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April 21, 2017
Your business was likely built on a core product; essentially the backbone of your company. There’s nothing wrong with attempting to venture into a new market with a new product line. In fact you’ll need to if you ever want to grow. However, don’t get over-excited and fall victim to the newness of it all. Instead, you need to remain vigilant about your core and merely test the waters with the new. Here’s a thought on how to do it.
First, your core product must be business as usual. The same people need to continue making / selling / supporting the same product to the same market base. That can’t be stressed enough. Remember, the new product is an unproven risk, so you have to approach it with caution. Under no circumstances can you let it dictate your general direction.
For the new product, don’t use more than 20% of your existing staff’s time in getting it to market. If you need dedicated people, hire them. Pulling your existing staff off of your main product could be setting your company up for disaster. What if the new product fails and your core sales slip as a result? Your strategy needs to be one of separation. As much as possible, treat the new product as a separate company. Then, if things go wrong, the impact should be minimal to your core.
Don’t forget, when you started your business, it was a risk… and so is this. Risks can be great if you know how to prepare for and handle them. Just don’t be tempted to put all your eggs in one new basket.