Before we dive in to this week’s newsletter on building productized agencies:
New episode of the pod is LIVE. It’s an episode where my Co-Founder/COO and I talk about Late Checkout, holding companies and how to build fast growing agencies and startups.
Listen on Spotify, Apple and YouTube.
I don’t have ads on my podcasts or this newsletter.
My ask: subscribe to the YouTube if you’re getting value to this newsletter.
You’ll get to see exclusive YouTube content and new pods.
Someone on Twitter asked me the other day:
“Why do I keep wasting my time spinning up agencies?”
Today, I’ll give you an inside look on why I think productized agencies are interesting, and are the key to building a mega business.
If you’ve noticed, I’ve been plugging the different productized service agencies that my team and I have spun up — Dispatch, Boring Marketing and You Probably Need A Robot, to name a few.
Productized services are — you guessed it — services that are purchased like products. You spend X, you get Y. The catch is that Y isn’t a good that you can unwrap and put on your coffee table — it’s a service that will help you make more money, save time, or be more productive.
Traditional services are difficult to scale
Think about the small service businesses in your area.
The mechanic with the best rating in town…
The computer repair shop everyone recommends…
Chances are these are mom-and-pop operations with only one location and a few employees. They’ve built a career from specializing in solving one problem for people in a certain location.
How would each business serve people in a different location?
The mechanic would have to
spend the resources to find another building
hire a new team & train them properly
replicate the infrastructure from the first location
advertise in local newspapers
The computer repair shop would have to
rent another storefront and set up shop
train a new team to repair computers using the resource
replicate the infrastructure from the first location
put business cards in local businesses downtown
The cost, stress, and resources to open just one more store would be monumental.
Now how would each business get to 50-100 locations?
Believe it or not, the process is simpler. And with the internet, almost all of this stress is taken away.
For one, for all
The thesis of productized services:
You can take what you do for one person and package it for anyone.
If you’re a graphic designer, video editor, copywriter, consultant, technician, etc… you can take the work you’re doing for one of your clients and sell it as a good to the masses.
Productized services rule because they hit all of the entrepreneur buzzwords.
Trainable, repeatable, profitable, scaleable, and eventually sellable.
Here’s how you build one of your own:
1. Nothing is custom
Solidify the problem you’re solving and who you’re solving it for. Get proof that you can do what you say you can. Once you have it, stick to that exact solution — you don’t do custom work outside of the end result.
If you’re a graphic designer, you don’t hop in and solve a video problem just because you’re there.
2. Checklists & SOPs
Each step of your solution has an extensive checklist detailing exactly how to solve the problem at the current stage.
From discovery to delivery, the process is scripted. Both parties understand their responsibility at all stages of the process. Staying within the structure is how you get results — going off script makes everyone upset.
Clearly defined roles make it incredibly easy to hire & train a team.
3. Solve the problem at scale
With AI and the internet, what used to take 500 employees can be solved with 5. You can hire for each step of the process and give them the constraints to solve the problem at scale — like employees on a digital conveyor belt.
B2B Service to B2B Product
Now, I know what you’re probably thinking. Agencies are a pain to manage (and grow) and they are. But they also give you clues to building big startups.
You might have heard of Hootsuite, a billion dollar social media management SaaS tool that’s raised $300m.
Did you know that Hootsuite came out of a social media & design studio named Invoke Agency?
They found a problem: scheduling content for their different clients was getting annoying as they scaled.
Their solution: an internal dashboard that allowed them to schedule across different social media accounts.
You know what happened next. They packaged their solution into a public-facing SaaS and sold it. The best part? They sold it to their agency clients first, iterated on it and then sold to the world.
If you’re doing service work, you already understand the pain points other businesses are facing. And you already have your first customers for your product. Win-win.
Packaging the solution into a productized service could offer you the business you’ve always dreamed of.
P.S.: here’s the links to this week’s pod on Spotify, Apple and YouTube.
Do you want to work together? A few ways we can collaborate
Revamp your company's design game with Dispatch's membership.
Elevate your decks, websites, apps, and more to stand out from the competition.
Find boring ways to make more revenue
Use AI-enhanced SEO and “boring marketing” to bring you profitable customers. Last year, we drove 600m visitors and $1B+ in organic revenue.
Stay ahead with tips on productivity and AI with YPNAR
Free newsletter and community at YouProbablyneedaRobot.com . Might as well sign up
I can relate to this. Do you have an framework you use to pick what service you want to “productize?”
Typo in the first You Probably Need a Robot Link.
Great post, I'm signing up!!