When you first start your business, you often do so with a particular goal in mind. Maybe it’s to stay at home, maybe it’s to earn a better wage, but regardless, you probably aren’t assuming you will be a great booming success.
My question is, why not?
Small businesses can get into a lot of trouble by putting too much emphasis on the launch of their business and not being prepared to handle the boom of business or not having anywhere to expand from there (when there is profit to be made).
This can be a hugely frustrating situation, you feel like there’s more you can be doing but when are you supposed to do it?
The best time to do it is now. And I don’t mean start expanding right now, I mean begin to plan for how you’re going to be able to expand so that if it should happen you have some material to draw on.
As with each of these critical elements of business, you need to keep this consistent with your brand.
Methods of business growth
- New products
- Focus on pricing opportunities
- Focus on the bigger picture
Every business starts with at least one product, a foundation product. This is the product that forms the foundation of your business. But remember when we were considering complementary businesses? There are other products that work well with yours. Rather than just trying to make more of your existing product, why not invest some time in a new product?
Before you run off and invent something or find something new, take a minute and work at planning.
How to brainstorm new product ideas
- Think about ways you could expand.Is there a need you’re not fulfilling that you could be? Is there an unfulfilled market desire? These are great sources of expansion. If you aren’t sure about it, don’t hesitate to seek feedback from your existing customers.
- Offer variety of prices. Research has shown that people tend to buy the moderate option when there are several price points for a product. If you only have one price offering currently, consider putting it into some packages (an affordable option, a middle option with some upgrades, and a deluxe option with several upgrades) to give people some choices.People are also more likely to take a chance when they have a choice like this.
- Consider the three types of products (services, products, information) and see if you could branch out from what you are currently doing in some way.And don’t get caught up on your own abilities. If there’s a need you can fulfil by offering a service, you can hire some one to provide it and still make a profit!
- Get into a new market. If you have the time and energy necessary, entering into a new niche may also always be an option. However, this could mean having to start a new business, so make sure you’re prepared to put the work in before you undertake this.
It is also easier to get into markets that complement your own instead of going into an entirely unfamiliar market.
Types of products
- Modifications/Accessories for existing products
- Look at ways of improving your existing product or adding to it in some way, and offer that for a fee.
- Multiple streams of income
- Maximize your profits by selling advertising space on your website, offering deals on selling multiple products at once, or offering upsell options. Any of these will act as a new source of income in addition to your primary, often without much effort on your part.
- Passive income, Advertisements, affiliate marketing, or e-products that can be downloaded with no work on your part all function as passive streams of income that do not require much effort on your part at all.
Think before adding new products
These will take time, energy, and commitment – and must be aligned with the goals expressed in your business framework to have their best shot at being successful.
Use the framework when in doubt. Is this new idea something that’s compatible with your current business goals? Is it something you genuinely enjoy enough to put the necessary extra effort in? Have you planned it thoroughly?
If you have made a plan as we’ve been going along, that’s great, you are a small business owner who is preparing for the possibility of expansion. Congratulations!
Product ideas for expansion
|Information products coaching consulting one-on-one email consults
subscription to long term help
|e-products: ebook guide report
|Subscriptions club forum collective
|technology products: video tutorials software apps
|products/services from other businesses: source products from wholesalers affiliate links to amazon products affiliate links to e-products
commission a product made for you
commissions for referrals to other services
co-create a product with a complementary biz builder
|Advertising: ads on website ads in newsletter ads in signature of emails
ads in profile image on fb
advertorials on blog
Focus on pricing opportunities
I’ve done a LOT of research on pricing. Price actually means a lot in the business world. It’s about more than just the cost to the consumer, it’s also about creating a value surrounding your product, the way people spend their money, the way people think about spending their money, and so on.
So it’s completely natural that you would find pricing difficult. The bottom line, if there is one, is to understand that pricing is about valuing your product just as much as it is about setting a cost to others.
Remember: your price is a critical aspect of the brand itself. Why? Because pricing communicates the worth of your product.
So how do you price?
1) Figure out exactly what your product is costing you
This means operating costs, your salary, training costs, discount costs, product material costs. Every. Little. Thing.
2) Examine the market
Figure out how others in your market are charging. What do you offer that they don’t? What about what they offer that you lack? What is this worth?
3) Consider the value of your product
Setting a price lets people know what you think of your product. For the sake of being professional, it is important that you do not just try to undercut every body or charge an unrealistic amount. Charge an amount that you can live with.
What happens if you need to change your prices? This is natural, and it may mean losing some people, but more appropriate prices will help you attract new customers and loyal customers will often remain.
- Give some warning before the price change
- Change the prices at a pace that feels right to you and your business goals
- Relaunch whenever possible, spinning the price change as part of a new and exciting phase for your product.
- Don’t feel like you need to justify every business decision. You are the business owner, and you can offer information as to why you are changing the price – but you don’t have to.
Set a price you are comfortable with, and that is appropriate within your market. Set it in consistency with your business foundation. This is the best way to use price to your advantage.
Focus on the bigger picture
When you’re starting a business, it can be easy to get caught up in the ‘now’, the present circumstances and goals of your business. This is natural and it is a mistake. We all get caught up in our temporary to-do list, but if you do not consider the future you will be totally unprepared for it.
That’s why we’ve had you set up a foundation – to give you something to hold future goals against, and to get you thinking about the future.
Your foundation will enable you to hold up any and all future opportunities to see if they’re consistent with your business goals or not. If they’re not, they will only frustrate you and waste your time ultimately as they will end up clashing with your business values.
So take the time and think about the future, and watch how it impacts your profits.
So what do I want you to do?
Take some time now and consider which of the following popular future goals for your business could apply to you. Make a plan for each goal you are interested in for you to look back to when the time is right.
- Exit strategy – Keep track of what you would need to have if you were to sell your business
- Expert status – Methods of gaining authority in your market include blogging, providing demonstrations, or providing reviews and testimonials.
- Paid consulting
- Publishing a document about your experiences or your product, to get your name out there.
- Winning an award – Don’t laugh, you can plan to do this by doing your research on past winners and tailoring your work accordingly.
Planning sheet for your major goals
What is the goal?
How is this fitting in with your ultimate business goals/dream life?
What do you need more information on to make this happen?
What can you do right now to help this goal come to pass?
Growth planning sheet
HOW – How does this particular goal line up with your brand?
WHO – Who can you get information from related to this goal?
WHAT – What type of content and material do you need available before you can make this goal a reality?
WHEN – When do you plan to implement this goal? Break it down as much as possible.
WHERE – Where are you going to go to get your research done, assemble resources, and get training?
NOW – What can you be doing right now that will help make sure that this goal comes to pass?
WATCH – How will you know when the time is right to move into this expansion phase? Set concrete milestones.