By Monika Labbé
When first starting out in your business your focus was probably on getting the word out about what it is that you sell or what service you provide. But once you become more established, it becomes harder and harder to stay one step ahead of your competition. That’s where it’s best to expand your product offerings. Launching a new product or service can be time consuming and might have hidden costs that you did not anticipate. It’s important to create awareness and promote a products benefits without breaking the bank.
1.Reduce your financial risk by using the existing brand name to enhance your client’s perception. It’s important to already have an established presence with your brand or service, otherwise you could potentially risk your brand image with something new.
2.Extending your brand is a great tool for increasing not only your income, but awareness about your company as a whole. You could tie in additional products or services to causes that are meaningful to you and or community events that are happening around your neighborhood. Keep it simple and make sure you tie it back to your core mission. Make sure whatever you are adding is a nice benefit to clients, but not too far removed from your actual core business.
3. Make sure your website is collecting key information about your clients when they are visiting your site. It’s important that the things you collect are not just demographics but things that are relevant to specific business goals. You need to improve your market based on the information you collect and be able to speak specifically to the interests of potential clients. By finding out specific needs of your clients you can conduct deeper and more targeted research that would be more timely and relevant.
4. Partner with someone who offers a service or product that compliments yours. In my industry of photography I often partner with wedding vendors for that segment of my business. If you are offering a product think outside the box of who might be interested in wanting to partner with you, where does your product naturally fit? For example if my product is a toothbrush, naturally toothpaste goes with it, but so does mouthwash, floss, maybe even teeth whitener. Who could use the toothbrush? The dentist’s office obviously, but how about using it to clean hard to reach places, or for polishing small surfaces. It’s taking the thought process one step further than the obvious and asking, what can this tool actually do if I have never used it before?
By recognizing where the market is heading, anticipating the needs of your clients, and stretching yourself in your thinking you will be able to develop complementary services that will effectively extend your reach.