Create Scalable Services: The Service Model Canvas

Leo Morejon
Apr 9, 2018 · 4 min read

Friction is one of the most significant issues for any company — new, small, or big. Friction slows progress, and diminishes results across communication, collaboration, project management — everything!

This article is meant to support startups, growth stage companies, and large companies alike, reducing friction when developing new, scalable services. You can also think of this as a way to productize services. The document is not meant to be client-facing; it is designed to help with onboarding, marketing, and much more. It serves as a blueprint; it keeps everyone on the same page and explains different aspects that may be important to various projects.

The Service Model Canvas Template below is the same template I have used successfully to develop many services for myself and clients, and it’s free for you to download.

You can download the Service Model Canvas Template using the link below and follow along below for explanations of each section.

Service Model Canvas Template Guide:

Sample Scenario: To support with the explanation below, let’s pretend we’re creating services for Company Z, a Marketing Technology company that is now offering creative services. The examples are only meant to support the explanation, therefore they will not be long or detailed.

  • Section 1: Overview
  • Executive Summary/Pitch: This is the principal value proposition: why these services exist and what they are, from a high-level perspective. This is done so you can easily inspire people and explain to people your services in order to get them hooked.
  • Example: Company Z exists to make the lives of brand managers easier. Today, brands are looking to consolidate their partnerships, and with creative services from Company Z, it’s easier than ever before.
  • Section 2: Categories
  • Category: Here is where you create high-level categories for each service — this is helpful, as you organize details and thoughts.
  • Example: Content creation, copywriting, and so on.
  • Description: Provide a definition for each category.
  • Example: Content creation refers to any service where content is created.
  • Details: You can use this section to provide examples or a deeper explanation of the category.
  • Example: This includes, but is not limited to, video content and static images.
  • Section 3: Services
  • Service Category: The categories outlined in the “Categories” section go here.
  • Example: Content Creation, Copywriting, and so on.
  • Service: Name the service. I usually provide a descriptive name here and not a branded name, focusing solely on explaining what the service is. Of course, do what’s best for you. A good option is to include both.
  • Example: Video Creation
  • Ideal Target: Provide an overview of your target market or customer. Who are you selling to and who is the most likely to want/use this service? These are guardrails to allow you to focus as you sell, market, and so on.
  • Example: Existing brand clients looking to consolidate creative services and have budgets of $50k a month.
  • [Company] Offering: Describe a detailed overview of what you are offering. Do not leave anything out. Besides getting to “what” you offer, it provides details.
  • Example: The creation of video media using digital cameras in the US and UK.
  • Questions Answered: Include a list of all the questions your service answers. In other words, what problems do the services solve? What are some questions from prospects/clients that may trigger you offering your services?
  • Example: How can I reduce the cost of content creation? How can I consolidate my content creation spend?
  • Value Proposition: Investopedia describes it best: “Value proposition refers to a business or marketing statement that a company uses to summarize why a consumer should buy a product or use a service.”
  • Example: We grow your business by consolidating technology and services, with video being a great way to start.
  • [Company] Does Not: Provide details regarding what this service does not include — this is the area that most people forget to think about. These are part of the guardrails that support scaling.
  • Example: Create scripts, provide content analytics, and so on.
  • Needs From Client: List a detailed overview of what you need from the client to fulfill the service — this is for when you have a client, not necessarily for prospects.
  • Example: Brand guidelines, access to creative staff, access to visual assets, and so on.
  • How: Explain exactly how this product will be delivered. Go deep into operational detail here.
  • Example: Share onboarding paperwork, review internally, source internal resources, create a storyboard, share the storyboard, and so on.
  • Required Skills: Who do you need to get this completed? Alternatively, you can make this into: “who and what do you need?” … the ‘what’ being tools or other non-personnel resources.
  • Example: Scriptwriter, Final Cut editor, and so on.
  • Delivery Schedule: Provide a timeline for how long it will take to complete your service. Be conservative and buy yourself time.
  • Example: Two weeks

This version of the Service Model Canvas is ready to use for a lot of use cases. You can, and of course should, add more details if it makes sense to you. The main pushback shared about this Service Model Canvas template is that it has too many levels or areas; this is a feature of the template to allow for deep-thinking, and it allows this document to have legs. This Service Model Canvas is also not as visually pleasing as others; this too is a feature. By having the template exist in a spreadsheet, it makes it easier to create and edit.

Enjoy! If you make any useful updates to the template, please share it with me, the goal is to make this the very best that it can be.


Originally published at Build & Inspire — Blog & Podcast.

Leo Morejon

Written by

Social Media Pioneer (Oreo Super Bowl Blackout Tweet, 1st Social World Record), SaaS Salesperson, University Instructor

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