A web design business wasn’t typically known for having recurring revenue streams. But if you’re not working on adding recurring revenue to your business, you’re really missing out (and so are your clients).If selling website maintenance packages has been something you’ve been thinking about or you’d like to add a recurring revenue stream to you’re business, here we’re going to look at exactly how to structure your maintenance packages and how to sell them to clients.Ready?Let’s get to it! Before we’ve talked about adding recurring revenue to your business by offering website security services or web hosting and now we’re going to take it a step further by looking at how to expand your business by selling website maintenance plans.There are so many benefits to offering this service for both you and your clients including:
- A reason to stay in contact with your clients which often results in additional work and results
- Clients websites are better protected from hacking and malware so there is no lost revenue
- Sites will avoid key performance issues which clients may otherwise think were caused due to your work
- You receive recurring monthly revenue which grows month after month
- Know how much income you have at the beginning of each month
- It’s in your clients best interest. They don’t know they need these services and it’s part of your job to tell them. That’s why they hired you.
- Being billed by the hour is not fun for clients. An all-encompassing maintenance plan can help with them feel like they get a lot more for their money.
I know you’re on board with this so now it comes down to what to include in a website maintenance plan and then actually how to sell this service. Let’s start by looking at what to include. A website maintenance plan can really include anything you want and that you feel will be beneficial to your clients. Typically tasks that are essential to owning a website and smaller maintenance tasks are included where larger tasks such as redesigns or SEO is billed separately if desired. To give you an idea, here are some ideas on what to include:
- Core CMS updates (new WordPress updates for example)
- Theme and plugin updates
- Website backups
- Security monitoring
- Content updates
- Product updates
Additional tasks can also be added to create even more value such as:
- Content creation
- Consultation time
- Analytic reports & analysis (which can provide recommendations for further work)
Here you’ll find a spreadsheet of how you can structure your maintenance plans and the benefits of each task you can share with clients. Communication about this starts at the beginning of your project. If you don’t mention the importance of maintaining a website and what’s involved from the beginning, the client is going to think when the website is done, it’s done and so are payments.This is why setting expectations from the beginning is so important. This means in your early conversations with a client and even in your project contract you can discuss website maintenance.Your contract can include the option for them to sign-up for website maintenance.If you’ve been following along and read the post on selling website security services, similar to what I suggest there you can ask the client to sign in order to decline your service offer.This ensures the client understands what they would be missing out on and what they are now responsible for. This makes it more serious and helps convert more clients onto one of your maintenance plans.In addition to adding it to your contracts you can offer a limited number of spots for these plans in order to provide the best services.Scarcity is a powerful marketing tool that will encourage more clients to sign-up.Another option which I currently use is to not accept individual support requests.My clients are required to be on a maintenance plan in order for me to best serve them. I don’t want to work on a site that they let get out of date. This is in both of our best interest. Others have even gone as far as asking clients to apply to see if they qualify as a maintenance client. This means you know you are working with businesses who value their online presence and are serious about it.Next, think about your terminology.Maintenance isn’t the sexiest word out there and it’s been used to death. Get creative when you name your packages and considering adding some of the value you will be offering into the title. For example, instead of website maintenance plan, you could call it:
- Website Upkeep Plan
- Website Care Plan
- Website Support Plan
- Website Protection Plan
Just as with the websites you sell, you need to sell the benefits of your plans. You can break this down to the individual tasks you will be offering ( I’ve already done the work for you on that too right here).Some of these benefits include:
- The website is the core of your online sales. When a website is not monitoring and kept up-to-date it can give the wrong first impression to new, potential clients. A website that is not up and functioning properly 24/7 will also result in a loss of sales.
- Software is vulnerable. No matter what software you’re dealing with, it is vulnerable. This means it takes work to protect it, updates are required, steps need to be taken to keep it from being hacked and monitoring it for any malware.A hacked site means your entire online business can be taken down in an instant which will give a bad impression to new clients and can result in a huge loss of revenue. And no site is too small (think Target, Godaddy and many others)
- Time commit met Business owners should be focused on running their business which will make the biggest impact on revenue. Otherwise there time is spent learning how to maintain a website, hoping their doing it right and trying to stay up-to-date on industry news and trends.
- We know your website when you build a website, you know it very well which makes it easier and faster to maintain.
Next StepsSo there you have it. Now you know why incorporating these website maintenance (or shall we say, website care, support, etc.) plans are so important for your business and your client’s business.Plus you know what you can include to get it done.This takes some effort on your part to plan this and get started but we’ve greatly reduced the time it takes with the website maintenance planner template and a list of tools you’ll need to get the tasks done.If you haven’t already, download my website maintenance planner & tool list so you can start adding this to your business today.