How to grow your product line
Expanding your product line is a crucial part of growing your business. It can be less risky than creating a new product or service altogether, and it allows you to meet the ever-changing needs of your customers and the market. Refining or extending your offerings might just be what you need to boost your business.
Five ways to grow your product line
1. Listen to your customers
You can gain a lot of insight from your customers about what to offer next, so listen and learn. Ask for feedback in person or through email and social media. Host polls and take surveys. Your customers may not only have ideas on improving your existing offerings, but also suggestions for completely new products or services.
2. Go broader and better
Growing your product line means going broader and better. Here are a few ideas on how you can do that:
Look at ways to make your product or service appeal to a broader market
How can you reach a wider audience? Is there a gap in the market that hasn’t been filled? Customer feedback and market research can help with this, as well as figuring out how you can improve on what your competitors are doing. For example, the Usual Suspects Clothing Company could offer a wider range of clothing sizes, while a gelato business could sell wholesale to supermarkets or offer a supply of flavours to restaurants.
Offer varying price points to suit different customers
How can you price your products or services to attract customers? For instance, Asha can package her services into tiered pricing plans: a basic plan for one-on-one coaching, a standard plan for coaching and online training, and a premium plan at the highest price that also includes nutrition and exercise plans. Asha isn’t offering anything new but giving customers more options to meet their budget and fitness needs.
Look at what you can offer new markets
What can you create that will appeal to new markets? Market research can help. For example, the Usual Suspects Clothing Company could offer new designs for babies and kids, while a gelato business could offer custom-made flavours for parties and events.
3. Build on market trends
Get the inside scoop on what’s happening in your industry to see where the market is headed. Read trade magazines, industry news, and trend reports. Be inspired by innovations in other industries. You can then tweak your existing product or service to cater to these trends.
For instance, the food industry is leaning toward healthier options, so a gelato business can offer low-fat and low-sugar flavours. Meanwhile, the fitness industry is getting more tech-savvy, so Asha could offer personal training software for customers to track their progress against goals, connect wearable devices or fitness trackers, and make bookings or payments.
4. Team up with other businesses
Partner with a business that has the same values as yours or a business in the market you want to target. For example, The Usual Suspects Clothing Company can approach bricks-and-mortar stores in other locations to widen their reach, or collaborate with other ethical and sustainable businesses for bulk orders on company t-shirts and client gifts.
5. Expand your distribution channels
Are you solely online and could you approach a wholesaler, distributor, or retail outfit? Could you open a pop-up shop or join weekly markets and fairs? If you’re a bricks-and-mortar store, could you go digital or sell on online marketplaces? Look at other ways of distributing your products or services to attract more customers and appeal to new markets.
Chapter 10: Expand your business into new markets
Breaking into new markets can be a challenge. We take you through what you need to do before expanding your business into new markets.Read chapter 10