So it’s time to grow your business – how are you going to do it? There are plenty of strategies you can focus on: booking more clients, booking higher-paying clients, adding people to your team (and in turn) having the bandwidth to take on more work.
There’s no right or wrong answer, but here at Flywheel, we believe recurring revenue models are one of the most effective ways to scale your agency. In fact, we believe in this method so much that we built a whole add-on just for agencies and creatives focusing on it: White Label!
Here are the topics this tutorial will cover. (Click the link to jump straight to that section!):
The benefits of recurring revenue
There are so many different pricing structures out there: hourly, by project, one-time fee, pro-bono, the list goes on. Here at Flywheel, one of our favorite options to recommend, however, is a recurring revenue model.
Recurring revenue is income that hits your bank account at set intervals, such as once a month. When you price your services in a recurring manner, it allows you to predict how much money you’ll bring in without having to rely on new clients. Dry spells become a thing of the past because even if you don’t book any new projects, you can rely on a check from your existing clients with recurring payments. And when you can reliably estimate how much money you’ll bring in every month, it makes a whole bunch of other business decisions and budgeting discussions a billion times easier.
This best part of a recurring revenue structure is that it’s super easy to apply to your services, and can even be an add-on for fixed-price projects. For example, let’s say you run a small agency that designs and develops websites for your clients. When you book a new project, you might charge $2,000 for the initial site design. Nice! Then when it’s time to take the site live, you could offer your client a recurring monthly maintenance package for $50. This could include the cost of web hosting, a few site updates per month, WordPress theme and plugin updates, you name it!
The package and price tag will be as unique as your own business, but the idea is that they include quick services that you can perform monthly, and therefore charge monthly. And as long as you pick services related to your main offering, they’ll be a super easy upsell. If you build a website for a client, for example, you know they need to host it somewhere and will likely enjoy extra security updates!
By offering up services that your clients continue to pay for overtime, you’re creating an income stream that is stable, predictable, and super reliable. It gives you a lot more flexibility with your business and will help you scale your services.
To recap, recurring revenue can help you:
- Create a consistent, reliable income stream
- Budget your business (because you can predict how much you’ll make each month)
- Scale your business by earning money on easy, repeatable services
How to price your services for a recurring revenue model
While I can’t tell you exactly how to price your specific services for your specific industry, I can help give you a few tips to discover what services might be useful to your clients (AKA what they’ll be willing to pay for)!
First, think about what you’re already selling. How is it currently priced? Are you happy with that structure, or could it be changed to a recurring model? This is also a good time to think about the price you’re charging – is it working (for both you and your clients) or is it time for a little adjustment?
Once you hone in on your primary offer, it’s time to think about those potential add-ons. What other services could you offer your clients on a recurring basis? Keep an open mind – maybe these are skills you already have, or maybe they’re skills you’re interested in learning. Either way, make sure it relates back to something your client would truly want and the primary offer you’re providing. For example, if your main service is designing websites for a niche market, say local fitness instructors, a monthly fee for some calligraphy designs is probably going to be a pretty hard sell. SEO research, however, might be of interest, to help them climb to the top of local Google results!
If you’re still stuck, do a little target market research and directly ask your clients what other services they would like to see from you. This is also a great way to validate any ideas you might be thinking about adding!
Once you’ve established what you want to offer, it’s time to figure out how much you want to offer it for. When thinking about a recurring monthly price, it’s important to think about the hourly impact the work could have throughout the month. Ideally, your recurring services will be things that you can handle pretty quickly or that you can do in bulk, such as taking an hour to run through WordPress updates for all your clients at the same time.
And last, don’t forget to think about any fees that may accompany your services, like the cost of hosting a website, for example. If you know you need to pay a $25 monthly hosting fee on behalf of your client, you know you need to charge more than that for your monthly maintenance package.
Once you’ve established what services you want to sell and how much you want to sell them for, it’s time to put your plan into action and start billing your clients on a monthly schedule. The logistical side of this is where Flywheel’s White Label add-on comes in.
What is Flywheel’s White Label add-on?
We love the recurring revenue model here at Flywheel because we’ve seen our clients have so much success with it. Like the example above, reselling our hosting services as part of a monthly package is a natural fit for many of our clients, and they love to take advantage of reselling all of our fabulous features to their own clients. So we wanted to make that process easier, which is why we built White Label, a subscription billing platform to help you scale your agency!
This feature allows you to resell our services (as well as your own!) to your clients at whatever price you’d like. That’s right – you set the services, you set the prices. It also allows you to bill your clients under your own brand, so they never even know Flywheel is in the picture. Of course, we’re still here to help you out, should you need anything, but it’s the perfect solution to set up your recurring services, deliver a streamlined client experience, and (as always!) leave all the technical details to us!
Interested? Follow along to get a taste of how it works!
How to use White Label
To use Flywheel’s White Label add-on, you need to have at least a Freelance Plan. (You can view our pricing here.) White Label then acts as a premium add-on to your account, and will allow you to start reselling any of your current (or future!) sites.
Note: If you’re not a Flywheel customer yet and our platform is brand new to you, watch this video to see everything we offer, start to finish! Feel free to keep reading, but this tutorial is going to skip account set up and site creation and jump straight into White Label.
To access White Label from the Flywheel app, go to Manage > White Label in the navigation.
You’ll be taken a nice lil’ details page that explains everything you need to know about White Label! When you’re ready to get started, simply click the “Enable White Label” button.
Once you enable White Label, it’ll walk you through the process to get set up – just three easy steps! First, you’ll enter a little info about your company. Then you’ll set up your brand by uploading a logo and primary color, which will allow you to see a little preview of what your client’s dashboard will look like. Last, you’ll connect a Stripe account, which is how all payments are processed!
Once your account is all set up, you can immediately start creating client subscriptions! White Label allows you to input both your own services and prices per service, giving you the freedom to bill your clients however you like. While reselling Flywheel hosting is a pretty natural service to offer, you could add anything: security updates, WordPress upgrades, design work, blog articles, homemade cookies, whatever!
Once you set up a client subscription, they’ll get an invite to their portal (with your branding!) where they can see their billing history and manage payments. All the subscription emails are super sleek and automated, so you don’t have to worry about tracking down payments, updating client credit cards, or remembering to invoice. Instead, you can just celebrate all the recurring revenue you’re earning and go keep growing your business!
Ready to start growing your agency? Click here to learn more about White Label or chat with a member of the team!
This article was originally published on 12-14-2017. It was last updated 3-5-2019.