Take a trip to a city and what would your vehicle of choice be?
I would love to hire a red hot, convertible; roof down on a sunny October day and seat warmers turned up to max so I wouldn’t have to wear a coat. But a car like that is wasted in the congested streets of a city, so perhaps the best choice would be the public buses or trams.
What if it were a fly-and-drive holiday to explore the West Coast of America; what car would you want to drive then?
Again, a red hot convertible would be fun but, after a day or so, I’d may wish I’d gone with a roomy SUV, kitted out with central armrests, air conditioning, cruise control and coffee cup holders.
Whichever you choose, both the red, hot convertible and the roomy SUV would be get us from San Francisco to Santa Monica but both would give us completely different experiences.
And so it is for your business, too.
Your business is simply a vehicle to take you on your own personal and professional journey. And you have a choice over the way that you set up and run your business to ensure that journey inspires and fuels you, rather than burns you out.
Not many people really think about their business in this way.
Much of the focus is often on “What do I sell?”, “How do I sell it?” and “Who do I sell it to?” Every week, attention is given to lead generation and marketing and sales.
And yet, questions such as “How many people do I really want to serve?”, “What do I stand for?” and “What kind of work fuels me?” are rarely asked when making your marketing decisions.
Questions such as these are important because their answers will show you which vehicle will give you a way of working that allow you to create a purposeful, playful and profitable business.
Your business model is your vehicle and when you know which business model will allow you to feel inspired and aligned to your vision, it becomes far easier to work out what business and marketing focus is needed.
There are 5 core business models that most service and expert led businesses find profitable to work in. And yet not all 5 business models work for all service and expert led business owners.
You may have decided to embark on a digital marketing journey; creating online products and marketing funnels via your website. I see this similar to choosing the red hot convertible for your fly-and-drive holiday. It’s fun for the first few days but unless you really enjoy the Thelma and Louise style adventure, it can turn out to be a disaster. Digital businesses need a lot of screen time to set up and get going. It needs you to be an engineer, a process builder and mechanic. It needs you to focused on numbers and cashflow.
That red, hot convertible isn’t so exciting to drive when you realise your flow really happens in front of clients and daily in-person human contact.
This is not to say that digital business models don’t work. Far from it. Many thousands of business owners have seen huge success from working “under the hood”. But there are many millions more who have failed at exactly the same business model, following identical success formulas.
Your personality is unique to you. Your values, your wealth goals, the time you want to give to your business, your vitality and flow are all unique to you.
This is why different business models suit different people.
And if you’re finding business hard work right now or you’ve hit a ceiling on your growth, it may be that your business model is not the right vehicle for you right now. Perhaps it’s time to change vehicles.
Over the past 14 years, I’ve had several different business models. Some worked really well for a specific length of time and others haven’t. But one thing that I’ve come to realise is that when you are clearer on which vehicle will work best for your vision and your way of working, the decisions on where to take your marketing and growth plans become far, far simpler and easier to make.
If you’d like to find out more about these different business models to discover what could be the better vehicle for you to drive, then join me on my next event happening in London. Click here for more information.
And let me know whether you’re a red, hot convertible or more of a SUV girl like me, who would keep her red, hot convertible for special days once in a while 🙂
About the author
Karen Skidmore is a business mentor with 25+ years of experience, specialising in True Profit™; the design & growth of purposeful, profitable businesses. Business Books Awards finalist 2020 & podcaster, Karen uniquely combines the being-ness and doing-ness of business to help scale up, without burning out.
The first step in discovering the True Profit in your business is to take the True Profit Test.