Getting a company started which provides services isn’t that difficult as the required up-front capital investment is almost nil. You need customers who would like to avail of your services, once you pocket some clients, you’re all ready to go.
Though you get an easy beginning, these kinds of businesses are difficult to grow. You’ll be facing several challenges when it comes to ensuring an upward journey for your company. To begin with, finding and converting leads is tough, apart from that standing out amidst so many choices in the market and selling high-ticket services to your clients involves a considerable amount of struggle.
But things don’t end here if you want more profits you have to be able to sell your services to more users, and providing services to a large scale of customers can prove to be very hectic. The answer to all your queries is to productize your services.
When services get productized they are made part of a package with systemized details about the capacity of companies to produce them. The entire process sets things to such an extent that at one point your business will be able to run smoothly without a lot of effort on your part.
Here’s your guide to service productization.
The advantages you get by productizing your services:
- Productization allows a business to grow without being bottlenecked by the human limitations of the businesspeople. The business scales beyond what one person can handle and the person can strike a good balance between work and life.
- Productization means the client knows what to expect and since you created those expectations based on your business’ capacity, the expectations are easier to meet. This is a much more efficient long-term solution.
- Consistent outputs are great and productization facilitates that by standardizing the workflow and defining a process.
All about service productization:
Productization of services may be understood as taking the value, skills, and advice you offer, and presenting them in the form of products that are expected to supply part of that value. Shape your service like a product and see to it that it fulfills the following criteria:
- Ability to scale – The effort to be put in and expenses involved in the sale of one product should be ideally the same as ten. When it comes to services, shifting from working for five clients to fifty doesn’t come readily without bringing about changes in time or business investment.
- The time factor – You may charge your services per hour or in terms of each project, but putting in time into your work matters. Once you productize your service, you’ll usually not need to apply additional effort or give extra time for every sale, though you may have to offer some hours for customer support. But when you’re just getting started, you’ll need to invest a good amount of time initially in the building process and service marketing.
- Catering to the needs of many – Instead of customizing your services according to the requirement of every client’s project, bring in uniformity as far as possible. If you focus on trying to provide similar services to large numbers, you’ll be able to produce better results without struggling to keep up.
Step By Step Guide on How to Productize a Service :
Customer Comes First
To put the customer’s needs first, one must first understand what those needs are. Often the people compiling the offers and package deals are the managerial heads and the CEOs, and, truth be told, they are not the ones who are closest to the consumer.
The people manning the help desks, the customer service and the sales representatives have a more organic relation with the customers. That first-hand interaction translates to a better understanding of what the real needs of the consumer demographic is, what their complaints are, and what services are most commonly used in combination with each other.
So, while compiling packages and offers, including the ground teams dealing with the customers first hand, and taking their input in the decision-making process should be a priority for the decision-makers.
Intelligence is adaptability
The strict approach to setting the parameters under which a package is offered is all too attractive. To have the knowledge and understanding of what can be controlled and depended upon might be important for a lot of people.
With all the effort and planning it takes to develop a package, often the easier thing to do is leave it at that and leave no room for flexibility.
That is not wise. Often, a client would hop on board if only a few minor tweaks were made to the packages that you offer. The premise of an unaltering package set, though attractive to ones who prefer structure and rigidity, might mean losing business in the long run.
It is always a better idea to debate the pros and cons and strike a balance between how much flexibility is acceptable for how much gain in business. This will also help boost business relations with your customers.
Quality over quantity
The businesses living in the service-based ecosystem are often far too afraid of transparency. Making the how what and at what price open information seems almost taboo. But that is not without reason.
The businesses that have moved to a productized approach to the service-based industry, do report declining lead numbers and that is good enough to scare even the big boys of business. But once you analyze the actual leads themselves, they paint a more optimistic picture.
The productized approach almost filters leads into a customer base that is more ready to engage. They know what they want, they know what you are offering and they have read the terms and conditions before approaching you.
So, these leads are the ones that have the highest chance of buying your packages. If you build your packages well, they themselves become a sales pitch in the productized ecosystem.
The following sale structures are suggested for people who want to retail their company’s services like a product in the market:
- One-time purchases
- Subscriptions on a monthly basis
This strategy is ideal for companies and individuals involved in freelancing who sell custom-based services and want to adopt the method of upsell to obtain more leads as they continue to earn revenue. You can provide a small demo of the kind of services you provide.
It could be anything an e-book or a how-to-do guide, audit or anything related to your field of work. Customers want to see the product they’re buying before finalizing the purchasing decision, the same will apply to your company’s service when you productize it.
If your leads get to see what you have to offer and they’re impressed by the standard of your work they’ll be eager to avail of your services at prices you demand.
While you’re working on this sample work, remember to maintain high quality as this may be your only shot at lead conversion. This model legitimizes and gives added value to your service.
Once a customer buys your services, coming back for more is highly likely as after a satisfactory purchase has been made, customers tend to formulate a buyer’s mentality.
This isn’t really focused on making money in the present but rather aims at future profits as it aids you in effective lead generation. There’s, of course, some addition to your earning but the model mainly increases the chances of the future purchase of costlier services by buyers who have invested in your work once.
An example of the illustrated model:
Swenk had a US-based digital agency which he had been successfully running for more than ten years. When the company was at its peak level in business, he had 100+ employees working for him and the agency provided services to clients like Hitachi, AT&T, and LegalZoom.
Swenk later sold the company away for financial gain, now he provides help to other digital agencies that utilize his strategies and systems and to hike up their profit rates.
He is involved with the sales of tutorial courses which offer one-to-one coaching sessions, and is running the Agency Mastermind group.
Swenk has adopted a smart method for increasing sales, he doesn’t rely on pushing crowds for opting for the services of the agency he runs or for purchasing his coaching services, he follows a more logical route.
He has several free and paid packages like Agency University, Agency Playbook, and Budget Buster that are aimed at luring in more leads. These packages come at various ranges but each of them gives him the advantage of some additional value and gives him a scope to put his skills on display along with gaining people’s trust.
This scheme is best suited for companies that build audits, create reports, are into website making, strategy formulation, or other self-contained services which are in demand once a year or several times in a year but not every other month, and want to get the sales and marketing of their services into order.
For one-time dealings, evaluation of the client projects you have already worked on in the past is crucial. You have to carefully analyze them for recognizing the common factor among them across several aspects like the standard size of the projects, the time required by you or your team members to complete the tasks, the prices charged, whether the deals were profitable and so on.
If you observe that there was quite a great variation, there’s nothing to get worried about, the differences indicate that you’ll be required to split the rates of your services into multiple tiers.
Let’s say the smaller projects you dealt with yielded an earning of about $8,000, you had to put in almost 200 hours to finish them and they involved particular deliverables.
Use these factors to pack this kind of projects and put them at one level and create a primary tier or assign any other name that makes it clear that this one includes minimum engagement.
Follow a similar technique for the higher tiers which may have some added functionality at every level or other betterments and advantages. In this way, you’ll be able to standardize your work and give more time to one-on-one custom based scoping to customers interested in providing a better pay for your services over a longer time.
An example of the illustrated model:
Book In A Box
Conventional book writing methods for composing a book can be quite burdensome and this is where Book In A Box comes in with its solutions. The company didn’t aim at providing ghostwriting or consultancy services, the team productized their service offers into a repeatable process.
Authors have to invest about 50 hours through their smartphones on BIAB across seven months, and the agency aids in shaping their ideas and thoughts into a book.
The company charges $25,000 for providing services across five months. So, users have to pay an amount of $5K every month for services like creating an outline, transcription, revisions, copy editing, proofreading, cover designing, ebook conversion, ISBN registration and much more. It also provides add-ons that are optional like audiobook formation, research, extra pictures, etc.
Subscriptions on a monthly basis
On the other ends of the spectrum are the subscription-based schemes for productization which are more suitable for email marketing, social media impact marketing, blogging service providers, SEO services and content management. These businesses offer value only on long term engagement plans.
The pricing can be broken down into monthly, yearly or other time frames with tiers based on the extent of effort or features provided. The more the features, the higher the price tag.To allow flexibility beyond the regular tiers and subscriptions, service providers can even keep an option for a customized plan for businesses willing to pay a little more for that feature.
An example of the illustrated model:
Adwords can be run by anybody, but people who have been involved with it, are well aware that it’s massive, and eats up a lot of your precious time.
You’ll need expert help if you want to improve your Adwords, and Kudu provides its users with the assistance they need by offering monthly services. It comes in four variations of tiers that are priced differently. Now, you are to choose the one that fits your budget.