I love businesses who know who they are, what they do, and why they do it. They ooze confidence and are usually the most efficient at providing quality service or products. But putting all your eggs in one basket isn’t always the best strategy…consider Blockbuster. If you aren’t going forward you’re going backward, especially in business. Keep growing through diversification the right way.
Diversifying your offerings is a good idea but what does that mean and how do you do it without spreading yourself too thin?
Let’s start by understanding what diversifying your business means. I’m not talking investments here, but rather adding a product or service to your already rockin’ portfolio.
Here are a few ideas of what this may look like, considering not all will be applicable to all types of small businesses or solopreneur ventures.
Sell complementary products or services
Teach adult education or other types of classes
Import or export yours or others' products
Become a paid speaker or columnist
Tweak a current offering allowing it to become more attractive to a wider range of clients or customers
Develop an app to help clients track progress or customers track rewards (ie. Starbucks)
Serve or sell online
These are just a few examples but I’m sure you get the idea. When you diversify your offerings you multiply your stream of income, you put yourself in front of more people, broaden your target audience, and increase your credibility. But there are some things to keep in mind when seeking to diversify your business for growth.
First, this is only a move to make when you have firmly established your current offerings. This means you are good at what you currently do and consistently serving up quality products or services with a high-level of customer satisfaction. And you do it with increased ease and efficiency.
Second, it’s a good rule of thumb to only diversify in one direction at a time. No one likes the horrific image of a chicken with its head cut off, including me. Let’s not put ourselves, our businesses, or our team in that position either. Choose one method first and work it out until it is a well-established arm of the business.
Third, only choose a diversification method that is consistent with your current philosophy. If you are a t-shirt company offering fun and innovative shirts that are ethically sourced, any product or service you add would need to be consistent with fun, innovative, and ethical.
Finally, the diversification option you choose should simply make sense. For diversification to make sense it will naturally flow from your other offerings. When it makes sense, it won’t be a stretch of the imagination, like a dog walker who decides to mime at birthday parties. Instead, the dog walker may want to begin offering dog sitting. Now that makes sense.
Consider the rockstar personal trainer who decides to also create an ebook with tips and tools for self-improvement or a well-established virtual assistant who offers online training courses for newbies wanting a bite of the business. These diversification choices are following a well-established current service, they are simple one-way choices, they are consistent with their philosophy, and they make sense with who they are and what they do.
Growing your business can be fun! Use your imagination and get those creative juices flowing; one step in a new direction may be the breakthrough you’ve been looking for.
New Tool Highlight: Dubsado
All month we’ve been promoting one new tool per month but I’m pretty sure we may have saved the BEST new tool for last. This one is a do-it-all, never-miss-a-beat, work-it-like-Beyonce supertool.
With Dubsado you can truly control your business before it controls you. You can send and sign contracts, send invoices, make to-do lists, accept credit cards and e-checks, manage clients, manage workflow, integrate your calendar, and even offer client portals where they can keep everything in one place as well. There is more but it would take too long to list. But one of my favorite parts is that it is all branded to you.
You can sign up for a free trial with up to three clients. If you have no more than three clients, you can continue using the free trial for as long as you want. More than three clients to manage? No problem. Plans start at $20/month, $200/year or $700 one time.