Okay, so I'm a very altruistic person who would rather do things in a manner in which everyone wins, not just the owner. I would rather have a business succeed long-term and have a slow, consistent growth with a focus on the clients instead of a focus on the profits and always seeking to increase them.
So, with that out of the way, I want to talk about a business I started to implement years ago, but due to family issues, I was unable to fully implement it :(
The business was a marketing consulting business, with a focus being on startup and small businesses.
What I had planned on doing was pretty simple: Be the company's marketing department. Here is how I had it planned:
We would charge a monthly fee (around $500), and that would basically cover the cost to use our services, connections, and deals which we would get from partners. After initially talking with them and getting more information about their business, products, market, and other relevant information, we would put together a marketing plan with anticipated results and costs. After showing them the plan, we would finalize marketing direction and plan and what exactly would be needed to accomplish the plan (graphic design, advertisers, money, etc). We also needed to make sure that the client had enough money to accomplish the plan (well, duh! It'd be stupid to start the plan without the client even having money to fulfill it).
From that point onward, we would act as the marketing department for the client. We would work with our partners (graphic design, advertisers [newspapers, radio, tv, mail, etc], etc) to get things rolling, and charge our clients the price that we would be charged by our partners.
This was the great draw: we would give our clients a discount for working with us (using our partners). Although we were losing potential revenue by not charging market rates, it allowed our clients to lower their advertising cost by about 25%, meaning that they would most likely stay with us long-term in order to maintain that discount.
The clients would give us information about foot traffic, coupon use (if used), and other information so we would give a monthly statement, giving them information as to how the marketing plan is progressing, and what changes should be made.
It is a great way to help businesses succeed and get long-term clients.