1 + 1 = 3? Why & How to Scale your Small Business

As a small business owner, have you thought about what it would take to scale your business?

There are nothing but advantages to scaling your enterprise! I mean, who doesn’t want to earn more, work less, and provide more value to their clients?

It’s a no-brainer, right? Right! As long as it’s done the right way.

Let’s take a look at how you can scale your business by productizing your services so that you can start to make money even while you’re asleep!

What Are Productized Services?

One of the best ways to break away from the normal equation of 1 + 1 = 2 model, where you’re always trading your time and energy for a set value, is to turn your services into products. What does that mean exactly? In short, productized services are services that are packaged, sold, and delivered just like products.

As an example, consider the grocery store and all of the ever-so-popular convenience foods that our generation has become so used to. From boxed cake mixes, to taco kits, to bagged salads that come with all of the fixins’, there are companies that now sell a lot more than just individual food items. They’re actually selling convenience and accessibility. And you can do the exact same thing with your services!

When these grocery companies present their products, they make it as easy as possible for the consumer. Each product has a name and a nice label so that it’s easy to instantly understand what the product is all about. The benefit of the product is crystal clear. They include the necessary ingredients, which are clearly listed, how-to instructions for preparing the food, and they also include information about the nutritional value. Details about the company itself, such as a website or a phone number to call for inquiries, are also available. And, of course, every product lists their price.   

So why is this important? Because it makes the process of buying and making your food so much simpler. Anyone walking down the aisle can clearly understand what the product is, what the result will be, and how easy it will be for them to achieve that result themselves.

You can take the exact same approach with your services. A productized service shares many of the same characteristics:

  • An attention-grabbing name, a description of the outcome, and great branding to build the customer’s confidence
  • A description of what the service will include, much like the list of ingredients
  • A predefined process for delivering the service, much like the recipe instructions
  • A fixed scope (serving size)
  • Defined benefits (again think convenience and results)
  • Testimonials and contact information
  • A fixed price

Productized services are packaged and sold just like products so that they’re easy to identify, select, and buy. Although the results of your packaged services may not be as predictable as cooking your frozen meat, it’s still much more defined than open-ended services.

The goal is that they pretty much sell themselves! Not only that but whenever possible, you might not even have to be involved in the actual process. If your productized service is an online course, for example, then you only have to set up the work once and then continue to reap the benefits. That’s when 1 + 1 starts to equal 3… or much more!

Why Should I Productize My Services?

In a regular service business, you only have two ways to determine your revenue potential: your time and the rates you charge.

When delivering traditional services, you give up your time in exchange for monetary remuneration. Of course, you can work more hours, but even if you don’t sleep (and we don’t recommend that!) there’s still only 24 hours in a day. Not to mention that you probably want to have a life too, right?

What’s more, the rates you can charge also have a limit. Of course, as you gain more experience and grow your stellar reputation you can increase your rates but you can’t price yourself so high that your client’s start looking for a cheaper alternative.

To scale your business, you need more leverage and productized services can provide that for you.

Think about it. If you’re selling one on one coaching services, for example, it means meeting with clients, learning about their situation and needs, and providing personalized strategies for them. This is time-consuming and there are only so many people that you can see in a day.

When you’re working one on one with a client, you also need time for the intake process, perhaps with a consultation before they sign up. That all takes more and more time.

What if instead, you offered your incredible wisdom and proven success strategies in the form of a course, a video, or an ebook? It would require upfront work but once launched, you would be able to reach and help many people with the same material.

That’s how digital products work. There’s no end to how much you can scale your business because:

  • You can sell your product over and over again to hundreds, thousands, or dare I say millions, of people.
  • You’ll be able to attract and work with more qualified leads by divulging your prices (or starting prices) upfront. Good-bye, tire-kickers and price shoppers! Hello ideal client!!
  • And – if your productized services are aligned to your ideal client you’ll spend less time on client acquisition and onboarding as it will be easier for people to say yes and you can automate the getting started process.
  • Products are easier to advertise! You can promote a product using many different marketing strategies like cost per click advertising, content marketing, webinars, SEO, and email to find customers. You don’t have to depend solely on word-of-mouth referrals and you can expand your reach and sell globally..

So even if you think that you don’t have a product and you only have a service here’s the thing: service-based businesses don’t need to sell only like a service.

When you productize your services, it will give you more time to scale your business since you will be able to serve more people at once because you won’t need to devote face-to-face time with those people and your clients will depend more on your brand than on you. Plus, with a productized service more of your sales and marketing will be automated – another great way to leave yourself time to focus on other aspects of running your business!

And, this approach can work for you 24/7. Here’s how:

Have you ever signed up for an online course? Did you ever purchase an e-book or a how-to-guide? Well, no matter what time of day, week, or month you bought those items the creator made money from your purchase. And, I’m sure you weren’t the only one to buy that product that day. Imagine how hard it would be to meet with 100 people in a day? But it’s not that hard to have 100 people purchase your productized service in a day, now is it?  So think about how you can package your service into something creative that people will be interested in paying for. The sky’s the limit when it comes to ideas!

Let’s say you create a video course and market it using Facebook ads and an email campaign. Anyone from anywhere in the world can choose to purchase your new productized service at any time! Just because it’s 3am for you doesn’t mean someone in South East Asia hasn’t come across your Facebook ad at what’s 3pm their time, right?

Another great way to use productized services to scale your business is that you can automate and outsource. All of your admin, setup, onboarding, and other non-core tasks can be automated or outsourced. This will free up more of your time to spend on revenue-generating activities. Not to mention that if you get help from an Online Business Manager, you have two people producing double the amount of results in the same amount of time and this can grow your business exponentially!

For more information on how to productize your service click here.

What Other Ways Can I Scale My Business?

Another fantastic way to scale your business is to charge a day rate.

So, what’s a day rate?

Sometimes people want their deliverables FAST and they hate paying rush fees. A day rate is the fee you charge to ensure your client gets their services in one dayDespite the effort required for quick turnaround, this can be lucrative! In order to set aside an entire day for a client, don’t be shy to charge a solid dollar amount to make it worth your while.

Day rates are time-based and should always be paid in advance, preferably right away on your sales call so that there’s no follow-up required. Time is the only deliverable when you work at a day rate. You should get everything done that you possibly can in the allocated time—and that’s it! If the client wants to expand the project, then they can buy more time.

The two best reasons to offer day rates is that your clients get what they want faster and it’s cheaper for your client to hire you on a day rate than for a larger project rate. If you ever get a client complaining that your project prices are too high, you can offer a day rate option instead. And a day rate gives clients the ability to jump the queue as you can fit them in between your other longer-term projects.

Of course, this can help scale your business like crazy because you’ll be making more money per day and get more clients without working insane hours.

For more information on day rates click here.

Tying It All Together

Both productized services and day rates are great ways to add more leverage to your small business and help you scale your business. Done right, these methods will enable you to earn more, work less and provide better value to your customers.

Productized services can also free you from manually dealing with every aspect of your business and it lets you automate more of your sales and marketing.

Have you had any experience with productized services or day rates? We always love hearing from you so drop us a comment below.

Related Post: Why You Need A Client Onboarding Process

Meet your host

Sandra Booker, Founder of Changemaker Inc. (home to Sidekick COO and The VA Studio) and creator of Scale Society and The Advisory Board, is a mentor, Fractional COO  and growth strategist. She specializes in helping overworked, overwhelmed, multi-hatted entrepreneurs become the CEOs of sustainably scalable, and powerfully profitable businesses. 

After helping local businesses thrive, and receiving accolades in her community (like the 40 Under 40 award) Sandra turned her attention to the world of online service providers, and her clients include familiar names like Chanti Zak, Tarzan Kay, and Laura Belgray.

In her (efficiently used) spare time, she teaches others how to build and grow their own 6-figure virtual assistant practices and is on a mission to create a million jobs by helping her clients and students scale their businesses.

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