The Productized Playbook
33 min read

The Productized Playbook

12 Strategies to Creating More Leverage & Scale Within Your Service Business


  1. Introduction and Overview
  2. Why Should You Learn from Me?
  3. What Is Productization (and Why It Matters to Your Business)
  4. 7 Unique Benefits of Productized Services
  5. Who Should Start a Productized Service?
  6. Service Business Fires
  7. An Overview of Solutions
  8. Bridging the Gap
  9. Business Model Theft and Positioning
  10. Real Examples of Profitable Productized Businesses
  11. The Upsides and Downsides of Productizing
  12. How to Actually Productize: A 5-Step Process
  13. The Successful Productized Service Checklist
  14. Must-Have Tools for Your Productized Service
  15. Bonus Resources
  16. Need a Second Pair of Eyes?

Introduction and Overview

I jumped in with both feet and relocated to Costa Rica for my first go at, "working remote" back in 2009, where I sold vacation rentals online (while living in one myself). This marked the beginning of working while traveling abroad.

Because working in the vacation rental sector was not aligned with my long-term vision, I transitioned more into freelance work to build something that wasn't dependent on a specific location.

That provided me the freedom I needed. From there, I was able to find customers, outsource tasks, and finally develop a professional team that eventually became the foundation of my first Digital Agency, Gingerbread Marketing.

Eventually (5 years later), I was able to standardize and automate systems within a certain specialty (content/article creation), allowing the company to ultimately become “Productized”.

Because the business eventually ran itself, I was able to work only a few hours a month. That journey was painful, long, and challenging. This is why I want to share what I know to help you avoid as many productizing potholes as possible.

By doing so you can arrive even faster at your most ambitious goals.

Productization is a big deal.

What could be more appealing than turning your agency, consulting, or freelance services into highly desired products that customers could buy with just a few clicks?

What if you could make proposals a thing of the past?

How would it feel if negotiations are now kept to a minimum with smooth and predictable systems pulling your stallion of a business forward.‌‌‌‌

Sounds beautiful, doesn't it?

Yes, but that’s not the whole story.‌‌‌‌ Productizing your service business may be a very profitable decision that can add leverage to your business. It might even be your ticket to starting a business that is not only valuable but is also sellable.‌‌‌‌

Productization, however, is not without risk, challenges, or struggles. Risks that I have direct knowledge of.

Like for example….

  • Where positioning can go horribly wrong if not designed properly
  • Why some service businesses shouldn’t actually productize. Do you actually understand the downsides?
  • Most don't understand the true “expectations” runway to getting product-market fit for your services

and many more to come later.

But first, tell me (even if you're a brand-new business)...

Is your business exhausting you (or do you anticipate it eventually becoming so)?

Do you ever feel like you're caught on a hamster wheel of large feast and famine cycles? ‌‌‌‌

The truth is most service businesses are time traps that suck leverage and sanity from an owner’s life. Scaling the wrong type of service business model can literally eat itself and have a negative scale effect.

You may already be experiencing this to some degree.

In other words, you feel compelled to hunt down stale customer leads and write proposals that go unnoticed and send invoices that go unpaid — all while wearing dozens of other hats since the company can't seem to run or generate a profit without your continual attention. ‌‌‌‌

Once you close your computer the music stops.‌‌‌‌

We all start off with huge ambitions and wonderful ideas.‌‌‌‌ In the beginning, we are idealistic, hopeful, and optimistic. ‌‌‌‌

We believe that going at it alone will provide us with more flexibility, autonomy, and financial independence.

Service businesses have the lowest barriers to actually start which can be great but also dangerous if not designed properly.‌‌‌‌ And, if you're like me, you have a gut feeling that there must be something better out there.‌‌‌‌

There's got to be a better way. After all, other people are doing well, right?‌‌‌‌

And it irritates you since you work so damn hard.‌‌‌‌

I've had the same experiences.‌‌‌‌ My personal narrative, on the other hand, demonstrates that there is a specific solution to the turmoil—a method to move your business out of upheaval and into that "sweet spot" of stability, freedom, profitability, and financial growth.‌‌‌‌

I was able to use this approach to launch multiple scalable service businesses and then sell them.

It gave me the opportunity to explore the world while living in different places like Costa Rica, Spain, Mexico, Colombia, and even the mountains of Santiago, Chile.‌‌‌‌

This Productized Playbook will give you a primer on key elements you need to know when it comes to "productizing" a service business.

This Productized Playbook is for :

  • An overworked Agency owner.
  • A freelancer who has seen better days.
  • A service provider who wears ten different hats.
  • An overburdened consultant.
  • A professional who wishes to convert his or her skills into a business (but avoiding the turmoil that is all too prevalent in service-based businesses).
  • A hardworking, bootstrapped entrepreneur looking for something they can focus on and develop to tens, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars in sales each month.
  • A service business owner seeking how to actually create more leverage in their business to remove themselves.

Why Should You Learn from Me?

Well, I’ve built and sold two productized service businesses so far.

One in the content writing space called Content Pros which I sold to a PE firm. The other in the Video Testimonial space called Applause Lab which I sold to a competitor, 13 months after launching.

Now I help Freelancers, Consultants, and Agency owners just like you productize their offerings so they don't want to rip their hair out from running the typical service-based business treadmill. ‌‌‌‌

For example, Founders just like Morgan Taylor of Jolly SEO:

I’ve been able to look under the hood of hundreds of services businesses in the last few years. All this collective knowledge is something I want to share with you.

I now co-invest, buy, and consult with interesting service businesses within Productized Mentor: My private 1:1 monthly asynchronous mentor program. (Learn more here)‌‌‌‌ My core mission with Productized.Services is to help 1,000 service businesses scale to 6-figures per month and beyond. Could you be one of them?

I’m looking forward to connecting and helping you scale your service business next.

Now let’s dive right into the Playbook.‌‌‌‌


💡Thinking Time Chief @ Productized.Services

1: What is Productization?

(And Why It Matters To Your Business)‌‌‌‌ So what does "productizing" actually mean?

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