When you first started your business, you probably thought you would just operate it one way and sell the same goods. Perhaps you decided to provide services or provide products. But, now you want to expand your business to include both. How do you get started?
Believe it or not, you begin the same way you would if you were starting a brand new business. The only difference is that you have plenty of information available to help you succeed.
Add Products to a Service-Based Business
Let’s say you’re a graphic designer who builds web pages and makes banner and advertising graphics. This is a service that you enjoy doing, and you work mainly with book authors. You need to figure out what type of products they buy and need.
* Survey Your Audience – Ask them what they want. You may get some insight that you never even considered. They may already know some graphic design and website products they want but can’t find.
* Brainstorm Ideas – Depending upon your skills, or your access to skills, you can create different types of options. Perhaps your audience needs an easy way to make memes and graphics without you. That might be scary, but that’s how software like Canva.com was created.
* Narrow It Down – The project management system Basecamp.com used to be known as 37signals, and they were a web design firm. They soon realized that they could earn more money providing a product (software as service) like the well-loved project management software, using the skills they already had.
* Tell Your Secrets – One thing service providers might not realize is that other people may want to do what they’re doing. Write a book as a product, or create a course as a product, that can be sold to a new audience that will buy it and implement it.
Add Services to a Product-Based Business
Let’s say you have a product you created such as PLR – private label rights articles, blogs, videos and so forth. Now you want to add a service possibility to the offering. You can do that easily. You just need to think about what your audience may need.
* Ask the Audience – Send your audience, those who have purchased from you, a short survey asking them what their main issues are with putting the PLR to use.
* Collect Ideas – Make a spreadsheet of the ideas that come forth from the survey. Now, add some to it that you have thought of based on reading their ideas.
* Assess Your Skills – What can you do from the list provided? Perhaps someone mentioned not understanding how to edit PLR. Can you provide a service to edit it and post it for them?
* Determine Your Time Ability – Can you find outsources which can do this for you? Can you make it financially feasible? Ask your audience what they’re willing to pay to help you determine if the idea is viable.
The important thing to do is to never assume that something will work. Always research every idea by asking your audience, then doing a test market study by having a small launch before moving forward with a huge time investment.
Thank you for reading this post. What other ways can you think of to add to the conversation? Please be sure to leave a comment below.
Photo Credit: Stuart Miles http://freedigitalphotos.net