The Accomplished Solopreneur

Issue 24.20

Saturday, May 18, 2024

image courtesy of DALL-E via ChatGPT

Troubleshoot your business Part 3: Offers

This is part 3 of the Troubleshoot your business series, where we look at your offers - what you’re selling. You can read Part 0 Introduction here, Part 1 Niche here, and Part 2 Brand here.

In the Tornado Method, I call “offers” your Product Ladder. The idea is that your products and services progress from a relatively low cost to your flagship entry - make it easy for people to buy, and when they have more trust in you, it will be easier for them to buy your more expensive products

So let’s look at your offers (or product ladder), what’s important, and how you can determine how well your offers are defined.

The important things about offers (or a product ladder)

Our offers are how we make money. Obviously, these offers have to be compelling to our ideal clients, solve a real problem for them, and be priced in a way that makes it easy for them to justify the expense. In other words, the cost of your product should be a small percentage of the benefits they will be getting.

But there’s one big problem I’ve suffered from - and I see many other solopreneurs suffer from as well.

We offer too many products or services.

The biggest problem is that the product or service we’re selling is a very small portion of the work we have to put in to get it to market. Each product or services requires:

  • Developing the product or service (all the stuff you need to effectively delivery it).
  • Marketing, lead nurturing and sales material.
  • And then the marketing that goes into making people aware of it.

As a solopreneur, one or two products or services are manageable. More than that, and the quality of what you’re offering is going to suffer somewhere along the line. I see this more often than you may expect - even well-known, reputable people will sometimes offer something “coming real soon now”, and then it takes months for the product to see the light of day.

I suffer from this problem myself.

So here’s my advice:

Offer one or two products or services, in “small, medium or large” versions to suit different budgets and needs. When you have the time and cash flow to support it, add more. But not before.

With that said, let’s troubleshoot your offers.

Troubleshoot your Offers

You can do this exercise on a piece of paper, or you can use this Google sheet. Here’s what you need to do:

Part 1: Describe your Offers

As before, it’s useful to actually write down what we’re offering. There are just 3 questions:

The last question is important. Calculate how much time you need to spend with each client to deliver each product or service. This not only tells you whether you’re pricing it right, but also how many clients you

Part 2: Rate your Offers

Now we need to rate how well our offers are geared to the market. Answer each question, then rate yourself on how well you think you’re doing. 1 is not good, 10 is perfect.

The first time I answered the first question for myself I was stunned - it wasn’t clear that what I was promising was actually addressed in my offer! So take some time to look at your brand promise, and see if that’s clearly reflected in what you’re offering.

The last question was also very insightful for me personally. I’m an introvert by nature, so I am naturally more suited to building online products like courses. If you’re naturally an extrovert, focus on things like workshops, training and consulting before you think of online courses.

What about pricing?

I previously wrote about pricing here - so in the interest of brevity, I will leave it to you to read that article if you need to.

Part 3: What now?

When you have your average at 7 or above, your offers are (probably) good enough, and you can move on to the next element.

If not, you have work to do. Apply what you’ve learnt so far to get your scores above 7 for each question, and remember to get outside insight to make sure you’re not just seeing what you want to see.

Your homework - and your challenge 😁

Now it’s over to you. Do the work, and decide if you need to work on your brand.

And here’s the challenge: once you’ve done the work, email me and let me know what you found. Was it insightful? Did you struggle with any of the questions? Did you add any of your own?

I’ll see you next week.