Product or Service: What do You Sell?
Product or service? Whatever you are selling, business is always a fast-changing race. Learn from different startup leaders and founders on how they came up with their product and service, how they promote them, and how they keep innovating.
What are you selling, a product or service? Actually, you can sell both. In fact, there are a lot of businesses that offer products and services. But before we dig further into that, let’s first properly define what a product and service really are.
Product vs. Service
The difference between a product and a service is clear as day. You can easily differentiate what you are selling.
The main difference between the two is that a product is a tangible item that you put up in a market for acquisition or consumption. On the other hand, a service is an intangible item that may arise from the output of an individual or a team.
To make it more understandable, let’s make a CCTV camera as an example. You recently bought a CCTV camera from a local store but you don’t know how to install them nor how to set it up with the monitors. Then you contact a company called “StalkSafe” who are offering installation and camera set up services. The CCTV cameras are the product that your local store sells. The installation and setup is StalkSafe’s service.
The comparison of business product and service lies in different factors of what you are selling. It can include tangibility, variability, or perishability.
Can I Have Both Product and Service?
It is common that a company sell either a particular product or a service. However, there are some that offer both product and service, these are called hybrid solutions. You might think that only giant companies like Apple can pull this trick. However, even startups offer hybrid solutions.
A perfect example of a successful company with a product-service hybrid is the Perkins Builder Brothers. Erik Perkins, one of the Perkins brothers, disclosed that they are selling both product and service. How? The company designs and builds brand new houses, that’s their product. Their service is doing everything that comes along with the process such as providing the materials needed.
KC Hemo Co. also offers both products and services. “We manufacture our own CBD products. But we also provide a service and that is educating our customers [on product usage] as well as doing local deliveries,” says Kyle Steppe.
How Can I Develop a Product or Service?
- In developing a new product or service you must always answer this question: Does this offer a solution to a problem?
Marknology acknowledges that the online marketplace is a very competitive field. You can’t simply place your product online and expect someone to easily grab and buy your product. That’s the dream, but the sad reality is that you need to have a more competitive edge to be noticed. Marknology helps sellers be noticed on Amazon or any other online marketplace. Their service addresses the problem of e-commerce by doing product selling and marketing.
There is also Full Scale that provides a strong, experienced, and dedicated team of developers to startups that need them. It is common knowledge that the IT industry is facing a shortage of skilled developers in the US. By hiring Full Scale developers, clients skip the gruesome process of recruiting, assessing, employing, and retaining employees.
- Be specific on what your product or service is solving. Heather Steppe says, “Being able to really hone in on what the issue is and being able to offer a specific product instead of such a vague product if you will, I think will be great for our company.”
These companies spent a lot of time coming up with an excellent solution for problems that they themselves experienced. All you need to do is observe and think out of the box.
- Competitor analysis is also a strong process to observe in improving what you are selling. Studying your competitors, knowing their strengths and weaknesses, gives you a great advantage. You can learn from their mistakes and innovate what they do best.
How do you sell?
There are a lot of ways when we come across the subject of sales of product and service. But there are common and effective ways of selling. Effective in a sense that entrepreneurs confirmed that these ways work in their own startups.
- Selling through content marketing. When you say content marketing, it includes blogs, YouTube, podcasts, and social media. In this digital age, the internet is becoming a community of its own. People are flocking different platforms and the easiest way to reach them is to be on those platforms as well. Content also solidifies your reputation. You don’t only get customers through content but through referrals as well.
- Free trials or free tools. Anything that is FREE can attract customers. That is why free trials or free tools are very common for software-based services. Satisfied clients will start looking through your products or services and become paying customers.
How Do I Bring Down Cost
Hernan Sias of Business Bros strongly suggests offshoring as one of the ways of bringing down product or service costs. “The same quality of work here in the US is going to cost me more than if I hire somebody in the Philippines who has equal skill level.” Hernan Sias says.
Another way is going over the whole process from product creation to selling. You figure which area makes the highest cost. When you find the numbers, don’t cut costs in the blink of an eye. Instead, evaluate for yourself if these are non-negotiable. You wouldn’t want to sacrifice quality over the cost. Remember that a happy customer is a returning customer and a free promoter as well. When you find out which area you can safely cut costs from, you can reinvest that into advertising. “Advertising gives us the data, the data helps us sell more stuff. It’s all cyclical,” says Andrew Morgans
I Need to Know More!
Product, service, hybrid, you name it and there is a startup that has tried it. Entrepreneurs will learn through their experience and the experience of other entrepreneurs. Startup Hustle TV is the perfect platform for that. This web series provides listeners fully-packed interviews of top startup owners who successfully run their business from the ground up. You better visit that YouTube channel and subscribe to learn more about entrepreneurship and get notified for more recent videos.