Packages for profit–why bespoke is a bad idea for any service business

As a service-based business, it’s easy to say “yes” to everything a client asks for, but having packages will make it easier for clients to say “yes” to buying from you, whilst you’ll be certain of making a profit.

What are ‘service packages’?

You can put together packages of your service and sell it 2 main ways:

  1. A prepared package–a defined combination of what you get (and don’t get) of your service(s) i.e. the ‘set menu’
  2. A pick ‘n’ mix package–a package created for each client from the selection of services you offer i.e. a la carte (and nothing ‘off menu’)

And just as a chef does with a menu, all the costings of each dish/service will have been worked out so that they both play to the strengths of the chef/you as a provider, and also make a profit.

Profit is a key reason for packaging your services

When you sell your service in packages, you can work out if the services you offer are making you a profit. You’ll be certain that it’s costing you less to deliver each package than you are selling it for and that there’s a margin you’re happy with.

It’s easy to get caught up in a conversation with a potential client and offer services outside of what will make a project or piece of work profitable. Having packages makes it a LOT easier to stick to ‘what’s on offer’ and know that you’ll be making money on it too when you make offers to clients.

Other reasons to sell packages as a service business

Selling packages and not bespoke offers means no more starting every quote and proposal from scratch, making sure you make money, and it’s also about predictability.

When you sell service packages you have predictable:

  • Prices
  • Profit
  • Outcomes
  • Results
  • Time
  • Resources
  • People

Which means you can plan better, you can be more certain of your cash flow, you can allocate the right resources at the right time, and be more certain of delivering a great result.

Predictable packages sell better

When you’re clear on your service packages, you’ll sell more easily and more confidently.

It also means you’ll actually WANT to sell your packages. You can create packages that are proven ways you and your team work best. You’re the expert in the results you create and your packages should reflect that. Worth noting here: if your packages aren’t your best work and instead are ‘what you think you should offer’ instead of ‘what you know works best’, change them now!

Clarity and Confidence creates more sales

The clearer you are, and the more certain you are about what you do best, how you work, what’s tried and tested and proven, the more confidence you will have in sales conversations.

Your clarity will also give your customer confidence and they are far more likely to say “yes” than if you are ‘having to work it out’ or ‘go away and put something together’. There’s nothing wrong with tailoring offers and packages to clients, but to come up with something from scratch every time not only takes up more of your time but may mean you don’t do your best work or–worse still–don’t make any profit.

Packages create clear boundaries for service delivery

If your work and projects are prone to ‘scope creep’, where you deliver more than you’re paid for, packages stop this from the start. If you’re selling packages, it’s very clear what’s included and what’s not. There’s no “Ohh, can you just add…” and “Hmm, now we’ve started, I’m wondering if…” or “While we’re working on this, can we also…”. You may have experienced this and, if so, you know that this usually means you’re about to say goodbye to your profit margin!

Packages create clear boundaries–so you only include the work you want to do and will do, and don’t allow for ‘creep’ where work you may not want to do gets added to a project or product.

Less choice is better, too–so limit your packages

Packages are there to make both your life as a business-owner easier, but also your clients’ lives easier too. When there’s ‘everything’ to choose from, the choice can be overwhelming and it actually makes it hard to say “yes” and buy from you. Keep your packages to a small selection where that’s possible, so it’s very obvious to both you as the provider, and the client as the recipient, which package suits them best.

A confused mind is much more likely to say “no”, so when you’re packages are limited, clear, and matched to your clients requirements, everyone can see which is the best option.

Advantages of packaging your services

With packages you can:

  • Create quotes and proposals quickly
  • Know you’re only quoting for work and projects you want to do
  • Know you will always sell things at a profit (because you’ve worked this out already)
  • Have confident sales conversations and make fitting recommendations
  • Be able to see quickly and easily who is and isn’t a good fit for your business
  • Invoice accurately and fast

Quotes and proposals are big bottlenecks in a service business

By offering packages, the time it takes you to create quotes or proposals can be cut dramatically. Ideally, you’re never ‘asking for the sale’ in a quote or proposal but instead merely ‘confirming in writing’ what you agreed in your sales conversation. And that sales conversation would have focused on which of your packages is right for that client.

All the details and content of your proposal you can already have prepared if you’re selling packages of your service. There’s no ‘working out’ to do with every new client to check you’ll make money, or how long the work will take, for example–you know all that information (and more) already.

The quicker you can supply a quote or proposal, the quicker you’ll make a sale–the whole ‘strike while the iron is hot’ principle. We always recommend having an order form as part of a quote or proposal with immediate payment options, too, which makes your sales process seamless and quick.

Package your services now if you don’t already

If you’d like to spend less time on admin and more time doing the work you want to do, packages are a big part of the answer. Put your best work together, offer it with clarity and confidence, and give your clients a limited, but focused choice of results. This is how you’ll make your business work better for you

Connectably is simple connected business software, connecting everything you need to run your small business in one place, from marketing, to sales, to getting paid, to accounting.

From your phone or desktop send emails, create quotes and proposals, track sales, take payments and know everything is already up to date in your accounting software. Save time and work smarter with connected software to make ‘evening admin’ a thing of the past.

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