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At Service for Profit, we specialize in helping service businesses increase their revenues with marketing programs that bring in new clients and sell more services to existing clients.
If what you’re doing is working, bringing in new customers and repeat business, keep doing it! But if your traditional methods of capturing new clients or engagements are not paying off, we might be able to help. Often we can suggest approaches that we can implement together to successfully reverse a downward trend, or inject new life into those sales curves.
The Service for Profit engagement model that has provided such consistent results leverages 20 years of experience, first gained as a full-time employee for large companies such as Hewlett Packard, Tandem, and Silicon Graphics, and subsequently as a consultant to organizations that have included the City of Palo Alto, Franklin Covey, and the Pacific Institute. LEARN MORE
Service for Profit marketing programs are developed and rolled out in three stages, designed to build a track record of success that is tied to client expenditures.
Stage One takes about 5 hours and can be completed in 1-3 weeks, depending on the availability of the client, partners, etc. for interviews and discussion.
Stage One Deliverable is a document that sets forth proposed positioning, suggested target(s) or focus for marketing activities, and some suggestions about what to sell and at what price(s).
I meet with my client to gain a good understanding of the business, the value proposition, the current approach to the market and its degree of success or lack thereof. Then I talk to my client’s customers and in some cases vendors and partners for a 360-degree view. A marketing proposal is then developed that suggests positioning, prospective segmentation, and probable service portfolio mix. I suggest compelling strategies for communicating the nature of the business, identify target markets and specific potential customers, and suggest services that the business should offer.
"Tom is an incredible wealth of information on sales. My new sales guy was falling over himself to write down what Tom was coming up with
off the top of his head. This guy knows his stuff. Keep up the good work mate."
— Brydon Raethel, IT Consultant
Stage Two takes about 10 hours of my time and can usually be completed within a 2-week period. Stage Two Deliverable is a marketing plan that provides a detailed blueprint for marketing activities, including SWOT, competitive information, and specific suggestions for Push, Pull and Personal marketing activities, suggested budget, calendar, and one-page campaign plan that summarizes the approach for each recommended “campaign” or marketing intervention.
Once there is agreement about the branding elements and service portfolio, I work with my client to prepare a marketing plan that details how the business can best interact with its prospective and existing customers to achieve desired results. Since it is important to clearly understand the status quo of a business, I perform a SWOT analysis and need a rough idea of the budget available. A blend of Push, Pull and Personal marketing is always most effective, with the budget determining how these techniques can be deployed.
Stage Three takes between 1-3 months, depending on resources and the speed at which the client wishes to proceed. Stage Three Deliverable is a weekly status report on implementation status, usually sent via email and posted on the web-based project management tool,Basecamp®.
With the marketing plan completed, it is time to implement recommended action plans. During this phase, I act as my client’s representative with writers, visual artists, printers, coders, and others needed to implement the agreed-upon strategy. Frequently we will build “gates” into the execution plan, such as implementing an ad campaign when revenue from telemarketing has been realized. While inclusion of these “gates” typically delays completion of the business’ transformational effort, they allow clients to fund improvements with newly generated income. My role during this phase is centered around project management and quality assurance.
"Service for Profit has been invaluable in helping us build an IT Services practice, servicing the IT needs of California cities and towns."
— David Ramberg, IT Manager, External Services, City of Palo Alto, CA
About Fees, Mark-ups, Vendor Selection, and Project Management
If you have worked in the past with attorneys or accounting professionals, you are familiar with the hourly rate model.
This fee-for-service model offers transparency, with the consultant charging a predetermined fee for each hour of time and passing along invoices for subcontracted services at net to clients, typically adding only a small percentage to cover bookkeeping or credit card fees incurred by the consultant in connection with subcontracted services.
Service for Profit uses the hourly rate model, charging $150 per hour for professional time. If we recommend a marketing communications-based intervention (web work, marcom, mailing), we offer a fixed-price estimate/quote from our supplier(s) to which we add a project management fee, shown as a separate line item on our invoices and estimates. The estimated price is the price you will pay. Alternatively, we will use any vendor you wish to contract with and will bill separately for the time we spend managing that vendor through project completion.
Typically, projects can be completed most efficiently, and consequently, most cost-effectively, when we work with the vendors that we have successfully worked with in the past. But we understand that our clients, too, may have preferred vendors with whom they have long-standing relationships. Estimates will be provided for any add-on work and approved in writing.
An important component of our client engagements is effective project management. We ask all clients and subcontractors to communicate, share files, and monitor status on all engagements using Basecamp, from basecamp.com. We provide access to this easy-to-use web-based tool at our own expense, because it represents our commitment to project quality.
It All Starts with an Engagement Letter
Clients interested in beginning an engagement with Service for Profit LLC receive an engagement letter that sets forth the phases of the engagement and the commitment they (and Service for Profit) are making for each phase. Clients may make a commitment on a phase-by-phase basis, with no obligation for a long-term commitment. The initial commitment for the first 5 hours must be confirmed by signature and a credit card number for billing. Work on each additional phase will be separately authorized.
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