Today’s solo show will be short and sweet and full of actionable tips. When you’re feeling a bit stuck and unsure how or where to grow, going deep is most likely the answer.
I’m going to focus on taking a deep dive vs. casting a wide net. There is definitely a time to go wide, but that is not a good place to start. Allow me to begin with what I mean by going deep and how that ties into your identity.
When I first started my small business, I was only creating custom rosaries. A short time after that, a friend asked if I could make a rosary bracelet. It took a few years for me to realize that this was a perfect place to grow. Each piece that I made complimented that bracelet, and soon I had a line of First Communion products.
Over time I started receiving requests for customizations on the bracelets that I was making. At first, I purchased initials and added those to the bracelets, but then I realized that I could learn how to hand stamp each piece with an initial. This small addition of skills allowed me to go deep and further serve my customers. A few years later, I added a matching headband to the First Communion line and eventually started offering the same pieces in a different finish.
I can’t say that I haven’t tried other jewelry pieces along the way, but I have found that the way for me to make the most impact in the shortest amount of time is to serve my current customers. This revelation didn’t happen overnight.
What did happen is that an old acquaintance looked me up when she needed a rosary bracelet. She said she remembered that I made Faith-based jewelry. At that time, I thought to myself, wait, what? Isn’t that funny?! I didn’t realize that that was the way that Willow and Bee was being categorized. I quickly talked with Justen and said, you know what someone told me? And after that talk, I took this new-to-me identity and made that the center of what I do. Don’t get me wrong, I was already entirely focused on faith-based jewelry, but I never realized that was my brand identity, and by acknowledging this title, I was able to see things more clearly.
After about seven years, I started to feel comfortable in increasing my offerings. I started creating jewelry for other religious holidays and events like Baptisms, Easter, and Christmas, and I recently started selling digital First Communion cards. I don’t think you need to wait seven years to cast a wider net, but you should at least stick with a narrow offering until you’re well known for that thing. Once you’ve established yourself, feel free to increase your offers so long as they stay true to your identity.
The interesting part is that sometimes we are so close to what we do that we fail to realize what others see. If you don’t know what to sell next or how to grow, first start by asking this essential question. What type of business is my company XYZ. Once you’ve established your identity, you will soon find that you can explore that broader category.
Remember to listen to your customers and continually consider creating or implementing their ideas. If they ask if you make a particular product or offer a service, it is most likely because they see you as a natural fit to provide it. Chances are really good that they’re not the only ones that think this!
So how do you let your current customers know that you’re now offering new products? There are several steps that you can take. The first and best way is to contact them directly, through email or text. Ideally, you’ll want to contact them for a few weeks before a launch, and don’t forget to be of service more times than you advertise. You should also post about your new products or services on social media. Again, I would ease into this and link to a landing page where interested customers can sign up for more information.
To sum things up, if you’re looking to grow your business offerings:
1. Start with defining your brand identity.
2. After you’ve established yourself as a leader in that space, consider offering products or services that complement and stay true to your identity.
3. Consider customizing your products.
4. Explore how you’ll reach your customers to show off your new products or services. This could be through email, text, social media, or a landing page that collects the necessary information.
I hope you found these tips helpful! I would love to hear about your small business journey, the hurdles you’ve overcome, and the ones that you’re currently struggling with. Leave a comment here or look for me on Instagram @_handmadeceo.
I would love to learn more about you!
I’ll see you next time!