How robust is your Online Service Business?

Table of Contents

There are two things every online service business owner wants:

  1. Get traction and take the business off the ground
  2. Avoid failing during the momentum stage

So like the two above are probably super top of mind for you… And I want to believe if you’re here reading this, you have number #1 figured out. But what about number 2?

This is where most people drop the ball and overcomplicate by doing things out of sequence.

Normally this will lead to growth but not to scale. (the definition in detail can be saved for another post ; )

What do I mean when I say if your business is robust or not?

Robustness applied to an online service business like yours means:

  • Your business has systems that are scalable
    • Meaning they’re effective and can be optimized for maximum efficiency
  • Your business is reliable, meaning you know you can deliver a similar experience to your clients
  • You have flexibility around your offer, meaning you can move around inflection points and single points of failure without getting stuck in small things
  • You have an adaptable business model that can survive economic downturns, changes in consumer behavior, and different wants and needs (being able to pivot without changing the whole business)

What can prevent you from building a robust business that keeps thriving?

Having single points of failure. What is that?

Well, let me go back in time and share with you where I did learn about this…

Strategies for enhancing reliability in the online service business

As you know, or probably not, I worked as an engineer (and consultant) for 10 years. I was involved in some of the biggest and most challenging projects I ever thought I would be part of.

I was a lead consultant in the Mumbai Metro in India, I revamped some of the engineering systems in the Montreal Metro while ending my “engineer career” building the infrastructure for the World Cup games in Qatar.

And if there was one thing they all had in common, because I was overseeing critical systems in these projects, was the requirement for no Single Points of Failure.

We’re not talking about a “good to have”, but a requirement that could mean if we get paid or not. As an example, for the Qatar Project, this could mean the collection of a 10-figure contract. 

And because this shaped my way of doing systems so much, I had to bring it to my own entrepreneurial ventures, and nowadays, bring it to our clients’ businesses when we consult with them.

This is one of our first focuses because this can prevent you from going out of business, being very transparent. 

A couple of things that I learned that you can start thinking about are:

  • Is the technology you’re using adequate for the scale you’re running?
    • An example is when I see clients using spreadsheets to manage hundreds of active clients, instead of having a good real Client Success CRM system like the one we install for our clients
  • Are your processes efficient?
    • Are you able to serve more clients over time, without adding more humans to serve them? 
  • Do your clients feel supported?
    • Do they have a way or place where they can get help when stuck? Are they using it? How often?
  • Do you have contingency plans? (More later)

If you want to keep growing and you want to be able to handle the increased demand and expand your operations, you need to maintain customer satisfaction.

Maintaining customer satisfaction with robust online services

If you have a service that runs online, there are some variables that are non-visible in the brick-and-mortar world, that could be massive single points of failure online.

At its core, a service is a survivor, doesn’t matter if online or offline. The main goal should always be to have an excellent customer that includes support that is responsive, effective, and knows how to deal with escalation.

Secondly, you need to test and run Quality Assurance to understand what are your actual satisfaction rates, what single points of failure you have, and measure how reliable the service is.

If you look at the journey your clients go through, single points of failure can be considered the same as moments where they have a massive inflection point that can put them completely out of track and you’ll have no chance of getting that client to become a Raving Fan.

Those inflection points can make or break the relationship and steer the ship to disbelief.

Your offer should have at least 3-5 big Inflection Points where we want to avoid Single Points of Failure at all costs.

These moments should be mapped out, anticipated, and communicated to the client to avoid dealing with buyer’s remorse.

Remember, every interaction tells the story of your product or service’s quality, sophistication, and value. Treat each interaction as an opportunity to make them believe it’s worth it.

So the antagonist of Single Points of Failure is called: Redundancy.

When you map and identify the critical inflection points in the client’s journey, you can create redundancy mechanisms that give your client hope this can be fixed.

We called this during my engineering days a Contingency Plan.

Last Thoughts

I kept this one very short as I don’t want to dilute the core message.

Any offer has the potential for points of failure, and one of your main goals, when you start building momentum, is to get rid of them by implementing some redundancy.

If you want to discuss how to do that in your offer,  send us an email, message, or maybe a carrier pigeon.

We promise we respond to everyone (Except for pigeons as I might get in trouble for that!)

Until next time,


Ben McLellan
Ben McLellan

The Spiritual Entrepreneur- you can embody spirituality and still have a thriving business.

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