Most large companies have multiple products and/or services
When you find that one product or service you offer has become difficult to use to increase profits, build another product or service!
You can only scale a product vertically so far before it can’t scale any longer. However, you can always scale horizontally. Take Apple for instance. Apple struggled for decades to grow, and almost died numerous times. They launched the iPod and all started going well. If they just increased the storage on an iPod, or improved the design repeatedly, do you think their marketing could still sell more of them? I doubt it.
Apple also sells computers, iPhones, accessories, and much more. Amazon has a marketplace, but they also sell Echo devices complete with AI called Alexa. Google is a search engine who makes Android OS, Chrome browsers, and much more. The list goes on.
So, you see, your MVP [Minimum Viable Product] may launch, get improved for more sales, and then start to peter out in how much it scales. Not everyone wants to buy every product on the market, and some products only need to be purchased one time. There are numerous other factors at play, too.
Complement your existing product arsenal
Alright, so you’ve decided the time is right to start a new line of business: your next product/service. You might even consider real estate, stocks, or a different business altogether, or even a subsidiary of your current company. Where do you begin?
The obvious choice is to select a product or service that complements your existing product or service in some way. That will keep your overhead lower, as you can leverage your current product or service to grow your new one. The people who subscribe / own / use your current product or service might make for an excellent consumerbase for your new product, too, so you can market to them. Cross-promote your products or services verbally, on your website, and in any other way you see fit.
The new product will start out just like your first product did: an MVP with little interest. However, because you’re playing off of your existing product and clients / customers, you’re going to see an increased interest sooner than you did with your last product or service, as long as the market is right.
What problems do your clients need solved?
Now, you might create a flop of a product or service, but you’ll want to hedge that risk. What are your current clients or customers telling you they have problems with? Is there a repeat theme that makes more sense as a brand new product / service, than it would as a new feature to your existing one?
I’ve spent time with lots of clients as a software engineer at Dragon Cloud and other companies, and one thing I repeatedly see is that clients seem to go the wrong way about their business, or that they are doomed from the start. Regardless, it was my job to build software for them, but not to critique their business model, so while I cringed, I knew something had to be done. Thus, at a board meeting about the issue, we decided to step up our game for Dragon Cloud Training, and relaunched my personal website as a way to help grow a new service.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a Growth Strategist as well as the Director of Software Engineering at Dragon Cloud, and Dragon Cloud s still a growing startup, but with my experience in the field, Dragon Cloud trusts me to build a solid service for them. So I took control of the situation and built a training program so people don’t have to worry so much about the unknown aspects of business.
Where else could I have proposed to expand the company? How about popular WordPress plugins that keep popping up? We could build and market a slew of those. What about our own marketplace? That’s in the works right now. The list goes on.