How I'm planning a new service in my business
I’m going through the process now of creating a new service in my business and I thought it’d be fun to have you walk along side me and see exactly how I’m bringing this new idea to life!
So today I’d like to show you the steps in the process that I take to create something new (and fabulous) in my business!
What is this fabulous something I’m working on?!
Online Business Bestie Retreats! 👯♀️😃🙋♀️🥂
Basically my idea is this: 1 part bestie hangout, 3 parts business building retreat, 1 part cocktail-filled vacation.
I want to gather a group of go-getter girls in a jaw-dropping AirBnB and show them the path between where they are now (either clueless with online business or just with a business idea but no idea how to turn it into a reality) and hitting online business girl boss status, where I know they can be!
I’ve learned in my time building an online business that there really is a formula and a path to take to success. All the successful online businesses are working behind the scenes in much of the same way. And I plan to spill all the beans and give them the exact blueprint and steps to take to get there too, in whatever field or subject area interests them.
This retreat will be in-person and of the teeny-tiny, exclusive variety (ahem - small). We’re talking like 7 girls, plus myself and my assistant.
So how do I make this dream of mine a reality? Here’s what I’ll be doing:
1. Accepting potential failure
Yep this is step one friends!
I have dreamed of hosting an in-person event for years! When I was a web designer, I dreamed of doing in person website workshops. And now I’m more focused on online business, I’m dreaming of hosting an event to help ladies build online businesses.
Different topic, same rough idea. A big girls weekend bash to help them build, grow and improve their business!
But why haven’t I done an in-person event before now?
Fear! Yep, just good old boring fear.
And the first thing I needed to do in order to get myself to plan and launch this thing is to accept that it might not work out. Heck, maybe my worst fears will come true and not a single person will buy a ticket. That’s totally possible.
It’s also totally possible that this thing will sell out faster than anything I’ve launched before, will leave attendees bursting with confidence and a plan to make their dreams happen, bring myself all sorts of desired fulfillment and connection, and launch a few fabulous businesses into the world.
No matter how long you’re in business, or how successfully you’ve launched things in the past, let me tell you, the fear is always there. It doesn’t go away.
And the only way you grow into the better version of yourself is to push past it, tell it to get outta your way and go after your scary dreams anyways.
When I went to plan this thing though I looked those fears in the face and then made a plan for them.
What if no one buys a ticket? Then I cancel it. What if 2 people buy a ticket, but we don’t hit the minimum to break even on the event? Then I refund those 2 people and cancel it. It’s really not all that complicated.
I’m judging the success of this thing on my ability to push past my fear and launch it. If I do that, regardless if it’s a smashing success or one big learning experience, I’ll be proud of myself.
2. Writing my ICA
What’s an ICA you ask? An idea client avatar. Basically the person who would be your dream customer to buy your thing. You clearly describe them, their lifestyle, preferences, fears, desires, etc.
This helps you to plan your service so it meets them where they are, genuinely helps them and takes any special quirks or needs into consideration. (For example, I know my ideal client is still working her 9-5 job, so she needs the retreat to be on the weekend!)
Doing this also helps you to sell your service by talking straight to their soul in all your sales pages and marketing materials!
I’ll be honest, I skipped this because the ICA is the same as for my podcast, which I’ve already written out before. But if you’re launching a service for a new ICA, this would be the time to define the person.
Here’s a couple blog posts to help you do that:
3. Defining my idea & outlining plans
I had a rough dreamy picture in my mind of what this event will be, but hadn’t really narrowed the thing down.
What exactly will the content be? What will girls leave with? Who exactly is the event right for? Who is it not right for? Where will it be? How many people can I handle?
I actually woke up at 3 AM one night bursting with excitement about my idea and I took to writing down ideas like a mad woman in my notes app.
I made a schedule of every day of the event, made a content outline, figured out meals & non-business-content activities, wrote an estimated budget, set pricing, decided on doing both a payment plan and a pay in full option, planned important info to go on the sales page (eg. when to arrive/depart, when to book travel related to the event, etc.), outlined the info I’d need to collect from attendees, and made a game plan on how I’ll sell the spots in my preferred time-frame.
Basically, plan that whole thing out from start to finish. As you do this, you’ll likely realize that there’s some more prep work you need to do, so create yourself a task list as you do this. I then put my tasks into Asana.
4. Create a sales page
I learned this from Mariah Coz. Before you build your thing (product, service, course, event, etc.), make your sales page. It’ll help you get super clear on exactly what you want to offer to your customers and ensure you include it in your service planning or final product.
I think I’ll be doing 2 versions of a sales page for this event specifically. 1 will just kind of be an info and coming soon page and another actual sales page.
As this is an in-person event, I want to give advanced info on when and where it’ll take place, as well as how much to save up for the event, so people can plan ahead. I don’t think I could sell out the event if the date, location and price all come out of left field on enrollment day, so I want to give that info in advance.
5. Defining terms and conditions
Anddd the fun legal stuff! Anytime you sell a thing, you’ve gotta have terms and conditions of the sale. I’ll need to create new T&C’s for this event, as there are aspects that will be important for it that I’ve never had before when selling digital products. Like what happens in the case of natural disasters or other things which could throw off the event.
I’ll then put these terms and conditions on my site, in the footer of the sales page and linked from the purchase page.
6. Setting up a payment processor
This is pretty quick and easy to do, basically you just need to figure out an efficient way to let your customers pay you.
When you do this you need to take into consideration if you’re selling your service as a pay in full option only or a pay in full and payment plan option.
I still need to settle on an option to take payments and get the tech working for it. I expect I’ll just use Squarespace e-commerce to sell the tickets.
7. Creating a marketing gameplan & materials
The next step? Getting all the ducks in a row to make a splash online and sell the thing! For me this mostly involves writing sales emails and planning a calendar of what promo materials happen when. (Eg. emails, live videos, other social media posts, collabs with related businesses, webinars, etc.)
I actually write all the emails, but for the other promo materials, I mostly just give myself a topic to talk about or quick outline. If you’re going to collab with related businesses, you’ll also want to write the pitch emails for it. For a webinar, that’s a pretty in-depth marketing push and involves actually planning out all the content, possibly creating a slide deck, setting up registration pages and all the rest of it.
Here you basically take a look at your marketing game plan, and follow all the different tasks you’ve set for yourself. You set the sales page live and execute the marketing plan.
You might tweak as you go as needed. Say you get a lot of unexpected questions, write them down, do a live video Q+A and then send the replay to your email subscribers or other social followings.
The most important thing about launching? Urgency! (Check out my post 8 things you should know before launching an online course for more on that!)
During your launch if you have a limited number of your thing (like I have a limited number of spaces at my event) then make that known in every marketing material you put out into the world. Or if you have an unlimited number of the thing you’re selling, create urgency by creating a deadline and then put a countdown timer on your sales page. (I use Deadline Funnel for this.)
There you go! That’s how I’m planning my new Online Business Bestie Retreats!
What’s that you say? You might be interested to join me at the retreat? Perfect!
Pop your details in below to be added to the retreat waitlist!
You’ll be the first in line to get a chance to register!