It’s inevitable that you’ll be tempted to take your business in a new direction someday. This may be a minor change or a substantial shift. For example, we’re hearing more and more about roofing contractors that are considering metal roofing as part of their product mix. Some are completely restructuring their business model around this increasingly popular material. If you’re considering a change in specialties, ask yourself the following:
Does the market demand it?
Consider whether or not you’re consistently losing customers by not making this business adjustment. In addition, ask whether your competitors are offering what you’re not. Basically, is your position in the market suffering, or are there clear signs that it WILL suffer, because you’re not moving in a certain direction? Or is there an opportunity to innovate in ways that others aren’t to make your business more competitive?
Is it a “smart” business decision?
If “market demands” were the only consideration in a business strategy change, we would constantly be changing our business model (and that’s not a great long-term plan). We’re sometimes tempted to shift our business strategy to appeal to a wider audience, but ultimately it comes down to a careful consideration of what is “smart” and what is not.
Is your business set up to easily make the change?
Let’s reconsider the metal roofing example. Do you already offer a variety of other roofing products, and metal would simply be added to the mix? If so, your business might be able to absorb the expansion relatively easily. However, if you’re solely focused on slate roofing (even reflected in your business name), a shift could be far more challenging.
What’s the ROI?
Changing business specialties requires time, energy, and money. It’s important to understand the risks and rewards of such a decision. The last thing you’d want is to determine that your efforts were a waste of time, or worse, you’ve overestimated the potential profitability.
Do you have any experience in adjusting your business specialty? Please share your experience with us!