This is a draft of an idea I've been trying to put together around the "Spectrum of Services" you can offer running a small business in a particular niche.Â I'm trying to capture the relationship between your time face-to-face with clients, how much of a custom service you are offering, and how many people you can reach.
For the professional movement educator, here are some typical examples of these variables at play:
- Personal trainer who sees individual clients. If you are a trainer who meets one-on-one with a client, you can offer the client a completely customized training plan, responding to their every need when you are in front of them. However, for every hour of your working time you are reaching exactly one customer with your service and you are limited by how much individual clients are willing to pay for that hour. Also, you will quickly hit a weekly hourly limit of how much you can train people. This familiar model falls toward the top left of the triangle: highly customized, all face-to-face, and most limited reach.
- Personal trainer who makes a DVD. Let's look at a different part of the triangle, say the lower right corner. If you now take all those years of training wisdom from working one-on-one with clients, and distill it down into a product related to your service, you have an opportunity to move away from the upper left part of the triangle. When you make that move, the face time cost goes down, your reach extends, but you sacrifice the customization piece. That is, once you produce a DVD, you cannot shape the material according to the end user "standing in front of you" the way you could one-on-one.
The point of this model isn't to say one area on the triangle is better than another. I'm just trying to find a way to articulate the different trade-offs and different dimensions to service offerings the professional movement educator needs to be aware of.
One big shortcoming of this model so far is that it doesn't have a way to represent dollar value of any one position on the triangle. I suppose the next step would be placing current offerings on the triangle according to those variables and see what dollar value they currently have. Kind of like a pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey business analysis! From there you could start to make decisions about the current value of your services and what to do next.
Let's see how far this model will go....