What are Productized Services? Attempting a Definition

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Productised Agencies: Breaking Down the Business Model

A quick note: There’s 100 ways to define anything, any this is just my personal take on Productized Services.

Since starting ProductizedHQ, I’ve gotten deeper into the world of productized services. Part of the decision making here involves denying certain services entry to our listings.

Generally, our TLDR acceptance criteria is:

  • Price Listed Transparently
  • Subscription Based
  • Services business (Not a pure software tool)

So what exactly does it mean to “productize” a service? In its broadest sense, I see a productized service as one that has been commoditized and set at a standard price. It’s a way of packaging and selling a service like a product.

See the following conversations:

Two Main Types: One-Time and Subscription-Based

Assuming a service is productized per the above, in my experience, productized agencies generally fall into two main categories:

  1. One-Time Services: These are reminiscent of project-based payments. For example, if you want to get your roof shingled, you’re paying a standardized price for a one-time service.
    I’ve seen many website launch services use this model, offering to launch your site on a set number of platforms for a fixed fee. While this counts as a productized service, especially if parts of the process are automated, it’s not my preferred approach.
    Some examples, MVP-as-a-service:
    Refined.so and Uniqueside.io

  2. Subscription-Based Services: This is the model I appreciate most. With a subscription-based productized service, you pay a set monthly cost for an ongoing service. Apartment cleaning for $200 per month would be an example.
    Or getting something like 15-20 designs per month with DesignBalm for under $200.
    What I love about this model is that it encourages long-term thinking from both parties. The agency providing the service is incentivized to deliver quality work to keep you as a customer.

The Goal: Niche Down and Standardize

I believe the ultimate goal with productized services is to niche down until you can deliver a higher quality service faster than any of your competitors – Standardizing procedures and leveraging software assistance to optimize the process.

Picture of person loading boxes to represent Productized Services

To conceptualize this, think about the difference between an artisan crafting handbags and a factory mass-producing handbag clasps. The artisan makes each bag by hand, taking a week per unique creation. (Typical agency) In contrast, the factory can churn out 10,000 clasps per week, potentially at an even higher quality than the handmade pieces – Productized services present a similar opportunity. By allowing experts to standardize, streamline, and scale their knowledge, you can deliver better results to a much larger customer base. It’s a unique model that combines the power of systematization with the finishing touches of expert guidance.

The Bottom Line of Productized Services

At the end of the day, my take is that productized services are all about creating repeatable, scalable processes that can be easily marketed and sold.
Whether you opt for a one-time or subscription-based model, the key is to package your expertise in a way that delivers consistent value to your customers.

As someone who’s working to build a business around productized services, I can attest to the benefits: streamlined requests and no Zoom meetings. If you’re looking to take your business to the next level, productization is definitely worth exploring.

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