One of the most successful ways to grow a small business is to perfect a product and expand the market for it, so businesses are always looking for new ways to sell their products. They might find entirely new uses for old products, or they could repackage a product to make it look like something different. Some businesses are lucky enough that their customers write in and tell them how they are using what they have bought in a different way, so it can garner a company an entirely new batch of customers with little or no investment. All of these are ways of expanding a craft market that have worked well in the past, and they should continue to serve companies far into the future.
Research is often a small part of most companies, and their work involves finding ways to produce more profits from what the company is able to do already. This department does not necessarily consist of scientists, and many of the people who work in them have a background in marketing. If they work for a company selling scissors of many different sizes, they could find that new packaging is the key to more sales. Many crafters want small scissors only, so they would be more willing to buy a package with just a few items instead of a large one with more than they need.
There are always people who are willing to take a few minutes to comment on a company’s product, and it is a good idea for those in charge of customer service to take them seriously. Some customers will simply use this type of forum to complain, but others will give the company useful ideas on how their products can be used differently. A company that sells fine bone china mugs might advertise them for tea, but they might also be used for serving soup and crackers on a cold winter evening. This type of expansion is good for the company to know about, and they can use it to increase profits.
Advertising in New Areas
Smaller companies tend to have their own market niches, and they generally spend the majority of their advertising budgets reaching their target clientele. When they look outside their small area, they could find that there are more markets than they originally thought existed. At Roy Kirkham, breakfast cups and saucers and tea cups and saucers have been part of their offerings to customers for years, but some of their customers might have overlooked these important items. Letting them know they exist and can be used in many different ways can open new markets with a small advertising budget aimed at the right people.
Surviving in business today takes a keen eye on how to break into new markets, and many companies have invested in creating a marketing department to do it. They have found that a small amount of research can help them find new ways to repackage the same products, but they have also found their current customers can help them by discovering new ways to use them. For those who have a specific audience they target on a regular basis, it can repay their investment to find new markets for existing products.