I’ve been consulting in one way or another for the past 15 years. And while consulting has been a great way to develop my skills, test and experiment with new technologies, and work with some amazing clients, I felt like I needed to create a business that was more predictable, systemized, scalable, and most importantly a business that wasn’t solely dependent upon me. I thought this meant I needed to take the Lean Startup approach and start building a SaaS business, from scratch. In fact, I started doing user research, identified and had conversations potential clients, and in some cases even started coding the MVP. That was until I stumbled up term that changed outlook on businesses. That term was Productized Service.
What is a Productized Service?
A productize service takes the best and most important services that you provide as a consultant, and packages it a “done-for-you” product, which makes defining who you serve, what you serve them, and how much you charge for it, seamless, standardized, and most importantly simple. So instead of your business being open ended (Tell me what you want me to do), its instead closed ended (Here’s what we do). An great example of this is Jarrod Drysdale’s Landing Page in a Day. Besides locking in one of the most amazing domains ever, Jarred took his UX, design, and copy writing business and turn it into a very simple value proposition, we will create your landing page in a day. There’s no back and forth with the client. No price negotiations. Just a simple form with your name and contact information, a brief explanation of the goal of your landing page, and a way to make payment and in return the customer receives a well designed, well organized, web page with great copy!
3 Reasons I Decided to Productized
Low Barrier of Entry
A productized service is built on the idea of taking a few of the services that you’re already providing, and packaging it into a very simple structured product offering. This means you can launch a brand new productize service by simply building a landing page with a list of features, pricing information, and contact form. That’s it! You can be up and running a matter of days instead of months.
One of the toughest parts of building a consulting business was its unpredictability. You never knew what you had to do to earn your next pay check. Some weeks I was building a custom WordPress template, other weeks I was building a custom web application. In some cases I was consulted to clients migrate CMS platforms, and other times I was doing small fixes that helped improve their sites stability and speed. This makes building a sustainable business very difficult, because each project was like starting over again. A productized businesses, on the other hand, allows you to focus on a single product offering. So instead of starting from scratch with each new client, you get better and better each time you deploy. Tasks become repetitive, making it very easy to out source and very scalable.
Ability to Automate and Scale
The most important reason to productize your service is the ability to automate and scale your product. The more I onboard new clients, the more I can see simple task that can be done by either a deployment script or a virtual assistant. This means I can build a product that runs without me. This allows me to focus on marketing, partnerships, generating and closing lead instead the day to day. This task was virtually impossible when I ran my consulting business.
A productize service is a great way to turn your freelancing and consulting business in to a scalable, predictability product in a very short amount of time. In a future post I will go into detail on exactly how I’m marketing, scaling, and adding systems to help my product grow.
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