If you’re new-ish to online business, you’re probably stressing out because you’re seeing all of these amazing looking courses and programs and coaches and resources and tools and apps online (OMG right?!) that everyone is telling you that you ABSOLUTELY need if you ever want to have a successful business.
Basically, you will fail unless you spend $1,000,000 on your business on all these things. (OK, that’s a slight exaggeration but it feels like it, no?)
You don’t need to buy all the things! It’s simply not true!
I’m all for investing in your business, but I see too many people signing up for courses and classes that just aren’t right for where they’re at in business. And sometimes, you don’t actually need to invest – you simply need to hunker down and do the work.
Here is what you should be investing in, at each stage of business:
First to second year of business (not making any money yet)
This is the experimentation stage of your biz. You will try a whole bunch of different things and a lot of it won’t stick. This is phase where you are validating your ideas (through market research, testing, and tweaking)
This is great. It’s part of the process of building a successful business. EVERY business does it (phew, right?).
Start by downloading all the free stuff you can get your hands on.
Every business coach offers a freebie in exchange for your email address, and they’re usually (at least we hope!) packed full of valuable business help. Download them all!
You can grab any of mine here But I highly recommend you watch my Get Clients webinar — it walks you through the 4 things you need to be focusing on in your first year of business.
WHAT TO PAY FOR: In your first year, I recommend investing in help with clarity on your foundations. This means Messaging, Niching, Creating your Offers, Learning how to market yourself.
Your niche and message are foundational to everything else you do in your business, and many business courses assume you already know these.
That’s exactly why a lot of people get stuck in courses – they buy a course that teaches them marketing techniques that are not appropriate for where they are at, before they are clear on what they’re actually doing and what their focus is in their business!
Don’t let this happen to you!
My course Uncage Your Business was created exactly for this reason.
WHAT NOT TO PAY FOR: You do NOT need a logo, business cards, brand colors, copywriting, or fancy website design at this stage. You can get paying clients and make money without all those things, and it’s better to sae those investments for once you have tested and experimented and are clear and settled on exactly what you are offering and what your niche is.
Second year of business or more (or when you’ve got clear foundations but you’re not bringing in enough clients)
This is a GREAT stage to be in because it means the initial discomfort of not knowing what the hell you’re doing is over, and you can focus on making all the money. But how??
WHAT TO PAY FOR: Well, learning about marketing, funnels, and list building are GREAT areas. If you have no one seeing your offers, how do you expect anyone to buy them? Strategies for visibility are a great investment at this stage.
Also, Sales training! If you’re getting a lot of people saying “Wow, I love what you do, I need that!”, and then are never calling you, or people who do a free consult with you or who you have a conversation with you about working together but they never actually buy, then you need sales help my friend.
You might also hire help for copywriting at this stage, since you have already chosen your niche, and tested and validated your offers (never pay for copywriting until this is done!)
WHAT NOT TO PAY FOR: Once your foundations are clear, you can steer clear of any general business courses that are vague in the results they are offering. This is a crucial stage and you need to make sure you are spending on what you actually need, because you aren’t earning a lot of money (yet!). Make sure any courses you sign up for are clear about the method or the strategy they are teaching.
Third year (or when you are at capacity with clients and are ready to scale)
This is an exciting time! Your foundations are nailed, you know how to sell, you are getting lost of visibility, and you are ready to grow and earn more.
WHAT TO PAY FOR: This is a great time to switch up your business model or your programs. You might decide to scale by offering group programs (so you can work with a bunch of people at one in the same amount of time as one client).
Or you might decide to move to another type of business model, like memberships, high-ticket programs, or online courses. Investing in a program that teaches you a specific business model is a great idea at this stage.
Or, you might just decide to give yourself a raise (and might need to invest in mindset support to do it!).
Notice that this was NOT in year 1. It takes time to build enough of a base to where you can scale successfully. Trying to launch an online course in year 1 doesn’t usually work, because you don’t have a clear structure for your process, you don’t have enough of an audience, and you don’t usually have the sales and marketing skills needed to sell to that many people.
WHAT NOT TO PAY FOR: Again, you are WAY past the need for any general business building courses. You should be hiring specialized coaches at this point to help bring you to your next step, or programs that are teaching you very specifically how to shift your business model. And if you haven’t already, you should stop DIYing everything in your business at this stage and hire someone to do it for you (Copywriting, web design, graphics, etc)
By knowing what you need help with and WHEN, you can be sure to not waste any more money (or time) in your business.
Do your homework – ask questions to make sure what you’re buying is right for you, read testimonials, and take some time to be sure that the programs you’re signing up for are the right ones, and not just shiny objects that you’re buying because of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).
I LOVE helping folks decide if Uncage Your Business is right for them. If you’re in Year 1 (or maybe not so new, but still struggling with those foundations of messaging and marketing), hit me up — I am here to help, and will be happy to help you determine if UYB is what you need, or if you’re at a different stage and something else would serve you better.