Once you’ve created a plan to productize your service, you’ll want to look into business management tools that make life easier.
Running a productized service business is about scaling and making more money with less effort. You wear a lot of hats as a business owner, from CEO and marketer to customer service and human resources. Business management tools can keep everything running smoothly so you can focus on growth.
To do this, you need to automate and streamline your operations at every turn. The following tools will be important as you build a team, manage the work, and standardize your delivery.
Team communication tools
Most productized service businesses operate with a remote team, so it’s important to have tools that allow you to connect and collaborate.
A wildly popular cloud-based communication app for both remote and in-house teams, Slack makes it easy to keep everyone connected. Faster than email, Slack team members instant message each other, send files, and even enter into a separate channel for a quick sidebar. You can set up various channels for different groups within your team or even create a special channel for discussions about non-work items just for fun.
Paul Cox of TheChurchCo has found Slack to be helpful for managing his team.
Just because your team is remote doesn’t mean you have to forego face time. Zoom is a conference tool that lets you connect via audio, visual, or both. It’s great for weekly status check-ins, one-on-ones, or even group calls with clients who need to collaborate with various members of your team.
Chase Dimond of Boundless Labs uses weekly video calls on Zoom with his team.
Document storage tools
File cabinets don’t work very well when your team is located in various parts of the country or around the world. Fortunately, there are business management tools that make it a snap to share docs between team members and back up your work.
Google Docs is a web-based application that lets you create and edit documents and spreadsheets. With Google Drive, you can store them online and share them with your team. This allows everyone to view and edit the same document, which tracks everyone’s changes. It’s ideal for documents like an employee handbook because you can update it as needed and ensure that everyone on your team has access to it.
Clayton Johnson, CMO of The Hoth, says he uses a lot of Google Docs in his productized marketing service.
Dropbox is a cloud-based storage file storage service that lets you store files securely. You can also share files with team members. One great feature is the ability to retrieve previous versions of a document, which can come in handy when you need to track down a change or restore an old version.
Document storage systems like these let you link to each document from within your project management tools, too.
Productivity is the name of the game when it comes to productized services. To get your business up and running as quickly as possible, you want to make sure you and your team use your time wisely. These business management tools can help.
Ever tried to keep track of a project on a huge white board or manage a project with a bunch of note cards and pushpins on a corkboard? Trello takes these old fashioned project management tools and makes them digital, visual, and really fun to use. Your whole team can see what projects are on deck, which team members need to complete tasks, and what’s left on the to-do list for each project.
In addition to Google and Slack, Trello is a favorite tool for the team at Squared Away. Many other productized service providers agree.
A huge time-saver adored by many productized service providers, Zapier is a software connection tool that allows you to automate tasks. For example, if you use a lead gathering tool, Zapier will automatically load them into a third party spreadsheet, saving you the trouble of doing it manually. Zapier integrates with more than 750 software tools and apps.
Jaime of Virtual Latinos names Zapier as one of the most helpful tools for building a productized service business.
As your team grows, you need a way to share passwords to all your tools.
Whether you’re a one-person shop or you manage a team, it’s generally a bad idea to store all your passwords in a spreadsheet or Word doc. In fact, it’s best to avoid storing them on your computer altogether. A business management tool like Dashlane stores all your passwords and even makes them accessible to team members who need them.
Marketing and advertising tools
Just because you have a great product doesn’t mean customers will find you. With the right business management tools, you can get your name out there and let potential customers know what you can offer.
- Zoho CRM and email marketing
Email marketing might seem outdated at first glance, but study after study shows it’s remarkably effective. According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing generates $40 in revenue for every $1 spent. That’s a pretty impressive return on investment. Zoho gives you an affordable platform for your CRM and managing email marketing.
Unlimited WordPress service Utimize WP cites Zoho as its email marketing provider of choice.
Social media is an effective, low-cost way to engage your customers for many businesses. However, managing your company’s message across multiple platforms can be a full-time job. Buffer lets you schedule posts and track how they perform without having to log into each platform separately.
Revenue management and more
It goes without saying that sales are the lifeblood of any business, including a productized service business. An all-in-one way to manage your sales and customer requests is key to your success as a productized service business owner.
ManyRequests gives you the tools you need to turn your service-based business into a subscription-based productized service business. In one easy to use platform, you can manage orders, invoicing, payments, and more.
Benjamin Williams of 55 Knots says that he loves having everything in one place for his productized service — revenue, clients, projects, and comms.
Ready to see ManyRequests in action? Start your free trial today and watch your productized service business thrive.