A simple way to think about whether you are growing a business, in addition to productizing your services, is to stay focused on repeatability. There is no end to one-off projects you can likely get involved with and provide solutions for. However, there’s a lot of cost when you work on one-offs:
- Energy. You have to research, think and problem solve on work you do infrequently. This takes time and energy. You are not as efficient as you would be with repeatable work.
- Scaling. Where is the work heading you towards? Are you necessarily building your business?
- Responsibility. The work you deliver often has to be supported. And if you do certain projects infrequently, then you have spend more energy researching, problem solving and providing support. It’s a natural expectation from the customer. An eagerness to help can turn into an expectation and burden. Your name is on it.
- Systems. Spreading yourself across different tools and systems means you have to switch. It’s easier to master one system than bounce between several. Part of standardizing is picking what works best so you can be your best.
Yes, you can solve a lot of problems. You likely see them when you talk to people. But, you only have so much time and attention. And, if you are trying to grow a business, it’s about efficiency. You want to be able to serve many people with a high level of excellence and quality. That can easily get compromised by frittering away your focus and getting involved in projects that may be on the margins of your expertise.
A better use of your talents is to focus your business on exclusive services. Make the customer experience better. If you have options on different approaches and tools, pick one. Pick the one that works best and don’t compromise. This allows you to give your best each time and keeps your delivery within a box you can continually improve and master.
Where can you standardize your offerings and eliminate one-offs?