If you own a service business, whether a managed service provider, financial adviser, accountant or coach or consultant, you will spend a lot of time thinking on “How to scale a service business.” As a service business owner myself, and someone who works with hundreds of service business owners every year, let me share my method for scaling a service business.
Let’s start with the overview of my MCO Method for scaling a service business.
My MCO Methodology For Scaling A Service Business
There is a reason I run through this methodology with all of my clients as part of my onboarding process:
It is the fastest, most cost efficient way to scale a service business.
Many people want to skip some parts, but let me assure you, from working with service business owners full time since launching my consultancy in 2003, it will simply cost you more and make your progress so much slower.
So, what does MCO stand for?
- M – Measuring
- C – Conversion
- O – Optimisation
It is so hard to know what you need to do to scale when you do not know which point you are starting from.
Whether you want to double, treble or quadruple your turnover and profits, or simply increase them year on year, if you do not know what your current numbers are that generate your existing turnover, what chance do you have of increasing that figure?
The other huge advantage of measuring properly is that once you know your numbers, you can see which of your marketing methods are working best for you and do more of the same, saving you huge amounts of wasted marketing budget undertaking new marketing initiatives which fit into the expensive “interruption marketing” category.
Here are the minimum aspects you should be measuring:
- Your enquiry numbers, sources and conversion percentages (so you can then improve each of them)
- Your website visitor numbers
- Your paid marketing numbers for Google Ads (note I do not mention facebook, insta, LinkedIn etc – for good reason, see below).
- Your gross recurring revenue each month
Next, before spending a penny on any other aspect of scaling your service business, the only thing you need to do at first is to improve your conversion numbers.
If you are currently generating 100 enquiries a month and converting 10 of them, there are 90 potential clients there waiting to give you their money.
What can you do to improve your conversion numbers.
Here are some easy wins:
- Improve your first response time (the time to answer the telephone/ reply to new enquiries)
- Improve your initial offering to your prospects to make it almost impossible to say ‘no’ to working with you.
- Ensure that your first prospect sales call is all about them and less about you. What are their pain points that led to them getting in touch. Only when you have dug into those during the Meaningful Conversation can you then relate to them how your service is a perfect fit for them.
- Put in place or dramatically improve your follow up process.
- Add email marketing to your mix so that any prospects who do not say ‘yes’ straight away hear from you every week until they are ready to buy your services.
Once you have properly fixed your leaking lead bucket (mastered conversion), it is time to optimise.
Optimising To Scale A Service Business
The easiest way to scale a service business is to do more of what is already working for you.
Now that you know what that is, as you are measuring all of your inbound leads and you know where they come from, it is time to optimise what is working well, then do more of it.
If Google Ads is working well, optimise it to squeeze even more from it, to include:
- Improving your ad copy to get a better click through rate
- Improving your landing page experience, by adding more content, more client reviews, more calls to action including 24/7/365 done for you live chat (not a chat bot, what does that say about your service if you cannot be bothered to engage with new prospects on your website?)
- Splitting keywords into smaller adgroups to make the ad copy more relevant and increase quality score and click through rate.
If Content Marketing is working well for you, do more of the same to get even more visitors to your website to generate even more enquiries for your services.
If email marketing is working well for you, can you increase the frequency of your emails, for example from monthly to fortnightly or weekly? Can you improve your calls to action to make it abundantly clear what your prospect should do next to discover more about working with you?
Not All Marketing Is Equal When It Comes To Scaling A Service Business
There are two types of marketing; interruption marketing and attraction marketing.
Interruption marketing often seemingly costs less to generate leads, but they are always lower quality, tyre kicking leads, becausre the prospect was not looking for your service when they found your advertisement, so they do not have the all important “Buyer Intent” needed to convert a lead.
Interruption marketing includes all social media, TV, radio, billboards etc.
Attraction marketing, on the other hand, speaks to people who are looking to discover more about your services at the precise moment in time that they are ready to buy them. These people have woken up on a day and decided to look into solving the problem that your service meets. They have the all important Buyer Intent.
Attraction marketing includes your website, content marketing/SEO, Google Ads, email marketing and referrals.
All of these methods will place you in front of your prospects when they are ready to buy!
Read more about them and how you can implement them in your business by clicking the button below:
After working with Nick on our Google My Business strategy we are now ranking in the “Google 3 pack” and generating leads purely from our ranking!