"Baby Proofing" Lesson 1: Retainers

In my last post, I promised that I would share how I am prepping my biz for my baby.

I'm here with my first update on how I decide to tackle this big change that's coming.

I decided to switch my business model.

Previously, my business was built on one-offs. If you're unfamiliar, it's a term that basically means a service you don't repeat.

So, for me, that meant that I had a certain number of slots open each month to take on work that fit my philosophy of "no project too small." In practice, this meant helping solopreneurs set up their businesses via autoresponders, project management systems and sales pages. 

When I launched into full-time self-employment, my vision for my business was to serve as many clients as possible.

This model allowed me to achieve that and was, in my view, a niche service. Short-term, project-based, virtual assistant work is something that not a lot of VAs and VA companies provide. 

I decided to switch from one-offs to retainers.

Again, if you're not familiar, this means that I have contracted with a client to complete a certain number of hours each month. The retainer benefits the client because it helps with workflow by guaranteeing I've reserved that time for them each month. (Also, the retainer relationship provides a discount off of my normal rate.) 

And the retainer model helps me out in a few ways: 

  • MARKETINGI spend less time marketing my services and more time producing deliverables for my clients. (This means less hours put in each week that aren't directly producing income.)
  • INCOME: I know the minimum amount of income my business will generate each month now. (This means my family can budget around my income a bit easier.)
  • IDEAL CLIENT AVATAR: I offered my retainer slots first to the clients I was already working with and who I loved the most. (This means I'll continue to love what I do because I love the people I'm working with.) 

^That's my secret on retainers.^ The retainer model allowed me to deepen my relationship with the clients (flowers) closest to me. And it means that I built my business around work and people that I believe in. It keeps the joy in my work

All in all, the switch to a retainer model is the right move for me and my family. 

I'm still able to fulfill my initial vision of providing value, but I'm focusing on serving a few, select businesses. (And I'm working on some digital products that will still allow me to serve a wider net of people.)

When we spend time building our biz structure, it's like a gift to our future selves. (Tweet that!)

The "January Me" is going to thank the "Me of Today" when I'm able to be home with my baby and optimize the windows of time that I'm able to work. It means I can provide greater value to my clients and work more effectively. 

For me, that's the definition of work & time freedom.

In case you're wondering --> I've still left a bit of space in my schedule to handle a few project-based assignments each month. If you'd like to work with me, click here.

Oh, and, PS: We're having a BOY! :)