Sometimes it is more important to discover what one cannot do, than what one can do.
– Lin Yutang
I was recently asked in an interview how I grow my business, because the interviewer believed that this would help people garner some insight into what they could do to grow their businesses.
What came to mind is what I’ve been doing for years – and bear in mind that this applies to us in large part due to our nature as a firm, but it can no doubt be applied to many business types.
To grow my business – and stay relevant – I’m constantly evolving GGG. When I say evolving it means that I’m adding to the list of services we offer. For instance, we’ve recently added federal and state receiverships as part of our product mix – in addition to our standard turnaround services.
I keep us evolving not only by maintaining my qualifications and continually learning, but by hiring people who have different skill sets than my own and who thrive in different ways. It is this differing talent – and recognizing what I can’t do – that keeps GGG growing and evolving.
So how does this apply to your product-based business?
Evolve your offerings.
Don’t keep selling the same old things. Don’t be a one trick – or ten trick – pony. Diversify. Add new products and widgets. It helps, of course to make sure that these products are relevant to your market and that they are in accord with your brand, but pending those things, add and evolve.
Next, pitch them to your current client list. Offer a nice discount at the beginning if you want to move enough product to test its relevance.
See what kinds of new clients you can attract with this new product, skill, widget or offering. Perhaps these new clients also need some of the products and services you’ve always offered, but would never have found you had you not evolved by adding these new products and services.
An Evolutionary Example
I’ll give you a quick example. A company that sells Seat Belt Extenders was selling this product alone – in one color and one length. When sales started to dwindle a bit, they realized they needed to evolve. Of course they needed to kick it up on the advertising and they needed to streamline their processes and become more efficient, but they also needed to add products to their mix.
Not only did they diversify by adding different colors and lengths to their seat belt extender offerings – a great move and an easy way to evolve – but they also added a handful of related products, all of which were highly relevant to their existing market and clientele (for instance, seat belt adjusters, bags to hold the extenders, etc.).
Your evolution doesn’t have to be complicated and it doesn’t have to cost you a lot. Instead of thinking about what you’re already doing well, think about what you don’t do well and bring in the people with the skills or the products and services that will evolve your business and round out its offerings.
I would prefer to hire people who are smarter than I am, pay them more than I make, and let them have fancier titles. Don’t let egos get in the way when you bring on those who do what you can’t.
How do you keep growing your business? How do you evolve? What products and services have you added?