We live in a world of convenience.
Where consumers want things quick and easy.
When they’re visiting your website, they’re looking for two things:
1. How are you going to solve their problem?
2. How much is it going to cost?
How many business websites do you see failing to mention price?
A lot of us like to kid ourselves that our services are ‘bespoke’ and there’s no way we could ever package them up.
I was the same.
Blue Cliff Media turned 2 years old a few weeks ago and for two years, I was firmly in the ‘bespoke’ camp. I didn’t mention price. I had no set packages.
I knew I should ‘productise the service’. But I was resistant to do it.
- I was scared of doing it. What happens if someone visited my site and didn’t like the packages I had on offer?!
- I wasn’t really aware of ‘scaling’ a business – all I wanted was to get the business going
- I didn’t know how to systemise a business
- I wasn’t charging enough to justify hiring (which would have been essential for scaling)
- I thought it was impossible to productise a service which needs to have an element of ‘bespokeness’ to it. Is that even a word?
Lots of reasons.
Why productise your service?
Offering a nice, neat package works for both you and the consumer:
As a business, you can offer the one thing you’re great at. This makes the business easier to run. Everything can be systemised. You save time and of course, this makes things like cashflow management a lot easier.
For the customer, when they visit your site, they can see exactly what they’re going to get and how much it’s going to cost them. There’s no guess work and they don’t have to pick up the phone to find out.
Examples of productised services
These three examples all show how you can take a service and turn those services into a product.
What they do: Rev are a company I use personally and they’re excellent. When you create video or audio content, they will transcribe your audio into text. Doing this yourself is a huge time drain and a massive pain for content creators.
They do this service for $1/minute of content. Bargain! This isn’t software. Behind the scenes they have people creating the captions, meaning the quality is excellent – even with a Scottish accent!
What they do: WPCurve offer unlimited WordPress fixes for a set monthly fee. They could have branded themselves as a WordPress agency, but instead their productised service model allowed them to scale.
This led to them being acquired by GoDaddy!
What they do: There are two main pains when it comes to advertising online: having the skills to run successful ads yourself or finding the right person to manage your ads, if you choose to outsource.
Kudu are effectively a market place for finding Adwords experts. You pay a set fee per month and get connected to someone who’ll manage your advertising on Google. Their pricing increases with the amount of ad spend they’re managing.
What have we done?
Firstly, I want to clarify. I’m no expert in any of this. But I identified an issue with the previous business model (I was going down the agency route, which I didn’t want), so I’m doing something to try and fix it. With the change in business model, I’ve also changed a few other things.
The whole business has had a bit of a refresh. I never liked the Blue Cliff Media brand. The website was ugly. The copy didn’t reflect my personality or what I wanted the business to stand for. The new site changes that – I can now feel proud sending people to my site 🙂
The previous logo was a cheap Fiverr gig and you could tell. I knew that at the time, but just wanted something to trade with. It has been replaced with a new logo which is much simpler. I wanted something simple, bold and would look good on any background.
When we first launched, I made the same mistake I think every new business owner does: I sold myself short. The prices I used to charge customers make me cringe a little. But, at the same time, it’s all part of the learning curve.
Not only was I undercharging, but I was spending ridiculous amounts of time fielding enquiries, writing proposals and offering free consulting to people that were never the right fit and would never become customers.
Our prices have risen this year and will likely continue to do so. Not only that, we now proudly have them on our site. Not only does this tell a prospect how much we cost, but it will turn the people that can’t afford us away: saving us more time. It’s a win:win for both parties.
Will this new look and model work for us? Time will tell. Truth is, I’m not sure. But it’s a move in the right direction for sure. If it doesn’t work, it’s not hard to pivot.
Have you considered productising your service? If you have, take a look at the some of the examples above for inspiration. Let’s be honest… it’s not hard to throw up a quick website and offer. If people like it, great. If they don’t, who cares. Next 🙂