Productized Services: The Ultimate Guide & Examples
You may be unfamiliar with this new buzzword - productized services.
Perhaps, you may have heard of it and probably not given much thought to it.
However, the productized service model is gradually becoming popular among entrepreneurs you might want to consider it.
What is Productized Service?
A productized service takes a common service such as web or graphic design and transforms it into an off-the-shelf solution.
The Productized service business model is an ingenious way of converting freelancing into an actual company with assets to trade.
Productized services can also be utilized in terms of marketing services.
Instead of bouncing from one client to another, SEO agencies can instead sell their product services to their clients and provide monthly content and links.
Anyone can turn their freelance jobs into full-blown companies, even for someone who’s in the personal fitness field.
For example, an online personal fitness trainer can only have a few handful of clients at the same time due to time constraints, but if they decide to productize their service, they can remove that limitation and serve a lot more clients at the same time.
They can do this by simply recording the training in advance based on different goals such as weight loss, muscle building, etc., and then selling it for a one-time or monthly subscription fee.
As such, productized services offer a great opportunity for freelancers and self-employed entrepreneurs to double their income by creating something scalable without any income limitations.
Why You Should Consider Productizing Your Service
Do you have a service-based business? If yes, then you might want to explore the idea of productizing your services.
This is because, with service-based businesses, you are only limited to two factors in determining your revenue potential – the rates you charge and your time.
- Time – Providing your services will take time. You have the option to work more hours, but there’s still a limit to that, even if you sacrifice sleep.
- Rates – How much rate you charge your customer also has a limit. By having experience and reputation, you can raise that limit. However, increasing your rates may turn off some customers. It is also important to know that when you decide to productize your services, then, you have the potential of increasing your leverage through.
- Automating and Outsourcing – All non-admin and core related work can be outsourced or automated, giving you more time to focus on the aspect of your business that increases your revenue and productivity.
- Focus on Improving Services – With more time on your hands, you can invest that time on polishing and improving your services. When you’re able to provide faster and better services, you increase revenue potential and save time.
Productized Services Business Model
In a way, an info product business model and productized services have the same scaling ability.
The main difference between the two are, productized services are providing services while info product business models are only providing information on how to do the services yourself.
Is Productized Business Sustainable?
In terms of sustainability, it’ll only require a few handfuls of paying customers that are on monthly retainers for a productized business to be sustainable. You also don’t need to waste your precious resources in developing your product before it gets shipped.
The Pros of Productized Service Model
There are two main reasons why you might want to consider the productized service model, and these are;
The Ability to Scale
For the freelance model, your time is severely limited. That’s because a person can only do so much in a day. You’ll always be limited to how much you can earn because of the time constraints, not unless you decide to increase your rates, which could make you lose some customers.
However, for a productized service model, you can easily scale your business to a whole new level by removing the time cap. Instead of doing a one-on-one session with a client, in a productized service, you could be providing your services to a whole bunch of people at the same time.
Unprofitable Niche Services Can Become Profitable
Let’s use the fitness niche as an example again. Having international ads regarding your services wouldn’t make so much sense as you’re limited to providing that service in your area only.
However, when you productize your services, you eliminate the need to be present, thus allowing you to have a wider scope.
The Cons of Productized Services Model
There are a lot of benefits that you can get from productizing your services, but there are also downsides that you need to consider such as:
Lesser 1-to-1 Profit
Productized services work best when you scale up by a mile and you start bringing lots of customers. As your business grows bigger and becomes more successful, you’ll be providing services to more customers than you could ever service back.
Less Personal Experience with Your Costumers
More clients mean less intimate experience for your other clients. Some clients may not like that while others may be indifferent. It’s inevitable when your business is growing. Remember that less intimacy with your client also means less loyalty.
The biggest enemy in starting a productized services model is father time. You can’t just transition immediately to using the productized service model. You first need to think of how to productize your services, your rates, how you make a profit, and whether your services will still be viable for your target audience.
You may need to figure out how to create new marketing campaigns and how to deliver your services to your customers. All of which takes a considerable amount of time, skill, and resources.
Productized Services Versus Other Business Models
Now, let’s look at how productized model stands to some other popular business models
Productized Services vs Software as a Service (SAAS)
The difference between productized services and software as a service (SaaS) is that
- Productized Services – In a productized service, it’s delivered by experts that do the work for you. Productized services also aren’t reliant on a UI to be effective. Clients won’t have to waste their time and resources in learning anything.
- Software as a Service – Unlike productized services, SaaS is more “do it yourself” rather than “done for you”. With SaaS, you are only provided a software where you can accomplish the task yourself. To achieve the results that you want, you must invest a reasonable amount of time.
Productized Services vs Affiliate Marketing
When you’re a freelance worker, you can offer a referral bonus, but it isn’t as straightforward as you think. Most affiliates steer clear away from it because of the varying payouts.
Attaching an affiliate program to traditional freelancing means fewer sales and revenue due to the lack of a proper sales funnel, as well as the varying degree of clients who are priced differently.
Productized services, however, allow you to implement proper affiliate programs with transparent income metrics that affiliates can view.
How to Start a Productized Service
If you want to know more details, we wrote a special article about how to start productized service.
The first thing that you need to do is to decide which productized service model you want to use in selling your services. There are three:
- Foot-in-the-door offer – Find a way to create a bite-sized version of your service and package it into a product that your customers would buy. Anything from guides, tutorials, e-books, and more.
- One-Time Purchase – Divide your services into tiers, depending on the scope and how much time you’ll be spending on the project.
- Monthly Subscription - Monthly subscriptions are viable for long-term services such as blogging, SEO, content marketing, and more. Just like one-time purchases, you can add tiers to your monthly subscriptions depending on the service provided.
If you’re in the business of providing your clients with customized services such as web design, web marketing, SEO, and more. Having a packaged service with a fixed price can make buying decisions for your clients easier. Clients having to wait for an estimate increases the risk of them not contacting you again. Furthermore, the whole buying process is tedious at best, from estimates, billing, etc.
1. Simplify Things
Start by offering only products that you specialize in. Instead of trying to cover the whole market, choose your niche and start building from there.
Once your business has grown enough, you can now start to expand your scope.
By focusing on one specialization at a time, it allows you to polish your skills further, as well as create tools to make the process of providing your service easier to the client.
2. Systematize Your Production
Systematizing or automating your process can save you valuable time. Assuming your services consist of repeatable steps; steps that apply to every other client of yours.
Focus on those steps and find a way to systematize them.
Create templates and shortcuts for those repeatable steps. With those templates and shortcuts, you are cutting down 60 to 70 percent of the work. You can easily tweak other aspects to match the preference of your client.
3. Make 1-on-1 Offers into Group Offers
This does not apply to some services offered, but for coaching, consulting, and similar services that are of the same nature, you certainly can.
Instead of providing your services to a single person at a time, you scale up and have all your clients who are interested in the same service all into one class.
This is where systematizing every repeatable step comes in handy. You teach that class simultaneously in a systematic manner and address each one of their concerns after.
4. Turn your Repeatable System into Products
When systematizing your system, you not only simplify your production, but you can also sell those repeatable systems by assembling them into products.
Examples of Productized Services
Wondering how other productized services look like to get a better picture? We have prepared a huge list of productized service businesses and to give you a quick sneak peek at a few, here you go:
Hypegrowth is a service focusing on Twitter marketing. Pay a monthly fixed fee and watch your followers growing.
<– Have a WordPress site that constantly requires some fixes and enhancements to be done? X got your back! For a monthly fee, they will maintain and squash all the WordPress bugs that are hiding on your site. !–>
Looking for beautiful illustrations done?
You couldn’t get better! Pixel True is a combination of productized service and a shop where you can either purchase one-time ready illustrations or request custom ones.
If you are struggling with SEO and don’t know where to start, Hype Ranks offers keyword research and content gaps analysis services where based on your website, they will go and research your niche, your competitors and come up with a clear and actionable SEO plan you can follow.
Productized Services: Final Thoughts
Productized services are a great way for freelancers and small-time service providers to scale up their services to a significant amount.
It presents an opportunity for people to establish and earn a substantial monthly income at a low cost.
Most services can be productized, but one important aspect is to focus on specializing and providing what your clients and customer needs.
Karen is a senior technical writer and copywriter here at GrowFollowing. Her area of expertize are social media apps and new media.