Mention the words commoditise or productise to an accountant or lawyer in respect of their service offering and it?s likely you?ll get a reaction, which might include profuse sweating, a level of indignation, reddening of the face and in some extreme cases, foaming at the mouth.
But it needn?t be this way. Commoditising or productising your service offering, or at least aspects of it, isn?t dirty, it?s just smart. And the fast movers in the industry are starting to get quite good at it and the better they get the more daylight there will be between them and everybody else.
Now, had I asked ?who wants to scale their practice?? the reaction would more often than not have been one of enthusiasm. If that?s the case my next question would naturally be ?how are you going to do that??
If you operate under the traditional time-for-money model, where you deliver your services in a one to one scenario, the way to scale your practice is heavily dependent on you being able to acquire and control more hours. That means hiring more professionals, more support staff, more infrastructure, more management, more overheads, and so on. Perhaps you?ll get some economies of scale, but they?ll be marginal. Then you need to feed the beast, you become less agile, and potentially less connected with your clients. That just stinks of effort.
But it?s a different equation if we start thinking about commoditising or productising our offering, or at least aspects of it. Once we productise we?re no longer delivering only in a one to one scenario and when we no longer only deliver in a one to one scenario we achieve?LEVERAGE.
Leverage, in its most basic form, means we do more with the same resources or more with less resources. That means more revenue for less cost which equals more profit.
Where advisors seem to struggle with these concepts the most is where they only consider productisation in the context of ?advice?. But, with the specialist body of knowledge and experience you possess, there so many other ways to help you?re clients beyond advice.
Without going into all of the combinations and hybrid models that are available to you, there are four basic modes of delivery for you to consider.
One to One?? This is what almost every advisory practice uses, and has used for more than a century. This has to be priced and delivered individually. Clearly there are a range of options when it comes to pricing these services, but leverage is not attainable in a one to one scenario.
One to Few?? This requires your time, but now its leveraged across more than one client but still involves a level of intimacy only available in a small group. Members of the group likely all have the same problem your offering solves.
One to Many?? This option still involves your time and effort, but is potentially infinitely scalable. Think conferences, training, seminars, webinars etc.
None to Many?? Once you?ve created your product you?re no longer part of the equation, you?re no longer required. This offering is completely hands off.
So rather than confine your thinking to the current way you deliver your services, ask these three questions and see where it leads you:
Whom do I serve?
What problems do they have that I can help them solve?
What delivery options might make it easier for them to consume that solution and me to deliver it?
Before you blow this off as one of those things you don?t need to worry about you need to understand there is a reason I?m talking about this.
It?s called?DISRUPTION. And it?s a term you?re going to hear more and more whether you like it or not, it?s here, and it?s not going away.
If you want to know more alternate delivery models and how to achieve leverage and scalability in your practice?click here.