This section of the audit focuses on the business side of your brand. I firmly believe in the importance of creating a service-product business model. It helps diversify your business income as well as expenses. If you are like me, you launched with one aspect first (services), then are developing the second element (products). When you are auditing your business, you want to ask yourself these critical questions.
Do I Diversify My Income and Time Sources?
When I first started selling premade themes, I thought they would be an excellent source of passive income. However, I soon saw that people loved the package options. With products (and smart passive income), I aim to put the time investment in the product at first, so that I can earn income while I’m not directly working on it.
If you read my business reports, you will see how my income breaks down, and how my goal is to break it down into about thirds – a third custom work, a third passive income, and a third consulting work. Then, ideally my time is spent with 40% on custom work, 40% on consulting work, and 10% generating and marketing existing and new passive income products. Right now, I’m about 85% custom work, 10% consulting, and 5% passive income. To fix this time imbalance, I’ve committed myself to taking on fewer projects for the rest of the year.
Do My Products Complement My Services?
With a custom blog and web design, repeat customers don’t happen that frequently (nor do I want it). With each custom project, my goal is that the design takes them several years into the future and that when it comes time to rebrand, the client is rebranding due to a growth in their brand and business. I view my custom work clients as part of the White Oak Creative family, and that my relationship and support to them exists beyond the launch of their site.
With that being said, as I’ve diversified the blog shop and resources, I’ve increased opportunities for different clients and customers to purchase again from my business. Here’s how:
- Custom work clients often do not need to buy additional services, but before a project begins could potentially benefit from Design to Grow, Brand + Business Audit, and Blog with Purpose.
- A premade blog shop customer could turn into a custom work client within 6-12 months due to the popularity and growth of their blog.
- A premade blog shop customer expresses a desire for affordable solutions to grow their blog and business; therefore, he or she would also find the Blog Newsletter Guide, WordPress Simplified, and my other resources helpful.
- Someone looking for resources on how to build their brand might be impressed with my quality of resources. They might find the blog shop or custom design meets their needs.
- A customer who purchases my resources might consider the affordability and quality of my other resources were appealing and repeat purchase.
Do My Price Points Reach Different Audiences?
Products should have a consistent and scalable pricing metric that clearly communicates why an individual product or service is worth more than another. When pricing the premade themes, I used a combination of the features included and industry standard. With pricing my services, for the longest time, I underpriced, due to my belief in affordable web design. After listening to Robert Ciadldini’s Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, I immediately raised my rate and rethought my pricing model.
Regardless if you started selling products or not, these are critical questions you should ask yourself. Be explicit with how they will function in your business plan and ensure that they align with your overall goals.
You might also like Creating Better Systems for Your Service-based Business and Tips To Go From Freelance to Full-Time. Want more Freelance essays? Check out these posts!
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