Entrepreneurs, Productize Your Services with a Proper Go-to-Market Plan
Recently, we get more and more questions from entrepreneurs in service-based businesses about productizing their work.
Clearly, turning services into products helps SMEs in several ways, e.g.:
- It enables faster growth by uncoupling the revenue stream from the time available for service delivery.
- It increases resilience by reducing dependency from the individual(s) delivering the services (in most cases: the entrepreneur).
- It creates product / brand equity and thereby measurable value for the entrepreneur, e.g. in case they want to sell part or all of their business one fine day.
While it’s technically easy to put the know-how and expertise applied in service delivery into content, especially digital content like e-books, videos, etc., every product requires a proper Go-to-Market planning.
7 Steps to Validate and Plan before Launch
It’s not enough to create a video or a pdf on your website and tell your connections that this is now available. Do your homework before you sit down to produce the content and define your plan including:
- the target group – which shall not just “like” your product on the social media, but actually be willing to spend real money for it;
- the package of scope, content, and value proposition, that fulfills your target group’s needs – better than competitors’ offers – and fits your overall portfolio of products and services;
- the pricing that will work in the market, but will also contribute profit;
- the distribution channel(s) that will be accepted by your target group and business partners;
- the sales and revenue plan with timeline and objectives;
- the general conditions for the sale, handling, payment, return, quality assurance, liability etc. of your product;
- the launch and promotion plan with timeline and costs: who does what by when, how, using which communication channel, costing how much?
As you can see, communication, advertising and the tactical promotion plan are just a part of a product’s Go-to-Market Strategy.
Typically, an entrepreneur’s time is scarce and valuable, so start to apply the above steps in that order. When you find a mismatch at any moment, e.g. the price the target group would probably pay is not delivering a profit margin that works for you, then don’t waste time on production…
You will find that you can’t just turn any service into a marketable product, but some know-how and expertise can be turned into content that you can use to market your services better.
If you need further advice on whether and how to create products out of your services – or would like to have a sparring partner to bounce your products ideas off – please get in touch.