Product changes are a fact of life in business, and surely part of your existing business strategy. Most companies tweak their flagship product at some point or another, due to customer feedback or the realization they can improve it somehow. The same goes for service providers; every few years, you likely revisit your offerings and decide how you can make changes for the better. But, do you ever change models in business or disrupt your offerings in a major way?
If nothing else, the pandemic this past year has taught companies everywhere that diversifying is the name of the game. Without variety, you could be out of business in short order. But switch things up, and you’ve unlocked more runway for your company. Think about doing this…
First, get comfortable and envision your products and services. Great. When you think about what your business offers to customers, what is the main value proposition? If you sell nutrient-dense granola bars, for example, you’re selling a healthy way of life and better nutrition, not just bars. Think about the actual impact that your offerings have on your customers.
Then, ask yourself if there’s another way to deliver that same impact differently. Let’s say you’re still the owner of that granola bar company, but your main sales channel has been field sales. You send reps onsite to gyms and health & fitness shows, and they set up a stand and sell your product directly to passers-by. That’s worked really, really well for you – maybe even for decades. But then COVID-19 came along and shut down the possibility of in-person sales. What now?
If you’d been diversifying the delivery of your product all along, you could’ve pivoted quickly. Maybe you would have kept 80% of your sales in the in-person channel, but simultaneously worked up an e-commerce channel to get the other 20%. Of course, today we have the benefit of hindsight, which none of us had a year ago. But now that we’ve all seen how swiftly and dramatically world events can cripple businesses everywhere, we know we need to plan ahead.
Consider the delivery mechanisms of your product. If your main sales channel gets shut down tomorrow, how else could you get your product or services in the hands of customers? Can you create virtual offerings, outdoor services or sweeping changes in your product? Try to think a few steps ahead and prepare for possible disruptions, so you have a Plan B and even a Plan C should something else monumental arise.
Beyond making relatively simple adjustments to your products and services and how you deliver them, think about your entire business model. Maybe you’ve always offered in-person massage coaching services one-to-one. But then, you quickly realized through the last year that this model might not always be available to you. So you change the delivery (like mentioned above) and take it virtual. Still, what else can you do to make up the revenue you may lose when in-person instruction goes out the window?
At this point, it’s fun thinking of necessity-based business model changes that force you to get creative. Nothing’s off the table. Could you write a book about the top 10 massage techniques for beginners, and self-publish it through Amazon to get some passive income? Can you assemble a massage kit for couples, and try selling it through Etsy? Even if you never wanted to have a product-based business, times like this can show you the value in diversification. Simply having a plan and some of the foundational work done for these other business models can save you time and help keep you afloat if circumstances out of your control come along and try to knock you down.
There’s no magic formula for switching up your products, service, delivery mechanisms or entire business models to completely disaster-proof your business. But if you’re still standing after the events of the past year, you’re fortunate enough to have the opportunity to plan ahead so you can better navigate whatever comes next. Need help coming up with new offerings and marketing them to your audience? We can help! Give us a call.