Think about why Home Depot sells candy. Home Depot is not a candy store – but, after a bit of thinking, they realized that the folks who buy construction hardware are also on the market for candy, and Home Depot already had all of the talent and infrastructure they needed to exploit that market opening. Now they have a new revenue stream at little cost to them – that was a good business decision!
You should think of your remodeling business in the same way. What do your customers want to buy that your crews have the talent to install that you are not currently selling? Bonus points if that product has a great ratio of installation time to revenue generated. After all, you could sell candy in your sales demos, but your salesmen might riot over the commissions. For many exterior remodelers, windows make sense as a service to add to their product portfolio, so let’s use windows as the example.Looking for a partner to grow your business with new product lines? Click here for more info!
Here is what you would need to do to add windows as a product you install, and you can generalize this to adding any product to your lineup.Get the talent
Your most important asset in getting started on a new product line is a tight production process. A lean and efficient process will allow you to install product at volume and reap the benefits of a business that you can predictably grow. Central to your process working well is having craftsmen with relevant experience.
Leverage the talent you have. A common product spread for exterior home remodelers would be windows, doors, siding, and roofing. And those options are great if you want to move into higher volume jobs, because windows are among the most commonly sought after home-improvement project. With an average sale between $7,500-$10,000 for EcoView windows, your existing talent will be well utilized with an expanded portfolio. By expanding into a product fundamentally similar to the products your team has already mastered, you reduce the possibility for growing pains or difficult installs early on.Bring the product to market
Once your install crew is ready to work, you are going to need a steady supply of sales leads. And I do mean steady – it will do you no good to sell two or three high value jobs by word-of-mouth, only to have the pipeline run dry and your install crews twiddling their thumbs. A talented crew can install on 3-5 homes per week, which adds up to about $1-1.5 million dollars in new revenue annually. Marketing is the lifeline that will keep your install crews busy and your new product line profitable.Make sure you have resources in place for:
- Event marketing, like home shows.
- Traditional marketing, like your brochures and handouts.
- Referral incentives to bring back repeat customers.
- Digital marketing, both on your own website and around the internet.
Bear in mind, your first job or two are especially important. You will want your first customers of a new product to be your first testimonials. Offer a discount if need be, but be sure to request a review or testimonial and take plenty of photographs. This will be your first ‘hard proof’ that you are an expert at your new product, and will be invaluable and authentic material to use in your future sales process.Secure a supplier
With your crew ready to install and customers looking for your product, it’s time to start thinking about scalability. For your business to grow and prosper, you will need resources from your product manufacturer. Here’s what to look for in your manufacturer.
Start by looking at suppliers with a great product – you don’t want to sell a low quality product, your reputation is worth more than the money you’ll save by starting cheap. You will also want a product that stands out in the marketplace. One great way to differentiate yourself is by having a full lineup of products – by choosing a manufacturer with options for every price point and for every exterior need, you are ensuring your sales team’s future success.
Beyond the product, you should think of your manufacturer like a business partner – your new partner should help you grow your business. From brochures to premium photography, your manufacturer is there to provide you with the materials to help you sell your products. Of course, with computer and smartphone usage spiking like it has, this marketing effort should extend onto the web. Make sure you ask a potential supplier about what sort of traditional and digital marketing support they will provide as part of your partnership. Your success with a new product line will be dependent on lead generation, so make sure that your manufacturer can give you the marketing support that will determine your ability to grow!
Once you know the quality of the product and marketing support that a prospective manufacturer can offer your business, you will be well-positioned to make your decision. Expanding your product profile is key to growing your business. With the right process, expanding your product offerings can bring you a whole new pipeline of previously untapped business. Just make sure that you are systematic in developing the new facet of your business, and you will get the most out of your new product line.