What is the state of online business and service providers as we head into 2023?
This is one of our most anticipated podcasts of the year, our State of The Union for service providers. This is a two part series, so make sure to join us for part two!
I’ve pulled together some amazing women who have a passion to serve other people. We want to give back our learnings from this year and step into our leadership.
Today we are going to focus on 2022, what has worked, and what opportunities we have had as service providers. Come back next week, as we focus on strategies for 2023 as a service provider.
The Ops Authority in 2022
One of the best parts of 2022 for The Ops Authority, was our undertaking to uplevel our existing program, The Director of Operations (DOO) certification program. We went all in on this, and it was a huge project, but we are really proud of the finished product.
The hardest part of 2022 was navigating the shifts in the economy. It was more challenging than the past few years. I think it was more representative of business than what we’ve seen in the last two years, which were inflated years. Personally, we were able to scale this business at a pace that I don’t think we will ever see again.
“Business is chaos, business is a challenge, business requires leadership, and business requires you to be nimble.” – Natalie Gingrich
The good news is that small businesses are thriving, and the masses that are being built are remote and online businesses. As businesses are built and scaled they need support.
Meet Our Panel
Founder and CEO of boutique online business management agency, Sarah Noked OBM and the Online Training Academy, OBM School, Sarah equips corporate 9-5ers, other OBMs, and digital entrepreneurs and service providers with the tools to build thriving and profitable businesses. Her journey over the last decade from a VA solopreneur to an Online Business Manager and trainer, has enabled Sarah to effectively teach the necessary skills to find solid clients by utilizing your natural talents, and grow the confidence that will empower you to live life by your own design.
Best part of 2022: I’ve made a lot of really great relationships in the past year.
Hardest part of 2022: The mental toll of the pandemic as a whole felt very overwhelming.
Emily Reagan is a jill-of-all-trades when it comes to digital marketing and techie skills. She’s worked as a behind-the-scenes digital marketing implementer working with many creatives and furniture painters: Jennifer Allwood, Tracey Bellion, Miss Mustard Seed, Wendy Batten, and more, to grow their online businesses. She’s the founder of the Unicorn Digital Marketing Assistant School, where she teaches women the digital marketing skills to get hired online as an in-demand, highly sought-after unicorn digital marketing assistant.
Best part of 2022: I had to redo my course because of a trademark issue, and I had a six figure launch.
Hardest part of 2022: Balancing it all since I still have digital marketing clients myself.
Micala Quinn is a Kansas City mom, wife, former teacher, and current CEO who for the last 5 years has been helping moms start freelance businesses so they too are able to earn $3K+ per month working less than 25 hours a week!
When she’s not spreading the freelance message through her free resources, podcast, Insta feed, & the Live Free Academy, you can find her in comfy sweats sitting on the couch watching her kids play together.
Best part of 2022: I updated and relaunched my program, and added some great support elements for our students.
Hardest part of 2022: We had baby number four, and with changes in the online world amongst it all, it was a stressful time.
Melissa Froehlich is a sought-after business strategist, mentor, and certified mindset coach who works with established female entrepreneurs ready to own the role of being a leader in their business. She empowers and equips female entrepreneurs who want to carve their own path to build profitable businesses that bring them freedom and fulfillment.
Best part of 2022: Leaning into my word of the year, which was “allow.” I truly allowed myself to figure out what the next version of success looked like for me.
Hardest part of 2022: Actually “allowing” myself to lean into this word. We moved again, and it showed me that despite having those challenges was, my business was truly sustainable.
Jordan Gill is a 7-Figure Business Strategist whose mission is for high-achieving business owners to prioritize rest without sacrificing revenue! She’s helped over 400 coaches and consultants work with clients only 4 days a month with VIP Days! When she’s not spreading the gospel of VIP Days, she’s working on one of her thousand-piece jigsaw puzzles or traveling the world with her husband and bonus son.
Best part of 2022: After 2.5 years of selling one thing, I’ve been able to play with new offers. It’s allowed us to revamp and rebuild instead of continuing to sell and revamp at the same time.
Hardest part of 2022: Team dynamics. The biggest takeaway for me is that when hiring, if it’s not a “hell yes,” it’s a “hell no.”
1. What has been or is working for service professionals right now?
- [Melissa] Leaning into treating their business like an actual business
- Taking some of their energy and effort back, and looking at prioritizing their role as a CEO
- Figuring out who they are as an individual and what they want so that there is actual alignment in the services they are offering
- Figuring out their core values and sustainable systems
- Looking at their profitability. Is what you are doing working?
- Learning to love marketing
- Figuring out ways to market for the long term
- People who are willing to get a little uncomfortable to figure out how to market their business
- [Emily] Emotional intelligence
- There is a problem in the hiring space, where people are overpromising and under delivering
- Business owners want to hire someone who cares about their business, will be a strategic partner, is a good teammate, has soft skills, and who is competent in their skill sets
“The ones who are really coming to the top are the ones who get results, do what they say they are going to do, have that work ethic… if they do these things, they will really stand out. – Emily Reagan
- [Micala] Going back to the basics
- Who do you want to work with, where are they hanging out, and how can you show up consistently in those places?
- Traditional brick and mortar businesses are hiring more and more
- Network online and in your community
- Just tell people what your services are
2. How has the market changed for service providers in the last year?
- [Sara] We have had to get real about profitability and take our finances seriously
- The market is changing in ways that are amazing for service providers because there are more clients
- Businesses are recognizing the value of having a digital presence
- Offline businesses are seeking out service providers
- We now need to discern the good potential clients from the bad
- Digital marketing has really changed
- This is affecting how much our clients can afford to spend on their team
- Local businesses are now utilizing digital marketing
- [Jordan] The amount of money it takes to acquire a client is much higher in time and in money
- There is a push for done for you service providers
- If you are an implementer, this is your time
- There will need to be more conversations in the sales process
- [Natalie] Paid advertising is just too hard
- All of us have to develop organic methods inside of our businesses
3. What shifts have you seen in employment opportunities?
- [Emily] I am seeing the need for people to do implementation
- I’m seeing part time contractors, some full time positions
- Be careful of those who will try to make you full time employees and run you ragged
- The VA world is not going anywhere, but is getting more competitive
“I want to encourage everyone to not “give it away” and devalue yourselves… if you bring those soft skills to the table, you will stand out…and you can charge for that.” – Emily Reagan
- [Sara] A lot of people are still getting laid off, and many women are starting their businesses immediately
- There is still so much opportunity
- There is never going to be a time when Done-For-You is not hot
“Everyone is always willing to spend money on things that will give them back more time.”- Sara Noked
- [Natalie] There is a big need for strategy as businesses continue to scale at a rapid pace
- If you have the strategic muscle, it is more about leadership than anything
- There is so much impostor syndrome that comes with standing up as a strategist
“If you have a process, you can become a strategist… own it, claim it, share it, get paid for what you are worth!” – Natalie Gingrich
4. What is the biggest obstacle you see service professionals struggle with?
- [Jordan] Messaging, Messaging Messaging!
- I try really hard to understand the language of the people I’m trying to reach
- I test multiple ways and experiment with email, social media, and podcasts to find what works and what doesn’t
“Have a mini obsession about your messaging, and don’t be afraid to try things!” – Jordan Gill
- [Melissa] Mindset
- Mindset is the thing that holds people back from whatever “the thing” is
- What stories are you telling yourself, and are you someone who trusts that what you already built will carry you forward?
- It is totally free to work on your mindset, and it will make your messaging even easier
“All of the strategy in the world was not going to move my business ahead at the speed that it could if I didn’t dial in my mindset” – Melissa Froehlich
- [Micala] Mindset
- The number one obstacles that my people struggle with is the fear and the “what-ifs”
- Sit down and name what is holding you back, evaluate it, and then ask what are you going to do with this information?
“Don’t let the fear of a hypothetical hold you back from taking action.” – Micala Quinn
- [Natalie] Trust yourself to test it out
- I have more confidence when I get data
- Business is nothing more than multiple decision points over and over
- If you keep testing, the negative becomes positive
Don’t forget to join us for part two of this State of the Union episode next week! And most of all, take some time to celebrate your wins in 2022!
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