Growth is, of course, important to any business. Carefully planned and realistically budgeted growth can get you an increased flow of money into your bank account, and greater stability, as you diversify what you offer and who you offer it to, leaving you less vulnerable to changes in the market place that can make customers stop spending.
One way you can grow, at less risk than hiring new staff or opening new branches is to add a new product to your offering. If you’re offering more you can bring in new customers, and encourage existing customers to spend more. If the product fails to find a market, it’s a waste of resources and potentially damaging to your brand, but easier and quicker to drop than a new location or new staff.
The Development Process
One of the most important parts of adding a new product to your offering is in how you develop it. Done well, product development can equip you with a detailed understanding of your market, who makes it up, what they want and how much they have to spend.
This market research informs the product you’ll put together for your customers: without it, you have imagination with no grounding and ambition that’s not tethered to reality and you’re likely to launch a product that people don’t want, and likely can’t even understand.
One of the most important things you can do as you develop your new product is iterate: create a prototype, test it in market research surveys, in focus groups, with close discussion and feed that information back into the next round of the development, so your next prototype is an even better fit for your customers.
What you’re looking for is understanding: do they understand what the product is, see why it can help, and why it’s worth spending money on? If they don’t grasp the concept, your development process has gone awry you need to go back a step or two.
When your product is ready to launch, focus your initial marketing campaign on communication: make sure you’re clear about what this product is, does and costs before you try to persuade people to buy it. If you’re not telling why your product is worth their money, they simply won’t buy it, and you’ll have wasted the time and resources you ploughed into development.