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05 September 2017

Expanding Horizons: Top Tips for Business Diversification

Posted By: AIB Business
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Ok, so you’ve got a successful product or service and your business is thriving. But what about the future? When you’re thinking about the long-term fortunes of your business - you need to think diversification.

Diversifying your offering gives you more flexibility and security as markets shift and customer tastes change. Sure, it can be unnerving to step outside your comfort zone, but the overall rewards can have a huge influence on the continuing success of your business. 

Adapt Your Current Offering

One of the best ways to start the diversification process is by adapting your current product to appeal to new customers or markets. Examine your existing offering and look carefully to see where it can be improved. Market research is key here, but it doesn’t have to be too involved or costly. What are your customers saying about your product on social media? Have they suggested ways to improve it or requested features that it currently doesn’t have? Existing customers are one of your most valuable resources, so always seek their input before attempting to diversify. 

Find Your Niche

There’s no sense expanding into a market that’s got too many competitors. Just as you did when developing your initial product offering, you’ll need to find a way to differentiate yourself from your competition. Think carefully about your new offering, how it fits into your overall image and marketing plan, and whether there’s a genuine demand out there for it. There’s no need to rush this process. In fact, the more time you take to consider and test out your new direction, the more you’ll be able to minimise risk and thus go into the market with confidence.

Learn to Delegate

The flip side of the preceding point is that in attempting to control everything, you’ll spread yourself too thin. Delegation is crucial at this point. Before embarking on a diversification strategy, make sure you have the right people in place to help you manage your existing business and that you’re comfortable with them taking control when you’re concentrating on developing your new product or service. This may entail recruiting new staff or training existing employees, but it will pay off in the long run.    

Don't Neglect Your Original Product

One area where many business owners slip up when beginning the diversification process is that they lose focus on their core product and standards begin to slip. It’s important that you maintain quality standards for all of your product offerings - even while in the process of launching a new one. Remember, the original product is the one that got you where you are now, so while it’s perfectly fine to devote time to your shiny new product, it’s important that you don’t lose sight of the thing that’s been responsible for your success.

Need Help Diversifying Your Business?

If you need advice on diversification or just need help with your business, make an appointment to speak to your AIB Business Customer Advisor today.

 

Please be aware that all of the views expressed in this Blog are purely the personal views of the authors and commentators (including those working for AIB as members of the AIB website team or in any other capacity) and are based on their personal experiences and knowledge at the time of writing.

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Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Copyright Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. 1995.

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