If you’re using a standard project management app, an online form builder, or even a simple google doc to manage your business, you know how none of these tools were really made for selling productized services.
Having been in the productized service business myself, I know frustrating it can be to cobble together various applications just to get the “perfect” workflow for handling project work.
I think at one point we had over a dozen different applications and plugins we were using to run the business. Stuff like membership software for billing and client accounts, Wufoo for collecting project information, Basecamp for managing projects – the list goes on and on.
Needless to say, keeping up with all the tools was a hassle, especially when upgrading one component would inevitably break something else.
There was no all-in-one type of solution on the market, so I took it upon myself to create it. One software that would work really well for a productized service. And that’s exactly what we did, but more on that later.
First, lets break down the process of selling and delivering a productized service, and what makes it different from selling traditional services and products.
1. The sale
What sets apart productized services from others are clearly defined deliverables at a set price.
That means there are no custom quote requests, proposals or fee negotiations. Clients can simply choose a service they like and purchase it directly from your website, just like they would a product (hence, a “productized” service).
In terms of technology, there are no problems here – it can be as simple as a PayPal button.
2. Project information
The next step is to get the required information from your client, so you can begin their work. If you run an SEO shop, you’re probably asking for things like client’s website URL and keywords. A design agency might need some information about the client’s business, etc.
You might be asking for this information upfront, or after the order via a custom form or email. Either way it’s important to have this data accessible by you and your team throughout the project.
This is where you or somebody else in your team actually does the work and delivers the service.
For small shops that only get a couple of clients per month it’s easy to keep track of what’s going on. But if you’re working on multiple active projects at a time, and are managing employees or contractors, things can get out of hand quickly.
The problem with project management tools is that with each new order you need to set up a new project, upload client’s files, invite your team members and the client. At the end of the day, project management ends up taking more time and resources than actual client work.
Productized Service Automation
We built ServiceProviderPRO (called SPP for short) to automate all parts of a productized service business, from billing to collecting project data, to assigning orders to your staff, to delivering projects. All from one place.
Here’s how it works.
- First, you set up the services you want to sell. Name a service, set the price and choose how you want to bill clients (once or on a recurring basis). Simple stuff, really.
- Second, you set up forms where clients can choose their services and provide additional information about their order. Our visual form builder makes this real easy.
And that’s about it.
As soon as a client makes a purchase, SPP creates a new client account, or adds the order to an existing account. Client is logged into the Client Panel automatically, and also receives the login details via email.
The Client Panel is great, because it lets your customers see a full history of their orders, download reports, send messages and get special offers from your company.
As for your staff, they automatically get notifications about new orders, and can sign in to see the orders they need to work on. The system assigns projects to your staff based on the service purchased, or displays a pool of orders any staff member can choose to work on.
We’ve gone from manually copying and pasting new orders in a spreadsheet, and digging through old emails, to having everything neatly organized in one secure place. That is what SPP is all about.
Now, if that sounds like something you’d love to use in your productized service business, go ahead and click the link below to lean more and try SPP free of charge (no credit card required).