When there is an endless number of options to choose from, how do you decide what product or service to sell in your business?
Member Dianne Irving has a new business publishing children’s books. There are two main parts to her business Little Tulip Books.
- Writing and publishing her own books
- Working with other authors who can write but don’t know how to get a book out to the market…
Recently she asked me:
“How do I chose the best product/service offering for my ideal client? As this is a new business want to choose the most simplest, fastest and best pay off – so I can get some momentum?”
And this is a question that I know I’ve struggled with. Can you relate?
It’s EASY to make the wrong decision when we:
- Haven’t determined how want to spend out time in our business
- Look at what’s popular, or what our competition is doing (oh look everyone’s doing online courses, or creating memberships or offering high-end consulting services or retreats) instead of what’s right for our clients
- Don’t have a strategy or plan for how our different products and services work together
- Design products that don’t match our ideal for how we want to spend our time in business
So, what did I recommend to the lovely Dianne?
Dianne could approach the business two ways.
She could choose to work deeply with fewer clients each year. Say she wanted to publish 6 books a year — helping the client come up with the idea, outline the book, write the book, edit the book, get it designed and off to the printer etc. Maybe even help them launch and market the book.
That means that the cost to work with an author would need to be commensurate with the income and time that it would take her to do that. This sort of product or service would take a lot of 1:1 time and energy and she’s be really hands on.
Conversely if she wanted to work with 200 authors a year then she’d need a different type of product or service – something more automated and perhaps “Do It Yourself”. For example she may have a team of editors and designers and account managers and administrators.
That would mean recruiting other team members so that she could duplicate herself or remove herself from being so hands on – instead working at a more strategic and business building role.
Or she may take only a small slice of all the steps it takes to bring a book into being and offer that. Perhaps she creates a product or service that is just about how to get started – naming and doing an outline of your book and coming up with the central characters or concept.
These two approaches, as you can see, are very different.
And, eventually as the business grows Dianne may be able to offer both… but I recommend she start with one clear strategy and one clear product or service for one type of client.
And, that’s where I suggest you start when you’re not sure what product to choose:
- Decide on your ideal client – that is, the type of client we want to work with. Yes, when we start with the client we want to work with we can develop the right product or service because we’re catering to a real need. And the more specific we can be about who that person is, the easier it’s going to be to be able to know that client and really create a product or service that is right for them.
- Ensure you have an audience for whatever you want to sell. The biggest problem I see is women creating a product or service that we think is a good idea, but we don’t know that there is a market or a need for it because we haven’t done the work to find out and to create a ready audience BEFORE we spend the time and money developing and marketing the product or service. It’s on us to build that audience of ideal clients.
- Decide how you want to work with clients – closely and personally, or in a more automated way? This is really going to impact the type of product or service that we create
So, once you know who you want to work with, you’ve determined that their is a need and want that you can fill, and you know what type of product or service is going to meet your business goals for how you want to use your time, what revenue you want to create and what’s going to fit into your plans for your business, you have a place to start.
So, go ahead and get started. And more than anything, make a decision – it may be the right decision and it may not be. But a decision is better than no decision – because when you’re sitting in indecision you aren’t making any progress the ground beneath you is not solid. When you decide, magic happens and your certainty starts to create results.
Got questions? Feel free to email me here. I answer all questions.
And, here’s to doing what you love,