In times of economic downturn, many people pull back within their business in fear of what could happen. It is a good idea to be more frugal and to cut costs where it is necessary and possible to do so. However, there are many opportunities a downturn can offer to your business. One of them is the space to launch a new product. In many ways, such a move can actually help to propel your company farther as the economy begins to strengthen.
New Businesses Have It Easier
In many ways, a small business has a better opportunity to launch new products in a sluggish economy than other businesses do. The amount of investment and overhead costs that a small business has to make is far less, in most cases, than a larger business. More established companies have a longer time to market when compared to a small business. In fact, small businesses are likely to get a larger return on the investment in comparison to a larger business. As a small business, you have the advantage here.
Costs for Start Up
If you are considering starting a new location or even just launching a new product line, the costs associated with the process are less now than they have been in recent times. This is due to the fact that fewer businesses are in fact launching new products and thus, those companies that supply you with the resources you need to make that launch happen, have made it less expensive to do so. They want your business right now. For example, if you want to move into a new market and open a satellite location, you may find that the high vacancy rates in the area and the overall commercial rent costs have fallen significantly. It is less expensive to do this now.
Ensure You Have the Fundamentals in Place
Before you can, or should, launch a new product in any market, you need to do your homework. You need to focus on the long term goals but you also need to be realistic about the current conditions and if those conditions support the type of product launch you are after. Here are a few things to take into consideration in that regard.
Expertise Is a Must
Do you have the experience and know-how in this new field to truly make it a successful move? If you are planning to launch a new line of products, do you have the knowledge that you need to sell those products? If not, you want to ensure that you get that information. In many sectors, especially where there is intense competition, those who may also offer that new product you are considering may be at the top of their game. To compete, you will need to be an expert in your own right.
Market Research Answers the Questions
Depending on what type of product launch you are planning, market research is likely to be a part of your new product launch. Market research helps you to know what the market is like in terms of what you are planning. For example, if you want to launch a new service within your business to customers, you need to know the answers to questions like the following:
- Are there customers who could benefit form such a service?
- What do those potential customers expect from a company that offers these services?
- How are the customer’s needs in that service sector being met already?
In short, market research tells you what you can expect if you do open your doors to that new sector. It gives you information on what is available, who your potential customers are and why they may or may not choose you for their service needs.
Evaluate the Competition
The next step in the process is to know the competition. In some cases, your competition is already offering the new product or service you are considering launching. In others, your new product launch may in fact open the door to new competitors to your business. In either case, you need to know what the competition is offering and who they are. You also need to know how large the market niche is right now to ensure that you have the resources and tools to succeed in this area. If competition is there, you need to know what it is and what it means to your business. You also need to know what you are able to do better by providing that service or product when compared to the competition.
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Develop a Business Plan
One final step to put into place before you consider launching a new product is a business plan. You likely have a plan already in place for your business, but the launching of a new product may mean it is time to update that business plan to reflect your new goals. A business plan is not just for obtaining a loan. It is a tool that helps your business to outline and develop goals. This type of tool can enhance the success of your new product line by giving you direction and goals to work towards.
Launching a new product in a down market may seem strange, but it is the ideal time to take that step ahead. However, never launch a new product without doing your research and homework first. You need to be confident that the market is present and that the opportunities available to you within that specific niche or industry can sustain growth for your business. With the right research, this is possible.
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