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April 12, 2024, 01:20:49 pm


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Idea's - Product Solutions - Expansion

Started by Mojo, June 30, 2019, 09:42:23 am

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Doyle has posted about a few business ideas for expansion and I thought I would add my 2-cents worth to help those
who are looking for expansion into other areas for bringing in additional revenue.

One of our companies is a manufacturer of obsolete RV parts as well as new products that I design myself as add-ons to RV's. Our other company is an RV awning company. With both companies our growth is based on penetrating new markets, expanding existing markets, identifying new products and improving on existing products. I have a goal to manufacture one new product annually. I will explain how I go about identifying the product.

1.) I look for a product that has a viable place in the market.
2.) I then study the market and identify my competition.
3.) I check patents and trademarks to limit liability.
4.) If the product appears viable and we can expect decent sales and the market can be expanded then
I move on to the next category - Producing the product.

1.) What materials can be used and what is the cost of those materials ?
2.) How can I design and enhance the product to find a niche in that product category ?
3.) What is the total cost for the product which includes materials, labor, handling, admin duties, packaging, etc. ?
4.) How many units of the product can I expect to sell in the first year ?
5.) How much marketing time will it take to launch the product ?
6.) Most importantly what is my margin for each unit sold ?

If you go back and look at our 12 year history you will see that I have developed many products, designed enhancements,
created markets and in some cases designed products to retrofit problem areas on RV's. I look at all the shortcomings of
a particular RV and then try and identify what products could replace problem parts with high quality ones that we manufacture.

I readily admit I know very little about the furniture side of upholstery. I also would never pass myself off as a true upholsterer
as I have 20 % of the skill levels you all have with furniture, cars and marine work. My expertise lies in business and marketing.
I have never sat down and looked at furniture upholstery to see if there are areas of expansion. But I can guess there are opportunities for more revenue in your line of work. Upselling thread, foam and fabric types and other things that have to do with furniture. I also see maybe a little opportunity with you guys who also do woodworking in making matching ottomans. For instance I bring a chair to you to be upholstered. You then try and sell me a matching ottoman custom made by you. Maybe one that is simple or maybe one that includes a hinged top with internal storage. Kicking ideas around that can grow your business with a new product offering is always a good thing.

So get to kicking some ideas around in your heads and see where there is opportunity for additional revenue. Brainstorm with your wives or friends. One of our members here RiCat is excellent at upselling his marine products by simply offering upgrades to thread - Poly to Solarfix. He has great margins with that simple upsell. It is ideas like that that can put a few extra thousand dollars a year into your bank accounts.



I am doing the marketing analysis on my boat cover market - including repairs.

Boat covers are - to most consumers- considered expensive.  As you would expect the foreign mfgs
will provide pretty nice looking fabrics but there are disappointments with durability - in this case -
while their material looks nice new, it has a problem with "fraying".  Fraying is a big problem because
the main panel assemblies will fray quickly/badly down the center or anywhere there is pull and tension friction.

What I am saying is when these jobs come in the customer is an easy sell to let me do some binding - this is above sewing seams duty.  I did three this week and got good money for the projects because the fray problem is why they need sewing and to leave exposed seams (let go that is) - at this point it is easy for customers to relate to.l And I make more out of the repair job addressing the fray problem that is eminent if they don't.  Easy sell because the customer sees it as saving money on early replacements.  They remember how expensive (in their mind) the cover was just recently when
they bought if off China.

I have canvas machines and it pays off.

There is additional business because they may have a auto seat needing an original repair (driver's usually) - this is additive because they are already with you.  Another thing I hear is "hey I have this problem with my patio cover and/or even cushions - leads to more business. 

Like Mojo mentioned - sell the sewing jobs up by informing the better supplies/fabrics are available.

Sometimes my weeks are a lot of overtime but bring it on $$!  There are places to invest.