Changing the way you do business
Don't sit on your laurels once you've got things up and running and going reasonably well. If you only supply one product or service you're at risk from external factors that could have a drastic effect on your business, or even wipe it out almost overnight.
So here's some ways you can spread the risks in your business.
Sell new products to existing customers
- Make full use of the knowledge you've built up - your customers, the market, and your competitors
- Think how customers use what you’ve got and what else could complement it
- Run a competition or a reward scheme for staff to come up with ideas
- Ask your customers what they want!
- Don’t think you always need to develop something new - you could just source an existing product and sell it with something else to create a unique package
Find new customers for existing products
- Do you want to find new types of customers in the local area?
- Or attract a similar type of customer in a different location?
- Do some research on new areas so you get a feel for customer preferences and who your competitors are
- Then run small tests by selling to each group to see what results you get
- Test what works best for you - go for the customers who are easiest to reach, easiest to please, and most likely to buy
Taking new products to new markets
- Generally viewed as the most risky proposition as it has the most unknown factors
- Will you go for something related to your existing business or something completely different?
- Do some careful research to measure the size of the market and potential for profit, just like you did when you first started out
- You'll widen and strengthen the base of your business, but take care not to dilute your core product and existing expertise