There are a number of proven Minimalist Business (MB) models that have the potential to create a steady stream of income. This post summarizes the three most common MB models designed to create and sustain a dependable revenue stream.
MB Model #1 - Consulting / Coaching
Consulting and coaching are by far the easiest of the three MB models to start. All you really need is a web presence, an audience with a painful problem, and a solution that you implement face-to-face. Generally, a consultant does this for organizations while a coach performs their service with individuals and sometimes small groups. My blog site BarryMorris.biz is a consulting site while Tim Brownson's site, A Daring Adventure, is a coaching site as is my friend Elizabeth Miner's site, Thrive This Day.
When you're first starting out, you likely don't have a book to sell or a class to teach. These are tools and offers that one develops as you gain valuable experience coaching and consulting. The great thing about coaching and consulting is that it keeps you sharp and up to date on developments in your chosen field.
There is also a wide variety of coaching and consulting specialties. There are golf coaches, life coaches, career coaches, business coaches for women, and even dating coaches. Likewise, if you have certain level of professional or significant and specialized hobby experience in your background, its possible to find individuals and organizations that would pay for your services as a coach or consultant.
When I first started consulting, I charged an hourly rate [(my annual salary as a former employee / 2080 hours) + 40% for insurance, taxes, etc. = my hourly rate)] for my services. I billed my client with an invoice and negotiated a payment window. I now charge $100+/hr as a consulting rate and when I'm consulting, I can generate up to $10,000 in a single month. Coaching can be charged hourly and by a packaged number of sessions.
MB Model #2 - Training / Education
You can think of training as group consulting or group coaching. Let's say you're a coach and you like working one-on-one with clients. You charge them your hourly rate and you're doing well. Most coaches I know only see about three to four clients each week. That's hardly a living wage so you'll need to supplement your earnings, perhaps in the following manner.
Imagine that you have a group of 10 or more clients that all want the same coaching. What if you held an online videoconference and delivered your training model one time, but paid 10 times your hourly rate?
Isn't that a more attractive way to deliver coaching? It's not always possible, but it works well for many individuals.
My first experience with a marketing coach was with Robert Middleton of Action Plan Marketing. He not only taught me a great deal about marketing, but he introduced me to a lot of future trainers and mentors. Robert's coaching model was built around group coaching and teaching. Back in those days (before YouTube and Video were online) we'd call into a teleconference line and listen as Robert taught us the principles of sound marketing for our information-based MBs.
Training can be conducted in person using a rented room at a hotel or even at a local library, or over the Internet with applications like Zoom and Teachable. It's a a very nice way to run a minimalist business.
MB Model #3 - Authority / Expert
Experts and authorities command a higher level of respect. If you possess specific knowledge from a previous field or have a unique skill that others would like to benefit from, you can most likely create a blog it. A blog with solid articles underscores the author's authority in this area. Blogging, per se isn't really a business; however, a blog is a platform that can help you establish your authority and expertise in the area of your choosing.
As an authority in your field, you might want to publish and sell a book or a video series that imparts a specific wisdom for others who are interested. When your book is supported by a blog that covers the same group of topics, you will be perceived as someone who is trustworthy, knowledgable, and risk averse. What could be better?
Think about it. When you need some dental work, you don't seek out someone who is good with teeth. No way, you seek out an expert in the dental field...a dentist.You seek out someone who has the expertise you're looking for.
The Minimalist Business can be a Combination of Models
A MB is one that lives inside your laptop and travels with you wherever you go whether you choose to consult, coach, or become an authority-based blogger. Your MB exists in the public space on the Internet in the cloud for all to access at will. Having said that, it's important to understand that a MB can be any of the models described above or a combination of the three.
For example, a business coach can provide coaching for a client using Skype, FaceTime, or Google Hangouts. They can also sell digital booklets and courses that a customer can download. They might also write a blog so that potential clients can learn about the issue the coach addresses. The blog also serves to build credibility and perceived expertise in the public space.
Whichever model or combination of models feels right to you for your MB, it's best to choose one model to begin with and then branch out from there. Most MBO's choose to create a blog first and add consulting services after their blog contains about a dozen solid posts that demonstrate their depth of knowledge.