Providing a service to people is one of the surest ways to get into the world of business. If you’re able to give your customers something that they’re willing to pay for then you’re more likely to succeed, and it’s much easier to provide a service than to create a product because you generally understand what it is your customers want. You could provide essential services like healthcare and plumbing, or you could aim to target a specific audience or industry, such as providing outsourced content creation for website owners. There are countless choices, and it’s much easier to advertise and provide a service than it is a product.
While selling a service can be rather simple, making a profit out of it can be a lot more challenging. This is because unlike a product, most of your services are likely provided by people. This means that in addition to paying their wages, you need to charge enough so that you actually make a profit off their abilities. Depending on the type of service you offer, it might also be difficult to raise the prices above the industry standard, making it difficult for you to gain traction and set yourself apart.
So in order to grow a profitable service business, you need to use different techniques and strategies to gain more exposure. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of tips and considerations to keep in mind.
Aim for Recurring Clients
As a service business, your profits usually come from the clients that you offer the service to. In order to grow a business, it’s a good idea to aim for recurring clients as often as possible. This will help you maintain and grow a professional relationship with your clients, and this can open up more opportunities in the future for growth. Recurring clients should be the foundation of your business because you’ll spend less time actually looking for work and more time actually supplying it to your clients.
Build up a business model and strategy based on recurring clients. Offer them improved services, loyalty schemes and focus on the customer experience for every single order or job you receive. A good way to exceed client expectations is to never over-promise what you can do. Instead, always do what you’re absolutely certain you can deliver and then try to impress them by over delivering on your business’s promise. Ultimately, the more work you put into your craft, the better the results.
Focus on the Work You Love
When you have a service business, it’s important to focus more on your craft than the other factors. The quality of your service depends on how skilled you and your employees are, which is why you need to constantly find ways to improve your services and grow your knowledge. Building up experience comes naturally with the job, but it doesn’t mean you can’t educate yourself or hire third-party services that can give you an edge.
For instance, medical practices often use third-party services to help them manage their business. Synergist Medical Management is a good example of an outsourced service that allows you to focus on growing your business by improving your skills instead of worrying about ancillary services and breaks in your workflow. This can be expensive, so it’s important to speak with your finance department to see if it’s a viable choice for growth, or if it’s something that isn’t accessible to you right now. Either way, finding ways to free up your personal time so you can actually focus on your craft is a sure way to grow a profitable service business and stand out.
Utilize Networking Opportunities
Whether it’s attending a trade show or making a public appearance, making good use of networking opportunities is the key to building a list of clientele. People prefer to do business with those they know and can trust instead of random companies. When you go out of your way to meet with those clients and converse with them, they’re more likely to use your services in the future when they need it. You don’t always need to attend a public event, however. It’s perfectly acceptable just to speak to your clients more often and show your face now and then.
If you do plan to attend a trade show or event, then make sure you’ve prepared some material for it. Bring your portfolio or some examples of what services you can provide so it’s easier to give new people an idea of what it is you specialize in and how you can help them. If you offer a service in a niche industry, then you might also want to prepare some examples so those potential clients can visualize how your services can help their business.
Reinvest Into Your Business
As tempting as it is to pay yourself more, it’s important that you limit your own salary so that you can grow your business. This is a common mistake that beginners make; they value their own salary so much that they forget to reinvest their profits into their own business. You can reinvest by hiring more employees so that you can expand the number of orders you can take, you can invest in marketing to expose your business and you could even add computer systems to your workflow to make it more efficient.
There are countless ways to reinvest in your business and it’s important that you don’t hoard all the money for yourself, even if you’re the sole employee. Reinvest in your business so you can grow and don’t stunt its growth by being greedy.
A service business is a completely different ballgame to selling a product, which is why there are different rules and tricks that you can utilize in order to get ahead. With these tips, you should have a much better chance at growing your service business even if you’re a complete beginner with their first startup. Focus on the customer experience, reinvest in your business, and you should have no trouble standing out.