Have you recently had one of those months where you are scrambling all month to get programs filled and services sold? Where paying yourself, your website designer and your cell phone bill depends on quickly finding a client to say yes?
And then maybe you’ve had other months where things just worked. You had plenty of clients sign up and you had regular money coming in the door. The cashflow was humming along and you felt comfortable enough to book a vacation or buy a new laptop. You’re happy and thinking: Well, damn, it’s finally all starting to work. Cashflow she better do!
And then you’re back to scrambling.
This is what we call the Feast or Famine cycle that many of us entrepreneurs are (unfortunately) very, very familiar with. So familiar, that we might as well go to bed with it. (The reality is that we do go to bed with it: thinking about it, stressing about it and waking up in the middle of the night about it.)
If you’d like to cozy up with something that will help you sleep a lot better at night, then you want to kick Feast or Famine to the curb and get to know Bread ‘n Butter. Mmmmmmhmmmmmmm.
Where Feast or Famine takes care of you one month and then is cheating with the neighbor across the street the next, Bread ‘n Butter is there for you night after night, month after month keeping you safe and secure.
Bread ‘n Butter is what you build your entire business model around. All roads in your business lead to Bread ‘n Butter. And although Bread ‘n Butter doesn’t sound that exciting, we all know that Bread ‘n Butter is delicious AF no matter how many times you eat it. That’s what you need in your business.
Did you get lost in my many metaphors? So did I. Let’s break this down.
Your business needs a Bread ‘n Butter offer, one that you can sell every single month, week, and day (not an occasional promotion kind of thing).
Your Bread ‘n Butter offer needs to cover, most if not all of, the bills (including your salary). All roads in your business should lead to this offer and the marketing, sales and delivery of this offer should be highly streamlined and systematized. When done right, your Bread ‘n Butter offer will be a reliable source of income and fun for you to deliver. (If it’s something you hate, you will sabotage it’s sales and, therefore, prevent it from buttering your monthly bread).
Here’s an example of Bread ‘n Butter in action:
Early in my law practice, I was living that Feast or Famine life. I had clients coming in fairly steadily but the income was haphazard depending on what legal services they decided to purchase. So, like many business owners, I found my monthly income going between extremes: $10,000+ some months and as little as $2,000 others. With a family to support, that was enough to turn my full head of fabulous, bushy hair gray. I had to find a better way.
So I developed a Bread ‘n Butter offer called Annual Programs. Annual Programs included a variety of legal services delivered over the course of a year and paid for on a monthly basis. So if a new client came in asking for a contract for a new assistant, I would get the full picture of their business and see they also needed a client service agreement, trademark and copyright registration, a different business entity and ongoing legal advice and support. I would offer them my Annual Program and, because it was a great offer that really met my clients’ needs in a holistic way, most would say yes. Ten Annual Program clients paying a monthly retainer of $1,000 per month, meant I could rely on making $10,000 per month for the next year and sleeping a lot better at night. And because I built a streamlined system around it, it was scaleable. Soon $20,000, $30,000 and then $50,000 months were the norm. Bills covered. Cashflow secured.
Now should you create an Annual Program? Nope. Not unless it makes sense for your particular business and for your clients.
However, should you create a Bread ‘n Butter offer? You damn well better!
Your Bread ‘n Butter offer can be a service, a digital product, a physical product or pretty much anything else you can think of. The key is that it needs to support you and the entirety of your business (or pretty close to it). When you have a Bread ‘n Butter offer, your entire business model will be built around it. It’s the sun and everything else you do and sell in your business is simply in its orbit.
To buttering your bread all year long,
PS: Want some help developing your Bread ‘n Butter offer and a sustainable business model around it? This is what I will help members of my new mastermind do. Clickety click this link to join the interest list (you’ll be the first to know when the doors open).