There is a classic service business conundrum. I’m guilty of it. You’re probably guilty of it.
You provide “customized solutions.” As in: “Whatever your problem or issue is, we can build a customized solution to help you fix it.”
The reason that this is so compelling to business owners is that problems are hard. If you’re in the business of solving problems you know that each one is unique like a snowflake. Offering a one-stop-shop, you think, is a customer magnet.
Customized solutions are the enemy to profit. Constantly building unique, customized solutions is a huge drain on your internal operations. The reason for this is:
- Some solutions are more complex than others
- Some solutions are higher value than others
- Some solutions take longer to implement than others
- Some solutions take more resources than others
As a result you’re asking the people in your business to do things they’re not necessarily familiar with. You’re constantly having to up the ante on your own knowledge (which takes time and energy). You’re super involved on a micro level to continue to keep your customers happy.
Customized solutions are not scalable.
In order to scale your business, do less.
- What solution do you provide that your customers are clamoring for?
- Which one is the highest value?
- Which one can you package?
- Which one can be repeated over and over?
Customers often say they want a customized solution. It makes their situation and problem unique. And it makes you work for it.
But consider this: what your customers think they want and what they truly need are two different things. Fill their deepest need with your one mega-solution and your business is on its way to scalability.
In the next post, we’ll take a look at how sales and marketing get easier when your offerings shrink.
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