Seven Stages for Streamlining Your Business

With the wacko issues many of our favorite social media platforms have been having over the past few weeks, I’ve been doing lots of deep inner work on what it takes to really create a successful business, particularly how to build a successful online business.

And while I still believe Facebook is the best way to bring in leads and nurture relationships, none of that matters without solid business foundations.

You may have heard me say, “If it doesn’t work on paper… it won’t work online.” Many business owners skip the first foundational steps… and it shows because their results suffer.

I’m so thrilled that my friend Melinda Cohan is willing to share her Seven Stages for Streamlining Your Business.


Introduction to Melinda

Melinda came into entrepreneurship after being fired from her previous job, it was something she had never even dreamed of. Now she’s been a successful coach for many years. When she began, she genuinely thought that all coaching businesses were successful, but she found out that, that is certainly not the case. She realized that being a coach and running a business are not the same. 

She realized that in order to do more coaching, you have to be a solid business owner with future-proof tactics and strategies in place in order to ensure you can continue coaching as long as you’d like. For 16 years now, Melinda has been helping coaches do exactly that. She has seen every challenge, every trick in the book, which has led her to develop her road map for coaching businesses. All businesses, no matter what phase of business they are in, should absolutely have all seven systems that Melinda outlines here in place!

The more you can prioritize your business, the more you can do the things that matter and navigate the crazy, while continuing a life that you want to live for you and your family. Put your time and attention into it now!  


Stage 1: Branding is Key to Building your Online Business

When you look at the road map, there are three business phases that represent the natural evolution of your business. That third phase is Leveraging; some folks may not want to grow that big, and some may want to exceed it. But the seven success systems are in each phase; it’s the degree to which you optimize the systems.

As we are in Business Phase 1, that is the Coaching/Client QuickStart. Revenue may be sporadic, but you are paying attention to branding, list building, a few elements from converting, and a few within enrolling and supporting.


Stage 2: List Building – Email Engages Your Customer

There is a distinction between building your audience and building your list. So many people get swept up in building their audience, which is vital. But even with all of those social media elements, the #1 way to build your list is still through email. You are in control of your business when you have names on your list. 

Social media can shut down at any time, so you could always lose your audience, and you’re not in control of it. This is why it’s important to build a list that you “own.” 


Stage 3: Converting – Building Content that Converts

This is the time in between building your list and enrollment. How do people join a webinar or book a 1:1 call with you? What experience are you setting up that gets people to know you, like you, and trust you? What is the follow-up afterward? This is the window of converting.

So many people gloss over this phase, focusing on list building and enrollment. That transition between the two can be so important. If they have a crappy experience in this system, it can be harder to have the necessary enrollment conversations.


Stage 4: Enrolling – A Time to Engage Your Customers in a Conversation

It’s this simple: Enrollment is having the conversations when people are saying Yes to an offer of your services.


Stage 5: Supporting – The Necessary Work to Keep Building Your Online Business

One thing to know about this stage is back in the day, it was fine just to show up for your clients, hold space for them, provide great consulting, and let them figure it out. But in this day and age, it’s way more than that. The buyer that’s emerging right now is demanding they get results from their investments. 

Melinda’s process for this is Exquisite Client Support. You have to support them throughout your entire agreement in order to ensure they get consistent results from your process.

I find that people often get caught up between, “Here’s what you get. Good luck!” or feeling that there is no ability to set any boundaries with their clients because they want their clients’ success so badly. This can come from genuine desire for their success or a fear that they won’t be happy with your results. But if you micro-manage too much, they won’t be empowered to take action steps on their own.

Melinda outlines different types of supporting based on what you’re offering. You have to get clear on the Client’s Path to Success. What are their top frustrations? Meet them where they are. When they work with you, how does that happen? At the end of that, what will the results be? Reverse-engineer your package in order to help determine your boundaries for levels of support.

For example:

Melinda is launching a new online course. When a coach enrolls in this course, Melinda listed out the results she wanted them to have by the end of the 12-week program. In order for that to happen, what is the minimal content that Melinda needs to include to help accomplish that result? This framing of this question helps coaches not overwhelm their clients. The minimal amount of content also means your clients don’t have to spend time going through all the content. More content often means more overwhelm. 

Once you understand the level of content needed, that helps you understand boundaries of what kind of support they need to learn this content. For Melinda’s new program, they have to have Melinda walk them through the content, weekly Q&As, and individual coaching times. That allows you to maintain the momentum of what kind of support you need to include, which helps you determine how much to price the program.

Melinda has a team of 12 coaches. If she was a solopreneur, you would want to dial back how much content you give someone and how much support you give each client. For example, a coach Melinda knows broke an idea for a 12-week program into two six-week programs to make the processes more manageable for her as a coach.


Stage 6: Referrals – Preserving your Online Business Growth

Be intentional with your referral process. Coaches often make the assumption that their clients will just automatically refer people to them without having to be nudged. So many missed opportunities happen this way. If you have a structured process for asking your clients for these, you can get referrals and testimonials from each of your clients every time, which is powerful.

When you can be intentional about the energy you put behind your process and systems here, you can be more natural in the ask.


Stage 7: Leveraging – Scale Your Online Business

You should be leveraging referrals, strategic partners, your time (making more money in less time). This is mostly apparent in phase three, where you are leveraging all of your assets, on the way to the next Business Phase of Scaling.

Build Your Online Business with Us!

We hope that these seven stages for streamlining your business have encouraged you to make sure to not skip the basics! The foundation of your business is what will help you continue to build! Once your foundation is set check out this post on how to build your business online in 2021. (Don’t forget to check us out on social media, links below!) 

Grow your business with the help of our social media growth strategists! Or you can sign up for our Camera Confidence Course. Get started today.

Contact Melinda