You’re brand-new to your done-for-you business and ready to start makin the money. But, you’re not sure where the heck to even start. It’s scary because you’re in charge of all the things.
AND it’s your responsibility to find and sign clients.
AND get a sustainable baseline income.
It can be juuuuust a little bit daunting.
When you start your business, the most important thing is finding a business model that will support a consistent income so you can pay bills, project what you’re going to make next month, and know what to expect so you’re not blindsided.
If you ask me (and anyone who has worked with me or talked with me about business models in the DFY space), you can bet I will always say the same thing:
The number one thing I recommend is to work on a consistent retainer package.
When I started my DFY business, I didn’t want to trade time for money, which I’m sure you’re thinking the same thing. But at the end of the day, unless you’re selling a passive product, you ARE trading time for money, whether it’s $30 per hour or $100 per hour. We can just set it up in a way that is more consistent than only charging an hourly rate with no guaranteed hours.
First things first: Make sure that your retainer is month-to-month and requires a 30-day notice before ending the contract. This way, if all goes well, you’ll work with those clients indefinitely and know exactly how much you’re making from them every month.
Second, having that 30-day notice buffer gives you a month to replace that income with a new client and not have to stress about losing out.
Yes, the retainer does still break down to an hourly wage. However, this is going to get you to a consistent baseline income that we want. Once you’ve done that, we can switch it up and build out other fun offers!
In the beginning, it’s common to start at a lower rate because you need to get your foot in the door and get your experience testimonials contacts to refer you out and you can raise your prices at any time. Charge what you believe your services are worth, too.
Although you’re still trading time for money, the retainer still makes the most sense because through your work with these clients, you’ll start to notice the other needs that arise often and how you can meet those needs in other capacities down the road – passive offers, eBooks, trainings, courses, group programs, intensives, and so many other options for cash infusions. And these won’t cost you AS much time and have a greater return.
If you decide to go into package options, that’s totally fine! But it needs to be REALLY clear about what they are getting within that package taking into consideration how many hours are going to go into it. Otherwise, you’re going to end up working way more and making less per hour. For example…
Let’s say you go with an unlimited retainer package. Well, your client Susie might use 20 hours in her package. On the other hand, your client Rebecca may use 70 hours, but you only accounted for 30 hours of work max. Now, instead of making $80 an hour like you wanted, you’re making $30 an hour. Again. Make sure it’s clear what the package includes as well as a time cap for hours per month.
The retainer method is what got my business booked out in four months, helped me build up my OBM agency and reach 5k, 10k, and now 20k months. And I see this all day long with my clients in their businesses.
Once you have the security of “I can sign these clients, but I don’t HAVE to,” you can ask yourself what you’re drawn to within business, what your strengths are, and play to those in any other offers you create!
If you’re a new or aspiring online business manager and need more support getting your biz off the ground, my group program OBM Foundations is for you! Get all the details and snag your spot HERE!