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Adding New Services and Products

(December 2012) posted on Fri Dec 07, 2012

How do you go about determining which new product lines should be added to your business?

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By Marty McGhie

Although we’re now officially out of the recession, the market for signage and graphics remains very challenging and we all continue to face some difficult times as we battle to sustain success in our businesses. To stay viable, you should be constantly examining and evaluating not only the present state of your business, but also its future.

To that end, you have some options: One, you can continue to do business as usual, hoping and waiting for better times to come around again. Two, you can focus on what you currently do in your business and try to be the best you can. Or, three, you can try to develop new avenues of revenue in your business to help sustain you in this demanding market. My advice is to focus on the third option – developing new revenue options – while simultaneously working very diligently on your current profit centers.

But how do you go about determining which new product lines should be added to your business? Begin by looking at some areas that might already be a fit with the services you’re now offering. If you can provide your clients with products and services they’re currently buying elsewhere, you’re able to avoid the necessity of finding new customers with your product lines.

What follows are four product and service options to consider for your operation. fulfillment, installation services, graphics-display hardware, and electronic digital (aka “dynamic”) signage systems.

Fulfillment is a service most of us already provide to our clients. The problem, however, is that many in our industry don’t provide this service at a profit. Too many of us are afraid to charge the proper amount for packaging and fulfillment services.

Consider: When is the last time you bought something online and didn’t pay for packaging and handling? The fact is that the packaging supplies and the labor required to fulfill an order does represent a significant business cost. Even when we omit fulfillment charges but include packaging costs, we often significantly undercharge our customers for the packaging – because we focus on the cost of the packaging materials and forget that considerable labor is involved in this process.