Small Business Advice: Growing Out Your Product Line
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However, you don’t want to rush in with this decision. Make sure that you create a plan for growing your product line and build on the success that you have already seen.
Small business advice: Four tips for growing out your product line
1. Start with what sells
Take a look at your current offerings. Does something sell particularly well? If so, begin with that item and consider how you can expand on it. Could you add personalization? A wider variety of colors? Simple changes to your offering can go a long way toward making it more attractive to a wider variety of customers.
Another option is to add variations or levels to what you offer. If your small business offers a content service, you can add an option to promote that content through social media. If you sell food items, level up to additional gourmet offerings. Adding another level or two to your product or service provides opportunities to upsell.
Conversely, if you have high-end products or boutique services, consider stepping down a level or two. This will create a price point that is more attractive to customers that might have previously been unable to afford what you sell. By offering more affordable options, you may increase your customer base, and some of those customers might begin buying your higher-priced products later.
2. Listen to your customers
Ask your customers what they want. Find out if they want to see changes to your existing products or if there are products or services they wish you offered. If you base your expanded product line on what you know your customers want, it is more likely to succeed.
Offer a special discount to customers who provide feedback, or encourage your customers to help choose your next product via social media. That could generate buzz for your efforts. When you follow up later, you may find that your customer base has already built in the excitement for the new product.
3. Look for complementary markets
Consider niches that are related to your current business. You might be surprised to discover where there are crossovers. Stop and think about what you could offer a customer that is almost in your niche—but not quite. Then, offer something to which such a customer could relate.
For example, if you’re a restaurant owner, you may want to consider expanding from cooking into complementary niches, like products for gardening that encourage customers to grow their own ingredients or seasonings they can use when cooking their meals.
4. Bundle your offerings
Another option is to create your own baskets or bundles. From pasta-making bundles to gourmet chocolate collections to baby shower baskets, you can create a special section of your website devoted to your favorite things. It’s not the same as having your own brand, but it can be a way to drum up interest and add a little individuality to your product offerings.
With the right planning, you can find creative ways to expand your product offerings and boost your revenue.
MirandaMarquit is a freelance writer and professional blogger specializing in personal finance, family finance and business topics. She writes for several online and offline publications. Miranda is the author of Confessions of a Professional Blogger: How I Make Money as an Online Writer and the writer behind PlantingMoneySeeds.com.
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