After all, they typically sell their services rather than a product.
If this pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that you never know what’s around the corner. Who amongst us, a year ago, would have thought that we’d have to socially distance from our customers to avoid passing on a virus that could kill them?!
Now that this has happened, maybe a few amongst us have taken it as a sign to look at their businesses more carefully and to diversify. Maybe they’re brainstorming how to make products from their services, or to make services from their products, in case there are restrictions on the sale of either. They’re the savvy ones, who will come out of this pandemic stronger and more resilient.
If you’re a tradesperson affected by a local or national lockdown and restricted to the work you could carry out, use any downtime to consider creating products from your services.
Branded and non-branded tools, technical how-to manuals, subscription services that drip-feed consumers the knowledge you’ve taken years to build, PPE (which has been like gold-dust)…you know your trade, there may be more examples. Even as a third-party retailer of other companies’/brands’ tools and equipment, your customers may be interested in buying them from you rather than a faceless corporation. You will have used these products day in, day out, and can honestly recommend them. Even purchasing these things at their wholesale price and selling them to your loyal customers at the recommended RRP will give you an income stream when your usual methods of earning money have been stopped in their tracks.
An e-commerce site is a must for anyone, even if you offer offline services. Everything is moving online…if you believe the experts, the pandemic has only speeded up what was inevitable. Customers will not only look for your services online, they will also order them this way as well. The phone is practically obsolete, as far as phone calls go – people nowadays want to get to an end result in just a few clicks, whether they’re ordering a pizza or asking Reliable Roofing to come out to their home to fix a few stray slates.
Anything you can package, such as a suite of similar services, becomes a ‘product’, and it also allows you to upsell. For instance, a carpet fitter, as a service and on the face of things, fits carpets – on an e-commerce website he could package his services, however, by combining them with the sale of underlay and grippers. These are physical products most likely made by a third party, but he will make a margin on the extra products as well as the labour he’d charge for the fitting of the carpet itself. He could take this one step further and offer a range of the most popular carpets on his e-commerce site as well; he doesn’t even have to stock rolls of the stuff, he can just order it directly from the manufacturer when his customer needs it.
The world is changing, whether you want it to or not. Whilst an e-commerce site may not have been something you thought about before Covid-19 reared its head, you should give serious thought to one now.