As a business owner, you are probably familiar with what I call the sine wave revenue rollercoaster. It’s the phenomenon where your revenue, and therefore your income, goes up and down like a sine wave in boom/bust, feast/famine cycles.
I think it’s a rite of passage for every entrepreneur to survive! I’ve ridden that rollercoaster myself in the early days of my first agency, and even though I love rollercoasters, that one I am not a fan of!
It’s unpredictable and stressful. One month you’re on top of the world and the next you’re wondering how you’re going to feed your kids. You never know when your income will take a dip or when you’ll be able to ride a wave of success.
It may be a rite of passage to ride the rollercoaster once, but it’s our responsibility as business owners to get off it as soon as possible.
Great news then! None of us have to accept this as the norm, no matter how big or small our businesses are.
It’s time to jettison the revenue sine wave once and for all. Here’s how.
Understand that sales are not the problem on their own. Yes, you probably need more sales, but the other axis on the chart is time. It’s not just about “more sales”, it’s also about the time to get those sales and deliver whatever it is you sell.
Revenue without the context of time is useless.
To illustrate the point: John’s business made a million dollars in profits. So did Sally’s. The difference? Sally has been in business for 2 years. John has been in business for 30! However, the reverse is also true.
If you’re a business coach, for example, and my team built you an incredible funnel that sent you 80 sales calls in the next 5 days, would you thank me? Most likely, you wouldn't be ready to scale at that speed and would be completely overwhelmed.
In truth, that would just aggravate the problem you already have and likely make it even worse. Sales are part of the problem, but not the whole problem. The time you need to spend to make the sales and deliver your end of the deal are equally, if not more, important.
One of the biggest drivers of the revenue sine wave is the lack of recurring revenue. When you rely on one-time projects or clients, your income will naturally fluctuate.
However, if you can create a recurring revenue stream, you will grow your MRR (monthly recurring revenue).
This, over time, will give you a revenue platform to calm the volatility of the boom/bust revenue swings and make your minimum monthly revenue much more predictable.
Consider offering retainer packages, subscriptions, or ongoing services to your clients. This will not only give you a more stable income, but it will also help you build stronger relationships with your clients.
These types of “continuity programs” or monthly subscriptions are very well suited to being sold via a sales funnel.
Do you already have a value ladder at work in your business?
Even offline/local businesses can and should have a value ladder. What is it?
A value ladder is simply a range of products/services that are of differing value and price that help your ideal buyer persona with whatever your business provides.
For example, at Sales Funnel Labs, we have offerings ranging from $97 to $100,000. Naturally those two extreme price points offer very different experiences, however at both ends of the spectrum and everything in between, all of our offerings are designed to help entrepreneurs build, optimize and scale their marketing and sales operations to get a much bigger output from a much smaller input.
Let’s be real though, even though we have 40+ years of combined experience marketing, it’s Twilight Zone unlikely we will ever get someone offering to pay us $100k the first time we interact with them.
The reality is that that kind of investment requires a lot of trust, and trust takes time to build up.
So, we have lower priced offers that provide incredible value and a great experience so our clients can have some early wins and get to experience that we really do know what we’re doing and are trustworthy.
As well as your bread and butter flagship offerings, have a think about what other services or products you could offer to your existing clients. How can you move them up the value ladder so that they are paying you more for something they need.
Maybe there’s a related service that you could add, or perhaps there’s a product that you could develop to complement your existing offerings. Most often, there’s an opportunity to simply re-package what you are already doing so that the time you’re investing in your business is more profitable.
Most of the business owners I’ve spoken to over the years, particularly the coaches, want to be great coaches. They don’t really want to be great sales people. Prospecting the old fashioned way is not something they typically love doing.
It’s hard, thankless work for the most part. So as soon as there’s a valid reason not to dodge doing it, it’s often something that gets pushed to the back burner because “I’ve got to do a great job with this client”, or some other excuse. Completely understandable.
The good news today is that this part of your business doesn’t have to be hard. There are incredible tools available today, as well as agencies like Sales Funnel Labs who take all the hard work out of creating a sales funnel for your business that will just automatically convert any traffic you send it into sales appointments.
Once set up, you’ll know that if you do X amount of marketing, you’ll get Y number of sales appointments appearing in your calendar, so that all you have to do is jump on those calls. Or even better, by having a value ladder with a low ticket offer, you can automate the entire process of acquiring new customers.
Whatever your business looks like, the goal with your pipeline should be to keep a fresh, steady flow of highly targeted, qualified leads either buying directly and entering your email and follow up nurturing campaigns, or booking sales calls for your high ticket offering.
Finally, it’s important to have a plan for the future. If you want to pull the eject handle on the sine wave revenue rollercoaster, you need to have a long-term strategy in place.
Think about where you want your business to be in one year, five years, and ten years. What steps do you need to take to get there? What revenue levels would you need to hit to take each next step in a controlled way with minimal risk to your cash flow?
By having a clear plan, and an emergency fund in place, you’ll be able to weather any difficulties that come your way.
In conclusion, the revenue sine wave is a common problem, but it’s not inevitable. By embracing recurring revenue, a well thought out value ladder, an automated sales machine, focusing on retention, and planning for the future, you can create a more stable income.
We can help!