Are You Stuck in Your Business Model?

By Jane Atkinson

iStock_000005304585XSmallBack in 1992 when I entered the speaking business, things felt much less complicated.

I worked with a speaker who was a leadership expert.  We worked the ‘call-send-call’ process to book speeches and workshops.  And she had a book which we used to leverage her expertise.

We didn’t offer consulting, teleseminars, membership clubs, webinars or podcasts.  There was no such thing as Facebook, Twitter, Technorati, Digg or Flickr.  Yet, we doubled our business every year.

I was a bit surprised by the climate at the National Speakers Association conference this year. Several very successful speakers confided in me that they were in transition and were not entirely sure which way to turn.

Business has been down and they haven’t been on the road as much as usual.  That part isn’t a shocker, but they enjoyed being at home so much that they were questioning how much they wanted to speak in the future.

I can totally relate as my coaching has been down these first two quarters and I’m considering taking a sabbatical to see if I miss it.  I can find other ways to deliver my message, building a different and perhaps better business model.

If this sounds familiar to you, perhaps you are stuck in your old model.  So how do you get unstuck?

Let’s say you set out to make keynoting 70% of your revenue, products 20% and consulting 10%. With keynotes down right now, you might want to consider adding something that allows your audiences to hang out with you after the event.

Some will use podcasts, teleclasses or membership clubs to keep their message alive.  So now your model is more balanced and not nearly as dependent on keynotes for survival.

Or perhaps a new product becomes your focus.  In my mind, there is no better feeling than to have an income stream set up that requires 0% of your attention yet brings in a nice revenue.  (If you want to get inspired around this read ‘The 4 Hour Work Week’ by Tim Ferriss.

Ask yourself…. ‘how can I deliver my content in a way that no one has thought of yet?’

Speakers who are able to shift and deliver their message using different outlets will ultimately be able to bob and weave with the economy.  They’ll be able to shift their focus towards the new and different learning methods that future customers will demand.

ps:  Are you stuck in an old business model?  If you need help gaining focus, check out my ’40 minute focus’ coaching session at a special price.