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Chris LoCurto

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October 5, 2011

How To Grow When You’ve Saturated The Market

October 5, 2011 | By | 12 Comments">12 Comments

Here’s another EntreLeadership Podcast question from one of our listeners: How do expand your business when you have saturated your original market?

A market being saturated implies that the product can only be served by a presence in that market, and it can’t be done virtually. With that in mind, here are a few ways of expanding:

  • Satellite Offices – Opening offices in other cities is a good way of creating new markets. Each will most likely require office space and supplies, a team, a lead, marketing, etc. Your involvement on some level is also a must. You are essentially starting a new business. Therefore, you have to be the heartbeat of that office.
  • Franchising – If you can’t be there to make it happen, why not allow someone else to do it, and you make a lot of money from it? Franchising is a great way to get your product line to spread, while giving someone else ownership. You will have to set up a training course, support along the way, plus spot-checking procedures to make sure your name isn’t being tarnished. Finding  someone who has successfully franchised into multiple cities and picking their brain is a great idea.
  • Add Fries – Create an add-on to your current product. If everyone already has one of what you make, then what is the essential add-on piece that they can’t live without? If you have an iPhone, then you surely need a protective cover. Everyday companies are going outside of their normal lines to give their customers something else they need. I recently ate a burger at a car wash, where they vacuum and hand wash your car. Why not offer something other than vending machine snacks while I wait?
  • Start New – Create another product line that you can grow. Take a look around your current shop, office, whatever you have, and brainstorm what other products you can make or services you can offer with your current assets. If you’re a table maker, and everyone has a table, make chairs or baseball bats or axe handles . . . You don’t have to stick to one item, pull your team together and see if there are some great ideas for new lines.

There are a lot of ways of reinventing your business, so you don’t find yourself dying a slow death. The old adage is true, If you’re not growing, you’re dying. Get growing!

Question: How would you expand your business in a saturated market?

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  • http://gravatar.com/lgthaxton Louise Thaxton

    I had to “reinvent” myself in 2005 after Hurricane Rita hit central Louisiana. I went the way of “satellite” office in a military town and discovered my passion for serving the military!

    • http://Chrislocurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Way to go!!

  • http://ericspeir.com/ Eric Speir

    I like the idea of adding fries with that to a product. I help lead a small college and we are always looking for ways to add value to our existing product. As a small college we are pretty flexible and we can add value in some areas where some colleges cannot. One of the keys is to market the things that we can offer that other colleges do not.

  • http://joelfortner.wordpress.com Joel Fortner

    I may be breaking a rule here since the assumption was made that this wouldn’t be done “virtually,” which I take to mean online, but considering the internet’s impact on traditional businesses, I can’t get passed it needing to be part of this conversation. Chris, can you speak to that in a post? If not, perhaps a little here?

    • http://Chrislocurto.com Chris LoCurto

      I have a hard time thinking it can’t be virtual as well, unless it’s a service business like window cleaning or something. Otherwise, most businesses should be able to take their wares online. Is that what you were asking?

      • http://joelfortner.wordpress.com Joel Fortner

        Yep! I’m interested in knowing your perspective on when and how to do that, potential pitfalls, lessons learned, successes, etc. There may be several posts there.

  • http://twitter.com/mahez007 Uma Maheswaran S (@mahez007)

    One of the ways to grow can be — diversifying the existing line of products /services offered to the customers.

    I have seen this happening in my profession of auditing and accounting. I have seen many Certiifed Public Accountants (CPAs) providing specialized value adding services like forensic accounting, due diligence, risk consulting,etc when the market for traditional services like tax, statutory auditing, attestation, etc has reached its full potential in the prospective market.

    • http://Chrislocurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Good stuff Uma!!

  • http://twitter.com/tbric Tom Brichacek (@tbric)

    We went with the Add Fries approach. Added complimenting items to our existing product line. This seems to be working very well, and we are considering adding another item next year.

    • http://Chrislocurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Any pitfalls to watch out for?

      • http://twitter.com/tbric Tom Brichacek (@tbric)

        Don’t overextend yourself by adding to much at one time. We are going slowly and are making sure the added product is not causing problems. We are at the point now where it is rolling smoothly, allowing us the opportunity to add again.

        • http://Chrislocurto.com Chris LoCurto

          Spot on!