If the past year has taught us anything it’s that sticking to the same business model and strategy just won’t do anymore. Many businesses have had to extend their offering to keep afloat such as moving their services online and some have had to completely alter their product temporarily until normal trading begins, whatever that new normal may be or look like. Some have even been online but are now considering bricks and mortar premises to enable them to re connect with their customers in a new, post-pandemic way.
But what if you’d developed a service that was born in lockdown, and you now want to keep it as part of your business offering? Or maybe you’ve thought of a brand-new service and are not sure how to streamline it into your current business model? Building an integrated service that is seamless with the rest of your businesses day to day operations is crucial to business success and brand continuity.
Let’s look at some of the key considerations you’ll need to build or add a pre-existing integrated service into your business if you’ve already identified the service you want to add:
Find the right external team for you
Working with trusted installers that are experienced in the service you want to integrate will save you heaps of time and money in the long run. They can help you scope the work, create a process that works for your business as well as lay the foundation to moving things in-house for the future. Be sure to be honest with your intentions from the beginning though if you don’t plan on hiring them externally indefinitely and be sure to set clear goals and expectations in terms of their time and yours. This not only helps to negotiate budget, but it also means that from the start your professional relationship is built on honesty and clear intentions.
As time develops, make sure your current team is learning from them and pay your installers to train your existing team to learn the basics. This is especially important for your PMs and Account Managers so that they can learn the problems and opportunities they’re likely to encounter and deal with them, meaning you’ll be much further on your way to building an integrated service into your business in-house.
Market the new offering
Once you’re clear on the new offering you want to integrate, for example adding bathroom installation to your kitchen company or a design service to your upcycled furniture offering, now’s the time to get clear on how you’ll market this. Look at speaking to your existing customers, let them know you’re expanding your offering and integrating a new service. Will their existing business with you benefit from this new offering? Can they have it at a reduced rate to become your first reviewers which then gets turned into a targeted social media campaign? By focussing on your existing clients first you’ll not only make them feel special, but you’ll also benefit from finding any problems early and being able to rectify them simply with the relationship you already have. Rather than new customers who can be trigger happy with a non to pleasant review thanks to not having an established relationship with the company.
Motivating your team
When integrating a new service into your business it is crucial that you have your whole team buy in and that they’re aligned with it from the get-go. Having your team on board with your business goals and values is so important as it means they’re far more likely to maximise their productivity and increase sales if they’re emotionally invested in a new venture. As mentioned previously, if your team gets equipped to handle your new offering, it makes the transition to in-house that much smoother and you’re less likely to have to hire too many new people, which is beneficial financially. The better “crossed trained” your team is the more likely they are to sell the services to clients as experts.
Make sure when you’re motivating your team, you’re thinking about the win/wins and incentive alignment. How does integrating this new service to the business benefit them? For example, you may have an employee who is interested in learning new skills. By explaining to them that this new service will give them the opportunity to learn something new, they’ll be much more motivated to making sure the integration is a success.
Remember, 9 times out of 10 a leader is only as good as their team.
Every business depending on the sector and service will be slightly different, but hopefully by adopting some or all of the above practices you’ll be well on your way to building an integrated service into your business that stands the test of time. It’s always important to consider that the world will always be constantly changing so don’t be afraid to try out new services that align / make sense at that moment in time. The only way to know if a new service will bring in more revenue and benefit to the business and team is by trying!