In the summer of 1986, I had the opportunity to help my parents build their dream home. It was on 5 acres in southern Washington. Since they got to build it from scratch, every decision was their’s to make. Sometimes that felt daunting, but in the end, they got to build their home exactly the way they wanted it. Everyday, when the contractor arrived, we reviewed the blueprints to make sure we were building according to plan. Occasionally we changed the plans and threw in an extra outlet, or ran cable to the basement, or created a special cubby for the phone (remember land lines ?). The blueprint was where my mom and dad’s ideas were first made visible and it became our guide as we worked together to joyfully bring it into reality. This year marks 30 years in their dream home.
I want to invite you to think about your image of your “dream business”. What does it look like when it’s “done”. “Done” may happen a year from now, 2 years from now, 10 years from now. The timeline in this case isn’t as important as the image. I want to invite you to actually draft a blueprint of your business. Literally. Take out a piece of paper and a pencil, or get a flip chart and a marker and literally sketch out what you want your dream business to look like when it’s “done”. This exercise will help to solidify the image of the business you are creating and give you a tangible blueprint to work with as you are taking steps to make it a reality.
Here are some key “design elements” to consider as you draft your dream business blueprint.
NOTE: Be sure to download The Ultimate Dream Business Blueprint at the end of this post to help you draft your own Dream Business.
What is the bold promise you are making to your prospective clients? What is the point B you are helping them attain? Is it bringing their dream into reality? Is it manifesting the relationship they long for? Is it getting fitter over 40 than they were at 20? Is it building a business that makes a difference in the world? What is the bold promise you are making? (Hint: This often is the Mission or the Why of our business.)
For example, at Coaches On Fire, our bold promise is ever increasing five figure months. That will take you all the way from your first $100K to your first $1M.
Ask yourself, what is the bold promise that is at the core of my work that I want all my clients to experience?
Your unique process is the methodology you use to help your clients experience the bold promise? This is the process that helps our clients to move from point A to point B. You may be trained and certified in someone else’s process and that’s fine. Use that as your process for now. And in your dream business you might want to define your own process. When you begin to develop your own process, this is what I call your Signature Client Transformation Process. It’s what sets you apart as a market of one and this ultimately becomes the seed of your unique intellectual property.
For example, at Coaches On Fire, our unique process is the On Fire Business Building System. It’s what helps coaches move from uncertainty in their business, to creating a consistent and predictable flow of income.
Ask yourself, what is my client’s point A (where are they at?), what is their point B (where am I taking them?) and what is the process I use to help them get their?
Who are your perfect prospects? Who are the people you’re focused on serving in your business and who do you want to serve in the future? It’s important to know who our perfect prospects are because that helps us to craft our marketing and our messaging in a way that speaks to their unique challenges, fears, pain and discontent, as well as their hopes, dreams, aspirations and desires.
For example, at Coaches On Fire, we serve personal development coaches (life coaches, health coaches, leadership coaches) who want to increase their impact globally by building their business online.
Ask yourself, who are the people I serve now and, in my dream business, who would I love to serve?
Delivering free, valuable content to our prospects and clients, is an essential part of business building. It’s what enables us to share our message, connect with and build our tribe, and position ourselves as the go-to-authority in our niche. Common platforms that enable us to deliver free valuable content are - Facebook or LinkedIn Groups, Podcasts, Youtube, blogging, visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest and livestream platforms like Periscope and SnapChat.
For example, in Coaches On Fire, our primary platform is our Facebook group, but when my business is “done” it will also include a Podcast and several live Meetups in different parts of the world each year.
Ask yourself, what’s the primary positioning platform I will use now, and what platforms would I love to be using in my dream business?
What’s the primary way that you plan to promote your business and your programs? (i.e. what paid advertising platforms will you use?) I think the most accessible advertising platform right now is Facebook Ads. But there are other platforms you might want to consider like local newspapers or magazines, as well as things like, Instagram, Youtube and google pay per click.
For example, at Coaches On Fire, our primary promotion vehicle is Facebook ads, but I’m interested in trying Google pay per click as well as YouTube advertising at some point.
Ask yourself, what paid promotional platforms do I see myself using regularly in my dream business?
Creating free premiums, otherwise known as lead magnets, or free gifts, or signature gifts, are a key way to build your subscribers and build your business. The point of a premium is to offer content that is highly desirable (i.e. your clients really WANT this information) and easily consumable (i.e. think cheatsheet, simple PDF, Infographic, etc.) - and in exchange for that, our perfect prospect gives us their name and email address. We want the premium to completely solve one problem our prospects have and also invite them to take the next step with us - i.e. join our Facebook group, attend a webinar, sign up for a discovery session, etc. Free premiums can be offered via our website or Facebook ads. They are an important design element in our dream business blueprint.
For example, at Coaches On Fire, we currently offer the Ultimate Client Enrollment Blueprint as one of our free premiums and in our dream business, we’ll be offering multiple lead magnets.
Ask yourself, what are the most burning questions of my perfect prospects and therefore what free premiums do I want to make sure are part of my dream business.
Key to our business is having some way that we help people say YES to the transformation they desire and enroll in a coaching program with us to help them create that transformation. Typically that invitation to work with us happens through a presentation of some sort - either a webinar, a teleseminar, a live event or perhaps a speaking engagement. In our presentation, we offer a clear call to action to sign up for our program or perhaps sign-up for a strategy session. Without these kinds of presentations, we quite simply, don’t have a business.
For example, at Coaches On Fire, our core presentation format is webinars, and in our dream business blueprint, we are also offering a live event - Coaches On Fire LIVE - stay tuned :)
Ask yourself, what is the core presentation format I use now to invite people into my programs? Will this continue to be my core presentation type, or what would I LOVE to have as my core presentation format in my dream business?
Your coaching programs are at the heart of what you do. Whether those are 1:1 or group coaching programs, or online programs that your clients can consume at anytime, this is how you help your clients experience the transformation they desire. What is your signature coaching program - that program that is at the heart of everything you do? This is typically the main program you promote and the one your clients enroll in first. From there, what other opportunities do your client have to work with you? A higher end mastermind? An in-person live event? A longer 1:1 coaching commitment?
For example, at Coaches On Fire, our signature program is our Coaches On Fire Academy. Beyond the Academy, coaches have the opportunity to participate in a high-end mastermind or an in-person business building bootcamp. Our dream business includes a CRM and
Ask yourself, what is my signature program? And what other programs would I love to have as part of my dream business?
Once you’ve created your business blueprint, here’s the most important part...
Who’s the person you need to BE, to bring this image of your dream business into reality? If you are BEING that person, how do you think? What actions do you take? What investments do you make to grow your business? Who do you surround yourself with? How do you spend your days? What mentors do you have in your life?
Without being the person we need to BE to bring our image into reality, our blueprint remains simply an image on a page.
So ask yourself this all important question… Who is the person I need to BE to bring the image of my dream business into reality?
Here’s to your dream business!