Growing your business is no easy feat, but there are plenty of ways you can drive your company to success. One way of doing so is to adapt the product or service you offer to attract a new base of customers.
Below, Matt Deighton, Managing Director of quality British furniture manufacturer Sofas By Saxon, shares his tips for tapping into a new market following the business' recently launched vegan sofa range.
Tips for adapting your service or product
One particularly popular way of attracting new customers involves adapting the product or service offered to break into a new target market. Whether that means getting on board with a new market trend or coming up with something entirely unique to stand out against growing competition, rethinking your offering can certainly pay dividends. Here are four ways to get started:
1. Ask your existing customers for suggestions
If you're looking to reach more customers but aren't sure which direction you should be headed in, asking your existing customers can be a big help. Knowing what features or services you can add to your offering will show you which markets you could potentially target.
For example, feedback around more ethical manufacturing could present the opportunity to expand into the vegan and vegetarian markets, while suggestions for additional services could open up a whole host of other revenue streams for you to target.
2. Monitor consumer trends
Once you've decided on the market you want to target, you'll then need to get to know this part of the industry, and what better way to start than monitoring consumer trends?
The sole purpose of your product and service line is to appeal to your target customers. But, when you're looking to tap into a new market, it's crucial that you plot the motivations of these new potential buyers, so you can adjust your product or service to appeal to them accordingly. Whether they are passionate about buying ethically or looking for cheaper alternatives, knowing what they are spending their money on will give you an insight into what you need to be doing to attract their attention.
There are many different ways to monitor consumer trends, from keeping up to date with news about consumer habits, to doing your own research behind consumer motivations. The latter could include making use of search engine analysis to see what people are searching for and whether there are any popular searches that you could alter your product in line with.
3. Carry out a competitive analysis
While looking at what potential customers want will be helpful in identifying the direction of your new product lines, it'll also be useful to look at what current and potential competitors are offering. Competitive analysis of this sort is used by many businesses to assess their competitor's strengths and weaknesses and will help you to identify opportunities and threats when it comes to developing your product or service offering to target new markets.
A simple way of doing this is to identify a handful of products or services that compete with your offering and jotting them down, along with the main features of each of these. This can include anything from the target market, the price and any perks customers get for buying or using this, such as free installation or a bespoke service. Doing this will show you where your current line fits into the overall market and can help you to identify any gaps that you can fill by adjusting your product or service.
4. Balance market needs with costs
Developing your existing product or service can be an extremely exciting time, so it's all too easy to get carried away and forget the important things like the cost of development and the return of investment you'll get from altering your offering. For example, using rarer materials or adding an extra step to your product can push the cost per unit up, as well as your manufacturing costs. This means it's important to think about whether you'll be making a good return on investment for your developed product or service. If you don't think you'll be making a good profit at the current price you sell at, you'll need to amend this to reflect the developments you've made. But, remember that this pricing must fit in with the attitudes and budgets of the new market you're trying to break into.
If your initial plans seem like they'll cost you too much, don't be put off. Even the smallest of changes can have a big impact and help you to grow your business. Plus, once you start making some extra money, you can think about developing your product further in the future.
Adjusting your product or service can present you with limitless opportunities to target new markets but knowing where to start can be difficult. Take these top four tips on board and you'll be well on your way to boosting your business to success.
About the Author
Matt Deighton is the Managing Director at British Chesterfield sofa manufacturer, Sofas by Saxon. The team at Sofas by Saxon are passionate about providing customers with quality, timeless furniture that will suit any home. Sofas by Saxon are constantly looking to innovate and have recently launched a vegan sofa range to appeal to those who want a more ethical way of decorating their home.