Selling A Service Vs Selling A Product – Which Is Better

One of my big struggles, when I was first getting started, was to figure out whether I should offer a service or sell a product of some sort.  As a side hustler, I’ve done both and at the end of this article I’ll tell you which one I prefer but before I do that I thought it would be fun to share the benefits of each.

Now one thing I want to make clear before I start is that I had a big issue with that I use to think that side hustlers were people who were service-based people only and this just isn’t true.  When I look back at the last 7 years of what I’ve done the majority of it was never offering a service.

In fact, at that time I did more with things like Google Adsense and selling affiliate products as way to generate revenue.  This point goes back to my article on what a side hustle is,  and that is it can be both however you may be wondering which one you should start with.

If this is a problem for you then keep reading…

Service Based Business

Before I start I want to take a moment to define what a service based business is so their isn’t any confusion here.

Service Based Business – Is a business that offers to do things for you, such as consulting or freelancing, in exchange for a fee.    

#1 Allows You To Earn Money Faster

One of the top benefits that comes to mind when I use to offer services was that it allowed me to earn money much faster.  When you start a service based business their is no product to create or maintain.

Now you will still have to decide what service you want to offer and how you want to offer it but still it’s not nearly as involved as creating a product.  Doing this also allows you to test the market much fast and see if people are willing to pay for what you have.

#2 Less Technical Issues To Deal With

Service business can also be a lot less technically involved as well.  To give you an example I’m currently in the process of creating my first digital course and it can be really overwhelming at times.

I have to learn everything from doing screen cast to running power point while service based businesses are not nearly as technical as this.  Sure their might be some technical stuff but overall if you can run a computer you can run a service based business online.

#3 No Updating

Third on the list when it comes to offering services their is no updating involved and what I mean by this is that products are almost always going through changes to make them better or just bring them up to date.

For example,  if I create a digital course on based around a specific software product then every time that product updates I’ll have to update my course to align with the product.

With a service business if something changes it just one more thing you can talk to your clients about.  I use to do this a lot when I worked in financial services.  A new product would come out and the first thing I would do is contact all my clients to tell them about it.

#4 Gives You Momentum In The Beginning

Finally, the last benefit and the I feel the biggest benefit to starting a service based side hustle is that it gives you all kinds of momentum in the beginning.

Nothing crushes fear and lowers confidence better than earning a few bucks online.  I know for me in the beginning I had a lot of self doubt but once I earned a few bucks online my mind instantly switched from self doubt to thinking about all the possibilities.

When you look at a product based business it can take a lot more time to make a product.  For example I’m in the process of creating my first product and it’s tough.  I’ve probably doubted myself a hundred times already and I know things will work out but when it comes to making a product it just takes longer.

Product Based Business

Now that I’ve covered several of the benefits let’s look at the benefits of a product based business and just like last time I’m also going to define what a product based business is.

Product Based Business – is a business that sells just a product whether it be digital or physical in exchange for money.

#1 A Product Is More Passive

First off, a product business is much more passive in nature.  Whether it’s your own product or even if you’re selling someone else’s product through an affiliate relationship it does not require you to do all the work to sell and earn revenue with a product.

A good example of this is a product I started selling almost a year ago through an affiliate relationship.  I wrote one article review on this product and as a result I’ve manage to over a $1000 with it, and what’s great I only had to put the work in one time and now it can earn me money day in and day out.

#2 Scale-able

Second, when it comes to selling a product it’s much more scale-able than a service business.  With a service business you only have so much time in a day, but with a product you can create it once and sell it over and over again.

This especially holds true if you are selling a digital product such as a course, ebook, or even a web based program.  I find this personally to be the best part to doing products and why I normally don’t offer services.

#3 Gives You More Time

What’s also great is that selling a product can free up your time a lot.  Back 10 years ago I use to work in financial services part time and it was a great business but my evenings were usually all tied up with appointments with my clients.

And if I wasn’t in an appointment I was usually in a meeting for some sort of training.  This meant spending time with my family was almost nonexistent.  In the end I had to give that business up because of all the time I was loosing with my family.

Now my online business on the other hand  is run entirely from home and I can spend as much time as I want with my family and work on my products in the later hours of the night.

#4 Not Working Hours For Dollars

Finally, the last big benefit of creating a product is that I’m not working hours for dollars.  I hate to say it this way but I can literally make money while I sleep, because my business is open 24/7, and this changes all the rules.

In a service based business or even a job for that fact you are entirely based on the amount of hours you work.  With a product business I can work less hours and make more money.  It’s an amazing thing not be trapped to a clock for once.

Just as an example, last month I sold two affiliate products that earned me nearly $500 and it didn’t require me to put in 1 hour of work to earn this money.  For most jobs I would have had to work a 40 hour week or better to earn this kind of income.

Which Do You Prefer – Product or Service?

So now that you’ve seen the benefits from both sides of the fence which do you prefer, selling a product or selling a service?

Just add a little fuel to the fire in the beginning of the article I said that I would share which one I preferred and for me it would be selling a product.  However this doesn’t mean that I’m against doing a service based business though.

In fact their is no reason you couldn’t do both in your business and their are a lot of businesses who do this.  A good example of this would be a software company that sells a high end software product.

On top selling the product they may also offer consulting to these businesses to help them get the software set up properly.

Another example is that you could create a digital course but you could also offer one on one coaching to help them implement things as well and this is something I’ve personally been considering in my own business.

So know that it doesn’t have to be an either or thing it can be both.  So what are your thoughts, do you prefer a product based business, a service based business, or both.  Share your thoughts below.


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