If your project is about offering services you need to learn how to productize your services. Productized services are packaged and sold just like products. They are easy to identify, select and buy. It makes them more predictable for you and your clients. Also, predictability is an excellent trust generator which will improve your sales.
By now you might be thinking that your creativity can’t be turned into a product. You’re right; your creativity can’t be productized. However, you can productize the whole frame and context around it so you can focus more on the creative parts and less on money, billing, scheduling, client onboarding and the other boring stuff.
The main reasons to productize your services
- You stop associating time with your service: By productizing your service, you stop selling hours. That can have an enormous impact on your mind and that of your client. Instead of selling hours you’ll sell value instead. You’ll focus on how much value is your service providing your clients and how much more value can you offer them.
- Your rates will increase: Hourly rates will have a ceiling because you’ll always compete on prices with other projects. In your mind and that of your client, you’ll always be selling an hour of your time and based on that they’ll compare you with the guy next door who seemingly offers the same for half the price. Your reputation will help to increase them but can only go so far. That’s why your product pricing should be based on the real value you offer instead of hours.
- Productizing services makes the boring parts easier: Many of the tasks that changed all the time before like billing, proposals, and client onboarding will become almost the same if your productized service is specific enough. If you create the proper process manual for all of them, you can easily handle them to another team member or outsource them.
- It’s easier to improve your production: When your service has an exact scope, schedule, and defined features, it becomes way easier to detect the areas that need improvements to start optimizing the whole production process. It is also easier to provide your clients with an exact delivery date and even schedule the feedback you’ll need from them to assure that delivery date. Again: predictability generates trust and in this case client’s satisfaction.
- You can charge more: A product will have a specific value offer. Once you define the real value, you provide to your clients with your productized services you’ll be able to price them accordingly. Also, clients will be paying for a product that eliminates a lot of the issues associated with service providers. This time they’ll know the exact cost, schedule, and content of your service, and all of that before hiring you, that level of certainty has a price as well.
What if each client wants something different?
Selling to clients that are stubborn about having it their way is one of those situations where you should consider saying no.
Your clients come to you because you’re the expert – so you need to guide them. That means that you are in charge of the process and delivering the results they’re looking for. If they can’t accept your terms, you’ll be better at investing your time on clients whose ego is healthy enough to understand you know more about your craft than them.
You still need to log time
It’s important to point out that you’ll still need to log time internally. It’s part of the quantification process; how else you could measure the effectiveness of your production if you don’t measure how much time it consumes? You need to have those numbers in your head before hiring a new production team member or estimating your project’s income.