One-trick ponies rarely survive for long in business.
Creating sustainable growth around a single core product or service line becomes increasingly difficult as your business matures and the market around you changes. New competitors, changing customer behaviors, technology disruptions, and a host of other drivers all can put significant pressure on a core product and begin to eat away at your revenues and profits.
One way to hedge against unforeseen disruptions to a core product is to diversify your product portfolio. But how do you decide how and where to expand? The best way to explore new product lines and business models is with a test-and-learn approach.
Before you decide whether to build or buy your way to growth, it's important to conduct an assessment to determine the viability of your ideas, then construct a pilot to test the ones
that hold the most promise.
We are working with a client facing this challenge. They have identified a potentially attractive adjacency, but are unsure how to build a position in that market. They are leery of over-investing and destroying significant value. They need to test-and-learn.
Therefore, we want to follow a very lean and pilot-oriented approach to the market, so that we can evolve our offer and thinking before we invest heavily behind it. We are setting up a number of market surveys and pilots, to answer several key questions:
Our basic approach to some of these questions is to:
One we have tested your ideas and finalized the right mix of products, services and business models, we will be in much better shape to build a strategic roadmap with the confidence of earning a strong return on our investment--and a better foundation for sustainable growth.
How have you approached the test-and-learn process with new business models? Please let us know your thoughts at email@example.com.