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How to Survive Lean Times When You're a Solopreneur
by: Susan Dunn, M.A.
Building a viable coaching practice takes time, sometimes months or years before your practice is self-sustaining. Here are some ways to supplement your income in lean times, generate money quickly when you need it, and make productive use of the extra time.

1. Take a temporary job or part-time job that still allows you time to coach clients and build your practice.

It generates income, but also extends your reach. You'll meet new people who might need your coaching services Everyone's curious about temps! You'll also get a taste of different offices which will make you a better coach in the long run.

2. Have sources of passive revenue -- tapes, ebooks, Internet courses.

Run a special. If they buy in the next two weeks, they get half price. Give a Bonus -- buy one, get one free.

3. Make a push for referrals. Offer a bonus for referrals.

We so often forget to ask our current clients to recommend us to their friends! You should always be working referrals, but at low times, go back over your list. Email, phone, or ezine your list asking for referrals. Don't forget to ask other coaches for referrals.

4. Go back over the 80-20 principle.

20% of your efforts and clients probably account for 80% of your revenue and return. Go back over your data and see where the 20% is.

In doing that, you'll re-find the 'sphere of influence' clients who've referred a lot of other clients to you or helped you in other ways. Take this time to take them out to lunch, write them a thank you note or call them and ask them how they're doing.

5. Amp up your sig on your emails.

Make your sig work for you.

6. Use the motivation to make cold calls.

7. Use the time to make your practice lean and mean.

Shop around. Find a cheaper ezine service, Virtual Assistant, web host, or computer tech. Get a lower LD rate.

8. Get a Virtual Assistant and delegate.

Delegate some maintenance chores that'll allow you more time to market your practice and attend to your clients. It's the Law of Attraction. When I turned the logistics of my Distance Learning School over to my VA, I got an immediate surge in students (who pay) and also coaching clients. It's like they knew I had more time!

9. Get out more!

You have the spare time! In my days as a fundraiser, I found all sorts of lunch-time events "open to the public." Some cost money, some don't, but they all give you exposure. Once you get on the circuit, your calendar will be full. Sitting around a lunch table waiting for the speaker is a great time to talk about coaching!

10. Introduce a new product to your "old" clientele.

If they've bought from you before and found it to be of value, they'll want to again. Introduce a new product (course, teleclass, ebook), or a new form of coaching. Coaching is a new field, and clients sometimes don't know all we offer. A "business" client may not know that you do "relationship" coaching.

About the Author

Susan Dunn is a personal and professional development coach. for FREE ezine. Visit her on the web at


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