If the economic downturn has left you with extra time on your hands, why not use it to look for ways to strengthen your company? Follow the ten guidelines presented here to find new business opportunities and keep your company profitable.
By Mike Ukena
You also need to conduct a thorough financial analysis that predicts both the best- and worst-case scenarios. If expanded capabilities only add profit to your bottom line at the best possible sales level, then it may be too early to proceed with the expansion. But if the numbers look good even at a much reduced sales level, the expansion is probably a smart move.
Never expand your product line without thorough research
While it’s important to expand your production capabilities and the range of services you offer, it’s equally important to expand your product line. Companies that stay ahead of the curve and bring new and innovative products to market first tend to be the ones that remain in business the longest. Again, the key is research to determine if the size of the market and the potential demand for the product justifies adding the new item.
The research required to keep ahead in the product-development game should be an ongoing effort, regardless of the size of your business. Companies that keep doing the same thing and providing the same products year after year are businesses that become statistics. Product innovation must be a passion for any company that wants to be successful. If you don’t keep pushing your products forward, the competition will move ahead and leave you in the dust.
Look everywhere for new opportunities
Part of researching new product ideas is to make sure that you do not limit your options. If you print T-shirts, don’t just think about new designs and imaging techniques you can add to your offerings, think about products beyond garments that you are equipped to produce and that your customer base would support. The same is true if you print decals or any other type of product.
In the recent business downturn, many vendors in the screen-printing industry were shocked to discover how many of their customers in the CD-printing market had gone out of business. The narrow business focus of these companies meant they had no alternate revenue streams when the demand for CDs dropped.
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