What’s a Service Line and Why Do You Need One?

In the business world, a service line is a grouping of all the products and services related to one particular division of that business.  For example, a hospital may have a service line devoted to pediatrics and another service line for oncology.  Apple has a service line for telephones and another one for personal computers.

It is helpful to think of your book as a service line in your business.  Let’s say you are a corporate coach who is writing a book on finding a job after age fifty.  While you may have coaching clients who are younger than fifty, your book will generate a group of related products and services especially for the older job seeker.

Creating a service line gives you the freedom to serve many people in your business and the ability to focus in on one particular group of people with common needs.  Freedom and focus are an unbeatable combination for any entrepreneur but especially for those who are highly creative and enjoy working with many different types of people.

So how do you start to develop your service line?

The first step is to identify your perfect reader.  Then, do some brainstorming.  Consider these questions:

  • How many of these types of people are you currently serving in your business?
  • What do they buy from you now?
  • What do you like about serving this group?
  • Can you list the five biggest challenges this group faces?
  • What products or services do you have that can be adapted to service this group in a perfect way?

Next, dream a bit.  Grab some paper and imagine yourself five years from now.  Your book has been published and it is selling successfully.  You have a fully developed service line of seminars, audio programs, group coaching, workshops, and information products that follow your book.

  • What does that look like?
  • How do readers engage with you in your service line before, during and after reading your book?
  • What products or services bring you the most joy?
  • How does your service line produce income to support you?
  • Is this your only service line or do you have additional lines?

Capture your dream and future vision on paper.  This is the beginning of your book’s service line. Give yourself permission to dream big and to start small, knowing that your service line will develop over time.  It does not have to be built in a day but will evolve as you interact with your perfect readers and find new ways to serve them.

When you focus on building one service line at a time, while continuing to enjoy the freedom to serve individual clients outside of that service line, you’ll be less stressed and overwhelmed. You will make more progress, and stop running around trying to be all things to all people.

Your book becomes the beginning of your service line.  Hmmm, I can see you with multiple books and multiple services lines in the future.  Can you see it too?

How does the concept of a service line feel to you?  Does it help give you freedom and focus to your business?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Comments 2

  • Just an addition, whereas a service line serves as a cluster of all related services and or products, technically, and in actual practice, service lines can be sub-clustered into sub-service lines. This is mainly done for purposes of identification, ease of coordination and management. For instance, in a situation where business services are being provided under one centre e.g. a business development centre, then, the business services can be sub-clustered … an example here under:

    1. Mentorhip
    2. Training
    3. Market access
    4. Linkages to financial institutions
    5. Incubation

  • Thanks for this Lynne. My first book was on parenting and for quite a while now I have felt like I’m being pigeon holed into being a parenting expert. When I try to explain that my focus is on guiding people towards bringing out the best in themselves – whether they are parents or not, it’s always sounded wishy washy, even to me.

    Reading about service lines suddenly gave me the clarity I’ve been searching for!

    Parenting is simply one of my service lines 🙂

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