It takes a different approach and different marketing practices to market a service-based business. Without inventory and commodities, you must sell ideas and intangibles. Many service-based business owners don’t quite understand this.
What is a Service Based Business?
A service business is one that provides an intangible product, performed by a team or an individual. Examples would be accounting, plumbing, landscaping, and consultants, etc.
Start-ups, specifically service businesses, are making up a growing segment of the workforce. Although experts disagree about the exact size of today’s gig economy, research from Intuit suggests that independent service business owners make up more than 34% of the U.S. workforce. That’s an enormous number of individuals looking for new, independent income opportunities.
You should consider these 5 marketing strategies if you own a service-based business.
1. Determine Your Unique Position
The difference you make between your service-based business and the competition must be measurable. A small service-based business cannot afford to be similar to or better than. It must be clearcut and distinct. And, it cannot be something as vague as service quality.
You may focus on price, delivery assurances, turnaround time or other benefits that are unique to how you do things more than what you do. You must also simplify it into a few clear words that will be your central message for marketing and sales.
2. Increase Your Visibility by Optimizing Your Marketing
A new business must make its presence known and felt in multiple ways. It can’t wait for customers to find you in the phonebook.
You have hundreds of ways to reach your market, and you have to choose the most effective. For service-based businesses, you can network with peers, support community involvement, and share local solutions.
3. Sell Value Rather Than Price
You cannot afford a price war if you are a small business owner. You probably don’t have a financial cushion, and fighting leads to complications you may not be able to escape. You can let customers chase price.
You want to stress the value your service offers to the consumer. You might bundle services or provide payment options in an open market. If your customers value time, accuracy, follow up, customer service, innovation, and so on, you need to sell that. Price follows customer need in an open market.
4. Revisit and Revise the Strategy
Unlike planning, strategy focuses on the end result rather than the means of achieving it. True planning helps you attain success with your organization; however, strategy is the manual. It will guide you to your destination.
Your strategy should be dynamic to allow for change. This includes the timeline, calendar, metrics, KPIs, and other timelines aligned with a targeted purpose. However, your strategy is not a fixed thing. It may change as your business evolves.
In response to changes in market conditions, and anticipating those changes, a part of your strategic approach should be a regular review and revision of your strategy.
5. Do Your Clients a Favor
A product-based business presents a quality product for the customer to review and responds to their feedback, while service-based businesses do not provide tangible products. Instead, they provide services reliant upon relationships to make it work.
A service business owner constructs their brand by engaging their prospects and clients in the process. You essentially become a consultant, trainer, and partner. But, the client must oversee everything and ensure the process is finished. So, you have to facilitate client participation and partner more than sell.
This five-step approach is only a starting point. Each requires a strategy, tactics, and ongoing support. But you have to start by understanding the difference between service-based and product-based businesses in order to succeed.