Bespoke Equals Broke: 3 Reasons Why Productisation is the Path to Growth

by | Business Strategy

Bespoke Equals Broke: 3 Reasons Why Productisation is the Path to Growth

by | May 28, 2018

One the main reasons people want to start their own business is the freedom it offers. You get to be your own boss. You can pursue your dreams, your interests. You don’t have to deal with the bureaucracy that comes with slaving away inside a corporate structure and putting your money into someone else’s pocket.

Unfortunately for too many freelancers and business owners, reality hits hard. They end up chained to their business in ways that are the opposite of the freedom they sought in the first place. They can’t go on holiday, can’t take time away from the business, and generally manage to turn this dream job into a nightmare.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Believe it or not, it’s possible to work from the beach. And all it takes is Productisation.

What is Productisation?

Productisation is turning whatever you do into a repeatable product, that can be bought by anyone and delivered by anyone with the required training. It intentionally excludes the business owner from the delivery process.

A lot of business owners don’t like this idea, and I’ve run into my fair share of pushback about it. For some, they feel like turning the “special thing that they do” into a standardised offering somehow cheapens it, or makes it less special.

They feel that by turning what they do into a product, it dilutes what the customer actually walks away with.

This is, of course, not at all the case.

Productisation instead makes what you sell even better. It allows you to reach more people with “that special thing that you do.” And it does this in three ways.

1. Customer Experience.

The wonderful thing about productisation is that it gives consistency to your customers’ experiences.

The most common objection to standardising and productising is that your “bespoke” services deliver a high level of customer experience because of the personal touch.

In reality you can’t even begin to deliver a consistently high customer experience until you can at least guarantee a consistent experience.

By using technology to provide structure and support to your customers’ journey, you significantly reduce the opportunity for human error. Productising doesn’t mean removing the human aspect of your business, it means giving the people around you the freedom to flourish.

Productisation holds you accountable to making sure the problems that the customer comes to you with get solved. The steps are clear, in place, and efficient.

“In reality you can’t even begin to deliver a consistently high customer experience until you can at least guarantee a consistent experience.”

2. Trust.

You can build trust in two different ways. The first way is to spend time with your customers, learning about their needs, working with them to provide a solution to their problems.

That, of course, is a good thing.

The second way to build customer trust, though, is even more powerful. I call it “having your shit together” trust.

The customer looks at what you offer, sees that there’s a plan in place for what exactly they are getting, and how, exactly, they are going to get it. And as they look at you and your business, they will instinctively trust you in a deep way.

There’s a term in journalism called “Show, don’t tell.” They see that you know what you’re doing, instead of just listening to you tell them you do.

Productisation—almost like magic—gives you a level of authority that you can’t achieve in any other way.

3. Freedom.

At the beginning of the 20th century there were a number of businesses producing cars. Most of these were carriage makers who were moving away from horse power as a reality and into horse power as a metric.

So, if you wanted a car, you would go to one of these carriage makers and they would build you a car. Everyone had the same engine and chassis — but then you’d pick exactly what you wanted everywhere else. Custom seats, upholstery, bodywork, windows, lights — everything was custom. It might be one person building the whole car, or it might be a small team. Either way, every single vehicle was effectively a one-off.

Henry Ford saw this and realised that this model wasn’t sustainable, or scalable. He introduced the assembly line, and changed not just vehicle manufacturing, but literally changed the whole world.

He standardised the process by which every automobile that came after him was made.

Oh, and he also got hella rich.

When you are able to automate the things in your business that you do over and over, it makes for a better product, a better process, and also allows you the freedom to let your business just run.

But where do you start?

Great question!

I’ve broken down the steps here in Part Two

Your Workflow is Broken

In our eBook “Your Workflow is Broken”, we look at some of the systemic problems that plague almost every small business. We’ll bet good money that almost every section will apply directly to you.

In the meantime, if you are looking to get your business running like the well-oiled machine you’ve always dreamed it could be, download our FREE ebook. Every day we help small business owners and entrepreneurs just like you get their businesses humming, and we’ve packed this ebook full of great tips and tricks to take your business to the next level!


Fiona Morris
Marketing Manager

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