If you are a freelancer or a service business owner and you want to break free from billing by the hour, you are in the right place. In this post, we will explain how you can productize your service to scale your business and get your time back.
Selling services can stop you from leveling up and growing because your billable hours are limited. If you’re constrained by how much you can work, your business simply isn’t scalable.
Build a productized service
Think of a productized service as a pre-packaged consulting solution that solves one particular problem. When you productize a service you’re practically moving from freelancing or billing by the hour to selling a service package, i.e. a product. This clearly allows you to scale your business and claim your life back. When it comes to products, especially the ones with no inventory, you can sell as many as you want without working more.
Put simply, when you offer services you need to put in the time to make the money. On the other hand, when you’re focused on selling products your income is not tied to your time.
So, how do you go about productizing your services? How do you transition from a service-based business model into a productized service company that allows you to automate and scale?
Step one is to identify the part of your service that is predictable, packable and scalable. Let us give you an example.
Let’s say you offer consulting services. So, each time you have a prospect, you will start with a phone call, then move on to one or more long-drawn meetings with them, discuss their requirements and scope of the project, go back to the office and work with your team to create a customized proposal, then go back to the client and present the proposal, make any adjustments and negotiate, and ultimately win a percentage of the contracts because not all clients will sign the contract.
See what happens here? You invest a big portion of your time every time to customize and improve your service offering for each new client only to find out that only some of the prospects will ultimately become clients.
Every new client feels like starting over. Along the discovery and negotiation process, you drain your energy, spend resources and give up know-how in your proposal and during client meetings.
It is important to realize that he project-based approach cannot be 100% standardized and scaled because it’s limited by your time and resources. Also, it doesn’t produce predictable results because each client case is different, and each time your service needs to be adapted.
So, what if you could remove the discovery and the negotiation stages of the process? What if you could present a standardized service to all prospective clients without having to create a proposal every time?
This is exactly what happens when you productize your service; you create one or more packages for the part of the service that is identical across all projects. In other words, you sell an intangible product which includes those parts of the service that are repeated in nearly every project.
Some consultants, coaches, and agencies productize their services by creating training courses. Others create two or three plans for smaller or bigger bundles of services. For example, if you are a web design agency you know what exactly is involved in creating a new website. So, you can narrow down to two types of products:
- Web design and development for service businesses and
- Web design and development for eCommerce stores.
That’s it. Clients will know that these two products are what you’re selling, and will be able to see what’s included in each one.
Now, will these products be the right fit for everyone? No, of course not. But, your service wouldn’t be the right fit for everyone either. Only now, you can save time trying to discover client needs and negotiating.
If productizing your service seems confusing, think of the 80/20 rule; find out what do 80% of your clients need and make a conscious decision to the rest 20% go. You can’t please everyone! Create your productized service, pack it with value, and put your offer out there.
If the implementation phase of your projects is predictable, you’ll be able to streamline your work process and deliver greater value with even lower costs. This is key to scaling your business and transitioning away from being a freelance service provider into becoming a business owner.
Remember that digital products are infinitely scalable. It requires the same effort to sell the same product to ten people or 100 people. With some more effort and promotion, you could even sell to 100,000 people.
Because your pricing and the deliverables are stated upfront, you will automatically filter out clients who can’t afford your service. Also, you won’t waste any time dealing with tire kickers. This helps minimize the resources spent on the sales process. The sales cycle will be shorter and your cash flow will become predictable to some extent.
Reducing sales costs allows you to allocate more resources to positioning, branding and promoting your product. Now your productized service can be sold to the whole world, not just businesses in your locale.
If you have an established service-based business but you feel like you are stuck on a plateau, then productizing your service is the way to move forward and scale. Our team at DoneForYou.com has helped dozens of service businesses create awesome online products, position themselves in the market and sell their products through automated sales funnels.
If creating a digital product sounds like a good strategy for growth, feel free to schedule a call with us to discuss how you can transition from being a service provider into becoming an online business owner.