How to Expand Your Business' Products & Services to Tap into New Revenue Streams

Samir Sampat

Putting all of your eggs in one basket and relying solely on one money stream is dangerous. Diversifying your revenue streams rather than relying solely on one is almost always a good move for small business owners. This is even more true as we move into the future, considering that small companies work in an extremely volatile environment.

Diversifying your revenue streams will also be effective if your company experiences consistent growth. New income sources can help companies scale faster or stay competitive as they grow and adapt. Nonetheless, building out new products and services is easier said than done.

While many companies have successfully expanded into new markets, others have come up against serious challenges. What distinguishes profitable brands from those that failed when pursuing a new income stream? Learn more about how to expand your business’ products and services to tap into new revenue streams.

How to expand your business: factors that can influence successful growth

There are various reasons that companies fail to expand to develop new revenue sources. Bringing unreasonable expectations to the task or lacking market research are two of the most significant factors. 

It’s understandable that you would want to be sure that the resources you invest in development are worthwhile. There are several characteristics that successful businesses share when they develop new income streams. Consider the following:

Successful businesses understand where they should expand

Whether it's to improve the customer experience, address an issue, or build on a product or service already in place, successful companies have diverse motives for tapping into new income sources. 

Two examples of this include brands like Microsoft and Amazon. Microsoft entered the gaming console market with Xbox, and Amazon started offering video-on-demand streaming and renting services through Amazon Prime Video.

Determine why your business wants to offer something new and create your final goal for expanding. Doing this will simplify the process of acquiring internal buy-in and determining how to get where you want to go. Instead of walking into a completely foreign realm, you might discover that you can reinvent what you're presently doing. It might entail "productizing" a service, creating an auxiliary service that addresses potential inconveniences for your existing clients, or digitizing an existing service or product.

Successful businesses evaluate their assets

Expanding your revenue stream will almost certainly necessitate a time and resource commitment. We're talking about working capital and people with time to create. Do you think you have enough employees (or at least the capital to outsource it)?

Plan out the full process of launching a service line or product, including market research, testing the concept, producing it, and finally promoting and selling it. Is your present infrastructure capable of handling this, or will you need to hire outside help?

Consider how long it will take to launch anything new based on the size of your company. There is no easy way to expand your product and services. Your new revenue stream will almost always require adaptation and the development and implementation of new processes. 

Successful businesses validate their assumptions before taking action

You probably already have a strong notion of customers' issues and how to sell the fix to them, especially if you're planning on targeting the same group of clients with a new product or service. However, don't think you know what all your customers want because you've provided something to them for a long time. Before you start developing, do some research, testing, and validation. You could come upon fresh, untapped prospects or discover strategies to improve the success of your company. 

Amazon is one of the most well-known instances of this. What began as an online book shop has grown to encompass a wide range of services, including digital services, groceries, inventory distribution, and more. Amazon's new revenue streams arose from finding new methods to serve current clients, while others were created solely to grow the company and send it into new territory. 

However, it's worth noting that each stage of Amazon’s expansion was strategic. Before moving on to the next revenue stream, they planned a deeply-informed approach to the new service. 

Successful businesses build the structure after preparations are complete

Developing a strategy or blueprint for a new cash source is vital. It's where you'll figure out what to create, how to make it, and who will be in charge of certain aspects of the new product or service.

Human capital may be a priority for certain businesses, whereas others may prioritize product development or innovation. Be honest about your strengths and where you might need to improve, and then start planning how you'll achieve it.

You could discover when developing the blueprint that the new enterprise isn't worth the investment or that you just don't have the means to pull it off right now. If that's the case, you may consider forming a partnership or even acquiring a company. Sometimes, this is the most cost-effective and profitable option for creating a new revenue stream.

How to increase revenue streams by expanding your business’ products and services

Now, you know more about the elements that influence the success of businesses looking to grow into new income sources. Let's discuss the specific strategies you can consider when expanding your business' products and services. 

Incorporate your business model into a related industry

We've arrived in a period following the pandemic where the situation is slowly returning to normalcy. It's the ideal moment to start looking for opportunities. It all relies on your current business and whether or not you can pivot into a related market. Those who can survive hardship and discover other methods to generate cash flow will be the ones who will make their new business look easy when everything is said and done.

Don't think too far outside the box—just look at your current company’s strategy and see how you may apply it to another niche. For instance, if you’re an e-commerce retailer offering direct-to-consumer dermatological products, your digital prescription model could be applied to a similar niche, such as doctor-formulated hair care products. 

Make an effort to add value

If you need to find new income streams for your company, the best approach is to start by brainstorming how you might provide value to your current customers. Start with the following questions:

  • Can your team start offering an add-on connected to the original service to improve the average purchase? This can be especially fruitful if demand for that service has decreased.
  • If sales have been temporarily reduced because customers have less money to spend, what strategies can you develop to better meet your customer’s current needs?

As you make an effort to add value to your business, your clients will remember the extra value you provided and will be more inclined to buy from you again when the opportunity arises.

Observe the market and adapt to it

Whatever is going on in the economy, some sectors are expanding and even prospering. Examine where your potential customers spend their money and then choose the most effective approach to offer your products or services to them. This might include necessities as well as affordably-priced indulgences. 

For example, if you work in the food business, you can focus on delivery. Anyone who sells physical products like apparel or accessories may focus on e-commerce. Then, you must choose the most effective means of reaching your target audience, which might include social media, video, email, or text messaging. It's not simple to modify your company model, but it's critical to do so when sales figures are not what you'd hoped for.

Expand your business’ geographical market area

Many small companies confine their sales and marketing efforts to their main office. By doing this, you may miss out on great opportunities. 

For example, you may notice that your rival is not marketing in the suburbs where you do business, owing to the lack of a distributor in such areas. If you do market research, you may discover that the additional cost of covering a bigger market is small and that the potential sales could be more than doubled.

Don't presume that another market is being supplied. That said, there are a few components that might enable a new entrant to fill a regional market hole effectively:

  • Put yourself in your customers’ shoes before entering a new market. Try to figure out their preferences, priorities, the maximum amount they are willing to pay, and their preferred method of shopping.
  • Examine your current strategy as a starting point; starting here allows you to use what is already working (or not working). Then, using your ideal client as a starting point, create a thorough plan tailored to the new market's characteristics.

Take advantage of the internet

One of the most cost-effective and simple methods to sell your items or services and expand your business is to use the internet. The contemporary era has made it simple to expand your small business from a local service to a national or even worldwide one. You'll be able to reach markets worldwide if you market and sell online.

Consider creating a website for your company to serve as a one-stop location for your customers. Modern platforms like Wix and GoDaddy provide easy ways to design a website, making it easier to establish an online presence. Consider the storage capacity, security procedures, and site design that the platform can supply for your organization when deciding on the ideal platform for your needs.

You may also collaborate with respected e-commerce platforms such as Amazon and eBay to expand your reach.

Undervaluing internet marketing can come at the risk of neglecting potential customers. To establish your brand online, concentrate on building connections, serving your audience’s needs, and sharing your values. It's not about public relations, but personal connections. Use digital communications to set the stage for pre-market growth.

Create a blog and monetize it

Using a business blog to generate additional revenue for your company is a great option. By selling advertising or promoting affiliate items, you may utilize your site to generate a passive cash stream for your business. A blog provides essential information to clients while creating a new cash source for your company through ad networks.

A blog is also an excellent strategy to increase site interaction. People may look up topics that interest them and happen to be linked to the goods or services you provide. Meanwhile, you might include a call-to-action (CTA) in your articles to demonstrate how your products may benefit your readers.

Integrate social media into your website

One of the most crucial milestones in the customer journey is visiting your website, where potential customers may learn everything there is to know about your products and services before deciding whether or not to buy. Still, it's important to note that even though a potential buyer has arrived at your website, they may still decide not to purchase from you.

All of this comes down to the psychology of purchasing decisions, which is far more complicated than you may imagine. Consumers are instinctively wary of slick, branded material created by a company's marketing department. Instead of listening to this, they want to hear real-life clients' opinions. They have a high level of confidence in their peers, which may significantly influence their purchasing decisions.

As a result, by including a social media wall on your website, you're catering to clients who want to hear from other customers or famous influencers before making a purchase choice. 

Make use of content creation

To boost your blog or social media accounts, you can plan live streams to promote your brand or present your business to followers to gain more attention. Take advantage of the opportunity to interact with more individuals daily, if possible. Depending on your market, posting new material at least 2 to 3 times per week can help you stay engaged with your customers.  

Create YouTube videos and utilize them for marketing your products or services as you seek to increase your revenue. Like TikTok, short videos can also be used as Instagram or Facebook content. Pull the curtain back on your production facilities, showcase your employees, or interview real consumers to show the validity of your brand and what you do. 

Be authentic in all the content you create.

Pay attention to your customers

Whether you're selling to consumers or businesses, your customers may face the same challenges as you. Make frequent contact with your clients. The goal is to check-in and learn what they may require at this time or in the future. Collect replies and compare them to see any commonalities or requirements your company can meet. For example:

  • If you're a SaaS provider, do your clients require self-serve IT assistance for teams working from home?
  • If you're a consulting firm, do your clients require assistance with their money or navigating difficult times?

Adapt your company to the current atmosphere and the demands of your customers. You might also conduct a poll to learn more about your customers' demographics or enhance your marketing efforts. Ask customers to complete a brief survey after purchasing, for instance. You may also use social media or internet advertisements to disseminate surveys to potential markets. 

Create new product lines

Business owners and managers should examine their current product lines for ways to build product or service expansions to diversify revenue sources and enhance profitability. But first, you may have to retool your skills, technologies, or even target markets.

For example, manufacturing organizations can retool their machinery to produce something new. They may also discover that a previously unknown market or opportunity has opened up. You must be able to retool and retarget with what you already have. You'll discover that you're ahead of the competition when you do this. 

Provide courses related to your product or service

Offering classes to your consumers is another way to generate additional revenue streams for your company. After taking these courses, customers will gain enhanced knowledge about your goods, services, or industry. 

Training videos are an excellent method to get material onto video platforms, which may help your company generate more visitors and money. Start simple to gain a feel for the content development process before moving on to more advanced video material.

Analyze the white space in your current market

In sales, your ideal customer isn't always the one you'll come across in the future—it's the one you have now. It costs a company more to recruit a new client than to keep a current one. Maintaining and nurturing current clients yields a higher return on investment for your company. You can uncover untapped sales veins that can accelerate your growth by persuading your consumer base to repurchase a good or service.

There are white, or empty, spaces worth exploring within your business. You can determine who that consumer is and how to reach them by doing a white space study effectively. White space analysis is sifting through sales data, searching for fresh cross-selling and up-selling prospects. 

Cross-selling is when a company sells a product or service to a consumer that complements or enhances a prior purchase. On the other hand, upselling is when a company sells a consumer an upgrade or a more expensive product than they first agreed to.

Identifying the market's white space is critical to creating a strong brand and boosting business growth. Exploring the competitive landscape and discovering white space that your brand can "own" allows you to refocus your business, determine what makes your offering distinctive and useful to clients, and build your brand.

Enhance your pricing methods

Setting your company's prices may appear straightforward: You'll profit from selling your goods for more than it costs you to create or acquire them. But, your pricing is more than simply figures. How you price your goods or services may reveal a lot about your company's personality, how you see and treat your competition, and how much you appreciate your consumers. As a result, having a well-thought-out pricing strategy is critical.

Pricing your goods or service shouldn't be a spontaneous, profit-driven choice. It should be a deliberate, well-thought-out decision that considers your company's identity, brand, and financial health.

Consider the following: rethink your price strategy if you want to boost revenue while keeping the same number of sales. You can sell more items by cutting your pricing and increasing your market share. Or, you can raise your prices if your brand is strong and people trust in the value you provide. 

Provide a subscription service

Many companies benefit from subscription business models because they encourage client success and enhance consumer retention. Subscription models are being employed in almost every business. Leading companies such as Netflix and Microsoft have successfully implemented subscription-based income models. The good news? Your business can do the same.

A subscription revenue model is one in which clients pay a weekly, monthly, or annual fee to enjoy the full value of your services or products. After a specific amount of time, customers can extend their subscriptions. This concept allows you to generate a constant cash stream by leveraging your client relationships.

When implemented, both your business and the client profit from subscription-based revenue models. Clients can automatically repurchase a service or product that they know they'll need in the future. At the same time, you can keep clients for future sales rather than having to re-engage them on a more frequent basis. You lock in monthly recurring revenue (MRR), which might help you grow your business and keep your company viable even in the most difficult circumstances.

Consider a joint venture or horizontal integration

Contact companies that provide a similar product or service and ask if they'd want to combine their selling power with yours. Computer hardware companies, for example, frequently provide software to help sell their hardware. Pet food distributors also provide proprietary vitamins, and landscaping is available from home renovation companies. Many businesses actively seek to develop complementary products or services with an appropriate partner. 

Offer special discounts

It is not always necessary to lower your prices or rates immediately to get better sales. In some ways, it's psychological. There's a fine art to making it look like you're giving a lower price without jeopardizing your profit margin.

Offerings, discounts, and bargains can assist your shop in meeting its sales targets. Your customers may want to save money by using coupons and browsing for bargains. They are more likely to purchase an item if they perceive it as having greater value.

Discounts, when effectively advertised, provide a unique buying opportunity in the eyes of customers, prompting them to act. You can apply the discounts to specific items, such as a particular manufacturer's brand, a specific category (such as school supplies), or all items in a store-wide sale.

In fact, you can use many formats to create a sales environment:

  • Bundling Discount: When two or more different things are purchased simultaneously
  • Quantity Discount: When multiple amounts of the same item are purchased simultaneously
  • Conditional Discount: This discount can be applied when customers meet certain conditions, such as a spending threshold
  • Seasonal Discount: When items are purchased during a certain time frame

Make use of free shipping

Source: SaveMyCent

Free shipping and handling of items might help you increase revenue by increasing sales. Consider including a free delivery option when you decide to raise your rates. Free shipping and handling might help counteract the price increase's negative effects and encourage additional sales. Who doesn't love free shipping?

Instead of putting two additional line items in the pricing, consider including shipping and handling expenses in the item's overall cost for online sales. You might be able to use the same strategy if you distribute items locally.

While preventing negative customer response to a price increase, free shipping can help you ensure that the overall effect on revenue remains the same. You might also consider lowering or removing the delivery fee for a set period to boost sales.

Consider offering cash back

Cash back programs are beneficial to businesses that want to keep their consumers loyal. A consumer receives cash back for making a purchase and spending money at a certain business. The incentive is generally a portion of the purchasing price. Businesses offer varying amounts of cash back, and you may receive various offers at different periods.

Businesses might, for example, offer clients small cash-back incentives on every transaction to entice them to return. The company may then designate days and times to provide extra cash-back incentives, which is a greater proportion, to attract more new clients at strategic moments.

If you're reluctant to provide discounts, cash back is an alternative. Instead of giving a 30% discount on your merchandise, give 15% cash back. People are more likely to be tempted by a cash-back offer since they receive something in the process.

Re-engage with inactive clients 

Customers who are no longer active are an unavoidable element of doing business. While the causes for the temporary or permanent suspension of a client’s involvement with a brand might vary, the end effect is always the same: the client loses their status as a customer. It may be disastrous for businesses since building tailored, contextual connections with new customers requires a significant investment of time and effort.

Some companies will just leave the lapsed relationship as it is. However, rather than squandering the relationship, you may revive it by giving re-engagement opportunities. For example, you may utilize an app for your online business to deliver push alerts and in-app messages to inactive consumers. You may also use SMS to deliver an incentive to inactive and dormant customers on your text list.

Boost responsiveness by offering live chat and virtual receptionists

Customers want businesses to respond quickly, efficiently, and conveniently. Live chat and phone calls are an excellent way to boost customer happiness, avoid cart abandonment, and lower bounce rates. 

You can also influence customers' decisions via these tools. When customers are engaged at the right moment and directed seamlessly through the buying process, they may make quick sales decisions. You can use live chat or phone calls to send customized messages based on a customer’s actions, shortening the sales cycle and increasing conversion rates.

Another benefit is that interaction increases client loyalty. Most of the time, even people who value low prices value the customer experience over anything else. The sky is the only limit for your company if you can meet and surpass consumer expectations.

Live chat and virtual receptionists are essential since they allow businesses to increase customer engagement by providing prompt responses to popular questions, thereby reducing response time. Many people may prefer the convenience of live chat. After all, the wait times involved in emails or phone calls to a customer service department can turn a warm lead cold. 

Hire Smith.ai to Keep Your Customers Engaged Through Expansion and Beyond

Many leaders in business would say that a company is either expanding or contracting. To guarantee that your company survives and thrives, look at how successful businesses consistently reinvent themselves by adopting some of the strategies listed above. You can also adapt to the ever-changing paradigm by adding services and products to your brand. To grow your new relationships during your expansion and after, improve your customer’s experience by offering 24/7 consumer interaction.

If you're interested in delivering a responsive customer experience, take a look at Smith.ai. Smith.ai is ideal for companies that need to respond to client requests quickly. We offer virtual receptionists who can not only get your customers the help they need, but also screen out unqualified leads and pass on qualified leads to in-house employees.

Smith.ai receptionists can also make calls for you, enhancing your speed to leads and relieving your team of the strain of communicating with clients. Smith.ai responds to website chats, SMS texts, and Facebook chat messages to integrate your customer communications under a single source.

All of these features are made possible by our highly-qualified personnel–who are accessible 24/7–and powerful AI technology. Smith.ai allows you to meet your clients' demands at any hour of the day or night, ensuring that high standards are met. Learn more about our services and our 14-day, money-back guarantee through a 30-minute consultation. You can also reach us by email at hello@smith.ai.

Samir Sampat

Samir Sampat is a Marketing and Events Associate with Smith.ai. He has experience working with businesses of all sizes focusing on marketing, communications, and business development.

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