Raising your prices during a recession may seem a risky step but as Business Growth Specialist Mike Yates discovered, it can also prove to be a very profitable one.
Mike, a Business Development member for the past nine months, said after restructuring his business (which included doubling his prices) that he enjoyed the most profitable month ever since he set up his business mentoring, coaching and training company 121 Business Ltd. seven years ago.
“January was my best month in business I began generating five-figure net monthly profits which has continued. What’s more, I’ve freed up more time to work ‘on’ my business.”
In the past, Mike found delivering one on one business coaching, training and mentoring was limiting his earning potential he could only fit in so many clients each month.
“I wanted to develop the business, in particular the back-end. Obviously working with one-to-one clients I was limited by the amount of time I had each month. That had limited my business performance. And that meant I’d limited my business financially: I could only deal with ‘x’ amount of clients and deliver a certain financial figure.
“Part of my restructuring process involved effectively doubling my prices by halving the time I spent with clients. I did that pretty much overnight.
“I actually then started signing up more clients so not only did I get an excellent financial result in January but I also had a lot more time to work on the business.
“I have always been aware that it’s not about the amount time that I spent with business owners: it’s more about what we were doing within the time frame and how much they’re prepared to do in between calls for their own business. It’s also been about helping the clients to understand that they’re really investing in their desired change and what that meant to them it wasn’t about spending four hours together if we could achieve the same result in two (which we can in most cases!).”
Seeing how fast some of his fellow Business Development Programme members were achieving results inspired him to focus far more on income-generating activities.
“The whole Business Development Programme is about implementation and month on month I was going to the meetings and I hadn’t quite implemented this, and I hadn’t quite implemented that. Although I was moving forward in the business, I began to realise that I just wasn’t getting the results I was looking for as quickly as I wanted to and that it was down to me to do something about it. In simple terms I thought: ‘If someone else can do that and they can do it at high speed, then they must be doing other things that I’m not doing!’”
And therein lies the power of Business Development meetings. “When you go to the monthly Business Development meeting with like-minded people who are driven and who aren’t just talking about what they want to achieve but actually getting on with things, you then begin to think ‘Well I want the same – and I can do this too.
“I very quickly realised I could be doing a lot more than I was.
“At that point I was thinking, ‘I don’t feel I’m moving at the pace that I want to move.’ One of the things that Jonathan Jay [Digital Lighthouse’s Founder] has talked about a lot is getting focused on what you want, and also using your time more effectively.”
He was also spurred on by something else he heard at a Business Development meeting… “Jonathan said to the group: ‘You can either be rich and successful or you can make excuses but you can’t do both so which one would you like it to be?’ I had heard it before but it just hit it right on the head. He has a very no-nonsense style that I absolutely love. And his track record to date also means his advice comes from ‘hands on’ experience – he’s run a successful business and knows what he’s talking about.”
The result was Mike became more strategic with activities like networking. “I started to look at where my time was going and to question how productive the networking I was doing was. I worked out where I was actually getting clients from for the least amount of time input.
“When I do networking now, I’m actually looking for very specific people to connect up with, with a view to presenting to groups. Normally when I do a presentation, I find it is a very, very good way of getting clients.”
He also cut back on any activity that didn’t generate financial results.
“I was actually the director of another company and really that was sucking a lot of my time but it wasn’t getting results. In a nutshell, I’d split my focus up too much.
“Now what I’m really doing is focusing one hundred percent on my own business to deliver results for other businesses.
“I’ve been setting goals around what I’d like to do over the next year, two years, three years, four years and I’ve also been setting higher financial goals centred on helping a larger volume of business owners achieve their own business goals.
“One of those goals is to work more with groups of businesses and provide more mentoring within companies. I am now putting a marketing plan in place so that I can really grow my business and leverage my time, rather than just doing one to one consultations.”
He’s also developing a set of products that he can sell online.
“It is all about consolidating and building a back-end of the business. The next stage for me is product based and group based, which I think will then naturally allow me to then start growing the business.”