What happens over the six months?
The first stage is to really get to grips with what’s going on in your business right now, and exactly why it isn’t doing as well as you want it. I’ll be asking exactly the same questions as I do with my one to one coaching clients to take your business apart so we can put it back together again.
And then we’ll set realistic targets as to what you can achieve, with support from me and the rest of the group. The first month will be all about what you need to do to get into action and transform your business, including some early wins and simple changes you’ll be able to apply straight away. See below for more details of the areas we’ll be covering here.
Month two will be all about your pricing strategy, and exactly what you’ll be turning your business into so it becomes a money-making machine.
Months three and four will be focusing on what you need to learn to run a successful business. All that good stuff about negotiating, pricing, changing your business model, online marketing, how to scale up. You will learn loads, in fact, you will learn things about running a business which have taken me decades to master.
In months five and six, we will be fine-tuning the process. What happens if you build a new landing page on your site, and how can we improve it even more? What happens if you use the presumptive close in your sales meetings? How did it work out when you took on an intern to help you build the business?
You’ll have me and a close group of other business owners to support you in making the business into something truly remarkable.
How does the programme work?
This isn’t a passive sit back and watch programme – you have to participate to get the most out of it. Which is why you need at least two hours a week to take part in the learning and applying this to change how you run the business.
We will all get together to work on everyone’s business. There will be regular meetups in the live workshops and a secure online channel for members to discuss their issues and progress, and to work together to develop new skills.
You’ll be working in a small group of 4 or 5 people called ally groups. The ally group is a really exciting part of the programme, where you work intensively with other business owners at a similar stage to you (no competitors though) to develop your business.
There’s a real mix of different ways to learn.
There will be live webinars to learn particular techniques. One week, we might take apart one person’s website and rewrite the copy to make it convert better, another week, we might all practice some sales conversations.
There will be some great resources to learn from, video tutorials from me, and other gems I’ve gathered over the years. I won’t just be giving you a list of videos to watch, you’ll have to watch the video, apply that technique to your business and test it out with the rest of the group.
And of course, there will be some lovely checklists, cheat sheets, prompts and spreadsheets, plus recommendations for tools to use in your business.
All this group activity sounds great, but will I get one to one support as well?
I’ll be running office hours throughout the programme, so you can schedule a time to talk to me directly about what’s happening in your business. Plus, I’ll be popping into all the online groups to answer questions and make sure everyone is on track.
I’ll also be running regular “ask Julia” sessions, where you can email your questions about your business to me. I’ll then use these (anonymised if you wish) to answer your queries and share that learning with the rest of the group.
This all sounds like a lot of work - will I have time when I'm already busy running my business?
I know – it’s difficult to take time out to work on your business, when your to do list is already full of things you need to do to bring in the work and look after clients. And, there’s more to your life than just work as well, right?
Except that when you’re busy is exactly the time that you need to be working on the business. Planning for the future, and making sure that you’re doing the right things, in the right order and at the right time. And developing new skills. That’s what successful business owners do.
That’s why we’ll be working on productivity, to get you to a stage where you have more time to spend on the other areas of your life because you’re so effective in the business. Plus delegation and outsourcing. Investing 2 hours a week on Remarkable Business now could mean that you get an hour a day back for the rest of your life in productivity gains.
And the work on pricing and marketing might also mean that you don’t need to look after quite so many clients after all, because you’ll be attracting the kind of clients who will pay good rates and value what you do.
What is deliberate practice and why are you using it?
Deliberate practice is what the world’s best athletes and performers do to get to be the very best in the world. I read Peak by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool, and was blown away by the kind of results people were getting. And then I wondered why on earth don’t we use this for business? Specifically, I wondered why I wasn’t using these techniques in my business coaching, to help people to get better at running successful businesses. So now I do.
This is how we’ll be using deliberate practice in the Remarkable Business programme.
You will be trying new techniques in your business which are outside of your current abilities. For example, the group and I might coach you in asking for an increased price in your next sales meeting, or how to change the copy on your website to get more leads. You might be a great copywriter already, but the feedback from me and the group will help you to be an even better one.
Week by week, we will be looking at specific areas of your business to work on and improve. And we will be making small but important changes in how you run your business. When you put this together with some of the big strategic changes you will also be making, this starts to have a powerful impact on your business.
This impact will build up over the six months of the programme, building on the skills you already have, and enabling you to do things you might have never thought you could do.
We will be developing “mental representations” of how you do certain things, and helping you to make incremental changes to this to get even better. This isn’t some “visioning” exercise where you think about your dream house and your business magically becomes successful so you can buy the dream house, because that doesn’t work. This is the process Michael Phelps the Olympic swimmer uses to create a mental representation of his arms going through the water at exactly the correct angle to shave another 0.1 second off the world record. In your case, we’ll be creating mental representations of you at a networking event, and how you talk to people who then go and recommend your services to lots of other people.
There will be quite a lot of this in the programme. It might sound a little new age, especially if you don’t know my no-nonsense approach, but, in fact, it’s based on solid scientific evidence on performance enhancement. I’m just applying this to business, along with my knowledge of strategy, and what works to create a successful business.
Why is the programme so much cheaper than one to one coaching?
I’m pretty much fully booked for one to one coaching clients nowadays. And I talk to a lot of people who would love some help with their business, but they just don’t have the investment needed for mentoring. They’re caught in a Catch 22 – they don’t have the money for the mentoring they need to make more money in their business, so the business stays at the same level.
And this makes me a little unhappy to be honest. I’m someone who likes to fix things, and I love to fix people’s businesses.
Running this programme means that I can help more people, fix more businesses, and still make the same amount of money in my own business. I’ve set the price at a level that anyone who is serious about their business can afford, especially as you can pay by instalments.
I'm just starting up - could this be for me?
To be honest, if you’ve just started your first business, or if you’re getting ready to start, this is probably not the right programme for you. Some of the work is based on doing things differently with your existing clients, so if you don’t have any clients yet, this wouldn’t work for you.
If you’re starting a second or third business, we can build on your previous experiences to make sure you get this one going quickly. Or, if your new business is based on freelancing or consulting for your previous employer, and your customers are going to be companies like that, Remarkable Business could be great to make sure you have a steady stream of additional customers coming through the door.
I'm not sure that my business can really go to the next stage
Well, let’s take a look. The first stage of Remarkable Business is a deep dive into what’s going on. This is the part of the process where we will quickly see if you just need some help to get really good at marketing and the key skills in running a business, or if you need to change things at a deeper level.
Because Remarkable Business has this mixture of careful attention from me, support and feedback from your ally group and the workshops and resources, you’ll get specific advice on what changes you need to make.
And if we find in the first month that your business can’t be helped, at least you’ll know for sure. If this happens, and Remarkable Business isn’t the right programme for you, this is covered by my guarantee, and I will refund your money.
I'm a very cautious sort of person, and I'm not sure about this. Exactly how does this guarantee work?
The whole point of Remarkable Business for me is so that I can support more businesses in making the changes they need to earn more money and have more fun while they’re doing it. And so that I can be fairly paid for my time and skills as well.
If you show up, take part in the workshops (or watch the replays) and join in with the online groups, if you do the work to apply what you’re learning to your business, and then you find that this isn’t working for you, then I’ll refund everything you’ve paid.
The guarantee doesn’t apply if I don’t hear from you for months and then in month 5 you get in touch and ask for your money back.
I think that’s a fair way to do things, which protects you and protects me as well.
Is this just for UK based businesses?
No. I’m based in the UK, but I work with people all over the world, and the principles are the same wherever you are. There might be some differences, e.g, tax and accounting, or the fact that you’ll have to charge differently if you’re based in the Philippines than if you’re based in New York (maybe).
I’m going to be on holiday in February or sometime during the six months - can I still do the programme?
If you’re away for all of February, to be honest, I wouldn’t apply, because you’ll miss the important bits, and getting to know your group.
If you’re away for a couple of weeks, that’s fine and congratulations on taking a holiday. We can catch you up easily.
It’s past the deadline and I've missed it - what can I do?
Sorry, I should have taken this page down by now. The programme will probably repeat next year, but I don’t know when yet.