With technology and the information age taking off, people have more access than ever now – to everything. It’s becoming easier for consumers pick and choose which information they consume, and harder for businesses and consultants to stand out in saturated markets. Not to mention that when potential customers can be on tight budgets, they will always find cheaper, alternative ways to get the job done. There are tons of DIY posts and videos on just about everything, and you now have to find a way for someone to pay you for it. Success in business is not only about monetary gains, but longevity and sustainability. What steps are you taking to make sure the business you are building will be relevant 5, 10 years from now or even longer?
Diversifying your offerings in business is the only way to make sure you are staying ahead of the game and remaining competitive. [Tweet this]
Jack of all Trades vs. Value Added
Now, there’s a clear difference between being a jack of all trades and not really being an expert on anything, and adding more products and services to your business. A jack of all trades has no real focus and does a plethora of things but when you have a focus and you are adding similar services and products, you are also adding value.
Your value is more profitable than your content [Tweet this]
Staying competitive and marketable
Staying competitive is all about offering more to your audience and giving them what they want in a one stop shop. These days, people aren’t letting anything hold them back from getting started on a project so you can’t just be a photographer, because your customers can use their phones or even a tripod if they get ahold of a DLSR. You can’t just be a designer, because there are tools and platforms like Squarespace and Canva that allow people to create polished visuals without having any design or coding knowledge. You can’t just be a writer, because you will make yourself much more marketable if you can also take photos or create visuals for your pieces – and the list goes on and on. The reason why Krispy Kreme shops disappeared is because ALL they had to offer were those glazed donuts, and despite how amazing they were, it just wasn’t enough, It will never be enough when you competing in the same market as Tim Hortons and Dunkin Donuts who have a wide range of food choices, but are still known for their coffee focus.
Customers will always want more and it’s your job to give them more without having to ask in the first place [Tweet this]
How to give more to your customers
If you are a blogger that has been able to work with brands or make any profits from your website, one thing you can do that’s very obvious is teach others to do the same. We see this with power blogger sisters Mays Elious and Mattie James, who both toured the country teaching their audiences how to launch products, narrow in on their markets and monetize their blogs. In addition to teaching courses, on and offline, you can also create email courses, workbooks and videos to make yourself available 24/7.
If you are a designer, learning how to take styled photos for your clients and their products can benefit you because now you can bundle your services and potentially make even more money and gain more clients. Learning how to shoot and edit video will make you a more marketable photographer. Finding way to educate, serve and provide valuable content for your customers is the only way you’ll survive a saturated and competitive market.
Things to consider when diversifying your offerings:
1. What do I do better than my competitors?
· Knowing why your customers come to you and not someone else is your competitive advantage. If you are a photographer for example, and you edit photos really better than anyone else, this is an opportunity to get more out of that service. Teaching it, creating videos and even blog posts on DIY apps and tricks.
2. How much will it cost me to do more?
· You also have to think about the cost of any new material, software or labor that will go into your new offerings. Is there anything that will need to be outsourced? How much will it cost me to for a camera, a venue, physical products? Always compare whether pursuing something will be worth it by determining it will be easier and cheaper to learn it yourself or just outsource and still make a profit.
3. Do my customer even want this? How do I know?
· Lots of business owners and bloggers send out surveys to see what their audience is expecting from them and how they can improve. Other times, your customers will come right out on social media and tell you what they would pay for you to do. All those compliments and suggestions you get via email and social media – don’t ignore them. Take it all into consideration and try to monetize it. Also, if you notice you are just a step in the process when a client is getting work done, try to eliminate the next step. If they go to you for web graphics but use something else for social media and photos – it might be a good idea to look into it.
4. Are my new offerings on brand?
· Even when it comes to expanding on what you’re doing, if it is completely irrelevant to the main focus and niche, it will fail. If Crest decided to make shoes and not a toothbrush to complement their toothpaste it would have been a bust. The same thing applies for your business. You can’t offer advice about finances but then also want to expanding your services to health and wellness coaching. I’m beating a dead horse with this design/photography example but I think you get it: they go hand in hand when it comes to building a brand and an online presence. Make sure you aren’t drifting too far away for your focus, the goal is to attract more business, not scare off your existing customers.
Photo credit: kissdetroit.hellobeautiful.com