Looking for a way to achieve (or maintain) a positive cash flow?
The answer may live in your bundling strategy. Taking a second glance at how you're presenting your products or services can help you bring in new customers—and grab the attention of old ones, too.
What Is Unbundling?
Bundling is how companies package and price their offerings. For example, an accountant may offer a tax filing package that includes meetings, business evaluations, tax preparation and filing services all for a single price. Restaurants might sell dishes a la carte, entrees with sides or a combination of both. And software as a service (SaaS) companies usually choose to bundle their offerings based on features.
Unbundling is when you take an existing offering and break it up and sell it in smaller packages. Take music for example. In the past you had to purchase an entire album to get the song you wanted. Today, you're able to purchase a single track.
The same is true across industries: Media companies now offer per-article pricing instead of subscription services, and universities are offering courses individually instead of only through degree programs. Streaming platforms have completely changed the way cable companies offer services.
How you bundle your products can affect how your company stands out in the market, as well as the type of customers you attract, which can directly impact your cash on hand.
To help maintain (or get to) a positive cash flow, it helps to evaluate your bundling strategy frequently—or you could hire a consultant to do it for you.
How to Get Started
So, will unbundling help you get to a positive cash flow? Here are some ways you can see if unbundling is right for you.
1. Review your offerings.
The first step in the process is evaluating your existing inventory to see if you have any products or services that can be unbundled. You can do this by reviewing your offering, feature and/or inventory list. If you do not have an offerings list, now's a good time to create one.
Once you have your list ready, evaluate each of your offerings. Take a look at what you have today and your bundling model. See if there are any cost-effective ways to break up your existing packages.
2. Determine what your customers may want or need.
From there, think about your customers.
Using your buyer personas, walk through what it is that your customers would like or areas where you can fulfill an unmet need. If you don't know, consider conducting a customer survey or reviewing your support tickets for insights.
3. Evaluate various pricing models.
Unbundling is only an effective strategy when it's cost effective.
After you've evaluated different options, you can test out a few pricing models and see if/how the cost will lead to a positive cash flow.
For example, if you offer a four-hour sales training class consider breaking it up and offering each module individually.
If you sell a physical good, you can also think about how to break your product into smaller pieces. A flatware manufacturer might be accustomed to selling sets of forks, knives and spoons, but some consumers might want to replace a single spoon. How can you make a decoupled product available in a way that's profitable for your business and useful to your audience?
Make sure you consider the production, operational and support costs. And check to see if there are tools in the market that can help you reach your goals.
If you're able to find a pricing model that works, go with it. If not, unbundling may not be right for you.
4. Launch. Observe. Adjust.
After you've aligned on a new restructure of your offerings, keep an eye on them to ensure your customers are reacting positively to the offering and that your pricing structure is correct. You'll also want to watch the market to see if there are new technologies available that can help you get more for less.
Read more articles on cash flow.