Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Practice Cluster Strategies

Extract from Matt's soon to be released new book; Sell Your Thoughts - How to become a million dollar expert...

Every great practice is basically a series of profitable projects. Million Dollar Experts worry less about some unified corporate strategy, or staying focussed on their core business. Instead, they know their overarching context and run their practice so that the projects they deploy are profitable and pleasurable. This agility is one of the key attractions to running a highly leveraged income generating practice (not to mention getting bored by doing the same thing over and over!).

This rubs up directly against some entrenched ideas that are useful in building a business but not as useful when running a profitable practice. It’s brand YOU that matters in a practice. You can each year have different projects you launch. Basically, wherever there is a problem that your level of thinking can affect positively, go there. Don’t do so in a schizophrenic haphazard way but rather move from one concept to the next in a way that respects your highest context - your big word.

A profitable project is best defined in a MDE Practice as some combination of message, market and method. Any specific combination of the 3 M’s is called a ‘cluster’. These clusters are the secret to moving up the revenue bands (or belts). For example if your message is how to master your money and retire within ten years. Make sure that you have identified your market, such as: Generation X’ers making an average income or better interested in wealth creation, investment and personal finance. You will also need to identify which mode of delivery that you will use to reach this. One option on this example would be individual coaching, or you could deliver training workshops to groups of people on this message.

You can think of your clusters like spinning plates - like the ones at the circus. Your first cluster, your first $10,000 a month is like your first plate. You make sure that’s stable and spinning before you put up your second plate. Your next cluster or message, market and mode. You need to keep your first cluster ticking over the $10,000 a month while you are building up the second one - don’t let your first plate crash! A black belt practice is typically made up of six clusters bringing in $10,000 a month each - six plates all spinning away.

Of course in reality it never looks exactly like that. Some clusters will be $5,000 a month, some will be $20,000 a month. And different clusters will have different sales cycles, so even if a particular cluster brings in $120,000 a year, it’s unlikely that will be exactly $10,000 for each of the twelve months of the year. However it’s a great template to keep in mind. Because while $60,000 a month may seem daunting, and a million dollars a year might appear outright ridiculous, $10,000 a month from one cluster is doable, and then we just keep adding more of those.The key strategy for building a million dollar practice is to do so with one step, one belt at a time. The MDE methodology divides your practice across six modalities: speaker, author, trainer, mentor, facilitator and coach.

The aim is to work up one belt and one mode at a time.

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