“Learning business is not an easy process but after all the stumbles and falls, I was able to sprint and zoom far ahead,” Omar Farook, Glorify CEO
It doesn’t matter whether your agency is big or small. What matters is how you can leverage your agency to boost your business and create winning products.
Omar’s journey began with an Amazon business, his first foray into Entrepreneurship. He was able to create his product imagery due to his design background. He was able to sell all his products, and people quickly learned about his success.
That’s when he started his own agency, where he was able to help E-commerce businesses. As he designed product imagery, even more, he and his team were able to develop their winning product image formula. This formula allowed him to profit and eventually build his own SaaS tool – Glorify. Omar has not looked back since.
But why go from Agency to Product?
If you have an agency, you can learn how to sell and solve problems. After you solve these problems over and over again, you will define a winning strategy that can be applied to hundreds of users around the world with the same problems. Then you can spin out a SaaS tool and build your first 100 customers.
Owning an agency is profitable. But based on Omar’s presentation, you could earn more if you turn your agency into a product-based company.
The agency route has a limited scale. It requires multiple retainers to scale and retainers are difficult to attain. Indirectly, you will be accountable to others as they are using you and your service as a trial.
On the other hand, the product route provides more value as it automates and provides value as a scale. Most importantly, with the product route, you can create more revenue and more jobs – which results in more fulfillment.
Here are some examples of products you can start with.
1. Physical Products
One good business to startup is selling physical products. Some examples of this business type are E-commerce stores, merchandise businesses, or educational products.
- Does not have to be aggressively iterative.
- Less complex
- Production cost
- Risk of becoming redundant
- Cost of iteration and evolution
2. Digital products
Digital products are very common nowadays and slowly but surely becoming everyone’s favorite. Examples of digital businesses include E-learning, Software, and Entertainment.
- Easy to iterate and evolve
- Easier to scale up or down
- Global reach without spending too much
- High competition
- Complex business model
Steps to go from agency to product.
1. Build your Agency/Freelance expertise:
One of the best ways to be successful is to learn the process well. Building an agency first helps you learn to solve high-stake problems and drive results from customers over and over again.
2. Build depth in your expertise.
This is important because solving customer problems can be done by others. The question is how would you be able to refine your processes and stand out from your competitors. It is also important to define and document the process.
3. Scratch that itch
If you’ve already refined and defined your process, you need to find ways to make it faster and more efficient for your customers.
Building Your Product
Omar mentioned that the first thing to remember about building up a product is not to treat it as a side-project but treat it as a new client instead. He mentioned that thinking of it as a 12-month engagement will lead to better results as you are thinking about the dividend the clients will give at the end of the project.
The key point here is to keep on looking for existing solutions and new tools that may have just come out. Thinking outside the box and continuously researching can help you to provide unique solutions to your customers.
Next is to prioritize building a Minimum Viable Product, or MVP, to solve the core problem. People will love your product, even in its early stages, if they can see your core vision. Over time, they will see that your product is better than the other products offered by your competitors.
When your product is released in the market, some people will love it while others will give feedback for you to improve it. You can build your roadmap from this feedback. But of course, nobody knows your product better than you do. You should have an idea of how you can improve it, so you could even create a roadmap yourself.
5. Iterative Vision Building
It is important to research and validate your ideas when doing iterative vision building. When validated, you can adapt, iterate to make it better, and build layers of insight. You can use this process over and over again and the results will be 10% better each time.
6. Hiring / Launching Timeline
It is very important to hire professionals whenever you are launching or building a product. It is important to keep tabs on your processes so that you’ll know that you are on track. Having a timeline is helpful as well to make sure that you will be able to launch your product by your target date.
7. Don’t Get Greedy
Launching your product is not the end of the process. You will have to resist cashing in profits until sustainability is achieved. You can use the cash injection to fuel further product development and growth.
Building an agency and transforming it into a moneymaking product is not easy. The most important thing we have learned from Omar is to love the journey and not focus on the big hurdles you must overcome. You shouldn’t be overwhelmed by the process and need to have the resilience and patience to grind success out of this cold hard world of enterprise.
“Never stop being a machine” – Omar Farook
Watch the full episode of SaastroTalks where Omar the co-founder and CEO of Glorify shares his thought on how to use your agency as a stepping stone to create your own product.