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Behind the Scenes with Sue B. Zimmerman: How We Made 1 Million Dollars in 2020

My CEO, Morgan, and I are always interested in how online business owners actually hit the one million dollar mark. We’re guessing you’re curious too. 

After eight years in business, Morgan and I finally hit that milestone for our business. That’s right! This year we generated over one million dollars in revenue … profitability! Sure, some people don’t like to discuss how their business is doing. But we don’t want to keep this secret to ourselves. Ultimately, we want every business owner to hit this milestone. 

Keep reading this blog post to discover our four best tips that helped us hit this milestone with our business. 

In this blog post: 

#1 How we Made One Million Dollars: Simplifying Our Business for Larger Results

First, you have to simplify your business. Right now, after 8 years in business, we’re actually offering less products than ever before. That seems counterintuitive, right? But surprise we’re actually making more money than ever before. 

We realized that we were spending a lot of time starting projects from scratch. Instead, we’re now rinsing and repeating our best products. We made some small tweaks to branding or marketing. But that’s it. This allows us to build on our existing products so they can better serve our customers.

For example, our Instagram™ PRO course and individual coaching program is about a year and a half old. We’ve now sold it 11 different ways. Yes, it’s the same product but we’ve had an opportunity to refine the messaging. Now, we have more PRO clients than ever and our customers are seeing tremendous results. 

Not only are our clients learning a lot from our PRO course, but we’re able to focus more on the client experience since we’re not working on new projects. This was a big pivot for our business in 2019, but it laid the foundation for a successful 2020. 

#2 How we Made One Million Dollars: Saying NO Helps You Grow

As entrepreneurs, “no” feels like the word we can’t say. Especially when you’re starting your business, you feel like you have to say yes to every opportunity. Spoiler alert: you don’t! 

Last year we said to some major affiliates. Trust me, it was a really tough decision to make. 

But as Morgan reminded the SBZ team, even saying “no” to those affiliates was an opportunity. It was an opportunity for our team to focus on creating better programs and serving our clients. 

If something doesn’t feel right for your business, especially if it doesn’t align with your values, don’t be afraid to say “no.” While it might be tough in the short-term, you’ll be happy that you stayed focused on your business growth. 

#3 How we Made One Million Dollars: Finding the Right Support

Let’s be honest, being an entrepreneur can be really lonely. You’re doing everything you can to grow your business, and some days it feels like you’re not growing at all. Even worse, sometimes you hit a tough season and you’re lost about what to do next. 

That’s why we always encourage our clients to build a strong support network. It’s made all the difference in ensuring our business grows profitably. 

Even now, after hitting our one million dollar goal, we rely on outside coaches and consultants to help us grow. While you might feel like you know your business better than anybody, sometimes an outsider’s perspective can help you to see the pain points you’re missing. 

We fully believe that you have to surround yourself with coaches and people who fill in the gaps if you want to find business success. 

#4 How we Made One Million Dollars: Final Tip

Remember when we told you that it was ok to say “no?” Here’s something you can absolutely say no to when you’re starting out with your business. You probably wouldn’t have guessed it. 

It’s ok to say no to custom logos or expensive branding.

That’s right! It might seem counterintuitive, especially since a branded look is one of the first ways you build recognition about your business. But the truth is fancy branding is expensive, time consuming, and not required to start a business.

How do I know logos and branding is really important to new business owners? Because it’s the first question they always ask us. But we learned the hard way. After spending a lot of time and money on a logo we didn’t like, we spent most of 2015-2018 without a logo. 

Instead, we used a simple “SBZ” logo and used a new font on all of our materials. Even without fancy branding, we built the business by six figures, hired a team, and sold more products than ever before.

Don’t waste your time getting bogged down with what other people are doing with their businesses, including fancy branding. Instead, focus that energy on providing value to your customers and having conversations on Instagram™. 

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