Expanding Product Offering
Once a company has established it's 'core' product line, the key to growing sales is to begin expanding the line of products to increase sales and build cross-promoting items. There are a number of items that will need to be considered prior to expanding the product offering.
- Does it compliment your existing products? Is there a market for the new product?
- Will the new product add to your current offerings or become a distraction?
- Is the new product available to add to your offering?
Answering these three questions is the most important step to being expanding the product offering.
Does it compliment your existing products? Is there a market for the new product?
It is important to consider these questions regarding the new product's compatibility with your current product line, as this is a core marketing and business focus issue. After you have successfully determined a match between your existing and new products, establishing a market size will provide you with the information required to proceed.
For example, a supply company that carries existing products (Loading Doors, Dock Seals/Shelters and Material Handling Equipment) has the opportunity to start carrying Altra-Air Fans (ideal for high bay and loading dock areas). The supply company has a group of existing products they sell to warehouses, distribution centres, manufacturing facilities and other large facilities. At first thought, fan do not compliment the supply company's core products. However, after more careful consideration Altra-Air Fans provide an opportunity to offer their existing customers while potentially attracting new customers to their core products.
Will the new product add to your current offerings or become a distraction?
Expanding a product line is designed to increase sales. To be successful with the addition, a plan needs to be in place. By adding new 'unplanned' products to the core product line, a new product can easily become a diversion from your existing business. Adding new product requires time and patience while remaining focused on current product lines.
Is the new product available to add to your offering?
In most cases this is a simple yes or no answer. However, when it comes to distribution of a new product, manufacturers often provide exclusive distribution. First determine if anybody else is distributing or selling this or any other similar product. Then approach the appropriate provider with a plan to market and distribute the product to your customers.