How many services should I offer?

One of the biggest challenges an entrepreneur faces is knowing how many services they should offer.

Just because you could offer a whole bunch of things doesn’t mean you should.

How do you decide how many services to offer?jack of all trades

Ask yourself:

“Do I want to be a specialist in something or a jack of all trades?”

The answer to this question will help you decide just how many services you need to offer.

First, you need to get clear on what your niche is.

Discovering what makes you special will help you decide on what services you should offer.

For example, I could easily:

  • Create an online store filled with affiliate links to the software I use.
  • Pull together a team of designers, developers and copy writers to help my clients.
  • Sell cutesy greeting cards with my illustrations.

I am not going to do any of those things.

Why? Because that would make me a jack of all trades and a master of none.

I only want to do 2 things; work with clients on their marketing and create brand identity visualisations.

The rest is just distracting and will take me away from doing what I want to do, and what I do best.

I want to be the queen of what I do, not the jack of the many things I could do.

What’s the best way to decide how many services to offer?

(Grab a pen and paper for this exercise)

  • Take a long hard look at what you currently offer.
  • Circle the first 3-5 that you love doing the most.
  • Cross off the things that make you shudder when you have to do them.
  • Then look which of the circled services bring you the highest financial returns.
  • Grab your client list and repeat the steps above.
  • Look at the correlations between your services and clients. There should be an overlap.

Offering less choice makes it easier for you to be come an authority in your field.

It also makes it easier for people to make the decision to buy from you.

Let me know how this exercise works for you and if it’s helped you get clearer on what you should be offering.

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12 Responses to How many services should I offer?

  1. Hi Ameena,

    Great post and bang on the money as always! It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of trying to be all things to all men.

    I think this goes hand in hand with the fact that just because a marketplace is easy to get into doesn’t mean it will return the results that you’re looking for.

    Quite often the harder the entry level the greater the rewards. Couple this with doing one or two things really well and BOOM! you’ve got a killer combo.

    Cheers,
    Alex

  2. This blog is like having having a personal coach. It is a little scary how all your posts are issues I have! I’d tell you to quit reading my mind if you weren’t helping me so much!

    Another great reminder that focusing allows for quality. So easy to forget. The temptation to chase customers gets so great!

  3. Hey Ameena,

    Great Post.

    You are right. Fewer, the better. Giving too many options to people can overwhelm them, confuse them and may even cause them to exit the page.

    Right now, I don’t offer any services (I do plan to, once I establish my blog – I hope I can do that :D).

    My personal opinion is that when we do business, we should be specialist at first, then expand our area as our business grows (Expanding too fast isn’t a good idea, build up the business to a level where you can sustain a failure, then try other niches).

    Thanks for sharing the information!

    Jeevan Jacob John

  4. Hey Ameena

    I consider myself a jack of all trades, always have. Does it serve me yes and no.

    I actually broadened the scope of my blog, because I felt backed into a corner and stifled, but the adverse side of that is if people don’t know you for something in particular, then they don’t have a specific reason to come to you for anything.

    Having the broader scope does give me flexibility to change directions, but I know that I really do need to focus in on the one thing I want to be known for, and I suppose as yet I’m still deciding. (after all isn’t that a womans perogative lol)

    • Hey Jackie,

      Thanks for sharing – it’s a challenge to find your sweet spot and when you do it could change again … I am trying to focus on being known for a few things that come under the banner of marketing and entrepreneurship …

      Good luck with deciding what’s your secret somethin’ 🙂

  5. What a timely post — we’re right now considering putting a few services from one of our sites into the other, and we’re trying very hard to do it in a way that doesn’t make us look stretched too thin. We’re already offering these different but related services, but we’ve hesitated to combine them into one website because we like to keep each as focused as possible — We’ll keep asking ourselves whether specific services are actually relevant to the needs the other site’s specific customers, and that’s how we’ll keep ourselves in check!

    • Thanks for sharing Sarah – quite often similar things can work together on the same site but as you said, you want to keep focused which is admirable – I wish more would do that 🙂

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