Let's Talk Business - Offering Supplementary Products

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hello! Happy Wednesday, so glad to have you here to chat about some business goodness! 

The last couple weeks we've discussed a few things related to growth; increasing revenue streams and adjusting your business model. From these discussions, questions developed about offering supplementary products like ebooks, patterns, guides, printables, etc. Like this one: 

Is it a concern at all that by selling your pattern you take sales away from the items you make and sell yourself? 

In short, yes. And no. 

First and foremost, I think that developing and offering patterns or other supplementary products need to be part of a bigger strategy. We should look at it through the lens of building our brand.  In what way can we offer supplementary products that:  a) stay true to our core concept  b) widens our audience  c) expands, rather than detracts from what we make. 

Here's a few ways to approach that strategy:  

  • Make it complimentary. Rather than competing with what you make, perhaps you offer an easy compliment to your items. 
  • If you offer something like patterns, create them so that they still require the little something special from you. Maybe it's a kit with your graphic design as embroidery template.
  • Do it purposefully.  Avoid offering additional products just because you can.  Just like any aspect of business, passion + authenticity make the difference. 
  • Guard your secret sauce.  No need to share everything you make. But perhaps share more of your common goods or restrict usage to personal use only (a toughie to enforce, but a viable option). 
  • Keep them cohesive with your brand.  Unless you're planning a major switch into a new category, stay consistent. This will help build your brand's identity without detracting from what you've already built. 
  • It's not right for everyone. Offering something like patterns, kits, or add-on may not fit into your business model. That's ok. Recognize this and make other things happen! 
I really would love to hear all your thoughts on this? Did I miss something? Disagree? Let's chat in the comments. xo