So you’ve gotten your business started and it’s beginning to really take off. Rolling out your first line of products has been a success. Should you expand your product line and offer more, or should you keep it the same for now? The answer to those questions requires a more in-depth look at a few different factors.
Adding any new products to your product line requires additional efforts in the production portion of your product development. How much of a burden that becomes financially and logistically can impact how much sense it makes to increase the number of products you offer. Depending on where you fall in the product-process matrix, manufacturing your products could be a very streamlined process, or it could require a greater degree of specialization. Other questions to consider include how long it takes products to be manufactured and what turnaround time is like. If adding new products creates problems for producing the ones you already offer, that may not be the best decision for your business at this time.
Before you start looking at production considerations, however, it’s important to determine whether there is adequate consumer demand to justify expanding the number of products you offer. If the demand for more products is high, it could make sense to expand your product line. If there isn’t much of a demand for a greater number of products, it might make more sense to find ways to innovate and improve the ones you already offer. Alternatively, if it looks like your customers are satisfied with your current product offerings, you have the option to hold off on improvements or expansions and stick with what you’re offering now for the time being.
On the other side of the scale, you have market saturation. If there is decent consumer demand for a certain product line but your competitors have already saturated the market with options that fulfill that demand, you may want to think twice about adding another product. If you want to expand your product line, you could be better off performing a market analysis and getting consumer feedback to identify what consumer needs aren’t currently being met well enough. That will allow you to design a product that can meet those needs without getting lost in the shuffle of products already in existence.
Figuring out how many products you should offer your customers is an important thing for any business. Production considerations, consumer demand, and market saturation are all factors that can influence how many products it makes sense to offer. Consider these and other factors carefully so you can provide an optimal number of different products to your customers.