Running your own business is a labor of love, and many budding entrepreneurs (about 30%, according to my survey from a few years back) get into the biz because they believe they can do it better. But having an entrepreneurial mindset is just the start of your business journey. Once you’ve gotten honest with yourself about your why and identified your target audience, you need to lay the groundwork for your service offerings. Here’s how you do it.
When you run your own business, you’re also in the business of solving problems. You’re already in a problem-solving mindset with your internal operations and need to bring that mindset to your service offerings too.
Ultimately, your service offerings need to solve problems. Your audience’s problems. Underneath every trip down the funnel is branded communication that spoke to a problem and provided a compelling solution for that problem. Moreover, effective messaging hits on everything that feeds into that problem:
- The emotions the audience feels when facing that problem
- The dreams the audience has for a life free from that problem
- The challenges they face in trying to overcome that problem
By touching on what’s important (all of the above), you construct a storyline around the audience’s problem and guide them on the pathway towards the solution: your service offerings. My caveat: your solutions should parallel your strengths, so your service offerings are sustainable over time.
Play to your strengths.
If you’re a jack of all trades, it’s time for a dose of reality: you will struggle to create service offerings that land and bring in profits over time. Your business (and you) will be better off if you hone in on what you do best. Here are some questions you can ask yourself:
- What do I do well?
- What do I do better than anybody else?
- How can I invest in becoming an expert?
Ultimately, the goal is to become an expert in your industry by honing in on a few skills. Expertise sets you up to do it better than anybody else, making your service offerings enticing to a target audience.
People want solutions to their problems, but they also want to be sure they’re investing their time and money in something worthwhile. If your service offerings are superior, it takes the focus off vetting and shifts it to connecting.
If you’re clear and direct in your messaging and confident in your solution, your service offerings are more likely to land. If you enjoy what you do, that will come across too.
Do what you enjoy.
Listen. You’re going to have some tough days when you run your own business. I’m talking, frustration, tears, and gnawing self-doubt. You need something to keep you focused when you have rough days at the helm of your business.
The answer is more straightforward than you think. Start by doing what you enjoy. Running a business will take up more hours than not (hello 14-16 hour days). You will sacrifice a lot and bear more responsibilities than you ever have before. If you don’t enjoy what you do, running a business will drain you.
Enjoying what you do is a superfood for getting through tough days. Loving your work is like a steady stream of motivation you get access to anytime, anywhere. You need that motivation to get through the long hours. Find it by doing what you love.
If you don’t love it, nobody else will.
I’m going to say that again. If you don’t love it, nobody else will. The belief has to come from you first before you expect your audience to get onboard. And in case you haven’t heard it before, it’s okay if you don’t get it right the first time.
Don’t be afraid to experiment.
Find me a business that doesn’t have to change, adjust, and evolve. It doesn’t exist.
When it comes to service offerings, you can take it one step further and be proactive about your experimentation. Don’t wait for the industry to change; change the industry.
I know assessing risk is part of occupying the role of an entrepreneur. And facing the fear of what you might happen if you shoot and miss is part of entrepreneur life, too.
As Wayne Gretzky once said, you miss 100% of the shots you never take. He was right. You’ll still miss some of the shots you do take, but you’ll make a lot more than you ever would if you choose not to try.
And one of those shots might cause the crowd to erupt with cheers. The goal people will be talking about for years to come.
If you’re not a hockey fan, you’re still welcome on this blog. My point is you may need to tweak, revise, and completely redo your service offerings until they hit the sweet spot for your business operations and your target audience’s purchasing behavior. And while you’re experimenting, consider investing in the long game.
Focus on the long-term sale.
Sure, you can make a quick buck with a lot of service offerings, but you’re running a business. That means you’ve invested time, money, and resources, and you want it to survive, even if you want to exit the business for greener pastures at some point.
It pays to play the long game with your service offerings. Consider how you can integrate service offerings into your business operations that nurture audience interactions over time. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Retainer models
- Small offerings that build on one another
- Service offerings for existing clients
- New product line extensions
- Bundled products or services
- Products people need to repurchase over time
- Value-increasing partnerships with other agencies/businesses
There are many options for extending the lifespan of your service offerings, but the goal is to create value that continues, builds, and delivers over time. Let’s talk through a real-world example to give you a clearer picture.
Create service offerings that land.
Now you’re ready for the next steps. Check out my Work From Home Playbook to dig a little deeper into service offering identification. This easy-to-access, go at your pace eCourse gives you all the information you need to start and run your business. Each module utilizes brief videos (I’m talking minutes) perfect for the entrepreneur short on time. Click the link to get access today.
Then, move on to my Marketing Masterclass for the Professional Advisor. This masterclass goes through all the tools you need to market your service offerings successfully. Skip the formal coursework and time-consuming conferences. You don’t need them. Click the link to get access.
Kiley Executive Coach & Consultant
Kiley Peters is a serial entrepreneur, national speaker, executive coach, and small business consultant. Having personally counseled over 100 small and medium-sized businesses on operations, business development, digital marketing, and consumer behavior analysis over the last 17 years Kiley is incredibly passionate about serving small business owners. She is the Founder and CEO of Brainchild Studios, a research and business strategy partner for small businesses and mid-market executives, and also created the Work From Home Playbook, a series of online courses guiding aspiring entrepreneurs through the steps of starting a virtual business. With these experiences in her back pocket, she understands the challenges and struggles small business owners encounter.more posts by Kiley →