Periodically we always take a fresh look at our product lines and those of our clients to see if any can be slightly altered to its advantage. Use a list like this, of eight ideas, just to run through quickly in your mind. One big change a year can make a huge difference in your bottom line and sometimes without adding very much in additional overhead. Those changes are Power Changes because they make such a big addition to your income stream.
#1) Can you “plus” a product, service or business you have? “Plussing” is adding something to a current product you currently have, to create something else. Look at the beverage industry and all of the flavors of Coke that have come out in recent years. How about the many flavors of water? What will be added to our water next?
#2) Can we can “minus” the product, service or business? In the information business, we do it all the time when you take a book and break it up into chapters or special reports.
#3) Can you change with size adjustment? Look at the restaurant business and see how different sizes are altered. Chick-Fil-A’s are much smaller than McDonalds stores and frequently don’t allow inside eating (I still refuse to call it dining). How about the trend in multiple franchises operating in the same store?
#4) Can you take an item and change its use? This is always fun to play with. Have you ever seen items thrown away by one business only to be use by another. Wine barrels are one. People cut them in half and came up with flower planters. Railroad ties became landscape dividers and parking retainers. One of the big ones today is ocean storage containers. If you are in a big shipping port area, you can buy them for a small amount compared to what you might pay for business storage containers in other cities.
#5) Can you change it with color? Just think about the variations in phone colors when black was the only color a few years ago.
#6) Can you change its market? The phone industry comes immediately to mind again. The new Iphone is a phone, camera, gps, email, internet and more.
#7) Can you make a price change? Just look at what “residual income” pricing models have done for business where their customers have accepted it. Info businesses offer subscriptions, software companies offer data feeds, and now, even medical products and services use monthly membership plans.
#8) Can you resurrect the old? I love my convertible but until Iacocca brought them back to life at Chrysler you couldn’t buy one.
These are 8 quick ideas to keep handy and use when you feel a change is needed to your bottom line.
Utilizing this type of ‘creative thinking” grouped on a checklist helps you look at a given product, service or business from many different perspectives.