Written by Helen Ryles A productized service is the easiest no-code business that you can start today. When we first get introduced to the world of no-code, we’re fast to get excited when we see the number of different technology based businesses that are now at our fingertips - all ones that YOU can actually build and launch. You could make mobile apps, build a SaaS, start a community based platform, an education site or connect some automations together to display data. It’s tempting to think that no-code is just made to build new technical products and should only be used to deliver unique software to your customers.
However there is a much simpler business that anyone can get off the ground in just a few days. One that requires very little tech at all and is perfect for those that feel held back by the difficulties of fixing bugs and troubleshooting a software based product. The simplest type of business that anyone new to no-code can start is a service based business. With the advances of no-code technologies the most efficient, streamlined and scalable service that you can build is a productized service.
What is a productized service?
A productized service is where you focus on one specific problem for one particular type of customer, and you specialise in delivering just that solution to your customers. A productized service is a packaged and repeatable business that is laser focused on one thing.
If you’ve not delved into the world of tech much before, chances are that you have spent your time building other types of marketable skills instead. Combining your existing skills with a small bit of no-code means that you can offer your services in the most scalable way. A productized service takes your skills and lets you deliver them in the most efficient way possible, many times over.
Instead of ordering from a long list of your services and expecting your customer to decide what they need, a productized service makes you design a process that all of your customers follow - one that takes them on the journey to their desired deliverable. A productized service is almost the opposite of a custom or bespoke service where every project that you take on is completely different from the last.
You are taking a problem that your customer has, one where the typical solution is an unclear process full of minute decisions and you are demystifying it to show people the light at the end of the tunnel. You’re good at what you do and you specialise in it. You are doing everything you can to turn a service into an off-the-shelf product.
Why is it a good business to run?
This type of business works well because it can scale easily, you can create a good income with just a few customers and get high monthly recurring revenue. It’s not particularly a tech focused business so it is approachable for more people. It is especially useful if you are tired of offering lots of different services as a freelancer and want to get away from charging for your time. This business just uses more tools and processes to get the job done quickly.
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel and come up with a unique type of service to offer. Every productized service out there niches down into their own ideal customer persona. There is still plenty of room in the market for more of these businesses in new niches.
This type of business is low cost to run yet still can bring in high monthly income. The productivity within the business is found through the repeated solving of the same problem and not wasting time building a custom solution that only one customer needs.
Every customer you serve helps to make serving the next customer even more efficient and profitable. Every testimonial or case study you get helps to get referrals for more of the same work. It’s not just a way to package your skills, you are building a well oiled business machine that runs faster over time.
What can you productize?
If this is a new concept to you, you might be thinking about what services you can offer. Here’s a few businesses that lend themselves well to the productized service business model.
Pitch deck design Logo design Website design Branding
Each of these types of services can be spun out into hundreds of possibilities for a business that’s right for you, if you niche down and provide the service for a specific group of customers. So marketing for real estate agents would be a very different service to marketing for restaurants. Niche down and find a service to provide, that fits your experience. Try to solve a problem that you already know well.
How to build a productized service?
Every productized service starts out with some similar components. It’s time to find your productized service stack.
With a productized service you need to show that you are a specialist in this area. The best way to do this is by writing an in depth landing page. The better that you can clearly describe the problem, the more likely it is that people will trust that you also have the right solution to offer them. Spend time crafting your landing page in a way that uses the language and phrases that your ideal customer uses. You can gather this from questions asked on social media, in book reviews on Amazon and in online communities specific to the topic you are focused on. Your landing page is your main sales tool and it needs to be convincing, thorough and clearly explain the problem, the solution, the process that you will take, the value you will get and the price the service costs.
This can be built using tools like Carrd, Notion, Webflow or Universe.
Taking payment directly on your landing page is one way to make your customers feel like they are buying a product. The ability to make an immediate payment encourages conversions and capitalizes on the customers who have their credit card out and are ready to buy, especially after how well you described their problem on your landing page! We all know how frustrating it is when we just want to know a price for something on a website and they ask you to call for a custom quote. This just adds unnecessary friction to buying the service. We need to make sure that the service from beginning to end makes customers feel like we are confident and have done what they want many times before.
Productized services can be single time purchases, like a website or the implementation or setup of a particular tool. Or for even more room to scale you could provide a recurring service like weekly reports, regular transcripts, or an ongoing content creation service. This way you aren’t starting your client base from scratch every month. A recurring service is made possible using a subscription based payment provider that collects the payment when due.
This can be done using checkout options from PayPal, Stripe, Gumroad, Paddle, Fast.
Capturing interested leads from day one of having your landing page live is very important. Productized services often are high priced and may take a while to convince some website visitors that you are right for them. Your landing page might pique their interest enough to leave their email. From there you can send them tips, tricks and advice that is tailored to the specific problem that they are facing and also peripheral good advice around the topic as a whole. This is your opportunity to show your prospective customers you know what you are talking about and stay top of mind for when they are ready to dive into your process.
This can be done with Mailchimp or ConvertKit.
Once you have your customer all paid and signed up it’s time to start showing them your professionalism through your service. This all starts by onboarding them, taking them step by step through the information they need to get started. Either by using a questionnaire or intake form. This helps you to gather everything from your customer up front, be organised and create a great first impression.
This can be done with Airtable, Typeform, Paperform, Jotform, Google Forms.
Your customer is now onboard and it’s time to think about how you will actually deliver your services and what we can do to make that as easy as possible. You need to map out start-to-finish how your customer will get from A to B on their journey through your productized service. What information have you gathered from them, where do you store it, what tools do you use and what are the detailed instructions on how to make the deliverables.
Don’t forget the after-care process too. Once you have made what they wanted, how you will return it to the customer and how will you collect their feedback. Do they have a simple mechanism to re-order from you again?
Process documents and checklists can be really helpful as they can take you away from thinking about the order of the process, to being able to focus on actually getting the work done. Having process documents early on also makes it so much easier when you come to hire freelancers to help out, or to scale your business by growing your team. These process documents are also often called Standard Operating Procedures.
This can be done using tools like Notion, Google Docs, Coda or Sweetprocess.
Once you’ve served your first few customers you’ll soon realise that you need to keep some details about your customers, the plans that they have purchased and the work that you need to do for them. This will help you to keep track of your profitability and stay organised as you scale.
This can be done using tools like Airtable, Google Sheets, Notion.
Automation of service delivery
This is where the economies of scale within a productized service really come into force. After you have ran through your process several times with your first handful of customers you’ll no doubt find tedious and repetitive steps. Or even steps that are frequently forgotten or missed out. These are the types of things that can and should be automated. From timed emails, to automated social media publishing, automatic completion of templated documents pulling data from a sheet. This is where a service business becomes a true no-code business.
The best tools to use for this are Zapier, Paragon, Parabola.
These are the most common pieces that all productized services will need. Depending on the type of service that you want to build for your customers, you might want to go further and create a membership area using Memberstack or Memberspace. You may need to provide forums, support channels or FAQ docs using - Circle, Slack or Notion. As your solution gets more complex and you have different pricing plans and larger numbers of customers you may want to offer your customers their own login and profile using Outseta, or build a custom tool using Internal. A productized service can always grow and expand but the important thing is that it can start out small too.
Now it’s time to take a look at some real world examples of productized services as inspiration!
Take a look at their sites and see if you can work out what stack they are using to put their services together and see just how much of it is made with the help of no-code tools! A productized service is a no-code business that you can start today!
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