Want to Know My Smartest Business Decision So Far?

Hopefully I’ve made more than just one smart business decision.  ;)

But let me share one of the smartest decisions I’ve made so far in my business, and how you can do something similar.  Here it is…

I started out online working as a website designer and virtual assistant (though when I started I was called a “webmaster” because the term VA wasn’t common 11 years ago). My income depended completely on how many clients I could get and how many hours I could work for them.

One of the challenges with the pay per hour worked (or per project worked) business model is that you can’t grow beyond how many hours you’ve got available for work.

Move Beyond the X Hours x $X/Hour = $X Formula

A few years back I started offering website hosting to build recurring income. It was an easy service to offer since I was doing design work and many of my clients were looking for hosting. It’s been a great way to keep a steady monthly income that helps me avoid the roller coaster income that so often happens for online business owners.

Then I stuck a toe into affiliate marketing. Just a little. And I get steady checks from several services I recommend.  I’ve started to explore that more this year.

Next came information products. I offer a variety of ebooks and home study courses that allow me to create the product, then automate the sales process so many people can benefit from what I’ve shared in each of them without me having to recreate it and present it one on one to the client each time.

All of these do require work — mostly the initial setup (writing an ebook, recommending products, attracting clients into a recurring service) — and they require ongoing customer service.  But it’s much less time intensive than hourly work.

So, what might work for you?

Over the next couple of posts, I’ll be sharing ideas on how to create your own recurring income streams and some tools to help you make it happen. If you aren’t subscribed to the RSS feed yet, now’s the perfect time: http://feeds.feedburner.com/MichelleShaeffer (or just scroll up a bit and you’ll see the subscribe option on the top right of this page)

Your Turn

What smart decisions have you made in your business? What’s worked out really great for you?

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  1. This is great information. I look forward to the upcoming tips.

    Flora Morris Brown, Ph.D. recently posted… Book Writing: An Inside Look at a ChapterMy Profile

  2. Michelle, awesome inquiry! The smartest decision that I made as a business owner was to look at the transformational results of my work. This helped me to move beyond a conversation about “price” and rather shift the focus to a conversation about “value”. The 2nd smartest decision that I made was releasing the Jill-of-all-trades mentality. I thought that I could not afford to outsource, until I realized that “doing it all myself” was wasting my time, money, intellectual capital and resources. Keep up the phenomenal work Michelle – your work educates, encourages and empowers!

    1. Thanks for another great post Michelle. Great thought process Kadena, I am right there with you on the first point and in the beginning stages of your second decision. I understand the need and the right time has yet to surface for me there but, I still appreciate the same takes that you have. Adding: Finding new ways to put the personal stamp of my “face” along with my art- it seems to give a story and people like that connectivity to artist and art that lends.

    2. Love that, Kadena! It’s such an important shift to make. Owning our value helps us and our clients as well.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Five Ways Your Blog Can Make You MoneyMy Profile

  3. I’m already subscribed your RSS Feed, and looking forward to receive more information.
    Aasma recently posted… MLM Software Development Company in Delhi Noida Pune IndiaMy Profile

  4. Hi Michelle,

    Brilliant. It’s been a while I’ve figured out that the time trade for money thing just isn’t scalable, regardless of how fantastic you are at what you do.

    Moonpreneur was started so I can scale by turning the one-on-one sessions into online training instead.

    Great share.


  5. I’m still working on those smart decisions. lol UBC has been a smart decision by putting me in contact with lots of great people.
    shawn recently posted… Free: Special Report called Raising Kids in Today’s WorldMy Profile

  6. A great post Michelle – thanks for sharing your insights. I like how you mention that you started out with small ways to create recurring income – the hosting for example. I think a lot of business owners want to create recurring income, but think they have to dive right in with a full-blown membership site etc – without realising that it’s a lot of work!! Your example is great because it was a logical extension of the web design work you were already doing – and in your customers eyes it actually enhanced the service you were doing for them already.
    Looking forward to the next posts coming up, with more about this!
    Tanya Smith recently posted… Facebook Marketing – Get Your Timeline Looking GoodMy Profile

  7. I think my biggest business decision so far has been to actually do my own business. Sounds too simple, but deciding that was a big one for me, and involved not wanting to trade my time for money, but to have recurring income. Your post is just want I need to hear right now, Michelle! Can’t wait to see what’s coming….

  8. I totally agree with you Michelle. One needs to stop trading time for dollars. Making money while you’re sleeping or lying on the beautiful beaches of my island (no I don’t own the island, I was born there) is the way to go. You’ll help more people change their lives. It will be more affordable for most. You’ll have more time with your loved ones and you’ll have more time to do more of what you love.

    When I came online to market my service, I had the misconception that I should only market my own products. DUH!!! I was wrong. If I had to do it over again, I would do affiliate marketing right away, until I established myself on the internet. I would market those products and services that were not in conflict with my core values.
    Adalia John recently posted… I Love Myself Project: 21 Ways to Love Yourself UnconditionallyMy Profile

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