How do you make money in a one-off business?
August 7, 2014 7:06 PM Subscribe
My friend has a fledgling business writing business plans in a smaller city. She wants to know how to make it grow.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats to Work & Money (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
My friend has been writing business plans as part of a variety of services she offers. She's been doing it off and on for a number of years. She thinks she could make a go of it and, in the city she's in, she doesn't have a lot of competitors in this particular area. But she's wondering how on earth she would grow it so it's more than just a lifestyle business.
Right now, she gets paid between $3,000 and $10,000 to do business plans for smaller businesses. She can see that she could grow it to the point where she had some other people freelancing for her. But there's none of the recurring revenue that you get from other consulting businesses, such as when you're a marketing consultant and the same clients come back for things like websites, social media, brochures, direct mail campaigns, etc. And, while people might refer others to her, business plans are kind of a niche, one-off thing.
Is there some sort of business model she could look at? She'd like to be in a position where she's able to make good money and sell the business off one day. She's unsure if that is a pipe dream and she should look at some other sort of business. I told her that lots of people have "lifestyle" jobs that they can't sell at the end of the day, but that allow them to earn a good living. She thinks she could probably outsource some of the work, but a lot of the people are looking for her unique skillset and she's not entirely sure how many people could do the work she does. But she concedes that maybe she could dumb down some of the work, a la Emyth. She is pretty set on the idea that some sort of recurring revenue would allow her to sell the business one day. She is very interested in business plans and feels she would really enjoy focusing on this sort of work. But there's no opportunity to get clients on a monthly retainer, unless she also offered business coaching or other research services or something like that. Or is there something to this sort of business that would provide some stability, so that she isn't constantly having to weed through clients with $3k-$10k to pay for plans, do the work, and then never see them again?