6 Ways to Tell if it’s Time to Expand your Product Line

Sometimes it can feel like a career as a small business owner is just one long game of poker. Do you raise the ante? Fold? Go all in? Or end up wasting your earnings on beer and low-quality buffet food? 

And right along with the string of uncertainty comes the question of if, and when, to expand your product line. You’ve got some ideas for new variances on your product, or maybe an entirely new item, but should you take the plunge and launch it? This, like any other business decision, comes with a slew of pros and cons. If you’ve been pondering this step, read on for some guidance and ideas:

  1. Sometimes quantity and quality matter. Even if your original product is top-notch, one single product can go largely unnoticed on store shelves or on social media. More products can equal more noticeability. 
  2. Something old, something new. If you have a near-constant flow of new flavors or new product features (and hype each one up on social media), the excitement can keep your customers returning to see the next new thing. In the meantime, maybe they’ll get hooked on your original model, too.
  3. Are you listening? You know how great it feels when you know someone’s listening to you? Your customers feel the same way! When you’ve had a few clients suggest a certain flavor, style, or addition, and then you make it happen? You’ll have customer loyalty for years.
  4. Consider the cycle. Much like the seasonal cycle in a garden, every product has a growth cycle. As each of your products advance through introduction, growth, maturity, and decline, it’s a good financial strategy to systematically introduce new products so that you always have some of your line at each stage.
  5. Beware the increased cost. More products equal more inventory; and more inventory equals more cash up front. And if your business struggles with cash flow on a regular basis then a product expansion may have to wait. 
  6. Ready to work? Your new products won’t magically land in customers’ hands. Getting retailers and clients comfortable with new inventory means getting in front of people, doing demonstrations in stores and during events, and having a big dose of patience as you gradually gauge the success of your growth efforts. 

The bottom line is this: if you are not able to dedicate the money, time, effort, and patience into expanding your product line, then right now isn’t a good time to try it. However, if you’ve got at least a fair amount of each, go for it! Start by conducting some market research within your target demographic to determine what products would be the most desirable, what channel of distribution will lead to the most sales, and what competition already exists for similar products.

And as you brainstorm, plan, and execute your new products, your success will be made all the better when you utilize Scottsdale offices for rent and Scottsdale virtual office assistant services at Versant Executive Offices. When you don’t have to worry about the headaches of screening calls or receiving mail and packages; and don’t feel confined to the space in your own home, your new product concepts can really take off and flourish.

Call us at Versant at 480-305-2000 to discuss how we can help your new idea grow into a reality.

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