3 simple questions to know if groups or courses are right for your one on one business

There are lots of reasons you may be considering adding groups or courses to your one on one service business.  You want to diversify your income so you aren’t just exchanging time for money. You want to reach more people. You want to create ‘money while you sleep.’

No matter your reason, it likely stems from frustration at some level or another. Frustrated that you can only do so much. Frustrated that you can only earn so much. Frustrated that taking time off creates its own type of stress. Frustrated that your passion work sometimes starts to feel like a grind.

So it’s only natural that you look for some options to ease your frustration. And it’s only natural that you turn to groups or courses.

I’m mean, groups let you do what you do and get paid by several people for the same time spent.

And courses, when set up online, let you package your thing and sell it over and over again. On auto-pilot preferably.

While they are good options to diversity and grow a 1:1 business, I’ve seen too many clients who’ve jumped into one or both options in an attempt to ease their frustration, without fully considering if THEY themselves are a good fit for either one.

A good fit has to do with knowing the why of your business, the joy of your work and pain of your business.

Let’s walk through those three elements and then take a look at how well you match up with groups and courses as a helpful and aligned answer to your frustration.


 1. Go back to the beginning and make note of why you started your business in the first place.

It may seem odd to go so far back, but it’s important. Why did you start your business? What did you want it to give you? Did you want freedom to set your own schedule or did you want to do things your own way?

Think about feelings, life-style choices, income and what your heart most wanted.

The choices you make in your business need to stay aligned with what you want your business to be and do for you. So take a moment and jot them down.


2. What do you love about the work you do? What is it that makes you feel fulfilled or satisfied at the end of a work day?

Be specific as you answer this question and make it about you – not about how you help others. Let’s assume you like helping others or you wouldn’t be in a service business.

As an example, if you are a hands-on practitioner do you love meeting with each client to unravel the puzzle of what they most need today. Or is it more about the feeling of getting lost in the work and feeling Sprit move through you?

If you are a coach, is it the regular interactions that build more understanding and deeper relationship or is it the teaching and introducing new ideas that open new avenues?

What you want to do here is really delve into the work you do and notice what elements within the work really light you up. Things like solving puzzles, teaching, intimacy with one person, or delving deep.


3. Now take a look at the business of your business. Invoicing, accounting, customer management, visibility, marketing, website maintenance, scheduling. What parts seriously bring you down?

When we are in business for ourselves, whether we like it or not, we have to do the business of running a business. For some it isn’t such a big deal. For others it’s such a dreaded thing, it’s almost reason enough to get out of business.

You may have found a way to outsource or automate to minimize the pain, but it still ranks right up there.

Take note of what you truly dislike and then let’s move on.

Now that you’ve got the answers, read below to see if groups and courses align with you and your business.


If your answers to questions #1 had something to do with: 

knowing you wanted a large reach, lighter connection with more people or if you answered anything that spoke to wanting breadth, over depth, then groups or course could align with your business.


If your answers to question #2 had something to do with:

teaching, guiding/coaching, creative/creation, larger energy connection, or juggling more people and more needs at once then groups or courses could align with you and what you like about work. You also need patience for things that take longer to bear fruit.


If your answers to question #3 had something to do with:

social media, visibility or promotion and you do not have someone doing this for you already or the budget to hire someone, then groups or courses may not be successful for you.


Some exceptions:

In-person groups, particularly when kept very small and intimate, can be natural for many 1 on 1 businesses because they use most of the skills you use in your one on one work. However, you’d have to think about why that person would want to work in the group rather than individually with you. If it is because they can receive the benefit of your gifts for a lesser price point, then that is not likely addressing any of your frustrations and probably creating more. However, if it is getting them more intimate and exclusive access to you for a higher price point then it would make more sense to explore.

For bricks-and-mortar businesses who align well with groups and/or courses and are looking at online groups or courses, you’ll have to want to build relationships online in the same way you do in-person. Plan to give yourself at least 6 months, but preferably a year to build a system and rhythm to building relationships there before launching a digital course or program.


There’s your simple 3 question process.

If groups and courses align with your and your business, congratulations. And if you still have questions or want some on-the-spot coaching on this topic, I’d encourage you to join me for my webinar to ask your questions life.

If you don’t feel like they are a fit, join me for my free upcoming webinar where I’ll cover this content in more detail along with introducing you to a third option which is more aligned to the work of one on one providers.


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