3 Steps To Running Your Expert Business When Things Go Wrong
What do you do when things in your Expert Business don’t go as planned?
Something that a lot of people don’t really talk about in the expert business space is what happens when the unexpected happens and you’re suddenly sidelined without notice. What happens when there’s a challenge or a situation that requires your full, undivided attention? What do you do when there’s a hiccup that you weren’t prepared for that requires you to take time away from your expert business?
Don’t worry, we’ll get into that, because it’s bound to happen at some point. Unfortunately, that’s life BUT, we can be prepared for it if we know it’s inevitable.
Here’s a little back story; a year ago my coaching business was coasting, I was serving dozens of clients at once and life was good, really good 🙂
It was an awesome time.
Suddenly my father got sick and he had to go to the emergency room the week before Thanksgiving and he was literally on his deathbed.
He was experiencing some serious health issues and for the next month and a half, I was working out of the hospital so that I can be there with him. Unexpected, right?
If your expert business isn’t structured the right way then it’s going to be dependent on you, and when you’re not available, neither is your business.
And the minute something happens, suddenly you lose your ability to take on clients, to sell more, and to serve more. This is what no one prepares you for.
Because those situations do happen and what you should be learning is how to have a business that can still function well when the unexpected happens.
Fast forward another year, and another unexpected event happens.
See, I’ve been dealing with pain and discomfort in my back for about 4 years now.
But one morning, about 5 months ago, I woke up with a horribly intense pain shooting through my back and have been dealing with this intense pain since.
Honestly, I know I’m on the road to healing, but there were days where I was literally working from the floor here in my office. There were times where I couldn’t get out of bed, or worse, couldn’t walk.
I’m still dealing with some of that now.
As you can imagine, when you’re living with intense pain, hardly sleeping, it gets to you and the only thing you can think of is trying to get better.
I didn’t plan for that.
So, what happens when you have those challenges? How do you keep your business going?
If you have health issues or if you have circumstances that are out of your control, if you have a situation that arises, then you need to build in flexibility to make whatever maneuvers and changes you have to make without your business tanking.
So, here are a couple of things that I want to share with you to help you prepare for the not always on your terms moments.
1. Structure your coaching / consulting offers so they aren’t delivered exclusively one-to-one
One of the first things that I did is to think about alternative ways to deliver for my coaching clients.
There were days I couldn’t get out of bed from the pain, so I had to get creative with how to continue delivering value without tying myself to the calendar in case it wasn’t a good day for my body.
I thought to myself, if I could minimize the days that I’m required to be on for clients then I can be much more effective for the people I’m serving in that one day. Plus, I can start coaching them through other means, like on a group call, with video lessons, handouts and worksheets to help them make progress, just to name a few.
Set up your coaching or expert business so that you are able to serve the clients that you have in a limited time period. This way, you maximize the time you’re available in select times, rather than keeping your calendar open all week and losing control.
2. Make sure that you start transitioning from a 1:1 to a more leveraged delivery system.
Once everybody is being taken care of using a group coaching or delivery model, what I started using Voxer, which is a messaging tool that allows you or others to send each other text or recorded messages that you can respond to with a click of a button. Instead of having to do one on one calls, I was using the Voxer app to respond to calls, do check-ins and share strategies they can take action on.
When I felt good, I listened and read clients’ messages on Voxer. They sent me messages and when I felt rested or healthy enough, I’d get on Voxer and respond. They got the coaching and responses they needed without me being tied to Zoom, Skype or my phone.
They loved the ability to send me messages when questions came up and knew I’d respond to them fairly quickly.
Slowly I reduced the number of one on one calls I was doing and used Voxer instead. It gives a personalized touch without the need for being on the phone or being on a zoom call for 30 to 60 minutes. So you create more leverage in your delivery.
3. Think about how can you refine the activities you’re doing for marketing so that you continually drive sales.
If you’re out of commission, if you’re with a family member in the hospital, if a loved one passes away, if you’re on vacation, if you’re taking weekends off, or if you simply want to unplug, you need to figure out how to continue getting clients without requiring much of your time, energy or attention.
Your marketing activities have to be leverageable and have to work without you.
There’s a time and place for putting in the effort up front, but once you do those things, then they start working for you whether you’re working or not, and so now sales start coming.
Here’s a little secret…
Not every coaching and consulting client that you take on requires a sales call. It’s perfectly acceptable and possible to do it through email or voice messages.
They don’t always require a conversation.
Am I saying don’t do strategy calls? No, but that’s just one method, not the end all be all.
Ok, back to leveraged marketing.
Some of the leveraged marketing that I employ to reach my ideal audience even when I’m not working include YouTube videos, blog posts, email automation, and scheduled social media posts. There are even times that I leverage existing content like podcast interviews I’ve been on to create demand, though the recording may be months or years old.
So to Recap, here are the three things you need to remember:
One, be more strategic about how you set up your one-on-one meetings so that you can reduce the number of days or hours that you are available to coach.
Number two, get creative in your delivery for your clients so it isn’t only dependent on one-on-one coaching. Consider using an app like Voxer. Try doing a group call. Find what works for your tribe. It gives you a little bit more freedom and flexibility to serve your people better.
And Number Three is, create marketing that starts working for and with you. You have to fuel the system up front, but then once it’s going, it will start working for you on a continual basis. That way your systems, your process, your marketing, and your sales are able to work without you.
If you want more flexibility, more time, more leverage, more freedom in your expert business, use these three methods that I’ve just shared. And if you have questions, make sure you comment here or DM me on Instagram @AlexNavasPro.
I’m here for you.