Become Masterful at Business Strategy, Part 1
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How are you at strategizing and making decisions that guide your business? In this important episode, Caterina shares her top guiding principles for operating more efficiently and effectively by shining the light on strategy. Not only will you learn the importance of always upgrading in your business, but Caterina also discusses how to massively monetize what you’ve already got and how to keep your clients coming back month after month!
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Join women’s business mentor extraordinaire and masterful seminar and retreat leader, Caterina Rando, as she shares her insights on how to make a difference in your own life while being of service to others through your thriving business.
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Expand Your Fempire Podcast #105 Transcript
Become Masterful at Business Strategy, Part 1
Welcome to Expand your Fempire with Caterina Rando, the podcast for women in business on a mission. Sharing ideas to support you to grow and thrive. Now here’s your host, Caterina Rando.
[00:00:00] Caterina Rando: Welcome back to another episode of the Expand Your Fempire Podcast. I’m your host Caterina Rando, and on this episode, we are gonna talk about the strategy on strategy.
[00:00:43] What am I talking about? What I’m saying is that for each area of your business, there are guiding principles that will inform and support you to become more masterful at strategy in each area of your business.
[00:01:02] There’s the overall area of your business. There is the five things that are your job: speaking, selling, serving, strategy and self-care. And for each of those five pillars of building your Fempire and mastering and thriving with your Fempire, there are certain guiding principles related to each pillar that I want you to embrace when you are strategizing that particular area.
[00:01:42] This is a really important discussion. And I’m excited to be having this with you tonight because about three years ago, I realized my clients, we focus on speaking, we focus on selling, we go on retreats, we teach women how to do retreats. Those are all fabulous and fun and wonderful aspects of business, and in my opinion, very essential to having a thriving business.
[00:02:08] However strategy is the decisions that you make that guide your business. Just like I want you to become masterful at speaking and selling and serving your clients, and of course your self-care, I don’t just want you to do it. I want you to be masterful at it. It’s the same thing with strategy.
[00:02:29] I want you to get better and better at the way you strategize around your business. And what happens when you get better and better at your strategy? Well, guess what? You are more effective. Hopefully, you are massively monetizing more. You’re becoming more efficient. Your systems are becoming more efficient. Your team is becoming more efficient. And as a result, your profit is increasing. Your revenue is growing. And if you’re doing it right, you are blissing more in your business.
[00:03:01] Because remember your business is supposed to be your bliss. Now, hopefully, you’re blissing everywhere in your life. But the idea is that you’re blissing in your business, that it’s bringing you joy every day and the underlying strategy for how you do business and run your business will impact your bliss and your bottom line. I’m saying it again, cuz I think it’s really good: your strategy will impact your business bliss and it will impact your bottom line.
[00:03:35] In this episode, we are gonna talk primarily about selling, serving, strategy, and self-care strategies, because as you know, I love speaking and we’ve done several podcast episodes already on different aspects of speaking. We’ve done several podcast episodes on many other things because, Bing, Bing, Bing, we have done over 100 podcast episodes and I’m hoping that you have gone to caterinarando.com/podcast to listen to many of these episodes, because just like this one, they are all info-packed, insightful, and I’m hoping also inspiring to call you to action to make a difference for yourself in your business and your life.
[00:04:31] Years ago before I was super savvy at doing retreats and filling retreats, this lady who was in the travel business, she and I put together this trip to Italy. Now, everybody was interested in coming on the trip. We had several people, I talked to several people, nobody signed up for the trip. They said, “oh, I would love to in the future.” And it became clear to me after however many weeks that this trip was not gonna fly at this time. This is many years ago. Maybe that’s why I’m a little shy about doing it. I keep wanting to do it. I keep saying I’m gonna do it. This is something I have not taken action on yet. Maybe if you tell me that you wanna come on my next Italy accelerator and adventure, it will happen. It’s not on the calendar yet. Here’s my point. She said to me “well Caterina, the deposits are not due for another six months on our trip. We can keep it on the books until the deposits are due.” Now as a travel professional, from her perspective, that made perfect sense, but I was the mama who was responsible for filling the retreat. And I said “no, let’s call it now. Let’s take it off the calendar now.” Because here’s the thing. You cannot be filling five things at once, even four things, or three things at once. Two things at once I think is doable.
[00:06:03] My point is that when you have your attention on one thing that’s not working, at some point you have to take your attention off of that. And here’s the guiding principle that I want you to embrace: you wanna be massively monetizing what you’ve already got before you start something new. Now maybe part of the reason why that wasn’t flying was because I had a lot of other things I was focused on as well.
[00:06:33] Now from a retreat strategy perspective, now that I’m much more savvy at retreats –by the way, we have some episodes on this as well– it’s unlikely people are gonna go across the world with you when they haven’t spent time with you in the area, been to a one-day seminar, been to a weekend getaway. Some people will be an insta-yes. I always recommend when you wanna do retreats though, that you start with a short retreat, two or three nights in your area –people don’t have to jump on planes– before you offer your across the world 10-day retreat. That’s a sidebar as retreat strategy.
[00:07:14] The point here is if you’re focused on filling something that is very difficult, you are losing revenue on the other things. You are not filling. Let me give you an example and let me tell why often people do this. Often people are focused on the next thing, because the next thing is more exciting. I teach my Thrive at Sales class. I love teaching my Thrive at Sales class. But you know what? Signing people up for Thrive at Sales, which I have done for the last three years with ease, is not as exciting as signing them up for my next amazing retreat that is on the calendar for next April because it’s new and exciting.
So you have to balance, in terms of your selling time, the new and exciting with the not-so-new and exciting, but that’s your bread and butter. That’s what is proven. That’s what you have a track record for. And don’t throw that out just because you wanna put all of your attention on new and exciting. Believe me, I love new and exciting, and I am smart enough with my strategy to recognize that you still wanna focus on what’s working and what’s got a proven track record. Massively monetize what you’ve already got before you start something new.
[00:08:41] Now for some entrepreneurs, they’ve got too many offerings and that’s why they’re having a lot of trouble filling their offerings because they’ve got too many. I’ve got a lot of offerings, but I’ve been doing my thing a long time. So if you’re newer, start with one, then add a second, then add a third.
[00:09:00] Next important strategy. There is a lot of talk in the marketplace about memberships, monthly memberships. I did a monthly membership way, way, way, way, way back. And part of the challenge that I want you to consider before you consider a monthly membership is how many clients do you have? How big is your reach? How big is your list? What is your platform?
[00:09:30] Because the people that are teaching membership, membership, membership have huge lists and followings. If you’re not there yet, forget about that, and here’s why. We wanna have as few buying decisions as possible from a client in a year, unless they’re signing up for something additional. What do I mean by that? I run yearlong programs. Now in the past, I’ve run three month, I’ve run six month, and we do have our nine week private sales accelerator class, which is only nine weeks because that’s the easy “yes” to get new clients in the door to show them the massive value, and then we invite them to either repeat that or join for a longer group program, again usually a year. The reason I’m telling you this is because I will allow them to pay monthly for a year, but the buying decision is for a year, the buying decision is not for a month.
[00:10:41] And by the way, look at the stats: most people are joining membership programs and staying two months, maybe three. Again, look at the stats on that. Now there are people that are having success and people are staying with them for years, but do you have the infrastructure and is it in the highest and best use of your time and your business to be focused on bringing in people for $47 or $97 or $27 rather than bringing in clients that are gonna make a much more substantial investment for the year. Now you can start with the shorter program, the six week, the four week, the nine week, the 12 week. Prove yourself, and then invite them to something bigger.
[00:11:30] As you’re listening to this program, it’s five months before the new year. I’ve already got about 20 clients signed up for next year. Some of them have already signed up for two programs. Another important strategy is start signing people up early. You actually cannot start too early. Two years ago, I started signing up people in September for the next year, worked very well. Had 30 people sign up September for the next year. Then I said to myself “if September works will August work?” Last year, we signed up 20 people in August.
[00:12:13] Now, some people were like “it’s too early.” That’s okay. Some people are ready to go. I’m sharing this with you because a big mistake that people make is they wanna massively monetize their program. They wanna fill their one-on-one client base, they wanna get people in their workshop, or inviting them to their retreat, but they’re not giving themselves as the salesperson enough time to have enough conversations to fill that program. You cannot start too early.
[00:12:45] Now another strategy that we do in my business is that when you sign up, your service starts. So for example, my next Thrive at Sales class doesn’t start for a couple months, cause I’m going to Italy. I said to a lady today, I said “well the program doesn’t start for a couple months. You wanna sign up today because you’re gonna get our monthly networking. You’re gonna get our masterclass. You’re gonna get the bonuses. You’re gonna get our promotion.” Have the service start when they sign up.
[00:13:19] Now, you might be thinking “Caterina, that’s good for you cause you got this, that, and the other thing. All I got is the program.” Well, you know what? You can add in a bonus call every month for anybody that signs up in advance. If you are leading a program that starts in six months and you have people that are interested now, you can sign them up now, give them a call every month to have them engage with you. And that will keep them engaged until the program starts.
[00:13:52] This is very important because remember, engagement is the queen of everything. That is another important strategy for your business.
[00:14:01] For example, we’re doing our bliss retreat for women leaders on a mission in January. Did I say to the ladies that signed up a year in advance “okay my friend, see you at the port in a year”? No, I did a virtual retreat. We’re doing that right now. We just did that yesterday, a virtual retreat every month to keep them engaged, to build community, to have them get massive value, so guess what? Many of them have not even gone on the retreat yet, and they’ve already signed up for their next year program because they’ve gotten massive value.
[00:14:38] I hope you heard that. Engagement is the queen of everything. And always under promise and over deliver is another important strategy for your business. Oh my gosh. I got so much more to talk about here.
[00:14:53] So the point back to the memberships is you can charge them every month, but sign them up for three months, six months, a year, rather than month to month, because you don’t want your attention on month to month who’s changing their mind. Very, very important. I just made you so much money. If you follow this strategy.
[00:15:17] Now related to this, related to sales, hopefully you’ve listened to my podcast episode on this, on managing your disappointment. One of the things that happens when people get disappointed is that they stop doing what might not be working. What I want you to realize though is that it’s not that it’s not working, it’s simply not insta-working.
[00:15:41] The guiding principle, the guiding strategy, is to do what works, even when it’s not working. Give you an example: one of the strategies I do every month is I do at least one, if not two, free workshops. Now it’s really not free because people are giving their time. A few months back, I did one of my free workshops and we had like 10 gals there, and four of them were already my clients, and four of ’em, I didn’t think were a good match for me or our community or what we offer. And that particular workshop I don’t think we got any new clients from that.
[00:16:18] Did I say “okay, we’re not doing it anymore”? No. I knew this guiding principle: you do what works even when it’s not working. And last month, when we did this same workshop, we had 62 people registered for that workshop. We’ve already gotten new clients from it. You’re always gonna have a difference between your sign-up rate and your show-up rate, especially if it’s a free thing, because people didn’t make an investment. That’s fine. We had more than 30 smiles on the screen, we got new clients, and I’m doing another one in a couple days. We have over 40 people registered.
[00:16:59] You do what works even when it’s not working, this is the rinse and repeat strategy. Because the more you do that, the more efficient you get. I want you to pay attention to this and I want you to ask yourself right now, where in your business are you doing something but you’re not being consistent? Or you do it and then you just put aside for a while cause it didn’t work and then you okay…? No, do what works even when it’s not working. There will be times during the year when it will work better than other times.
[00:17:30] Now in the midst of all that, giving you another strategy to embrace, which is always be upgrading. Always be upgrading. I’ve got a thriving business. I just surveyed my clients and everything was positive.
[00:17:45] You know what? There was only one negative comment on these client surveys, which was “I wish everything was in one place.” Well, you know what? About a week after I surveyed my clients, we actually launched our client portal, which is an investment I made in our business to have everything in one place, all of their program videos, all of their program content, all of the resources that I give all my clients, all the templates, our master classes and all the extra videos that we have for them, everything in one place.
[00:18:22] That was a substantial financial investment and an investment of time. I didn’t have to do it. Everything was fine. Nobody even asked for it. But guess what? You’re always upgrading. Now I feel even more certain in the massive value I’m bringing. And guess what? My clients love it. And you know what? That’s gonna support them to keep coming back.
[00:18:43] And I’m gonna tell you the whole thing about surveying your clients, this was a breakthrough for me, because there has been a part of me that was afraid to get the feedback. Because you know what? I’m a highly sensitive person and it would make me very depresso if anybody told me they weren’t happy. I guess I’m confident enough that I know that they are happy, but I still wanted their feedback. So for the first time in… well as ever long I’ve been in business, 30 years… we did a survey on client satisfaction. And the clients rated us outstanding, and they had so many wonderful things to say, and that made me bliss and also made me wish I did it many years ago, but that’s okay cuz it was the perfect time. You’re always upgrading.
[00:19:31] I wanna ask you, where can you upgrade your client service? Where can you upgrade your selling processes? Where can you upgrade your team? Always be upgrading. One of the things that it’s time for, if you’re not doing it already, is to have standard operating procedures around philanthropy and giving in your business. We do giving through our events. We raised $7,500 two weeks ago at our Shero summit, raising money for The Power of Love, who is our charity partner. They distribute micro-loans and they provide business and entrepreneur education for women in Zambia. Are you infusing philanthropy in your business? I’m hoping you are a standard operating procedure. And by the way, that’s good strategy for your business, because it makes your clients feel good about working with you, and as a result, they’re gonna keep coming back.
[00:20:31] I have so much more to talk to you, I think we’re gonna have to do another episode on this. Let me do a few more here. And then we will. Years ago, I ordered these folders from this company. They were custom folders. They were in my colors. They had my name on them. They were beautiful folders that I ordered several weeks before a live and in-person workshop I was doing. They did not arrive on time. They had promised me they would be there way before, plenty of time. It was not a last-minute order. I called them a few days before and they were like “oh my gosh, I’m so sorry. We’ve lost the order.” And I said “you know, I ordered these ahead of time. I paid for them a long time ago. And you know, this is not acceptable.” Do you know what they did? They had an airplane and they flew out on their airplane and they delivered my folders to my front door.
[00:21:29] Now that was many years ago, but what it taught me was you go above and beyond to make things right for your clients.
[00:21:39] And I wanna ask you: what do you do to make things right for your clients if you’re ever in the wrong? Or if you’ve ever made a mistake? Around here, we do everything we can to not have mistakes, but you know what? Perfection is not required. It’s not encouraged. You don’t gotta be perfect, my friend. You do have to demonstrate that you genuinely care and you genuinely want to do a great job.
[00:22:08] I remember one year we were doing a retreat, and one of the things we do when you come on a retreat with me is that we give you these super plush fluffy comfy robes. I’ve got one right here next to me right now, I love them.
[00:22:23] Well one of my clients was I anticipated more plus size than she would’ve been comfortable in the robe. I ordered extra robes. I had a special fitting with her. We had a special tailor make the robe so that I knew it would be a great fit. When everybody got their robe, she got her robe, and she felt as comfortable in her fluffy robe as everybody else.
[00:22:51] Anticipate what are the potential challenges that somebody would not be happy. Because you want everybody to be blissing who is your client. We now ask our clients if they like milk chocolate or dark chocolate. And guess what? They’ve also advised me that some of them like only vegan chocolate. That’s fine. That’s what they get whenever we’re sending out any chocolates.
[00:23:17] Have a long-term view of your business. You wanna keep your clients coming back. The happier they are, the more they’re blissing, the more you underpromise and over deliver, the more they will bliss and the more you will bliss in your business.
[00:23:34] We have talked for quite a while now already, therefore I’m gonna ask you to think about what we’ve discussed that applies to you and your business, and what you’re gonna take away from our discussion to be more strategic and bliss more in your business.
[00:23:52] And guess what? The next episode will be on more strategy on strategy, because I got way more strategy to talk about with you. My desire is that you are moving more towards mastery in your business strategy, because as we discussed, it’s gonna have you bliss more in your business, it’s gonna have you be more efficient, your team’s gonna be more efficient, your clients are gonna be happy, and your revenue is gonna grow.
[00:24:22] And my friend, remember you have massive value to bring. There is a lifetime supply of people to serve. Embrace some of these strategy super tips we’ve discussed, so that you can sell more, you can serve even better, and most importantly, you can uplift more lives through your Fempire. I’m Caterina Rando. Can’t wait to be with you again. Talk to you next time.
We hope you enjoyed this episode of Expand Your Fempire with Caterina Rando.