One of my superpowers is being able to forecast the future. Between 2004 and 2011 I worked as a trend analyst in retail. How it’s done? Well, it’s definitely not rocket science, it’s all about understanding human behaviour, knowing your history and looking for signs of change in the present. Plus a bit of imagination!

As change is constant, I am sometimes surprised at how resistant we can be to accept this fact. Over the years, I have met many business owners and CEOs who are so heavily committed to their current business model that they miss valuable opportunities or warning signs that arise. They’ve likely invested too much time and money into something that works OK, or they are so focused on making profits that they are too busy to look up and see what’s going on.

And then is too late.

We’ve all heard about Facit who thought the calculator would stay around forever and, Nokia who underestimated the smartphone. And we continue to see it right now for many retailers who didn’t embrace digitalization and now are struggling to get customers into their brick-and-mortar shops.

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Today I’d say that there are two business models that are at risk of causing you stress in the future:

Selling hours. You’ll see this model in consultancy businesses selling services, such as law practices, architects, and communications agencies that are selling their knowledge by hourly rates. Their rates typically indicate the level of seniority and experience of the consultant. Here, the main problem is that there are a fixed number of hours in a day and as humans, we burn-out if we try to fit too many hours in the day over time.

Selling new products. Margins are decreasing and competition is increasing on most consumer goods sold in the Western World and unless you are selling at a premium price to affluent customers, it is likely that your profits are decreasing rapidly. Plus, awareness of climate change is putting our consumption under scrutiny. How long can we justify buying the latest new thing?

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The solution? Introduce new revenue streams to replace some of your old ones. These streams of money should come from selling your knowledge in a scalable way. No matter if you are in the business of selling a range of beautiful baby clothes or providing graphic design by the hour, chances are that you have unique knowledge that you can package and sell it over and over again!

The online marketing field is currently exploding with new and extremely profitable entrepreneurs who are making bank selling their knowledge. Marie Forleo, Rachel Rodgers, Pat Flynn and Mariah Coz all know one thing: scalability is the future!

So, take some time this week and think about how you can stress-proof your business model for the future. Here are three questions to get you going:

What do you know?
What do you love?
What do people need?

As you might suspect, there’s no quick fix and there’s a lot of work involved in making this transition. But the rewards are well worth it! Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you are curious about HOW to grow your business in a sustainable way.

And have a great week!

/Miki xx