- My client expect me to provide X
- I only have one product to sell
- I’m only a service company
These are some of the excuses I hear when talking to people about growing their market by increasing the product line. Adding to the number of products you have to sell does not mean you have to invent an entirely new product. There will be some work, but it is not like building your company around your first product. Here are three steps to finding the next product in your company.
NOTE – when I say product I mean either a physical product or a service your company offers.
1. Look for Repetition
If there is something you do over and over for your clients then create a product out of that process. Knowing how to get something done in a certain way is valuable. You are the expert at this process so cash in on that.
Example – A recruiting company I have worked with helps employees to create resumes as a service for their clients (the companies that are hiring). There is a lot of repetition and a lot of free support that is not seen as valuable by the employee.
Product – Offer basic resume writing and one free update and then charge for executive resume packages or additional updates.
This will cut back on the number of people that will take advantage of your free work that has no perceived dollar value to them and it will attract people that see the value of what you do as a credible expert.
2. Add Value
This is like the “supersize” mindset of the food industry or up-selling at the cash register. You can add on extras to your current product creating packages, and charge a little less than if the pieces were purchased separately.
Product – If you have a training program you can add free workbooks, an additional day of training later in the year, online support, etc.
The savings to you is more inventory turnover and less time required in the sales process. The best items to add are those items with a higher perceived value by your clients and a lower cost to you.
Caution – If you are going to add some of your time, which is your highest cost item (because it is a fixed commodity and you cannot get more) give it out sparingly and leverage it any way you can. It is worth everything to you.
3. Change the Delivery
Sometimes the delivery of your product is in person. If you change how your clients interact with you then you can more easily leverage your time.
Example – A client of mine delivers training and facilitation to municipalities. He is challenged to be at all his clients’ sites for all their projects.
Product – Create an intake video and workbook that starts off every type of training so that his clients all get some training from him or add a video conferencing Q&A session at the end of training so they can actually interact with him. He does not have to be onsite but he is adding his expertise to the product delivery.
Don’t let your idea of what your product should look like stop you from trying new ideas, increasing your value, and selling more. There are endless ways to create new offerings in your business. Start looking at what your competitors and what other companies are doing to get some great ideas, and then tweak it to fit your business model.