If your revenue currently relies on the time-consuming workflow of your 1:1 offer, you’re likely stalling your ability to grow a business. Today’s guest, Cailen Ascher shares how to earn more and work less by building out your group program AND the way you can make the transition.
Thankfully, Cailen Ascher is here to show you how your 1:1 offer could be stifling your ability to grow a business, and what to do about it so you can free up your time and start scaling.
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Courtney Elmer 0:00
Welcome back, you are listening to another episode of the System's Made Simple™ Podcast and this is episode 122. Today we're talking about why keeping your one to one offer as it is right now might actually be hurting your business growth for the long term. And we're going to show you what to do to fix that. That's all coming up next, so stay tuned.
Courtney Elmer 7:56
Cailen, welcome to the systems made simple Podcast. I'm so excited to talk with you today.
Cailen Ascher 8:01
I'm so glad to be here, Courtney Elmer. Thanks for having me.
Courtney Elmer 8:03
Yeah, absolutely. Well, you know, whenever you reached out about being on the show, I was really intrigued by what you do and the angle with which you come about it, you know, and talking about, really, why why our programs are not selling like we want them to and how we can fix that. And some of the mistakes that people out there are making right now when it comes to their group offers. And when it comes to this transition that workflow from one on one work, to group work, and what that looks like, and how we can really make that workflow transition smoother. So we've got a lot to unpack today. And I'd really like to start there. You know, let's start with some of the mistakes in terms of creating a group offer, like, what are some of the workflow mistakes that make those flop?
Cailen Ascher 8:45
Yes, absolutely Courtney Elmer. And this is something that I see. So very often because I specialize in this helping coaches create the workflow for those premium group programs. And what I really encourage my women to do when I'm working with them is that they really think about the workflow for this group program as the new flagship offer of the business. And what I've come to see is that a lot of the workflow mistakes we make it happen when we don't make that mental shift from the one to one being the breadwinner to the group program being the breadwinner. And so that Courtney Elmer, looks like using your group program as a down sell or an add on and a lot of times one to one coaches, their schedules are already filled.
Courtney Elmer, They have so many one to one clients, their workflow is full up and they're looking for a more leveraged way to work with them, which is a great idea to move the workflow towards a group program, but they don't fully make the shift and so they wind up having all of these things to juggle in growing the business, working with their one on one clients and now trying to educate people about and deliver this new program. And it becomes completely overwhelming and the workflow hasn't really done what they were hoping to do which is free up their Time and increased revenue to grow a business, they gave themselves another thing to manage. And usually, they kind of back away from it like, oh, this workflow doesn't really work for me. And I'm going to go back to the one on one coaching. Yes, it's eating up all of my time, but at least it's known, and I have a sense of how this workflow actually works. And so that's, that's the main issue that I see is not really embracing this as a shift of your business model Courtney Elmer.
Courtney Elmer 10:24
Oh, you said so much there, I would love to dig into workflow because really circling back to this idea that okay, the one on one is known, it's what's familiar, it's what many of us get started with, because it's what feels doable to grow a business. We're not sitting there teaching a group of 1020 3050 100 people, but it's one on one. So like, if we make a mistake, or if we mess up, you know, you've got that relationship with that person. You don't have to be, you know, perfect and polished, and often in the beginning when growing a business that feels safe. And oh, my gosh, I can think back to the early days when I was growing a business where my workflow was working one on one, and part of it is because I really value connection with others.
So that was part of it. But the other part of that workflow was because to a degree I was hiding. And I was afraid of messing up while growing a business. And I was afraid of looking like a fool trying to run a group program without any experience in doing so. And that fear kept me really stuck for a long time in that workflow, because it was easy one on one was familiar. And so when I did eventually start to add group programs to my workflow, I did exactly what you said, which is not let go of the one on one, but instead add to my plate versus replacing it to grow a business. And it took me a very long time. And gosh, we've had the doors open to the effortless life for what like over five years now. So it was a while before we fully let go of one to one workflow. And it was a couple of years ago that I did that. And it was a huge shift to grow a business. And it was an amazing workflow shift. And it was so powerful for me to be able to step into that workflow to grow a business.
So I relate to everything that you said so much. And I think those listening here today will relate to that too, particularly if they're straddling the boat right now. And they're doing one on some one on one workflow, and they're dabbling in group. So I would love to know, like, what would you recommend? How do we go about making that mindset shift in workflow? You know, in switching off the one on one and kind of switching on this idea that your group program is now your flagship offer to grow a business?
Cailen Ascher 12:21
Hmm, yeah, that's a great question Courtney Elmer. And it kind of covers both strategy and mindset, It's like, how do we strategically do this to grow a business? And how do we get our brains on board for doing this new workflow? And I echo what you said, I think one on one is a great place to start to grow a business. Because when we're new, we don't necessarily know our workflow, our methodology, we might need to work with 510 50 clients, depending on how much time you need to really figure out what is your specialty? What is your unique deliverable to grow a business? And what is your workflow process for getting people there. But once you have that, you can leverage that in a container, where instead of serving one person at a time, you can serve multiple people at a time with your expertise and your methodology and grow a business.
And so Courtney Elmer, if you're at a place where your schedule is full of one to one clients, or it's trending in that direction, and you're like, You know what, I don't want my schedule to be full with clients, because it's already feeling like a lot. For me, that's a great sign that you need to start thinking differently about how you're valuing your time and your workflow to grow a business. Time is precious. Time is a limited resource, We're only here for so long on this planet. And it is oh, incredibly valuable. And what I've noticed is that a lot of the women I work with have this issue where they're thinking, you know, if I create a group program, I have to charge less for it. And I'm like, Well, why why is that? Why is that is because back to the value of their time, they think if they're not one to one with an individual, either in person or on Zoom, or whoever they're doing their work, that it can't possibly as be as valuable to serve someone in a group container.
And what I have found Courtney Elmer, is actually the group container often is more beneficial for your clients. And when we start to think about that, all the ways that being coached and supported inside of group container with Yes, a knowledgeable mentor who's guiding your way, but also with this cohort of individuals who are on the same path as you who want to cheer you on and support you and offer you feedback so you can grow a business. All of those things actually enhance the experience and deliver better results for the individual. And so as you start to think about the workflow benefits of group and why in my opinion group is even better than one to one, it really allows you to make this shift with confidence and excitement instead of feeling like you're doing your clients a disservice because you're not I'm going to be working one on one with them anymore to grow a business Courtney Elmer.
Courtney Elmer 15:02
I'm so glad you bring this up. Yeah. And for you listening right now, if you're kind of struggling with this idea, and you're like, you know, okay, if I'm working one to one that obviously has incredible value, because that person is getting one on one attention for me to this group model where it might feel like, okay, I'm, I'm providing less value, because people are getting less time with me, I definitely agree that there's some mindset work there that we would need to unpack and work through. But think about the programs that you've been in, if you've worked one on one with someone. And if you've had an experience in a group program, which one did you like the best, which one provided the most value for you to grow a business?
You know, it was interesting, because in the early days of growing a business, I had both. I had people that I work with one on one, and I had group experiences, and you're right, the group experiences, there were so many more layers to that workflow, it wasn't one dimensional or one directional in the sense of, it's you and this coach, which while that can be valuable. The feedback, the support, the accountability that the Group offers, I often found that to be way more valuable, and it was value that I wasn't even counting on. And that is really what adds value, which is whenever it's something you're not expecting, it's the unexpected, we call it like the Disney model here at my company.
Because, you know, we're like, what, what can we give that's like that Disney Experience, the unexpected, those things that really kick it up a notch. So, something that came to my mind Cailen, as you were sharing, and this is a question I would love to hear your answer to is for someone right now, that likes the idea of shifting the workflow from one to one, because they're overbooked, and they're feeling depleted, and they're feeling drained. And they, they like the idea of having that time back. But they might be thinking to themselves, you know, I'm struggling as it is to grow a business 1:1. How on earth? Am I going to be able to sell more to more people? What would you say to them?
Cailen Ascher 16:57
Hmm, absolutely Courtney Elmer. So yes, I hear you on this. And this is actually a fear I had myself when I was making the transition from one to one workflow to my group program to grow a business. At the time I was carrying about eight or nine clients, I have a three day work week. So that felt like a pretty full schedule. And I was thinking, you know, what, if I could create a group offer where I could serve those, I was aiming to do the same, I was like, I want to serve the same eight clients. And I want the group value to be the same as my one to one so that revenue would be consistent, I think that's a really healthy place to start is not necessarily trying to jump immediately into the group being you know, 3x your revenue, but how can we sustain what you're currently doing, but move all of those clients into a group container to grow a business.
And so for me, Courtney Elmer, I went from having eight, nine client calls a week workflow, to one group call a week, my time opened up like crazy. And when you have the availability of time, you have the availability to make more money Courntye Elmer. And so I think, instead of putting this pressure on this group needing to immediately surpass anything you've ever done before, that's a ton of pressure. Let's figure out how to make the group sustain what you're doing now, while freeing up a ton of your time and energy. And you will inevitably make more money and figure out ways to grow a business or scale the group itself, that becomes so much more profitable for you in the long run Courtney Elmer.
Courtney Elmer 18:28
Yeah, and also, with your time freed up like that, you're going to feel more joy in your business, because you have that space that you've been craving. But that hasn't been available in the day to day. And I know whenever I'm in a busy season in my business, I can immediately feel it. And it's not because I'm looking at my calendar, and it's exploding with too many things to do. I feel it in my body first. And I know when I've overextended myself, and that's like my little reminder to say like, Courtney Elmer, let's rein in those boundaries here and actually hold the boundaries that you have set for yourself. And when I find it, I don't know if you find this, Cailen, but I noticed you said you had a three hour I mean, a three day workweek. And I'm sure people listening are like, how do you do that and grow a business? Because that sounds great.
But how like, how do you get it all done. And for me, I have found that putting constraints around my time actually causes me to be more efficient in the time that I have, because of that old principle that work will expand to fill the time that you allow it. So how have you found that running your business three days a week has actually helped you to grow a business and not only grow but internally and externally? I guess that's really where the question is like how has it helped you personally as the visionary leader and as the business owner, and then externally within your business workflow? You know, because of this time value conundrum that we've been talking about. Most people might think, well if I'm working less it means I make less. Can you tell us why that's not the case?
Cailen Ascher 19:59
Hmm, absolutely Courtney Elmer. And so for me, a huge core value of mine is, is quality time and quality time with the people that I love. And so when I first became a mom, seven years ago, the thing I did for myself was I shifted my workflow to a three day workweek. And at the time, my business was not at the level of success that it is now. And it was really an experiment, like, can I and this was what I, you know, sort of similar to what I was saying about shifting from one to one workflow to group, my goal was to sustain revenue while working three days instead of five or six. And not only did that occur, but I actually grew a business. And I had my first six figure year, the year after I switched my workflow to a three day workweek, which was amazing.
So because of that value, it's empowered me and especially being a mom, it made it almost easier to step into that workflow and set those boundaries around my time. And in doing so, I realized that I was really setting an example for the women I was working with. And I started to hear from so many of them about, you know, oh, my goodness, you have this three day workflow workweek. And it's so amazing. And I would love something similar. And in these conversations, Courtney Elmer, I realized, so often we struggled to have healthy boundaries around our time. And we think that if someone is paying us multiple 1000s of dollars, somehow that gives them free rein to book in calls and talk to us and accesses whenever they Well, please, which is absolutely not the case.
And I think in order to give our clients a really profound and transformational experience, they expect us to demonstrate healthy boundaries Courtney Elmer. And to give them a clear structure, which is another thing I love about group is that you develop the workflow to support your clients, and then you hold people accountable inside that workflow we're one on one, if you give them you know permission to send you box or messages or emails, it can get a little muddy and murky, about around these boundaries. But with a group offer, you can set these clear boundaries, and the group actually thrives because of those, and I have never had anyone never not a single client and all my years of growing a business, pushed back against my boundaries around my time because I they know it's a core value of mine. And I attract women with a similar value, that they want time for their, their life, their family outside of the business Courtney Elmer.
Courtney Elmer 22:36
Oh, I love what you said there and in how modeling your values and holding your boundaries, it teaches your clients and also gives them permission to do the same. And I think often while growing a business, we can have this notion that we have to work countless hours, late nights, always be working this always on mentality, if we really want to grow a business if we really want to succeed. And unfortunately, our culture has reinforced that to the nth degree, especially with social media and how quickly things move and how we often feel this fear of missing out if we are not present to our business. And by having boundaries doesn't mean that you're not present to your business, it doesn't mean that you're not present to your clients.
But like you said, it's teaching them how to get support from you, within the workflow of your program. And I think there's so much wisdom in that. And there's so much freedom in that when you actually incorporate that into growing a business. Because it gives you your time back number one, which you can then leverage into other areas of your business. And it also is kind of like an insurance policy in a way. Because this way, you know that your group won't drain you you're not over giving or overdoing for your group. And I'd like to talk with you about that too. Because I think that's a fear and other that comes up often for people is this idea that they're already feeling taxed working one on one, their time is limited. There's nowhere else to fit clients and they're fully booked, which is a great thing on the one hand, but on the other hand, there might be this fear this worry there that once they have a group and once they have to serve more people that that might actually be more draining. So for those that are even worried about that, what would you say to them?
Cailen Ascher 24:40
Courtney Elmer, I think if you like we talked about at the very beginning, are really thinking of this as a workflow shift in your business model from one to one to one to many. You are not going to max yourself out in that way because you are going to protect your time As you make the workflow shift, and that's something that I love working with my clients on making that transition, because it's not about going and firing all your one to one clients, and then starting from scratch with your group. But let's say you know that the bulk of your clients, their contracts are expiring in the next two to three months, you can set it on your calendar that you'd like your group to start maybe three months from now. And then you can make those strategic choices to move some of those clients into the group, if that works for you, if that makes sense for them, you can let some of those clients go, they weren't your favorite to begin with Courtney Elmer.
And they're they in and of themselves are taxing on your energy. And you can give yourself this runway to fill the group with more clients as well. And so I am a real fan of a smooth transition and easeful transition and doing it in a way that really supports you along the way and doesn't, you know, kick up any fear or fight or flight kind of energy and us, but rather what is going to be sustainable for you for your energy and for growing a business so that you're not having this huge dip in revenue as you make this workflow transition. And so I think a lot of us when we're having these fears about the unknown, it's because our ego wants to keep us safe. It's like, we don't want to shift away from something that's familiar, even if the familiar things a bit uncomfortable, like your schedules fill up with clients, maybe not all of them are ideal clients Courtney Elmer.
You know it and so you'd rather stay there than explore this new workflow to grow a business, because there are unknowns attached to that. And so that's why, you know, coaching exists in the first place. When you when you have moments like this moments of transition moments of pivot moments of growth, you can lean on people who have done it before, and you can have a roadmap for getting there. And so I would absolutely say like lean on your biz buddies who have made this workflow transition, listening to podcasts like this are so helpful and inspiring. And knowing that people have walked that path before you and been successful at it can fortify you on the journey to grow a business.
Courtney Elmer 27:08
Yeah, I agree there absolutely. Find someone who's walked that path and learn from them. And sometimes that means, you know, asking someone who has done that who has gone through that workflow transition, if it's someone that you know, personally who's willing to lend their advice, not hiring a coach who can actually show you step by step, how to make this a smooth workflow transition. So Cailen, for someone listening today, who is like, Okay, I hear you, I this is like the sign I've been looking for, because I have been feeling this for far too long. But I am maxed out right now with one to one. Or maybe they've been feeling the tug on their heart for some time that they could better serve and make a greater impact by serving a group and switching from one to one workflow to one to many, what would their next steps be?
Cailen Ascher 27:54
I think the first step to take Courtney Elmer is to get your process down on paper if you don't already have it. And I find that often one to one coaches, because they are working individually with their clients, they sort of have a menu that those clients can choose from, and some clients will see your business coach, it's like, well, this client needs a little bit on more on marketing, this client needs more on sales, this client needs more on systems, strategy and workflow. This client needs mindset. And we tailor our packages, which has the worflow benefit of one to one, and really adapt to what the client is needing your group program is an opportunity for you to step into your zone of genius for you to focus on your specialty to do the work you really, really love. And what you need to get clear on is what is that? What is that specifically?
When you're working with your one to one clients to grow a business? What are the things that light you up the most? What are the things that get them the best results and get them most excited Courtney Elmer? And then figure out what is that core promise going to be of your group offer and map out the workflow a little bit like figure out what are those steps along that so that you can have a clear methodology that you are you can build your curriculum to grow a business off of essentially, because it can't always be as direct translation of your one to one workflow, this group might need to be a version of your one to one coaching. And so getting that plan on paper, what is that methodology that you want to move people through inside your program is a great place to start Courtney Elmer.
Courtney Elmer 29:33
That's awesome. And I you know, having the clarity, having clarity on anything I feel like is the greatest gift you can have and having clarity on that what is the workflow process like? And then that will inform the next steps in terms of how do we lay this out, you know, in a program format and all the other steps where your brain might immediately jump to the How to like okay, and then how many videos do I need and what kind of resources and what kind of templates like don't even worry about that yet. Like is it get your process down on paper and I didn't Find the core promise of this offer and get clarity around that first, because that will inform your next workflow steps and what those next workflow steps should even be. And speaking of next steps Cailen, I know you have a free gift to share with our audience today.
Cailen Ascher 30:17
Absolutely, yes. Courtney Elmer, I brought along my high five formula. This formula outlines the five key pillars of a successful highly profitable premium group program to grow a business. Now, this little training is something that will really get your wheels turning around what you can put into this program that is going to make it as valuable if not more so than your current one to one offer. So if you have any issues coming up around how can I possibly charge as much or more for a group offer when I'm doing one to one right now, this little training is going to be so useful. It has 15 minute video, and then a workbook so that you can implement everything, get it down on paper, start fleshing out that plan I was talking about. And you can find that over at cailenascher.com/highfive
Courtney Elmer 31:06
awesome, we're gonna link to that in the show notes. So for you listening, you know, if you are like, Okay, I'm ready to take the next workflow steps to grow a business. Definitely go download that go follow Cailen. Where can people find you online?
Cailen Ascher 31:17
Yes, Courtney Elmer. You can absolutely head over to my website, Cailen Ascher. Or if you want to connect on social media, my favorite platform is Instagram. And if you are listening and would love to connect, send me a DM tag me in your Insta story. I would love to hear from you and support you in any way that I can.
Courtney Elmer 31:35
Amazing. Cailen, thank you so much for being here today. And for sharing all of your wisdom with us, especially on that very important, sometimes very hairy, scary transition from one to one workflow to many to grow a business, because the work that you do is really truly at the core of helping people impact more people. And so I appreciate you being here to share your time with us today.
Cailen Ascher 31:56
Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me, Courtney Elmer!
Courtney Elmer 31:59
Now coming up next week on the show, I'm going to show you how to stop overbooking yourself so that you can free up time and mental space on your calendar. But even more importantly than that far more importantly than that, I'm going to show you why you're stuck in the overcommitment cycle in the first place, and how to break back. So join me back here next Tuesday. And until then, go live your EffortLESS Life®.
Cailen Ascher is an award-winning Business Coach with a 3-day workweek, a mom of two little girls and the creator of Scale-Up™ — a program that teaches 1:1 coaches and online service providers how to transition from exhausting one-to-one work to a Premium Group Program so they can increase revenue while decreasing working hours.
Cailen has been featured in Business Insider, Huffington Post and Inspired Coach Magazine and has been interviewed on top podcasts like Entrepreneurs on Fire and She Means Business Podcast among many others. She is also host of The Soulful Business Show™ which airs weekly.
Her programs have helped 1000s of coaches & service providers transform their lives and businesses with her proven strategies for working less, making more and living better.
Cailen lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania with her husband, two young daughters and a spunky dog named Olive.