Ryan Lazanis, the founder of Future Firm, understands the difficulty of scaling professional services. He believes that this problem is part of the reason why many accounting firms haven’t gotten round to offering advisory—while their compliance services run like clockwork, they haven’t yet put a system together to support more value-add services. The solution, says Ryan, is productization: turning one-off sessions into something that is routine and repeatable.
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Scaling Services Through Productization
“I never want to do something once,” says Ryan. “I want to take that one-time service or deliverable and turn it into something repeatable.”
When Ryan founded Future Firm, his goal was to help accountants build the accounting firms of their dreams. This meant moving away from billable hours and compliance services, and instead putting in place productized, routine, repeatable services that could be delivered by anyone in the firm.
Productizing was a challenge he’d come across in his own journey as an entrepreneur. Initially, Ryan offered his coaching services through hourlong, monthly 1-on-1 calls with clients. What he found was that he only had so many hours in a week, and this model just wasn’t sustainable. So he developed a group coaching model called Future Firm Accelerate, delivering just as much value for his clients without having to work beyond his means. And he believes accounting firms can similarly package and leverage their services as well.
The Services Clients Need
Some firms take their advisory knowledge and turn it into online courses, says Ryan. One example of this is the firm Not Rocket Science, who turned their FAQ into an incredibly popular course for their clients. Online education is not just feasible, it’s popular—and highly scalable.
Another way to productize services is to package advisory offerings into a tiered subscription system, including monthly or quarterly meetings. Although setting a client up for these services would take effort and expertise, creating a system to update the client monthly could be done by anyone in the firm.
“Implementing this model takes skill,” says Ryan, “but updating—anyone can do that if they’re asking the right questions. And we can build a process around that.”
This model has worked well for Ryan’s clients, some of whom have seen great success straight out the gate. One firm landed a six figure client as soon as they started advertizing their new tiered service structure.
“I told them, ‘you should be proud,’” smiles Ryan, “‘but because they picked the highest tier so quickly, it means that we didn’t price it high enough.’”