23 SEPTEMBER 2017
written by Mike
Let’s talk about prioritisation.
When you start or re-brand a business, more than likely, you will need a strategy session to align everyone on the team. One of the most important exercises, especially when it comes to digital work is a prioritisation task. You and your team will need to answer questions such as how desirable the new direction is, how easy it is to implement it, how does it stack against other ideas.
Once you settle on the common ground, what will you do about the revenue?
Cash is a fundamental building block of business. Without money, your business becomes insolvent and bankrupt. Without the better word, it dies. Cash is oxygen for business and revenue streams bring the money in.
It is pretty simple, right?
So why prioritisation is so crucial?
Well, just like the saying goes “there are a million ways to make a million dollars.” Same with revenue streams, depending on your business you can have many different ways to make money. You need to find out what is the best option for you and your team.
Let take a simple example of a new business, a podcast production venture. A beginning professional will read and research how to make the business work. And she/he will find many ideas online.
“Sell a product!”
“Do an online course!”
“Passive income is the key!”
And, albeit, it all sounds fantastic, the reality is a bit more complicated.
A few months ago I was helping a friend who wanted to take her business to the next level. She needed help with social banners, headers, and website makeover. We agreed on a discovery session to help her clarify her goals and brand.
Her initial idea was to develop a membership site where a user can log in, pay a monthly fee and view training videos and other materials created by her. It sounds like an excellent idea, and what’s even better, at that time we were working on a membership site for another client.
But, upon doing a quick digital investigation on her business, I realised that her idea might not be as simple as it sounds. Her social presence was non-existent; she didn’t have any materials ready or equipment to film the videos.
The myth of easy passive income had to be explained.
“You do realise that easy passive income is neither easy or passive?
Without any following, it would take you a couple of years to build an audience, products, and potential leads.
Do you want to invest money into something that will probably won’t bring a return on the investment? At least not straight away.”
Besides just me being a know-it-all, we also did a prioritisation exercise. It turned out that her market that had most revenue potential was an upper-middle-class seniors. And to maximise the earnings, she could offer services and products to buy directly from her. She had plenty of ideas written in her journal; she just needed a professional design, and a website came to a fraction of a cost of original, membership site idea.
I’m not saying that I wanted to discourage her from doing a membership site. The recommendation was to start building an online presence and following. Creating products and videos. And once the market is established, then invest into a new revenue stream.
But a high upside, no risk, low cost and short-term option was to focus on existing market and develop ways to deliver more value to current clients.
Similar to my brother who is a photographer with extensive experience in club and event photography. He wants to branch out into fashion photoshoots however his current work situation makes it difficult. His practice and social profiles are all about the events and clubs, but he is not making enough revenue to take a break and experiment with photoshoots.
What was the outcome of prioritisation?
Develop your event photography brand. Raise your prices so you can do fewer events and in the spare time starting doing photo shoots. No expectations, no pressure. Use your expertise, maximise the revenue and only experiment with other ventures if you can do it worry-free.
It takes months, years even to establish a successful business; don’t bet everything on an untested idea, especially if you don’t have a strong financial backing. Otherwise, the stress and insomnia will be the end of initial excitement that you had.
Every business is different, but we are all prone to the same fallacies. A new thing pops up, and we want to jump on the latest trend. Innovation, experimentation, and creativity will drive business, but when it comes to revenue and safe return on investment – prioritise your goals.
Every new idea means additional hours of work, revisions, and pivots.
Make sure that the time is justified.
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