You don’t need us to tell you that in order to succeed as a business owner, you can’t stand still for too long. Evaluation and evolution are critical, so there may come a time when the best way forward involves offering a wider range of freelance services.
Expanding your offering can be a smart way to encourage business growth, get ahead of the competition, and stay relevant in your market. That said, it’s vital to be strategic about it.
We look at times when adding to your services could be a great idea, versus when you should probably hold off and address other areas first.
Reasons not to expand your freelance services
Adding more services isn’t the only way to attract or retain clients. Depending on your current offering, the answer to business growth might mean staying in your niche and honing your existing skills.
Although broadening your offering to include a wider array of skill can help you win more business, it’s important to make sure you can actually deliver on any new promises!
With that in mind, we want to focus on three key points to consider before making any big decisions.
Do you have the skills to offer?
It takes lot of hard work to win over freelancer clients and build up a reputation for reliability and high standards. Even if you’re not yet at that point, consistency is key. You want customers to have a good experience of working with you no matter which service you provide.
Offering a wider range of skills can be a smart business move, but if you’re not sure you have the skills or expertise just yet then perhaps learning, rather than expansion, should be your next step.
Educate yourself in the area you want to grow into and train yourself up before promoting it as a paid service. Launching when you aren’t adequately skilled puts your reputation, client relationships, and competitive advantage at risk.
You could even offer the service to existing clients for free, just while you’re learning, to refine your skills and gain experience. In other words, you could soft launch your new offering and gather feedback from clients so you’re on top of your game once you’re ready to launch in full.
Do you have the contacts?
Offering new services might mean you need to team up with specialists or experts in specific fields. If this is the case, but you don’t yet have the contacts to connect with, then it’s probably worth expanding your network before you expand the business.
When you find other professionals whom you want to partner with, it’s essential to get a feel for this working relationship before launching your new service. This gives you the opportunity to iron out any teething problems behind the scenes before you go client-facing with your new offering.
Do you have the time and capacity?
Skills and resources are vital when you’re thinking about offering a wider range of services to your clients – but so is time. If you haven’t got the capacity to execute the work involved, now isn’t the right time to expand.
For a new service to add value to your business, increase your profitability, and support your client relationships, you need to be able to give it your all – without burning out and damaging your work-life balance.
When to expand your services
We’ve explored three areas you need to have covered before you consider expanding your offering: skillset, contacts, and capacity.
So, if you’ve got the expertise, the right people for the job, and the available time, you could be primed and ready to offer a wider range of services and take your freelancing to the next level.
Here are some signs adding to your offering could be a smart move for your business:
Market demand is calling for something new
If your clients are regularly asking for services which you don’t yet provide, now would be a great time to widen your offering and plug this gap.
This is particularly important when considering your existing clients. Attracting new customers is one thing but losing your existing customer base is another.
Where there’s demand, there’s a need for supply, which suggests expansion would be an effective way to retain your clients, grow your business, and boost your revenue.
So, if your clients are asking if you can provide additional services or if you’ve noticed a market trend that you feel you should be diversifying into, go for it – providing you have the skills, resources, and capacity.
Your competitive advantage needs attention
Keeping a close eye on the competition is a crucial part of running a business at any stage. This includes regularly assessing what services they do or don’t offer – both provide invaluable insights that you can use to shape your own approach.
Which services or products have your competitors removed from or added to their portfolio? Which services seem to be the most popular in the case studies or client testimonials they share, or on their online reviews? What are your competitors winning market awards for?
The answers to these questions can tell you a great deal about the market you’re operating in and what your target customers are looking to spend their money on. Use this information to structure your unique selling points and enhance your competitive advantage.
You want to reach new business objectives
If you have specific goals or targets you want your freelancing career to reach, then adding to your services might be the way to unlock new milestones.
Monitor your current performance and use this data to identify where you need to level up, and how you’re going to go about it.
If you’ve got a financial objective that you’re working towards, for example, offering a new paid service to clients could be the perfect way for you to generate more income and reach this goal.
Ultimately, the decision to offer a wider range of services should be based on a thorough analysis of your skills, market, goals, and lifestyle.
It’s important to strike a balance between specialisation and diversification to align with how you want to shape your personal and professional future.
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