How to Introduce New Services

September, 13 2020

In the last of our three-part series from Advisable by Fathom, I was asked about how we have evolved our services. I shared the direct correlation between changing the tools we use to deliver our service, and our ability to add more value. I also explained how we pinpointed which clients were right for the advisory services we offer.

As a special sneak peek, I’m summarizing the fifth and sixth videos I made in the Q & A below, with additional insights for small businesses like yours.

Q1: How do you add more value to clients?

It’s not easy. Our 2019 initiative was upping our game and stopping the use of QuickBooks. The system was very inefficient, I didn’t like it, and I knew there was a better way to do things. I realized that when you’re considering new applications, it’s important to select one that provides a lot of support for your team so you’re not in it alone. I felt more comfortable making the change to Xero because they offered support in implementation, integration, and migration—all of the “tion’s,” if you will.

And while this was a huge change for us, we knew that if we didn’t become more of an advisory services business, we would become dinosaurs. If we are only input monkeys, then we will lose business to automators. It’s gratifying knowing that even with the current state of things, our clients are leaning on us for business advice.

Advice for all small businesses:

If you’re ready to evolve, may need to reconsider the tools you are using to deliver services. If you improve automation, you can focus on more value-added services. The big question to ask is, “In what ways can you help your customers with their tough decisions?”

Q2: How do you decide which clients are good fits for advisory services?

The key is segmenting clients. We segmented our clients into three groups, depending on readiness for the new services. One client group was ready to convert because they were already asking for these services. We talked to them first and invited them to be part of a beta test of our new offerings.

For this first group, we outlined the expectations: We are starting this venture, and we want you to be one of the first to receive the benefits of it. And they said, “Sign me up. I understand that there might be glitches, let’s do it. I’m ready.”

The next segment was clients that would like to try both. For us, this was those who wanted to keep QuickBooks online but also try Xero. A third segment wasn’t ready for the full-Xero treatment but was receptive to some moves toward online automation, like for check writing.

Advice for small businesses:

Ready to offer new, value-added services for your clients, and wondering which ones are right for them? Depending on your client list, the segmenting exercise will only take a few hours at most. Once you’ve figured out how to offer new services in a full, blended, or small-bit approach, you’ll be able to migrate each successfully.

Are you thinking of adding new capabilities or products for your customers? I’d love to hear about them. Send me a message with your announcements and marketing materials, or give me a ring to talk. I might be able to offer you a referral, some advice, or extra encouragement on your journey.