As we saw in Part 1 of the blog series, the growth of eCommerce in 2020 was massive and somewhat unexpected. In this blog, we are going to dive deeper into the how part of productising your service business.

WHERE TO START

  • Make a list of your services

This is the simple part. List all the services you offer currently. Include everything, even things that you only do occasionally (you never know that could be where there is gold hiding)

  • Highlight the ones you are great at doing

Next you need to highlight the ones you excel at. This can be based on what you sell more of or even client testimonials. You need to be subjective and honest about what you are really good at. Ask clients or people who work with you if you get snuck.

  • Do you have a unique process or product advantage?

Is there something only your company offers or can offer that is unique to the market. Do you have insider knowledge or professional communities that are advantageous to you?

  • Find a problem that your ‘great’ services can solve

It’s now time to flip this and find the problem or pain point that a potential client might have. Remember that everything starts with the client (not you). This is about defining the issues your clients have. Remember to put it on paper in as much detail as you can. You are looking for a product service fit

  • Find the solution to that problem

Now you need to show how your product can solve that problem. Think about the issues and how your product or service solves those issues. Consider things like:

  • Can this be done online?
  • Can it be a physical product you sell?
  • Do you or your team have the ability to create what you need?
  • Do you need to bring in an outside expert to help you create it?
  • What will it cost to develop?
  • What are the realistic timelines to create it?

You are ideally looking for a product / service fit.

  • Determine your dream client

Now think about the dream client for this product. Think about a great customer who you’ve worked with in the past and you’d love to work with again. Create a client persona that clearly articles who you want to sell your product to.

  • Define your value proposition

A value proposition tells prospects why they should do business with you rather than your competitors and makes the benefits of your products or services crystal clear from the outset.

  • Conduct competitor research

Next do some research and see what types of products your competitors offer.  Consider the following:

  • Do they have something similar?
  • What exists in the market?
  • How big is the market for this product?
  • Can you find stats or data on sales for that product?

Don’t be disheartened if you see several products out there already. That could be a good thing and show there is demand for it and there is a market for your solution

  • Validate your idea in the market

Before you go crazy developing your product (this could be an intellectual product not a physical product), you want to put a minimal viable product into the market to see the response. For example: if you are going to create an online course, you could start with creating a PDF style lead magnet that covers some of the pain points. This is a simple way of testing the demand

Market validation is the process of determining whether your product is of interest to a given target market. It really import to validate a product concept or product idea, in order to determine if it worth spending time and resources to build it.

  • Start selling

Once you have proof of concept, you can create the finished version and start selling

Also consider doing some pre-sales or pre-order offers to get some funds to develop the new product offering. You might start selling a Minimal Viable Product then evolve it depending on what you have created. Regardless, you should start to sell it to the ideal clients.

In part 3 we are going to look at several ways you can productize a service and share some examples. Stay tuned.

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