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Could you diversify or create something new?

Diane Hall


Isometric image showing a person diversifying their portfolio

A good way to breathe new life into your business is to introduce something new. This could be via a rebrand, entering a new/secondary market, or trying something different when it comes to your business strategy and marketing pursuits.

Bringing a new product into your business or diversifying your offering may also add growth.

It’s easy to resist change and to do the same thing every day; doing this, however, will only bring the same results. To achieve a different outcome, you will need to do different things.

First stop: research

Maybe it’s been a while since you carried out any market research on your business. One company did this amid a quiet period and found that the way their customers used their core product was not at all how they thought. This helped them refocus their marketing messages, and it also gave them some ideas surrounding new products they could create that would further help with their customers’ problem—a problem they didn’t realise existed until the company started digging.

Plenty of business owners carry out market research before they launch their business, to ensure there is a band of people willing to purchase what they plan to offer. However, very few continue to repeat this practice once their business had been running a while, and we always struggle to understand why.

Market research is an incredibly valuable tool that can be conducted with little expense, time and effort. Why wouldn’t you get out amongst your customers every once in a while to see if you’re still hitting all the right notes (and in the right order!)? The alternative is assuming everything your target market thinks and feels. Considering that consumer habits change all the time, as does technology and our lifestyle, assuming anything could prove a very costly strategy to employ.

Diversifying and spotting new opportunities

Once you’ve reaffirmed yourself with what your target market needs/wants, it may be easier to decide what you could introduce to enhance your offering. Perhaps you’ll find yourself in the same position as the example above, who added an extension/enhancement to what they already made to better meet the changing needs of their customers. Maybe, in the course of your research, you find customers commonly purchase a second product from a third party in conjunction with yours…is this something you could offer, too, as a complementary product or as part of a package?

A completely different opportunity may present itself, which could see you diversifying into a new type of product/service, or which would warrant the launch of a second/subsidiary business.

Consider a rebrand

You may feel more connected with your business simply from presenting it differently. Change may not be something you enjoy, but it can give a tired business (and business owner) the shake up it needs. As part of a brand refresh, you will likely be asked a number of questions—about your values, your company’s brand message(s), your ideal customer, your company’s vision and your product’s price point. Looking at your company from the other side of the fence can be incredibly cathartic. 

Undergoing a rebrand can also be an opportunity to let go of things you’ve never been comfortable with.

Stepping back

It may be that the product or service you offer isn’t the problem. You may feel a little jaded about your business, a feeling that would neither be helped or hindered if you created a new product or changed the direction of your business.

If, after reading through the points above, nothing appeals to you, maybe you would benefit from some time away from the business. Not a holiday as such (because we can’t have them at the moment anyway), but just some headspace from your usual day to day. Do you have a relative or close friend who is currently furloughed and who would be keen to take the reins for a couple of weeks? Them stepping into your shoes for a short while could help you both.

We wouldn’t expect any business owner to feel passionate about their business every day of the week—pandemic or no pandemic. However, if you recognise that you and/or your business is in a bit of a slump, why prolong the agony? Work out what your next step should be that will allow you to feel good about your business again and just do it.

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