Too many companies jump on new products far too early largely because retailers always ask “what’s new”. That is the retailer’s habit, not their need. In the rush to new products, companies work under the belief that the 12 month calendar equals the amount of time it takes their actual company to fully market a product. The reality is few early stage companies have the sales system in place to saturate their audience with the products they already have, let alone introduce new ones.
Step back and take this vantage point: if you have 200 doors now and you want to add 200 more doors, the new ones have not carried or likely even seen any of what is currently being sold. Therefore, what is old to you is ALL new to them. Getting the 200 new doors is MORE valuable than creating new products for an under-developed sales channel. You likely do not even need new products. What you need is more thorough selling efforts with your existing products. New for new sake is not a strategy, it’s a waste of money and time, your time.
Always know where you want to go, why you want to go there and particularly what it will take to get there. Your company is not a collection of products. It is a collection of systems by which related products can be brought to market to grow the business. If your sales system is hap hazard, spend the time developing it into an organization.
Focus on the systems (not the products) to figure out the best products you need to develop to grow. Every new product is a distraction to selling the existing products. Don’t introduce new until there is so much demand for it that when you do it, it is truly game changing. Your company value is in the systems it has developed and are effective. They are the veins and arteries of your company’s life. Your products fill the veins and arteries. Growth comes from extending the veins and arteries.
Focus on being good at selling what you have (your selling system) before you entertain investing in new products. Then, take any new ideas through a thorough systems approach to compare and contrast different ideas to find the best options for where your business is at that time and where you want to get to from there. More on that next week.