Most people dreamt of turning your passion into a very profitable business. After all, what is better than having fun while making money? In this episode, Victoria Wieck teases out a chapter from her upcoming book, Million Dollar Passion, called Optimize to Maximize. One way to make a profitable business is by learning how to maximize your business idea, using your time efficiently, so you’re working the least number of hours and, at the same time, making the most amount of profits. Victoria spills the four business models you can employ to achieve explosive, sustainable growth! You don’t want to miss out on this conversation!
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Optimize To Maximize: The Four Business Models For Explosive And Sustainable Growth
We’re in the middle of a series. If you’ve been tuning into the last few episodes, we were talking about how you turn your passion and purpose into a profitable business and build yourself a nice little empire that you can sustain. In this episode, we’re going to talk about optimizing your business idea. In my book called Million Dollar Passion that’s coming up, there’s a chapter called Optimize to Maximize. It is about maximizing your business idea in terms of how you use your time efficiently so that you’re working the least number of hours and making the most amount of profits.
Four Business Models For Explosive, Sustainable Growth
Let’s get right down to the various ways you can achieve your desired profits and experience explosive growth that’s sustainable. I love the word sustainable in this phrase because it’s important that you achieve fast and explosive but controllable growth. It’s the growth that you can control. If you’re growing out of control, there is a phenomenon called The Growing Broke as opposed to going broke.
When I was at HSN, I saw many entrepreneurs, and I’m talking probably a couple of hundred people, that achieved beyond their dreams. They were doing somewhere between $2 million to $10 million a year and they grew broke. I’ll do an episode on how people grow broke, but right now, let’s focus on growing controlled growth.
These are just the basics. A lot of you may have some portions of this already in your business or some idea of how you achieve the various different business models. I’m going to get right down to business here. There are four major business models. People use different terminologies for this, but there are four different ways you can achieve explosive but sustainable growth.
Number one is business-to-consumer. You are selling mostly to individual consumers. If you’re a hairdresser and you’re cutting hair and your clients are mostly women in your neighborhood coming to get their haircut, that would be considered business-to-consumer. A restaurant, for example, would be a business-to-consumer.
Business-to-business, if you’re a manufacturer and you’re selling to retailers, that would be considered business-to-business. You’re a manufacturer only to wholesalers or somebody who goes to one business. Maybe you don’t even manufacture the stuff yourself, but you have expertise in exporting and you understand the laws of different countries, freight rates, custom duties, and all that stuff.
You are helping a bunch of business people pick their products overseas. It could be to Europe, Asia, South America or wherever. That would be considered business-to-business. If you’re a hairdresser and want to create your own shampoo line and you want to sell it to a department store, that would be considered business-to-business.
There’s a combination business where you can sell business-to-consumer or a portion of it. The hairdresser was an example. She’s selling her haircutting services to consumers, but also selling her shampoo products to other hairdressers, a department store, on TV or whatever. That could be business-to-business.
The fourth model is becoming an affiliate for someone or having affiliates under your umbrella. That is a new phenomenon that happened. It has always been around, but it exploded in the 1990s with the dot-com bubble. That’s one of the things that came out of that and stayed with us, and it’s benefiting a lot of businesses.
Business-to-business is tougher in the beginning, but you can grow faster.
Understand Who Your Ideal Target Market Is
Let’s talk about the pros and cons of doing business with each business model. Before I even get there, I want to explain to you the most important thing before you even talk about any business model you have. It is to understand who your ideal target market is. Who’s going to use your products? What does that person want? How do they shop? What do they shop for? What time of the year do they shop? What time of the day do they shop? Where do they congregate in very large numbers?
For example, you are selling fitness classes. You’re running a business as a yoga studio and you find out that they want a Zen-type of environment. They also want somebody who’s on time. They don’t want to pay more than $15 per class. They don’t want to have any more than twenty people per class. There are all these requirements people want to have ideally.
You understand that and then you want to come up with yoga clothing, for example. You understand who they are, what they want to pay for, and how often they use yoga products. Let’s say you find that in your neighborhood, a lot of them live in a certain area of town. That gives you a lot of information to work with. Understand who your target market is.
For my jewelry business, I have combinations of several of these businesses. Number one, I do business-to-consumer. In my one-of-a-kind business, we do concierge service for somebody who wants above and beyond. She wants something very unique for herself and she’s willing to pay a lot of money for this. It’s something highly unusual.
I have that business on the RachelAndVictoria.com site. If you go there, you’ll see what we’re talking about there. Our average price point there is about $10,000. We don’t do volumes of them, but we do enough business where that’s very profitable. The average price of $10,000 means some things are $5,000 and some things are $50,000.
Business-to-consumer is the easiest because you just have to convince a few people. If you’re a hairdresser, you got to convince ten people and do ten people’s hair. They then talk to ten other people or they go to the golf club or a restaurant and they say, “You got such a cute hairdo. Where did you get that haircut?” It’s very easy. That’s how most people start their businesses.
In business-to-consumer, you know a few people who need your services or you think you can sell enough to sustain yourself with a few people without having to go through a lot of expense. The drawback is you grow very slowly because you run out of people. The example that I gave of the first ten people who then tell ten more people, and then they all tell ten more people, even if you do all that, it’s slow growth. You’re not growing at 20%, 30% or 40% per month. You might grow a little bit, but you’re not going to build an empire in that model.
Having said that, I know people who have built their empires this way. That’s a different type of business. They’re very internet savvy. Maybe you came up with a tote bag for photographers and found a bunch of photographers that needed a tote bag that organizes. It’s lightweight and keeps their professional camera equipment very safe so they can check it into the airline, that kind of stuff. You can easily find photographers at conferences, associations, where they congregate or even on the internet. You can go and market to them. I know people who have done that as well.
For most people, the growth is very slow. Even in that example of a photographer, you have to learn how to do the internet. You got to come up with great sales funnels. You have to understand how many times you can touch them. There’s a whole other art to talking to consumers because when you’re doing business-to-consumer, more than the need, you’re talking about emotional connection. You need to connect with each person emotionally because they need to fall in love with you, trust you, and understand that they’re getting something special. That’s tough.
Business-to-business is tougher in the beginning, but you can grow faster. In the example of the shampoo and a hairdresser cutting hair, I don’t know what haircuts cost in your area, but where I live in California, they go anywhere from $80 to $300 to $400 a haircut. In the best-case scenario, let’s say you’re charging $200 a haircut. Since you’re cutting your hair yourself, you might be able to do 8 to 10 people a day. It still limits you to how much money you can make. You got to pay rent, the shampoo person, and all that stuff.
Most people don’t do ten customers a day, seven days a week. Let’s say you’re averaging 5 or 6 a day and you’re charging $100, and you’re working 5 to 6 days a week, Tuesday through Sunday or Monday through Saturday. You’re paying rent and doing all that stuff. You can make a profit, but you can’t grow that fast. If you are coming up with your own unique shampoo product and it sells well, and you are selling to beauty salons, you might sell 1,000 or 10,000 bottles at a time. If you’re on TV, you might sell 30,000 bottles at a time.
When you do that, you can grow very fast, even if you’re making a lot less money. Let’s say you’re making $4 a bottle of shampoo and you’re selling 10,000 of them. That’s $40,000. That’s a lot of money. You can grow very fast by attracting businesses so that they can make money. Businesses don’t care what you sell. If you give them a plan where they can make more money with your products and other people that they’re carrying, they’ll try you out.
That’s tougher to attract in the beginning, but you can get economies of scale, meaning you can also buy your ingredients. If you want to buy a single shampoo bottle, you can go to Ulta or a bottle supplier. They’ll sell you a plastic bottle for $2, $3 or $4 a bottle. If you’re doing 30,000 bottles at a time, you get them for $0.25 a bottle. That’s how economies of scale work. If you can buy things at a cheaper price, you can grow up faster.
A Manufacturer To Wholesalers
You can do a combination of both. I gave you the example of the hairdresser. I do jewelry, so I do one of a kind. Sometimes I’ll make it easier to manufacture by the thousands of them. When I sell to TV stations, our runs are usually somewhere between $1,000 to 10,000 pieces. I’ve occasionally had pieces that were sold over a million pieces of that same item. In my one-of-a-kind business, because I’m looking for a truly one-of-a-kind unique stone, I don’t get to buy them in large quantities because of the nature of that business. We can charge the most amount of money for that one item that nobody can have except you.
If you do the business model where blue Topaz-Amethyst is very plentiful, I can get 5,000 to 10,000 pieces at a time. Even if you only make $10 a piece, that’s a lot of money to make. You can do a combination of both, but not with the exact same product. That’s important because, let’s say, you sell to somebody for $10 a bottle, so they sell it for $25 a bottle, but then you sell it to your consumer at $18 a bottle. You’re undercutting yourself. Most of your customers aren’t going to like it.
If they know that you’re going directly to the consumers for anything less than what they’re selling it for at any time, they won’t carry you. They want to see that they were selling it lower than what you were selling to your consumer. When you are selling on your website for $25, make sure that the business people that you’re selling to can meet their margins.
Let’s say they want to double the money, in most cases, they want to make more than double the money. They want to get a 70% margin. For $18, you would have to give it to them for $6.50 or $7 max. You can see how the margins are a lot smaller, but if your actual cost is $5, it’s still making sense to do at least both or do the business-to-business model.
Let’s back up a little bit. If you’re going to do business-to-business, it’s tough. A lot of times you’re going to end up with sales reps that specialize in that part of the business because you’re running your business. You’re manufacturing and doing all this stuff. You’re making sure that people show up to work and things are shipped out on time.
The affiliate model is so easy to do that it would be a shame if you don’t incorporate some portion of that in your business.
You can’t be traveling all the time looking for businesses. Typically speaking, you hire somebody who has expertise. A lot of times, these are executives that used to work at Nordstrom or VP of some division at a huge major store that’s networking with other department stores that they’re now consulting. You can hire them for a percentage of the cut.
Business-to-business is tougher because of the added layer of personnel and the type of personnel that you have to attract to get that business. With the combination of the two, the challenge is that most of your business partners or business customers like Nordstrom’s or a TV station want to see if you carry it elsewhere. They want to be the cheapest because right now, consumers can Google all day long.
In jewelry, it’s very easy to do because even though it’s the same brand name, styles can be very different. I can design a completely separate collection of jewelry for Saks that I don’t do for Neiman’s. Many of you don’t have that option. If you have shampoo, you can’t say, “I’m selling my shampoo with a purple bottle here and a yellow bottle somewhere else.” That becomes a little challenging. In some cases, depending on how big that retail customer is, they may limit who else you sell to. It becomes a little tougher game. I’ll get into that a little bit more when we talk about scaling our businesses.
Becoming An Affiliate
With affiliates, I would say you could do a combination of all three. You could get an affiliate or a bunch of affiliates to you. An example I’m going to give you is if you’re selling some weight loss program, cryotherapy, or you have your own way of losing weight. You’re also recommending that they do some exercise but you’re not a fitness instructor and you don’t want to open a fitness store. You don’t want to be responsible for that because there’s a whole liability that comes with that.
Let’s say you own a cryotherapy/weight-loss center and you see four blocks down the street, there is a bunch of yoga or Pilates places, or there could be cardio or a gym. You could easily recommend them and you could even sell them as a package and get a cut from that studio. The studio also might do it the other way around where they can sell a package and give you a cut.
If you are selling facials or laser treatments, which are exploding. A lot of people want to take care of themselves and their bodies. Out here in California, that’s a huge thing. I have a friend who does this. She’s an aesthetician. She’s not a nurse or anything. A lot of these medical spas need a doctor. She would rent a space inside a doctor’s office. What she found out was that a lot of times, a plastic surgeon or somebody who does gastro surgery will package in a bunch of lasers/facials and smoothing type of treatment. They then get a cut. These are all what they call affiliates.
You can easily recommend it. If you’re a hairdresser, you end up recommending a bunch of hair products that you don’t sell. You don’t have to inventory them, buy them and take a risk, but you could give them a company recommendation. You might even have some of the samples at your place where they can then order it and you get a cut from that. The model is so easy to do that it would be a shame if you don’t incorporate some portion of that in your business. There are very few drawbacks to the affiliate model.
Here’s the other thing, a lot of times you get customers that you wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. Let’s say you’re doing cryotherapy and you get somebody from fitness centers. You’ll get a bunch of people who would have never gotten before because until they got to you, they thought all they got to do is exercise, but now they’re doing all of the above. That’s a source of a new customer for you and them. That’s a true win-win situation where the end-user wins because she’ll get the results that she needs by incorporating weight loss and exercise. You win a little and get extra money, and then they get all the extra money that they wouldn’t have gotten.
Think about what business model you want to have. The thing that I want to talk about a little bit is to give it a lot of thought. If you do business-to-consumer and you want to incorporate the business-to-business what’s going to happen is that you’ll be able to buy even all the things that you are buying and buy it cheaper because people see the potential that they can do a lot more business with you.
That’s a huge benefit but at the same time, it does come with little strings. You have added expense of hiring somebody who’s an expert in that area. The standards are higher when you’re doing business-to-business. If you’re a jewelry designer like I was, when I went to HSN standards, I had to deal with QA departments that were horrendously difficult to deal with. I understand why they did that because if you’re doing business one-on-one and I’m making a piece of jewelry that falls apart, I made a mistake on the one piece. If you do 10,000 pieces and you made a mistake, the mistake is repeated 10,000 times so the cost is high.
All the standards and expenses go up high, but it’s something that you might want to consider when you have a certain base of customers. I wanted to expose you a little bit to all the different business models. If any of you have any questions about this, go ahead and write to me. It’s VicWieck@Gmail.com or you can sign up for any of my classes on my website.
I go through all this pretty extensively because I’ve had personal experience with all four of the models. I started as a business-to-consumer then I went to business-to-consumer/business-to-business. I then went to business-to-consumer, plus business-to-business, plus the affiliates. I’m still in all of the above. It’s worked out pretty well.
Sign up for any of my classes on my website, which is VictoriaWieck.com. You’ll see a monthly webinar there. It’s all free, or you can visit MillionDollarPassion.com. It’s all about turning your passion into profits, sustaining it, and working fewer hours as a result of working more efficiently and effectively. Thank you so much for reading.
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