A successful entrepreneur shares her thoughts on business success and failure.

Weekend Business Building: Worksheet Your Way To A More Profitable Client Base

Apparently I attend marketing seminars in my sleep now, because I just had the most interesting dream. Since I think it will help you as much as it just helped me, I want to share it with you.

In my dream, I was at a marketing seminar, sitting at a round table with a few friends. The challenge was to figure out how to increase the value of our product or service. The focus was on monthly subscribers (or “membership sites” in marketing lingo). However, I believe this concept can be applied to any small business.

The seminar leader passed out a worksheet to help us figure out what we could offer to our customers. The worksheet was simple, and if you’re committed to driving more value to your customers, I would like you to take out a piece of paper right now and do this worksheet along with me.

Fold the piece of paper into thirds. On the top of each third, write the following:

  1. First third: What would my clients pay me $10/month for?
  2. Second third: What would my clients pay me $50/month for?
  3. Third third: What would my clients pay me $100/month for?
  4. On the back; first third: What would my clients pay me $200/month for?
  5. On the back; second third: What would my clients pay me $500/month for?
  6. On the back; final third: What would my clients pay me $1000/month for?

The idea with this worksheet is to get your own creative juices flowing. Ideally, you would do this after you’ve already talked to business owners about what they would pay for, but if you haven’t done that yet, don’t let it stop you. Get creative.

How To Complete The Worksheet

Starting with $10/month, work your way through each column. You’ll notice that this worksheet gets progressively harder. I was able to quickly pinpoint something my clients would pay $10/month for. But $1000? Perhaps it boils down to “2 hours of my consulting work at $500/hour”, but I’d like you to get more creative than that.

Try to build on your earlier answers as you go through the worksheet. For instance, if your clients would pay you $10/month for a web hosting company referral, maybe you can put together a referral to a hosting company, a shopping cart company, and a merchant account to get $50/month in revenue from each of your clients.

In the dream, I had only filled out the first third ($10/month) and was working on the second when I woke up. I knew immediately I had to do the rest of the worksheet during my waking hours.

Here’s the first page of my worksheet:

What Would My Clients Pay Me For?
(Click here for larger image)

Don’t be scared to do this exercise even if your business isn’t focused on monthly recurring revenue. Adding a monthly recurring revenue stream to your business can add additional profit and cash flow. This is especially true if you have a small business and a few extra hundred dollars a month will enable you to quit your job and live a better life.

There are many types of monthly recurring revenue streams out there — not just techie items like web hosting. Which ones would benefit your clients most? How can you add those in to push yourself “over the edge” and make your business more profitable?

Free publicity for your business! Upload your worksheet, leave a comment here, and I will link to it, you, and your site in an update to this post. This is your chance to get some free “link love” and perhaps even drive some customers to your business!

Recommended Reading:
Since it’s the weekend, I decided to link to some blog carnivals. Blog carnivals are collections of posts from all around the blogosphere on a certain topic. Blog carnivals are great for weekend reading and learning more about a particular topic.

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I'm Erica Douglass.
After selling my online business at age 26 for over $1 million, I created this blog to help you grow your own business quickly.

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