If you’re a business owner and you’re struggling to figure out how to scale your business, then you’ve found the right article. If things seem to be on a bit of a plateau, this 3-level formula that I’m going to share with you can get you back on the road to sustainable growth.
When I was in high school my first job was working at Wendy’s. I started as a fry boy, eventually working my way to sandwiches, and then to the intercom person who takes the order. An illustrious career, I know. And I remember that whenever I was in training and someone ordered anything off the menu, it was my job to cross sell another item on the menu. For example, if someone ordered just a spicy chicken sandwich, it was my job to ask if they wanted to get it in a combo with fries and a drink as well.
Wendy’s would not survive but just selling an individual product, and neither can your business. That might just be your problem if you’ve hit a plateau in terms of growth. You might be bottlenecking yourself without even knowing it.
So what I recommend is that every business should be selling at least 3 levels of their product or service. In order to get there, try following this 3-level problem solving formula to right the ship:
1. The Low Hanging Fruit.
The first level of products that you need to be selling are your low-hanging fruit. This is the more basic offering that comes in at a low price point, giving your clients an easy entry point to start engaging with you and your business. This is important because often potential clients will not be convinced of the quality of your goods or services just by your marketing alone. By giving them a chance to get their feet wet, you can prove to them that you can add value to them and their trust of your brand is going to rise as a result.
When designing this level of solution, you want it to solve a problem but also to create a different problem that you can then solve with the higher-level offering that is to come. A perfect example of this is when a web designer builds a website for a client that solves the problem of them not having an online presence. But now the problem that is created is how do people find the website? How do they get their potential clients to find the site? And that’s where you can push them to a higher-level offering to solve that problem perhaps through social media strategy or something like that.
2. The Middle Road.
This is where you up the ante a bit and deliver a higher priced offering that demonstrates even more value for the customer. You’ve earned a little bit of trust from the first level but now you want to leverage that to make even more inroads into making a long-term customer. This offering again should solve an intermediate problem and then set the stage for an even more crucial level that is to come.
In my business, for example, the level 2 offering is considered à la carte marketing services. Clients can pick and choose different combinations of what we offer as is required and this gives them a good onramp onto the more sophisticated third level offering that follows.
The trick is to find something that strikes the balance between the entry-level stuff and the more advanced offerings that you offer at a higher price point. Often you’ll get ideas from your clients as you’re working with them on smaller projects, and if you can see a pattern in the sorts of pain points that they’re mentioning, perhaps you can look to build a level 2 offering that fits that need. The better you can understand their demand, the better the chance of finding true product market fit and getting them well on the road towards your highest-level services.
3. The Full House.
Level 3 is where you pull out the big guns and offer your most advanced and sophisticated expertise to clients who are paying high ticket prices to get access. For example, in my business, the level 3 offering is where I act as an outsourced CMO to some of my clients – providing high-touch marketing strategy and analysis that combines all of the à la carte marketing services that we offer and melding them together in a coherent way.
It’s my job to look at all of their marketing holistically, put a plan together for how to take it forward, and monitor the performance over time in order to make the necessary adjustments when required.
Your level 3 offering should be carefully catered to your industry and designed to solve the most pressing problems that could completely revolutionize the businesses of your clients. If you can get your clients here, then you’ll find that you enter a new paradigm altogether and you’ll have the sort of stability that most business owners can only dream of.
There you have it. You need to look at your specific business and look at what levels of offering you currently serve to your clients. Do you have a number of them or are you just selling one thing?
Then walk through a thought exercise on each of those levels and brainstorm what sorts of goods or services you could offer that fit into those categories so that you have a natural progression for any new client that helps them grow with you as a business while you solve their pain points along the way.
If you get this right, you’ll find that your business will grow and you can break into a whole new stratosphere – because you’ve expanded your offering and given yourself the chance to actually scale the organization.