If you’re looking to productize your service, you may be wondering how to get started. Making the jump from service provider to product seller can be daunting. Breaking it down step by step will help you make the transition more quickly, so you can start selling as soon as possible.
Want to know how to productize a service? Here are five steps to help your business scale.
Step #1: Shift your point of view
It may sound obvious, but the first thing you have to do is change the way you perceive your business. This means you have to stop viewing yourself as a service provider and start thinking of yourself as a business that sells a product.
This is a critical first step and one that will determine whether you’re successful at productizing your services. To illustrate why it’s so important to change your mindset, consider an example.
Imagine an accountant that sells bookkeeping services to a number of clients. She might be the most effective bookkeeper in the world, but there are only so many hours in the day. Even if she works a 12-hour day, there’s a limit to how many clients she can take on.
The solution is to shift from someone who sells services to a business that sells services packaged as a product. In most cases, this means leveraging technology to productize your knowledge and expertise.
In an accounting example, you could reconfigure your business from a solo practitioner offering services based on an hourly rate to a website that offers a menu of various bookkeeping packages available as a monthly subscription service. When you package what you do, you can replicate it over and over again. This allows you to scale and gets you off the service provider treadmill.
Bookkeeping is just one type of service you can turn into a productized service. Check out these 100 examples of productized services to get inspired.
Step #2: Define your customers
Once you’ve embraced the concept of selling your time and knowledge as a product, you’re ready for the second step towards productizing your service: defining the type of customer you want to target. In short, you need to take your sales pitch from broad to narrow.
This can seem counterintuitive at first. After all, wouldn’t you want to cast a wide net and capture every kind of customer possible?
Actually, no. When you sell a service, you sell time and access. It’s a finite resource, but you can tailor your services to assist just about any client who walks through the door. A productized service is different. You want to package what you can offer into something a potential customer can pull off the shelf — or, in the case of a digital product, add to their cart.
With a productized service, you stop customizing services for each client. Instead, you identify the needs of a subset of consumers and then build your service package around it.
Step #3: Decide what services you’ll offer
Now that you know what kinds of customers you want to target, you’re ready to create packages of services. To do this, it’s best to make a list of everything you have to offer.
What kinds of skills do you have? What types of services do you normally sell? If you’re an accountant, your list might look something like this:
- Payroll administration
- Tax return preparation
- Estate planning
- Company formation
- Administration services
These are all excellent and useful skills to have, but you can’t offer everything on the list if you want to productize your services. Instead, pick a couple you’re great at and ditch the others.
This can be tough to do. As a service provider, you’ve worked hard to perfect your knowledge. Moreover, you know your stuff and you can offer value to your clients.
However, the goal of productizing your services is to scale your business and make more money, and you can’t do this if you’re trying to customize services for every individual customer. You can see this concept in action in the restaurant business, where having an overly complicated menu can actually lead to low revenue.
Sophia Solanki, who has built three productized service startups, explains this is so crucial because “as you pick projects that take you away from your productized offering, you end up spending too much time and energy on customized solutions for a small set of customers. This kind of effort is not only short-sighted but severely hampers your growth.”
By narrowing your scope of services to the one or two things you do really well, you can reach more customers and offer greater value to the businesses you serve.
Step #4: Scope out the competition
Competitive analysis is step four in the steps for how to productize a service. Before you begin selling your productized service, it’s important to know what your competitors are doing. Chances are there are other people out there doing what you do, or at least something similar to it.
This is to be expected, and it’s totally okay. You don’t need to come up with something revolutionary to be a success. However, you should definitely brainstorm ideas for making your productized service stand out.
For example, take a look at the packages the competition offers. Is there something you can add that increases the value for your customers? Does your main competitor limit their services to a monthly subscription? Maybe you can do the same but add a flat rate option for customers who want to pay for services in bulk.
Researching your competitors is a great way to validate your productized service idea. By checking out what others in your space are doing, you can replicate what works and tweak your ideas to make your productized services more appealing.
Step #5: Start selling
At last, you’re ready to launch. This is an exciting step, but it can also be overwhelming. At ManyRequests, we make it easy to sell productized services with our all-in-one platform. You can create service booking forms, handle payments, process orders, manage your team, and more — all from an easy to use dashboard.
Ready to get started? Claim your 14-day free trial to see how ManyRequests can help your business scale so you can earn more and keep building.