Kara Laws

Today we welcome Kara Laws, a Business Advisor to SMBs to the show. 

If you are just getting started or are struggling to get momentum this episode is for you.

kara laws

About the Guest

Kara Laws is an incredible business educator. She has been an entrepreneur for over 15 years. 

Kara has built and sold multiple businesses, trained hundreds of business owners, and personally guided businesses through the systems and hiring procedures that got them through COVID. 

Kara‘s clients range from start-ups to million-dollar companies. Restaurant owners, photographers, coaches, event producers, manufacturing, and tourism-based businesses have worked closely with Kara.

Her business, Launched, was created to help women with the twinkle of entrepreneurship, launch their businesses on solid footing while gaining clear understanding of business management and growth.

Her processes, spreadsheets, and unique way of teaching has helped hundreds of businesses set their focus, know the next steps, and reach their goals.


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Audra Carpenter


Kara Laws


CJ Carpenter



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Episode Transcript

*What follows is an AI-generated transcript may not be 100% accurate. 


[00:00:00] Audra:

[00:00:05] all right. Welcome to another episode of In the Middle and I want to welcome my guest today, Kara’s joining us, and I’m gonna give her a few minutes to tell everybody a little bit about herself before we dive into all the meat and potatoes for today. So welcome Kara to the show.

[00:00:24] Appreciate it.

[00:00:25] Kara Laws: Thank you for having me. Tell you about myself. So my name is Kara Laws. I live in Utah, in the middle of nowhere. I am a business educator. I teach women how to start successful businesses. I have adhd. I homeschool my little kids. mostly I’m an entrepreneur though, teaching other women how to do it themselves.

[00:00:45] Audra: Awesome. we need it. it’s definitely a valuable skill set to have right now and a way underserved market that can use the extra support. Awesome. So glad to hear that you’re doing that and education and we’re kindred spirits from the start with everything. I know that we talked briefly, before our session today about the similarities and what we’re trying to do and.

[00:01:10] we’ve got our own little underground army that is working to make sure that more businesses see past that first year or that second year even. I was doing a, article the other day about some startup or small business analytics. It’s scary. there are so many businesses, but so few ever see daylight and it’s not because they don’t have good product.

[00:01:37] Audra: Yeah. we see that time and time again. Amazing products, the challenges, they don’t figure out this mess in the middle. That so many people struggle through, and the more light that we can bring to this, I think the more chances we’ll be able to see people get to the other side of these and turn ’em into viable businesses and support their families and hire employees and all that kind of good stuff.

[00:02:03] All the benefits that come from being able to make it through the first and second year. I would say those are the toughest. Yeah,

[00:02:11] Kara Laws: that whole first year man.

[00:02:14] Audra: It’s no joke, everything out,

[00:02:16] Kara Laws: and that’s what it is. It’s just figuring everything out. It’s Oh my gosh, I need a website and I need social media and I don’t know how to get my products to people, and oh, now shipping’s

[00:02:24] Audra: expensive and what do I charge and who’s my audience and how do I get traffic?

[00:02:31] Traffic seems to be the biggest thing that is focal point lately on a lot of the entrepreneurs I’m talking to, So little by little, our industry, and I say ours, meaning marketing and training and small business support. we’re getting some of the basic stuff out to people, but the bigger one is it’s weird.

[00:02:53] So traffic seems like it should be an advanced tactic when it comes to your marketing, but at the same time, without traffic, at the very beginning, You don’t ever get to the advanced stuff cuz you won’t make it. Yeah. It’s kinda weird. Traffic almost needs to be a part of every single stage that happens.

[00:03:11] Instead of waiting until, Okay, I built it, everything’s done. All those things that you just listed, social media and the website. They never touched the traffic. And then it takes them six months to figure that out and they’re outta business or they’re outta money. Yeah, for sure. Yeah. So when you are coaching, or I don’t know, do you consider yourself coach or a guide or what is that for you?

[00:03:35] Kara Laws: I consider myself a business advisor or advisor. Okay.

[00:03:38] just because a lot of coaches ask questions to guide people somewhere. Okay. And I prefer to be like, This is what’s wrong, and this is the red flag you’re headed for. Let’s just fix it. Okay. Okay. I’m not as coachy and I’m.

[00:03:50] Directee.

[00:03:51] Audra: Okay, good. No, there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s the whole reason why somebody goes to get support the scenic route is beautiful, but I don’t have time for the scenic route. I need to get from this city to this city. We’ll visit the scenic ground on vacation, but for now, I need to focus on the revenue and whatever we can do to get them there quicker.

[00:04:14] That should always be the goal of a coach. We make different ˘decisions when there’s money. Yeah. The conversations change. Yeah. And without that money, you don’t have a lot of flexibility, . Or ability to take, different kinds of risks when there’s no revenue coming in.

[00:04:31] Kara Laws: Yeah, I agree.

[00:04:33] Yeah. You can’t spend money to move forward if you don’t have anything coming

[00:04:37] Audra: in. That’s what you’re spending for sure. Now, what, segment of the market do you typically deal with? Do you deal with startups or people that have been around a while? What does that look

[00:04:47] Kara Laws: like? And I’m telling startups.

[00:04:48] Okay. Zero to 50 K that you’re taking home. if you are not taking home more than $50,000, you’re still a startup. To me, there’s something missing. at least. and a lot of businesses I’ve worked with were making way more than that. But that’s my baseline is

[00:05:03] you haven’t

[00:05:05] figured out how to take home more than $50,000.

[00:05:08] This is the program. Good through this program and make sure everything’s set up right, especially the system and

[00:05:15] making sure you’re priced

[00:05:16] correctly. Like those are the two that I care a ton about. obviously marketing and getting the traffic and all of that matters as well if nobody’s coming in the doors.

[00:05:23] But most of my people are getting stuck in not pricing right, and not having the systems to support it.

[00:05:30] Audra: Okay. So what do you typically tell somebody that would come to you and says, Okay, I’ve got this widget I wanna sell and I’ve got it priced at $12. ?

[00:05:39] I think a lot of people don’t realize that they get five steps down from this first initial one, and don’t think to think back that may be the issue.

[00:05:48] There, there’s three things when you’re pricing, Okay. That I want everyone to be able to do. But the first one is you have to know what all of your fixed costs are.

[00:05:57] Kara Laws: Okay? Like you have to know what it costs to keep you in business. If you’re, And I ask this all the time, I’m like, How much do you have to have the stay in business? And they’re like, I have no idea. Maybe a thousand dollars. Maybe $3,000. You

[00:06:10] have to know it and know it well, and then we have to know

[00:06:13] what your variable costs are.

[00:06:14] So once you have to make. Widget or whatever you’re doing, what does it cost you to get it to your person, right? And then we can start figuring things out. There’s like a math formula and you can start saying things like, Okay, if I sell 50 of these, they have to be priced at X, Y, Z. If I can sell 200 of these, they have to be priced to X, Y, Z.

[00:06:35] And that’s when we start playing with things that we do. The third one, which then we’re doing the market research in there, this is way overpriced for the market, which means our expenses are too high, we have to adjust expenses first. this. Underpriced, we can raise our prices. whatever that looks like.

[00:06:48] And you place it a little. I know I can sell a hundred of them so we can price it at X. There’s so many people who say things like, you just triple your costs and you just give you like this really general way to price stuff.

[00:07:02] Audra: It gives me, so my competitors are charging.

[00:07:05] Yeah. Yeah. Without knowing anything.

[00:07:09] Kara Laws: Yeah, you do want the market research piece, but it comes after

[00:07:12] what you have to charge.

[00:07:14] And then if you’re like, Oh, no one will pay a thousand dollars for this because 80 other people are selling it for $10, maybe this isn’t viable, or your expenses are too high, or we have to come

[00:07:23] Kara Laws: at it in a different angle like,

[00:07:26] Audra: I think the important thing people need to go back to is when you’re validating that idea, when you are doing your market research, when you are planning out what it looks like, we get so excited about what’s to come and all the things that we’re gonna do with all this million dollars that we’re making and all the people we’re gonna serve, that we forget that this original research that’s being done at the beginning, Is the foundation of what you’re laying.

[00:07:52] So if you try to shortcut it and not validate your idea and not build a community and not price it properly with actual data, it’s pretty tough to scale it. At some point through that journey, you are going to take some steps backwards. Yeah. And don’t hold me to it. Occasionally somebody gets through the filter and does really well without planning anything, but the majority of us have to go based on actual data.

[00:08:19] , and then we pivot from there. We adjust from there. One of, the important things that you just said about, covering your hard costs first, what would that include just so everybody understands,

[00:08:30] Kara Laws: Okay, so like your fixed costs, hard costs, either everything that you have to pay for, even if you don’t make any money, even if you sell nothing.

[00:08:39] So if you’re in a building, you have to pay your mortgage, you have to pay your rent if know you have to pay for the internet, you have to pay for your phone, you have to, whatever is coming due, even if you don’t sell anything, those are your

[00:08:50] Audra: biggest costs. Okay. And then I would add into that all of your online costs, so software you’re using, tools you have hosting email tools, any kind of social media schedulers, any image sites or design sites, all of that would be also part of those costs.

[00:09:09] Kara Laws: And some people will say, This is optional. I don’t believe that it is. I add what I have to take home into my fixed costs. Okay. I’m the sole provider for my family and a lot of our business owners, not a lot, everyone started a

[00:09:22] business to make money. We are for profit, we’re for profit business,

[00:09:28] but a lot are providing for wanting this to provide a hundred percent for their family.

[00:09:33] So for me, Fixed cost includes what I have to take home. Okay? Okay. If I need $5,000 a month or $2,000 a month or whatever it is, , that goes into my fixed cost, cuz I wanna account for it from day one. Okay. Some people are like,no, that’s totally fine. That’s just how I do it. So that’s how I do my fixed costs.

[00:09:50] at the end of the day though, it really does include that. regardless if you’re trying to budget for your business or not, where is that money coming from? So why not include it in . Otherwise, it’s okay, these are my business fixed costs, but somehow I gotta figure out how to make this other five grand to support my household.

[00:10:08] Audra: They’re not separate, they’re together. Unless somebody else, unless you have a partner or a spouse that is covering that side of your life, then I would say don’t add it in. But if you are the person that is responsible for that, then yeah, it should be a part of

[00:10:25] Kara Laws: it. Or even if you’re like, This is a side hustle and I wanna be able to make $500 a month for my family.

[00:10:32] I would just add it in. I would just start by accepting that you’re going to make enough money, that you’re gonna figure out how to make that money. Yeah. And sometimes we do that at the end and we price everything, and we do all the work. And then we hope that there’s money at the end instead of

[00:10:47] making sure that we’re doing it to have

[00:10:49] money at the end of the ultimate goal.

[00:10:51] So that’s how.

[00:10:52] Audra: Yeah, and it does become a little bit different conversation when you’re doing digital products versus physical products. I had a pet brand for a while. I knew what it cost me to get it from, the product made from China to my door, any kind of taxes, getting it to Amazon.

[00:11:11] those are hard numbers. So it was easy to do the calculation of what I needed to charge versus what it cost me to get it to my house. When it comes to digital, though, it’s a little bit different, especially if you’re in a coaching industry or some type of consulting because everybody is so different.

[00:11:31] Audra: You can find a startup coach or startup advisor that charges you, $20,000 a year, you can find another one that charges you $200 a month. So what do you tell your people if they’ve got something like that? That I don’t have a tangible product. I’m selling information,

[00:11:49] Kara Laws: so that’s totally fine.

[00:11:50] Cuz we still have our fixed costs and some people are like, I only have 10 fixed costs and they’re super low. That’s cool. Yeah. And then we go into our variable costs, and that’s everything you just said. Okay. what does it cost you to get the product made in China and shipped here or made in your backyard or whatever you’re doing?

[00:12:04] that’s the cost of the product. You don’t have to pay for it unless someone buys it. So when you have a product that’s not tangible or a service, typically your variable costs are like $5 or $10 or whatever that is. Sometimes with coaches, I will tell, This is where you put in your time.

[00:12:22] Kara Laws: So if it’s an hour of your time is worth something, it costs you $250. Okay? To be at this, to, or a thousand or whatever you need it to be, I can let them put that in variable. but it’s okay if the answer for variable is zero. Okay? Cause we still have our fixed cost and then we have a variable cost.

[00:12:40] And variable cost is zero. We’re still going off our fixed. And then we bring it over and we say, Okay, I need to make, according to my fixed cost, just to break even. I have to make $5,000 a

[00:12:50] month. Okay. How many clients can we get from that? How many

[00:12:53] digital downloads does that need to be, et cetera.

[00:12:56] And then I’m, I have a spreadsheet where they can play with the numbers and really see it look like I’m gonna sell my downloads for $5. That means I have to sell.

[00:13:05] Audra: A thousand

[00:13:05] of

[00:13:06] Kara Laws: them. A thousand of them. I forgot what number I said before. 5,000, a thousand of them. And they’re like a thousand’s gonna be really hard.

[00:13:13] Okay. So what does it look like if we sell them for eight, which is still comparable in the market.

[00:13:18] that kind of thing. And then we can start making sure we have some freedom to play. I always like some freedom in there cause we have to put money back in our business. and sometimes we like to discounts, so some freedom in there can play.

[00:13:30] Kara Laws: And see what we can turn it

[00:13:31] Audra: all into. That’s good. That in itself, and I’m saying this just for the listeners, you need to spend a little bit of time and energy nailing this subject. there’s probably lots of spreadsheets out there. If not, just do what Kara just said write down the basics. What are my hard costs? What are my or my fixed costs, my hard costs for my product? And then what is a market bear? You know who your competitors are, you probably have a pretty good idea if you’ve researched your product out in the marketplace. Try to be somewhere in between.

[00:14:05] Remember, you can’t be as high as the experts. Just cuz you won’t be able to compete cuz you’re not gonna have the testimonials or the success or the results that they’ve gotten. But you also don’t have to be at the very bottom place. Again, depending on your experience and your knowledge in your niche, but try to find something and say, Look, this is my starter rate.

[00:14:25] This is this. Yeah. As low as it’s gonna go. And the goal would be as you take on more clients or serve more people, your price goes up from there. Yeah, exactly. I think my first couple of social media clients, and I’ve been doing this since 09, so I’ve been in the industry for a really long time.

[00:14:44] My first couple social media clients, I think I charged like $1,500 and that was big money back then. It was like, whew. And trying to get somebody to pay you $1,500 for social media. This stuff doesn’t work. It’s just a fad, So it was crazy. Fast forward a handful of years, Then we’re at 5,000, we’re at 10,000, and it’s time and grade, right? You get your clients’ results, you put the work in, and you get better at your skill and serving your people and getting the results. Then you’re able to charge a lot more. And today? Yeah, I definitely charge a lot more than I did 10 years ago.

[00:15:22] and I think we all start lower, and I think it’s okay, like 10% of people, so 10% of the general market are early adopters, which means they’re willing to take a risk. And so you can’t get everyone all at once, even though sometimes it feels like we should, but you just need that 10%, those early adopters to come in, and then

[00:15:40] Kara Laws: you’re training the results and what they’re getting, and then you’re getting the next 20.

[00:15:44] It just snowballs and then you can start moving up. Like you said, it’s just. You gotta make sure you know where you’re

[00:15:49] Audra: starting. Yeah, I think that’s a, that is a great point to bring up with early adopters. So if you guys aren’t familiar with that, there’s actually a bell curve that kind of goes through the progression of people.

[00:16:01] So you have early adopters that’ll get in, that are risk takers, that are quick to try out new things and, always want to be on the cutting edge of what’s coming. Like me, I am spending so much time studying AI right now. I got some very fun things coming in that space, but it’s early. It’s not everybody’s in it.

[00:16:23] It’s actually a little bit tough to find content online talking about ai, right? Yet, And more of just AI and how it ties back to marketing and small business. That’s really the kind of the area that I’m focusing on. There’s not a lot of stuff out there. Big businesses are talking about it, but not so much to us yet.

[00:16:41] So I would be an early adopter in that space. I’m willing to spend some money. I’m willing to take some risks and try some stuff that is not proven maybe yet, because it’s that whole new adventure. Yeah. As well. Then you go into the ones that are like, Eh, let’s let those early adopters take the arrows in the back.

[00:17:00] We’ll wait until the next round.

[00:17:02] Kara Laws: I heard of those 40% or the 30%. I don’t Are you like right at the top of the er And I waited until a good percent know what’s happening and then I’m like, it looks

[00:17:15] Audra: that’s where your at

[00:17:17] one of those people, especially with like new tech, especially new tech, anything like that, even.

[00:17:23] Kara Laws: Even medical stuff. I’m like, let’s see. Yeah, let’s just wait a minute. I’m totally one of

[00:17:28] Audra: those people. Yeah. Medical stuff. I’m definitely that way. Medical stuff, I’m like all the way on the other side. I’m like, Yeah, I’m gonna write it out. I’ll be okay. Okay. You’re the last 10. Yeah, I’m the last, Yeah. But the tech, I’m right there at the front and marketing stuff.

[00:17:43] I’m a little bit of a mix, so it depends on what kind of techniques, I do wanna see some data, so I’m not one of those. Just say, Hey, let’s run a Facebook ad for a thousand bucks and see what happens. I’m not that way. I’m a little bit more gradual where I need to see some data and then I’m all in.

[00:18:00] Once the data provides it, the rest of it’s just an opinion. Yeah. We’re going off a best guess of what we think is gonna happen. But very few. I don’t care how many years you’ve been in marketing, very few hit it out of the park the first try it takes some tweaking, it takes the marketing and the message going out to that audience to make sure it resonates.

[00:18:23] And it could be, to refer it to Facebook ads. It could be. Something as simple as changing a headline and then it’s a home run, or it’s changing an image and your ROAS is ridiculous. So it just, all of us have to start with just something and if, I think that’s an important point to take away.

[00:18:44] Regardless if you’re a startup or like Kara and I, we’ve been doing this a while. We’re still testing. Everything is still a test. You don’t get away from that the longer you’ve been in business. No. we get to results a little faster. Yes. But we still have to test.

[00:19:01] Kara Laws: That is the thing about marketing is it’s everything else I took teach like six different pillars of business essentially. Okay. And

[00:19:08] most of the rest are really straightforward. I can give you what you need and we can know that it works. And marketing, I’m like, we’re just gonna have to spend some money. We have to spend some money and spend some time and test some stuff before we can move forward. And it’s frustrating for people, but just the beast of what it is.

[00:19:25] You gotta figure out what works well and then it changes too, cuz fans change, friends change and people change. And. It’s just an exciting place and trends change. Yeah.

[00:19:35] Audra: Yeah. So everybody was, on Facebook and now they’re on TikTok. And not that they’re not everywhere, but the momentum of getting the most eyeballs to get the most results, because when it comes to sales, it’s a numbers game, right?

[00:19:50] We all know that. So I need more people than I have better odds of converting them into a sale. Where do you go to get more people? So I’ve got a startup business, we’ve mapped out pricing, we’ve mapped out our strategy, we’ve gone through all the basic stuff.

[00:20:07] What direction do you typically send people to after that?

[00:20:11] Kara Laws: After they’ve done like the whole academy from me? Yeah. You know what? I don’t have a super solid place to send them right now. I know that’s what I’m thinking too. . So right now I’m working on a second round of education, so it’s a six month program.

[00:20:30] I’m working on another six month program. Good. Like you do wanna build business as a whole. We don’t wanna have marketing that works really well, but our system sucks so we can’t fulfill. And so I am working on a second round of that, but it’s not done yet. So right now I am actively looking for the next

[00:20:46] place to send them. They can hang out in my groups, we can do some coaching, that type of thing. But a lot of these people are DIYers or looking for someone to hire to take

[00:20:57] that next piece. So yeah. Good. We’ll definitely have to talk about that off after, this podcast isn’t about us selling, but I already made a note about we need to talk more anyway.

[00:21:08] Audra: Yeah, zindolabs can definitely support that. So to go back to your conversation, this mess in the middle and the whole reason why I’m doing this podcast and I’ve kind, I’ve said it in other podcasts, but it’s important to tie it together here, The, this Mess in the middle. We start, we’ve got this brilliant idea, we’re ready to market it.

[00:21:30] We can find tons of resources, free and paid, but lots and lots of free stuff on validating our idea and sourcing products and building websites. that stuff. To nausea. There’s so much content out there. but then the other side of it is the guys that, I made a million dollars and I slept on couches and I went homeless for a while.

[00:21:54] And even though those stories are great, there’s a huge disconnect between, okay, I’m past this, so this stuff’s no longer relevant to me cuz I already spent 700 hours researching that and then I’m not here yet cuz I don’t have enough revenue. So I’m stuck in this middle here, where some days I take a couple steps forward.

[00:22:15] Other days I take 10 backwards. And as I mentioned, I’m on indeed looking for a job because I’m fearful that what I’ve built, nobody wants. What do you tell people when they get there? When they’re stuck in this spot?

[00:22:32] Kara Laws: So there’s a couple things. The first thing is I wanna make sure they did the first parts right?

[00:22:37] , right? Cause some

[00:22:38] Kara Laws: people are like, I have a website and nothing’s happening. And I’m like, Okay, let’s look at the website. Which was literally a conversation I had with a girl last week. She thought I’d been working on my SEO on my website for three years

[00:22:50] and it’s not ranking at all. And I said, Okay, let’s look at the website.

[00:22:53] and I said, What are your search terms? Her search term is like accounting.

[00:22:57] Audra: Oh, good luck, . Exactly.

[00:23:00] Kara Laws: And that’s what I said. I said, No, you need something more specific to you. Like, where are you at? Who are your people? Why would they hire you? Are we looking for accounting for small businesses in Salt Lake City, Utah?

[00:23:10] Audra: Like some long tail keywords. Correct. Exactly. And

[00:23:15] Kara Laws: then,her website’s just like one page. It’s just the landing page. And the only thing you can do is book an appointment. And so the first step for me is let’s make sure that the first step you did is right. That it’s right and it’s scalable and it makes sense.

[00:23:27] And then the next two pieces I would get them, You have to ramp up your marketing. You have to get the traffic in, and you have to make sure your systems are really good, right? You have really good repeatable systems. Systems I care deeply about. And that can keep up with solid marketing that’s actually making you.

[00:23:45] That’s where I’d put them next, but this has to be right. And a lot of people come and say, I already did all of that. And I’m like, let’s look. And most the time

[00:23:51] when we look, we’re doing a lot of stuff over.

[00:23:54] Audra: I can’t tell you how many clients I’ve had over the years. Same. Just like verbatim. Same conversation. No, we’ve got this, we’ve got this, we’ve got this. And then you dig into it. you’re right, you have an email. You haven’t sent one in four months , and you have a list, but none of it’s tagged or segmented or you have no idea where they come from or, there’s so much more that needed to happen there.

[00:24:19] So it’s okay, we’re gonna use it, but we gotta do some cleanup. we gotta go back and sit down some basic groundwork. Otherwise, it’s very tough to scale. An important point to bring up at this stage is there’s a lot that needs to happen from a marketing perspective. Now, we haven’t touched on sales.

[00:24:39] We haven’t touched on really operations too much, other than that foundation stuff or the management of it. You’re a one person team, where is the most important things that you should be focused on? Yes. When it comes to marketing, we have a wheel, right? Think of this wheel, and every one of those spokes is a different marketing channel.

[00:25:01] It could be social media, it could be print, it could be a brick and mortar. It could be physical mail, it could be tv, it could be podcasts. There are so many different ways to market the business. The goal shouldn’t be doing ’em all at once. Unless you’re an expert marketer, you’ll never pull it off.

[00:25:19] Believe me, I am struggling to get it all done, and I’m pretty darn good at this. At this point in my career. Still takes. So much time, and I have systems out of the wazu. It’s still just, a ton of manual work. Yeah. And don’t get so overwhelmed with what you should be doing. And just focus on one thing.

[00:25:43] Do one thing, right? If social media is your sweet spot, meaning that’s your place where you’re most comfortable, start there. If emailing is, or writing blog content or working on the SEO or the website, you gotta come back to, okay, what’s gonna get me to revenue first? Yes. And then that’s what you gotta do.

[00:26:02] That’s the piece you gotta work on. Cuz as we said at the beginning, when money’s coming in, the conversation changes and the decisions you get to make in your business evolve. You have to get to money first.

[00:26:14] Kara Laws: Yes. Once I wanna add too, if you feel like you don’t know what your sweet spot

[00:26:20] is. Like to the listeners, if you’re like, I don’t know, I don’t feel like I’m good at any of those things, so I don’t know how to choose.

[00:26:25] Choose the one that has the most of your target market, like where does your target market hang out? And then go be there and be a part of it and

[00:26:33] Audra: learn that first. Yeah. And have those conversations. That’s awesome. That is important. Remember, when it comes to traffic, something very insightful that I learned, I think I learned it from Russell Brunson many years ago.

[00:26:49] Even pre click funnels. we’ve been, I think it was one of the masterminds him and I were in together. He said the traffic already exists out. ˘Our goal is to not create new traffic. Our goal is to find where the most traffic is, meaning our people, and put ourself in that traffic. Yeah.

[00:27:10] People build these websites and put all this energy into building this building on a part of town that nobody goes to, and then they can’t figure out why nobody’s visiting. Exactly. It’s still, what is it? location. Yeah. When it comes to online. So don’t try to get them to come to you.

[00:27:28] You need to go to them. Start there. Then after that initial conversation starts happening, that’s when you get to invite them back to your place.

[00:27:38] Kara Laws: Yeah, I was watching a video. A TED Talk, Who knows? Yeah. Doesn’t matter. he was a realtor. He was talking specifically about this, that a lot of realtors say they wanna be really high end realtors.

[00:27:49] .

[00:27:49] Kara Laws: And then they just do a whole bunch of open houses and he’s No. Do you know where your people are hanging out? They’re at like the country clubs. They’re playing golf, they’re doing these things. So instead of him paying the money to do that, he pays the money to go be a part of where they’re at.

[00:28:04] And then he smart there networks with them. And I thought that was really powerful to even think about with social media is like, where are they already hanging out? Where are they at online? Go be there.

[00:28:15] Yeah, go be a part of that because that’s what gets you in front of them. Instead of that, they’ll divert and randomly come to whatever you’re throwing that day.

[00:28:25] Go be a part of

[00:28:25] Audra: it instead. And even if you’re there as a consumer, Somebody there. if you’re going into somebody else’s group where, you know, for an example, if you are going in as a member of that community, then you’re there to give, you’re there to network. You’re not there to poach, you’re not there to try to take people out of somebody else’s group.

[00:28:48] But through those organic relationships, people will seek you. Yeah, answer questions, provide value. I’ll give you a perfect example. I attended a AI summit this last weekend and it, they had a community and I went in, I engaged with people I didn’t know and left comments and offered feedback not as Audra, the marketing expert, but as Audra the participant.

[00:29:15] And I probably had five different people from that event. Reach out to me on LinkedIn because of that to talk about some future stuff. Now, that wasn’t my plan, but because I showed up and I gave and I played full out, there were things that can come from that for sure. That wasn’t my intention. But I’m also a for-profit company, so take it.

[00:29:43] You’re always gonna pay attention to opportunities, but for sure, that’s how that stuff happens organically, where, the more wonderful things you put out there, the universe kind of rewards you on the other side of it.

[00:29:55] Kara Laws: For sure. . Yeah.

[00:29:57] Audra: I love that. Yeah. So where, Okay. So folks work with you for six months.

[00:30:03] , you’re, we haven’t quite put a plan the next phase in business for you. What would you suggest to somebody that says, Okay, we’ve done our pricing, we’ve got some plans in place. I’m starting to sell a little bit. I’m around a hundred thousand mark, but I’m stuck. So every time I move a little bit forward, I end up going backwards and I’ve of plateaued in this spot here and I can’t get past it.

[00:30:28] Kara Laws: Okay. So business runs on S-curves. If you’re listening, you can’t see this, but it runs on S-curves, which means you have to go down before you go up, and then you hit a peak and then you have to go down before you go back up. A hundred K is the first most predictable S-curve after that startup down, right?

[00:30:45] So right there. A 100K. Typically, that’s where people have capped out of doing work on their own right of being able to run your business yourselves. A hundred k. It’s about where you cap out. So what most people need right there is that’s when you need to start bringing on more team members. That’s when you need to start bringing on more people.

[00:31:04] However, you have to hire in the right places. So if you are like, I’m just gonna hire someone to do the things I don’t like, like customer service. But you are in a shop building stuff and working your butt off and sweating profusely and dying, and then someone just doing your customer service, that’s not gonna increase your revenue, right?

[00:31:24] You’re just gonna lose the 20 grand that it takes to pay them to work part-time, right? You need to hire in wherever allows you to ramp up. So if you’re stuck in production, if that’s your bottleneck, you hire in production, if your bottleneck is sales and you’re not getting through that sales process fast enough, you hire into sales.

[00:31:44] ˘That’s good to make sure you’re hiring in the place that your business is bottlenecked. Most of the time that is production and most business owners are like, Ooh, no. I’m the only person who can do this. I was a professional photographer for a while and I was like, Nobody else can take pictures.

[00:31:59] What are you talking about? This sounds crazy. Yes, people can take pictures. You train them to do those things, so you. Do more. You can increase productivity. If you’re a coach, you’re hiring other coaches. A lot of people will tell you just to raise your prices. You can totally raise prices if you want.

[00:32:15] but typically you can price outta market eventually. And that still puts all of the stress, all of the business, all of the stuff on you, which doesn’t give you the freedom. So 100K. Totally standard to hit by yourself. You gotta start hiring

[00:32:30] Audra: some people. Yeah. What’s the next plateau?

[00:32:35] Kara Laws: About 500. And that’s all about systematizing the crap out of everything you getting out of the way, running as a CEO into the doer of the work. Yeah, etcetera. And then about 900 a million is where your scale. maybe you’re opening new locations then.

[00:32:51] Audra: If you’re physical. Yeah. If you’re physical, yes.

[00:32:53] Yeah. When do you typically recommend somebody add a second product to their product line?

[00:32:58] Kara Laws: I don’t have a specific number for that. I would add another product to your product line if you don’t have a next step for your people like me. Okay. Like my people are in here for six. I have a book on the way.

[00:33:10] I have some stuff like that, but I don’t have an next step to keep them. Okay. It costs you five times

[00:33:14] more to get new clients than to keep the ones you have. So if you don’t have an next step or they’re getting bored, add something else.

[00:33:21] Give them something new and exciting to keep them there.

[00:33:24] It’s way cheaper to keep them there

[00:33:26] Audra: than to just. Rotating through all. yeah. Definitely. Sometimes for me it varies. So depending on what industry they’re in I wanna go back to what you said about the a hundred thousand. The flip side of that whole conversation, which I agree with you a hundred percent, is okay.

[00:33:43] Don’t hire anybody or hire the wrong people, like you said, just to pick up customer service, but then also recognize your business growth stops. because you still only have so many hours in the day. Yeah. And if you’re gonna hang on to tasks that are non-revenue generating, the business has nowhere to go.

[00:34:04] Yeah. So to, just to piggyback off what you said, yes, you’re the manager. Yes, people came to you because of the great product that you create. But if you don’t figure out how to delegate that, train somebody new, bring somebody in to help you, that’s it. Then you just have. A hundred thousand dollars year job for 80 now because you’re paying somebody 20,000, go get a job.

[00:34:28] It’s gonna be so much less stress than less stress. All the responsibilities of a business owner just to do what’s something that you love, all over it.

[00:34:38] Kara Laws: I have a story that goes with it. One of my clients. She majored in music and was like, I’m gonna teach kids how to play the piano. I don’t remember what instrument it was cuz she had so many by end.

[00:34:48] She’s gonna teach people how to play the piano and then she starts picking up all these business books and learning and learning about systems and scaling. And so instead of her being a piano teacher, she now manages a huge business making. into 400 K a year and she has other people come in and teach kids all kinds of instruments to play.

[00:35:07] Beautiful. And we have a lot of people who do, music in their piano lessons in their home, which is fine, but she saw a way to scale exactly what she was doing just by adding other people in. So she’s not limited by her time anymore. And she’s providing jobs for tons of people and services for tons of people. It’s amazing what she’s created.

[00:35:28] Audra: That’s awesome. Yeah. That’s awesome. the other thing I think to focus on is the business owner that you’re at from zero to 100 is very different than the business owner you’re gonna be from 100 to a half a million. Yes, you will evolve. That’s why a lot of people, you’ll hear stories of, I made money.

[00:35:48] I lost money. I made money. I lost money. Sometimes you just weren’t the person, the owner, the leader that you needed to be able to keep that and then move up to that next level. I get asked all the time why I’ve waited to launch this marketplace that I built, Audra why didn’t you just start with one?

[00:36:06] You know better than anybody. get the audience, then build the product for them. But for me, the marketplace is the product. and a quick funny story I was looking for some of my old, I write I’m a paper person and went through and found some of my old notebooks from 2017 what zindo marketplaces is now with all the different properties

[00:36:31] my original idea was from 2017. Wow. And I’m like, Oh my gosh, why didn’t I just build it all then ? Because I wasn’t the person ready to handle what this marketplace is. Yes, I could have built one website and done very well with just one, but that wasn’t the impact that I was wanting to get to. So if I’m trying to be a category king and create a whole new industry and a whole new way for small business to work online, I had to grow in to be that person.

[00:37:04] I had to be able to evolve not only mindset wise, but skill wise and, just the whole picture before I was ready to handle it, let alone, the market ready for something different. So I guess the point of that story is don’t give up if you’re not quite there yet. Stay the course because it will show itself when when you’ve developed far enough to be able to handle a project like that.

[00:37:29] For sure. For sure. Yeah. It’s been a lot. It’s Oh my God, I was so smart back then. What happened? I didn’t even listen to myself.

[00:37:37] Oh Lord, I love that too. That worry. That’s sad. .But it’s part of the journey, right? you have big businesses, you have small businesses. The goal going through this middle is not to prevent it.

[00:37:51] The middle’s gonna happen regardless if we wanted to or not. What I hope with this podcast or any of the content that you see online, it’s just to, one better equipped you to get through it quicker. Two, know that you’re not alone. That this way you’re going through, if you’re struggling right now is it’s normal.

[00:38:12] We all go through this. The guy that has made $0 to the guy that’s made a hundred million, they have still gone through this. So don’t try to avoid it. Don’t let it completely take you down as if, my business won’t make it. I don’t have a good product. I’m not ready for this.

[00:38:31] Take it like, okay, you know what? I was told this is gonna happen. What I need to do as the owner is get better at developing skills to work through this stuff so I can get back to my business. Yeah. And I think that’s really the big important thing that I want to come from the podcast or any of the properties or how I’m serving online.

[00:38:55] Kara Laws: For sure. And I think like that middle place, I mean it sucks. Don’t get discouraged. We keep pushing through and figuring out all of the pieces. And if you can get that really set up well, a whole business, it can turn into something really incredible

[00:39:10] Audra: on the other side. And generational, right?

[00:39:12] This stuff, this, we’ve seen more millionaires in the last, what, five, 10 years than in history. That’s

[00:39:19] Kara Laws: crazy. I didn’t know that.

[00:39:20] Audra: That’s really cool. Yeah. Yeah. It’s like millionaires. Millionaires, , billionaires. So billionaires have of taken the title of what millionaires used to be, at least when I was a kid.

[00:39:33] if you were a millionaire. Wow. That was cool. It was always old money then. There was very little new money today. It. Millionaires. No, I want the b I don’t want the M anymore. .That’s awesome. It is. It is. All right, Kara as we kind of wrap things up, what would be some last steps that you would encourage people to take as they’re going through this mess?

[00:40:01] Kara Laws: the not giving up. Getting through all of that. And I would also encourage, sometimes we get stuck in a learning loop is what I call it. Okay. Where we’re just taking course after course. And we’re not implementing a lot of what we’ve done. So, if you’re signing up for something, follow it through, implement what you’re doing before you’re taking on more and more.

[00:40:21] Sometimes we hide our scared in learning more. Instead of actually doing, that would be a big one for me is to follow through and make sure you’re getting stuff done and using your knowledge. It doesn’t matter what you know, it matter what you do, so do it. Use what you have would be like a huge one for me.

[00:40:37] Don’t give up. Get through the hard places and implement what you have.

[00:40:42] Audra: Implement that is a, that’s probably a number one takeaway. Absolutely. So I don’t think I can add anything to that. I want you guys to leave you with your last thought. Implement, stop collecting information, and courses and coaches One thing, Implement it.

[00:41:02] One thing, implement it. Yeah. And once you actually get in the habit of doing that, it’s super easy to keep doing it. Yeah. But if you’re just. Snacker like that, just taking everything. You’ll never really get past that.

[00:41:16] Kara Laws: Cause you have. Yeah, and that’s no skill. That’s part of why I created. The whole academy is because it’s here’s your bit of information.

[00:41:24] Do this task good. Do not move forward and then do the task. And then it’s

[00:41:28] here’s the information, do the task good. Because we get so stuck in that learning and I need people to do the work and we’re seeing some great results from it. Do the work to be able to move forward instead of just learning.

[00:41:41] Kara Laws: Let’s make sure it gets done.

[00:41:43] that’s about our time, so thank you so much for being here. It’s been a great conversation. I’ve truly enjoyed it. Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. we’ll definitely talk again soon. All right. Thanks again.

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