PEP Talk - Blog

5 Steps to Turning a Service Into a Product

Are you in a rut, living project to project, billing by the hour and just feeling like you don’t have any freedom or the ability to scale up and build something larger?

How often have you pre-qualified a client or customer, spent hours going through the discovery process and then the client changes their mind? You’ve spent 40 - 50 hours not getting paid for anything.

Would you like to take a week long break with the family and your business keeps on going without you?

What would it feel like to completely switch off and still have customers signing up, being onboarded and set up.

The key is turning your service, any service into a product!

The idea behind a product is that you want to be able to get paid for selling a “thing” and not selling your time. Also, you want to sell the “same” thing over and over if you are to achieve operational efficiencies and decent profits.

Here are 5 steps to turn services into products from John Warrillow author of “​Built To Sell”:

1. Identify something you can replicate repeatedly​ - L​ook around at what you do. Chances are, if you’ve been in business for a while, you have developed a process you follow closely for at least one service. You may not even realize you have a distinct process until you set out to identify it – but you have something. If that something is in reasonable demand, you have the start of a “product.”

2. Document it​ – Turn your process into a manufacturing-like assembly line. Break it down into steps that can be performed over and over, by people you can train for the job. Document those steps in detail so that you can calculate the costs involved, and so that your knowledge is transferable.

3. Put limits around your offering​ – Many services are “squishy” and open ended. For a product you need the opposite -- an offering that is well-defined. Set limits to your offering: time limitations; the deliverables included; a flat fee price; a name you can refer to your product by.

“You give it a defined scope, fit it into a limited time period, assign it a definite price tag, and attach a distinctive name. Let's say you are an image consultant, and you've been selling your time for £50 per hour. Instead, you offer a ‘One-Day Makeover’ at a price of £495, and include a wardrobe assessment, color consultation, and shopping trip.”

4. Incorporate technology​ – A technology component for processing sales or delivering your service further establishes the impression that it is a product. For example, look at how companies such as ​LegalZoom​ have put a website front-end on what are still basically services – cementing the perception of a product offering. The website streamlines and automates functions to a large degree, too, with the potential to drive out costs. But the key is that with the help of technology, it looks like a tangible thing, and so customers perceive it as a product.

5. Build an organization​ – Even if it’s just you today, over time you will need to involve others in producing, selling and distributing your product. No one wants to buy a business that is a one-man or one-woman show – they want to buy a company. Besides, it can’t be just YOU because YOU are not scalable. Add “labor” to “manufacture” your product, sales reps to sell it, and management to run daily operations. Build a team that is skilled and knowledgeable, and able to operate without your daily intervention.

“Follow these five steps and you may just have something that grows bigger than you ever imagined – and one day you can sell.” John Warrillow

At your next discovery meeting, stop yourself when you hear yourself saying, “What do you want?” Zip your lip when you start to say “We can do this, we can do that, we can do the other.”

Stop re-inventing yourself.

Get out your “Product” notes and start sharing with the client what your specific product can do for them.

To find out how​ others have applied these key rules Experience the Catalyst magic

Where ​ Harrogate Town Football Club
When​ 07h00 for 07h30 sharp, on the first and third Tuesday of the month Book your space at our next meeting

There’s even more!

As a member of the Catalysts you're are a member of the Rotary Club of Harrogate Brigantes and Rotary International with its 1.2 million members worldwide. Which means you can attend any Rotary Club meeting anywhere and, extend your business connections and increase your business through the strong bonds of a shared interest and friendship.

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As the kids and teachers head back to school and the wonderful world of learning and discovery, what new knowledge, skills and expertise are you going to acquire in the year ahead?

What is the big challenge in your business and personal life that could do with some fresh thinking and ideas?