Prepare Your Service-Based Business For The Digital Economy

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Ever heard the saying "from brick-and-mortar to click-to-order"? 

 

Whether you operate a one-to-one service style business like massage or personal training or a professional service such as bookkeeping, or real estate it's time to recognize that online business is NOT a fad and here to stay. The big question is, how can you adapt or add to your current offerings to keep a flexible, dynamic income flow?  

 

It's time to start considering that the changes in our lives collectively over the past year have changed us all on so many levels.  From data gathered between 2019 and 2021 predictions were that by 2040 95% of all business will be conducted online. Much of this data did not reflect the full impact of the last 1.5yrs that will no doubt speed this trend.  So, it's time to start considering how you can adapt.  

 

Beginning this transition does not have to be costly or require a complete change of your current services or how you perform the bulk of your customer interactions. It would even be wise to dip your toe in the water with zero extra cost to gain customer insights and feedback and I've got some ideas for you.

 

First, what is considered an online business?  

Most of us are already taking payments through an online system, right? However, if the actual service is completed either in person (think massage) or via an appointment (think a coaching call on zoom) that's not exactly what I'm referring to.  

 

To me, a truly online business is:

  •  Set up to handle one to many - not one to one.
  •  Set up in a way that allows for participants to consume the information or perform an activity WHEN and HOW they want.
  • The activity is not solely based on you being heavily involved.  

 

For a massage therapist, for example. Perhaps a download or recorded tutorial on how to conduct trigger point release in between massage sessions. In this case, a customer could do these anytime, anywhere on their own as opposed to committing to massage every other week, driving to the destination, etc. It doesn't replace the service but enhances customer outcomes.  

 

Regardless of your niche or industry, think of a question that comes up often or a piece of the puzzle that you cannot address with a once per month visit or hour-long session. Such as a clothing boutique owner might always be asked what colors look best or how to pair shoes and handbags could become a printout guide or download. This guide could be broken down even further for age or coloring.  

 

 

Testing the waters does not have to be costly. You can practically do this for no cost without complicated website plugins or add-ons. Your only cost would be your time to develop your handout or recording and whatever app you choose to use for customer purchase. Yes, these have a small % that cannot be avoided.   

 

  1. A paid download, workbook, how-to guide, or recording. This is the most simple! If you have a customer that would like this they send you the payment, their email address and you send them the information.  
  2. A paid group. You would likely use FB and create a private group that addresses a problem or run a challenge. Charge a fee to gain access and there you go.  

Course creation, advertising, and all of the automation that could be added on later allow for more freedom and a business that can essentially operate while you are out enjoying more free time and is a game-changer in how many people you can reach and help.  

 

Taking the first steps helps you gain confidence, test your ideas, hone your offer and create a band of raving fans that will help you down the road.  

 

People need your expertise in their lives and are willing to pay you for it. Begin to find ways to accommodate the many ways in which customers want to consume information and start now to insulate your business from the changing tide and open up your world to those who need you.  

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