will help you with those stages of business.

It also includes 3 live support calls every month so that you have me as your coach for your business. It’s normally $196 per month to be a member, but if you purchase in the Tashmas period then you can join with your first 3 months at half-price – just $98 per month.

If you’d like to take up this offer, all you need to do is email support@tashcorbin.com and the fabulous Ellie and Jasmin in my support team will send you all the instructions you will need to jump in and join at this special price.

Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of Tashmas! I hope that you have enjoyed Tashmas so far, we’re halfway through so I have 6 amazing special episodes for you with 6 more super juicy offers and competitions. If you have any other questions, please do email us at support@tashcorbin.com.

Until next time, I cannot wait to see you shine. See you tomorrow!