A friend wrote in with this excellent question about scoping productized services:
My challenge when it comes to productizing my services is currently being around how to effectively scope the work.
For instance, I’m working on an application audit service. This is something I did for a couple of clients (with proposals) and the result and process was pretty similar from one to the next, so I can definitely see it as a productize candidate.
The basic problem is an application can be anywhere between 3 files (let’s say 300 lines of code) to perhaps 100 files or more.
Since my service entitles a big reverse engineering part, the size of the project can dramatically increase the workload which could backfire having a price set in advance.
Effectively scoping a productized service can be challenging.
You advertise a service offering a code audit, SEO review, or outreach to prospects to get a placement — but what happens if a prospect shows up with a huge code base? A thousand-page SEO site? Or a challenging outreach campaign that will require dozens (or hundreds) of emails for success?
In order to effectively scope your productized service, I recommend three things done independently or in parallel.
Scope The Service In The Description
Within your service description, scope the work.
- You’ll review 3-5 pages in their funnel
- You’ll review their top performing pages
- You’ll review up to X lines of code in their app
If they need a larger service offering, you can offer a more robust service offering at a higher price point or start with the smaller service offering and then send a proposal for the larger scope of work.
Set A “Minimum” Price
Set a minimum price for your service:
Application Audits starting at $1,500
That way, if a prospects approaches you and wants to engage you for an Application Audit for their 100+ file application you quote them a higher price, scaled to the level of work required.
Have A Pre-Qualification Process
Finally, you should have a pre-qualification process, even for your productize services, so you can answer any questions they have and overcome any objections they have.
This also lets you qualify them by asking specific questions about the outcomes they’re looking for and the application that they’re looking to have audited.
By using the three techniques above, you’re able to overcome the ‘scope’ issue with productized services. Scope the service in the description, set a minimum price, and have a pre-qualification process to ensure the client (and the client’s needs) are a match for you and your service.