The 4 Biggest Mistakes Agencies Make When Productizing Their Services
As an agency owner productizing our services was THE best thing we did for our business.
It opened so many more doors, allowed us to master our craft and expand our offerings even more in a way that allowed us to have a bigger impact.
You'll often find me screaming from the mountain tops that agency owners should productize and add training programs etc BUT, there are some common mistakes that I see people make when productizing that actually prevents them from the results they hoped for when doing it in the first place.
In today's video, I'll break down the 4 biggest mistakes I see people making when productizing their services.
Transcript / MP3
What's going on. Everybody Greg kicked in here from all firstname.lastname@example.org. And in this video, I want to break down the four biggest mistakes that I see people making when they go to productize their services. Now, if you're new to this channel, I release a new video every single Thursday on how to automate systematize and scale your agency. So be sure to click that subscribe button. So you don't miss an episode. All right guys. So, like I said, in this video, I want to break down the four biggest mistakes that I see people making when they are building a productized service. Now I have a lot of other videos on what productized services are and where you should start....
I'll link those up in the comment section below, but at a high level, for the sake of this conversation really quickly, a productized service, at least in my mind is a service that is packaged up in a way where it has a fixed scope, fixed deliverables, uh, typically a fixed turnaround time and usually a fixed price.
(01:11): Now, some people will have, um, a couple of different pricing options. Um, but really the thing that I want you to take away here is that when something is productized, the deliverable is fixed. And so let's think about that as your client wants a specific outcome and your solution is packaged up and that's all you sell is the, the GoTo process to get that, that result that they're looking for. You don't make a unique solution every single time to get to that, to get to that result, you map out your process. And that's what a productized service really is. So think of it as a fixed service, fixed solution, fixed scope, service, fixed scope solution. Alright, now that we've got that out of the way, uh, the four biggest mistakes that I see people making when going to productize their service. The first one is that they actually productize too soon.
(02:07): So all of the, the privatized services and the owners of companies that are more productized that I know all had a little bit more of a general background, you've heard the many of you have probably heard the concept of a T shaped business owner or a T space T shaped spec specialization. Um, that's where you have like broad experience, but you go deep in one. So, uh, your experience almost like you're a generalist, uh, you've gone kind of wider in your experience and skillset and offering before, but you've chosen to specialize in one area and take that area really, really deep, thus making a T shape. So those people that kind of have that broad area of expertise or the generalist experience that they had enough of it to determine where they wanted to specialize. Those are typically the best services because when you specialize, you understand how your specialty impacts the greater whole and the services, the owners that can do that, that really understand how their one specialty, that one deep specialization can impact the greater aspect of a client's business.
(03:19): Typically you can translate how that will be more valuable, and you can have a, more of a premium service than say, like a commodity based pricing. So the first thing is that you actually try to productize too soon because you don't have enough of the broad experience as possible. Now, as with all things, there are exceptions to the rule, but in most cases, if you've been in the agency for a while, and you've been kind of a full service provider, you probably have enough of the skill sets to then specialize and start to productize something. But if you're just at a school and you've never even served a client before, and you're not quite sure what you want to do, then jumping into a productized solution might be a little bit more difficult for you because you haven't done enough work to really know what to prioritize, if that makes sense.
(04:08): Um, and my last point on that is because you have a lot of experience doing different things that lead you into knowing what to productize. Often you find yourself because you have that experience identifying the, like the loopholes, the things that most people overlook that allow that solution to be achieved in a shorter time, more efficiently, et cetera. So mistake number one, trying to productize too soon. All right, the second biggest mistake, and this is really around when you are going to launch your productized service, it is kind of having it all mapped out before you launch. So with our clients, we help them map out what is going to be, but then sell their new clients into a pilot program or a beta experience if you will. And they take what they believe to be the process. And they take real pain clients through it at often a, a little bit of a discounted rate to flesh out their own process and methodology in getting the client to the result you sell it as such, we're not trying to trick anybody that we have done something we haven't or selling them something we haven't done before.
(05:16): But the thing that I see the most is you can have a great theory as to what the productize service should look like or what it should include or not include, but until you've actually tried to take a pain customer or client through that experience, you're going to likely miss things. So instead of trying to spend six months planning before launching, I'd rather you figure out what is going to be in the next two weeks and start taking a handful of clients through it and through iteration, get to what it actually should be. So the biggest mistake is trying to finish everything, the whole plan, exactly how it's all going to work out before ever launching. All right, guys, that brings us to the third, and that is breaking your own rules as to what is included in that fixed scope of your productized service.
(06:05): So if you have deliverables of a, B and C and a client comes along and says, Hey, um, I really like what you're doing. Um, I want a, B and C, but can you add D can you add that as well? And the more that you say yes to those deals, the less of a productized service you have. Uh, so if you're looking to have the benefits of a prototyped service, the predictability, the, the, the more streamlined sales process, the more streamlined fulfillment process, all of the benefits that come from a prioritized service actually go away. When you start breaking your own fixed scope of deliverables for the productized service, just to make the deal. And lastly, that brings us to mistake number four, which is just taking on the wrong client. So if you're a productized service is packaged and priced for a small to medium size organization, and then you have a large organization come and want the same thing, likely it's not going to be a perfect fit.
(07:05): So you will probably need to either have a, a unique version of that service for designed for a larger organization. For example, say you had a productized service where you optimize their, um, you know, their website for conversion, like all of their landing, their, all of their webpages for conversion, or for SEO, or what have you. And you deal with a small to medium sized business who on average has, you know, 10 to 12 pages to review, but then a LinkedIn comes to you and they have thousands of different page templates that you need to review for that price. It's going to be a little bit off. So that's where the whole fixed scope comes in. Your fixed scope should be relevant and relative to the type of person you are serving. And so that also helps you on the marketing and fulfillment side, because it should help you align with what types of clients are going to be a good fit for it.
(07:59): And not you can't force every single type of client in most cases, small and big into the same service, if it was designed for a small business. So that in mind, when you productize, you're still probably going to get opportunities from organizations that maybe don't fit the bill for your productized service. And you're going to be presented with a choice. Do you give them a custom bid and do custom work, which is totally an option. If that's the path you want to go, or do you use that as a sign that it's actually not the right fit. And you're only going to serve people that, um, really need and fit your fixed scope solution. That is your productized service. So that's all I got for you today. Let's recap the four biggest mistakes. The first is that you try to productize too soon without enough enough experience.
(08:46): Number two is actually trying to plan it all out perfectly before ever launching number three is making exceptions to the fixed scope. So breaking the productized service that you've designed and number four is to serve the wrong client in that productized service. Now, I hope you guys found this well, like I said, linked up below, there are a handful of other videos you can check out where I talk more in depth about where to start with prioritizing your business. And if everything I'm saying is really jiving with you, I'd like to invite you to a 27 minute training where I walk you through the three steps that we went through to really start to productize our knowledge and turn our agency into a, really more of a productized consulting and coaching business, which gave us a second revenue stream to expand the number of clients we serve without increasing our hours. So check out the link below for that free training. Hope you enjoy it, and we'll catch it in the next episode.