Productized Services February 26, 2020

WP Care: Productizing WordPress Maintenance & Support

Manuel Joswig @manueljoswig

Howdy everyone,

a few weeks ago, I had this entrepreneurial itch to start something new. My background is in web development and I own a small agency with two employees and a handful of clients. We are doing not bad (8-10k MRR), but it is a daily grind to keep it up because we work on very customized solutions that require lot's of our own resources. At the end of the day, we are trading our time for money and struggle to scale our web development services.

Now, why do we want to give productized services a try?

I did some research the past few weeks and was thinking about ways to design ready-made packages for our digital agency. Basically, us offering a solution to our clients, instead of the clients coming to us with their own draft of a solution. Productized services were what I was looking for.

Don't get me wrong, the productized service model is nothing new. There are big fish out there, who offer things like "Website Backup as a Service", "Web Scraping as a Service", "$500 Web Design for a Landing Page", etc. But in my opinion, especially in service-oriented businesses, there is always room for another competitor: One who offers a 1% better experience, 1% better communication and 1% better solutions. I think, if you focus all your energy on customer satisfaction from day 1 on, you don't have to compete with offshore companies on pricing.

What is the idea behind WP Care?

Our team has good know-how in WordPress website development, and WordPress is something that is and always will be in demand. So why not create a productized service around WordPress maintenance & support for a fixed monthly fee?

Following WP Curve and WP Buffs, two bootstrapped startups who were/are in the same niche and scaled their operations up to $1MM in ARR, I was convinced that I could copy some of their techniques: Offering "Care Plans", one basic plan for 150€ ($170) and one premium plan for 250€ ($270) a month. They will cover 24/7 maintenance, unlimited support and website edits, theme and plugin updates, backups, speed optimizations, and much more.

How will I be able to scale and handle multiple customers at once? I came up with a few ideas for that:

  1. Build a landing page with a sign up form, where new customers can enter their name, email, phone number, website URL and credit card information (Stripe gateway).
  2. As soon as a customer signs up, we get a Slack notification in a separate channel #wpcare-customers. I will hire a VA, who is constantly monitoring the channel and reaching out via email to new customers.
  3. The VA will ask the new customer for FTP access, MySQL database access and WordPress admin credentials.
  4. The VA will write the customer details in a database.
  5. The VA will give the new customer a support email, to which he can submit new ticket requests.
  6. There will be a plugin set up that monitors the email inbox and will create a new Trello card for every incoming support email. The Trello card will be available for all developers working for WP Care.
  7. A developer can pick the newly created card/ticket up and can directly communicate via Trello with the client. I will hire a Operations Manager, who constantly checks on the card's updates and will keep in touch with the developers.
  8. I will be hiring another VA for content marketing. Someone who writes blog posts on WordPress maintenance/support and promotes our business on other platforms.

My goal for this year is to start slow and make sure all the processes are set up correctly from day 1. I aim for 10 paying customers, which should bring in about 2.000 € ($2.2k) in MRR. Before I bring in to many customers, I want to spend a significant amount of my time on hiring the right developers, who can perform well and deliver great results. I will recruit in countries like the Philippines, Vietnam or Poland.

For the next weeks, I want to build a superior landing page that explains the services well enough, so that customers get a good grasp on why WordPress maintenance and support is beneficial to them.

Here is the current version of my landing page:

  1. 1

    Wow, I'd love to see you try this! I've been in and around the WordPress space for 10+ years... i've seen many folks come and go with a similar idea.

    But, that doesn't mean it won't work! It does! So, give it a fucking go!

    1. 2

      Thank you for the kind words, John. I just fell in love with this supportive community and will definitely keep you updated!

      1. 1

        YES! this community is legit af!