Welcome back to the DAC Podcast, I am thrilled that you are here and that you are wanting to grow your business. In this episode we are talking about growth strategies with our current products and new products. You probably already know this just by running a small business, but I always find if something is broken into pieces and categorized that I understand it better and can see where I am headed next. But before we get into the content, I want to let you know something that I am really excited about. I’ve had a lot of downloads for this podcast, which is amazing, but I feel like I haven’t gotten to connect with you yet. If you go to my website at lydiagmiller.com and on the right is a join our community button. You can sign up there and get access to a private FaceBook group where we can discuss things on the podcast, and a lot more. I have lots of ideas on how I can give more content there. So if you would, please join! I’d love to have you. Now, let’s get into the content!
We are going to break this down into two pools of products or services. Current product and new products and we will start with current products.
If you already have something that you’re selling, then you are probably going to have an easier time with this. Creating new products is a lot harder. Don’t give up on your current product if it’s not doing super well. You may just need to tweak it a little for it to be a star product.
If you’re trying to get more sales for your current product you can sell more to your current clients. They already like what you’re doing with your product! I run a bookkeeping business, and the next step for a lot of my clients would be for me to do their tax return or to take over more of their bookkeeping. For me, this is not something that I want to do right now. I don’t have the right credentials to do tax returns, and I am looking to get new bookkeeping clients, because the ones that I have don’t need any more services. Another idea for a bookkeeping client would be to add on payroll services, or do their 1099s if you already aren’t, or also handle their hr. Find another problem that they are having in their business and solve it for them. That could be a way that you sell more to your current clients.
Another way to sell more current products would be to sell your current products to new customers. New customers can be expensive to acquire. There is always a cost to educate, remind, and motivate a client to become a client of yours, but it is something that can be done. You want to see if you can expand the appeal of your product, or maybe find a new place to sell your product. Maybe you have an affiliate program where someone else promotes your product for a commission, or you find someone to co-brand with.
Remember, if the product or service that you have isn’t selling as much as you want it to, the ideal thing is not always to make a new product. That can be really tempting, especially since we have a grass is always greener mindset sometimes. But I want you to try some of those strategies with your current product first before creating something new.
Now we are going to talk about creating new products/services for your business. Any time you make something new, you want to know the investment it will take to get there, what you want your return to be and how it fits into your business model. This podcast is a great example of that! I decided last year that I wanted to do this podcast and share this content. But I was having problems with the technical side of it all. I finally had to make a investment into an online course to walk me through step by step how to create it and get it working seamlessly. I used Pat Flynn’s Power UP Podcasting course if anyone is wondering or interested. I would recommend it 100%. You can also got to the resources page on my website to find the link for it.
So, new products.
First, you could create a new product for the audience that you already have. This seems like the most logical first step. The people who buy from you already know like and trust you and if you are solving a problem for them, they’re more likely to buy from you. This could be a product line extension or a premium version of what you already have.
The second way is through diversification. This is the hardest thing to do. It would be like me going from offering bookkeeping services to offering photography as well. Very, very different fields with different customer bases and different challenges. I wouldn’t recommend doing this. Make sure that the ideas you have don’t fall under this category, because you will probably loose time and money on this and become very frustrated, just my guess. Big corporations have tried this, and unless you hire someone to run that part of their business who has done it before, it’s not going to work.
Two more ways that you can grow using new products are vertical and horizontal integration. So vertical integration is when you own businesses in the chain of what you’re doing. So, let’s say you create hand painted wooden signs. Right now you’re buying paint and wood pre-sanded and having a professional seal your signs. Vertical integration is when you buy what you need to sand the signs, buy wood wholesale and buy the equipment to put a seal on the signs. It can save you money, but may cost you some time if you’re not hiring someone else to do it.
If you use horizontal integration, you would buy out all of the hand painted wooden sign companies. So really, that is expensive. For my bookkeeping business, that would be like me supporting QuickBooks Online, and Xero and FreshBooks. You’d have larger audience to appeal to, but you would have to know a lot more and have more time on your hands.
I want you to think through the new ideas that you having and see where these ideas fit. If you run a business and are looking to expand, try to find something in the current products/services that you can offer to the audience that you already have. At least test it there and see if your target audience is interested in it. I would stay away from entering an entirely new industry and starting completely from scratch. This isn’t like adding a podcast to talk about what you’re already doing, it would be like me adding a jewelry line to my bookkeeping business. Totally different industries!
I’d love to hear what you think about this and to hear what your ideas are on how you can expand your business. Remember, you can join us in the DAC community on Facebook. Go to my website to find the button to join on the right hand side.
Well your action steps this week is to think through your new ideas and see where they fall in each of these categories and to join our community. I can’t wait to hear from you!
Thanks for joining me today! If you would, please subscribe on iTunes. That helps other people find this podcast. Keep it up, you’re doing a great job. Talk to you next week!