How do I Develop Service Offerings?

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For any consultant or organization offering services to clients, change is always a constant. What was highly in demand a year ago may no longer be required by clients next year, or even today. Your ability to efficiently develop new service offerings that will help your organization adapt to changing trends in your market is an essential skill for any business leader. Use these steps to evaluate your current offerings, identify trends in your market, and identify areas of growth to help you develop new service offerings for your clients in the years ahead.

Evaluate Current Service Offerings

List your current service offerings.

Identify which services are currently doing well and which show the greatest promise in the coming year, as well as in three years. Look for ways to build upon these services.

Identify which services are performing poorly and show the least promise in the next year, and the next three years. Look for ways to replace or modify these services.

Research Areas of Potential Growth

Investigate the service portfolios of competitors who have won contracts your organization had bid on.

Evaluate the service offerings of organizations that do similar work as yours, and work in similar markets, particularly those in other cities or regions. If you are in Chicago, for example, you probably know what other organizations in Chicago are doing, and how they are doing it. However, companies in Boston or Dallas may have already started doing something new that has yet to reach your local area.

Ask clients what services they have considered purchasing from others that are related to your current services portfolio.

Talk to suppliers and business partners. Ask them about other companies and their areas of growth. While suppliers are unlikely to give away trade secrets, they do have a vested interest in your success and are very often eager to help you explore new services that will bring greater success to them as well.

Evaluate new markets that could use services similar to yours, based on your experience with current clients. Examine how you may modify current services for these new markets. For example, could services for law offices be modified for other professionals? Could services for the private sector be modified for government departments?

Evaluation

Compare your evaluations from Section 1 to the research gathered in Section 2. Look for trends in your industry, including which service requirements are rising and which are receding.

Evaluate incremental changes you can make in your service offerings by slowly adding to what you already do.

Evaluate whether you should begin to transform your services, by removing unprofitable services and replacing them with a new set of services. Evaluate what changes in your organization's skill sets will be required.

Identify the risks involved in making these changes in your service offerings. Compare the potential market you may be able to capture with any losses you may experience by eliminating current services.

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