Want to stay successful? Offer your products as a service!

Will I still be successful in three years? Asking yourself this question can lead to a thumping headache. There are two choices: stick your head in the sand or look for a solution. Which one will you choose? The 2016 Exact SME Barometer indicates that entrepreneurs' top priorities are: finding more customers, improving current products and services, and reducing costs. Did you know that you can solve the majority of these problems by offering your products as a service?

Consumers are demanding more and more. They want quick answers to their questions, they switch products more often and share their experiences ever more quickly. By offering products as a service, you can quickly respond to the rapidly changing wishes of consumers and entrepreneurs. Follow the example of private car leasing including insurance, breakdown cover and maintenance.

Or subscriptions for contact lenses where liquids, checkups and related services are all included. The customer pays a fixed subscription fee per month for the entire package. As a service provider, you must ensure that your services continue to meet the needs of your customers. If you succeed in this, your customers will be happy and eager to share their experiences with others.

Stay relevant

As a service provider, you will receive a stable flow of revenue because your customers pay regular subscription costs. If you keep the quality of your products high, they will be less likely to break which will reduce your maintenance costs. It's also important to stay relevant because customers can instantly quit your service at any time.

Transitioning from being a traditional product supplier into a service provider requires careful thought. People do not want products, they want the result they can achieve with the product. If you keep this in mind, then you're on the right track. Having an entrepreneurial spirit will take you far. However, bear in mind that your business processes must be well organised for you to succeed.

Be easy to find on the Internet

Did you know that 70% of a customer's purchasing decision is made before they even contact you? That is why it's important to be easy to find on the Internet. Your website must be responsive. That means that you need to be able to read it on both laptops as well as mobile devices. Websites that cannot be viewed well on mobile phones are less easy to find on Google. It's also wise to regularly add new information to your website and to be active on social media. These are two important channels people use when looking for a product or service.

IT support

You want to spend as little time as possible on IT support and other issues which don't directly contribute to your business. Therefore it's best to purchase your IT as a service, so you can better serve your customers. Switch to high-quality cloud software preferably with an integrated solution. Any data you enter is available on all the components which makes your processes all the more efficient. You save time and prevent errors because you can collaborate on documents online. This means there is only ever one version in circulation, which can be accessed by everyone involved.

Want to know more about making the transition from being a product supplier to a service provider?

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