Last week we wrote about NOT expanding services if you are struggling in your wedding business. We wanted to share some advice on diversifying services when the time is right and we’ve invited Kylie Carlson of International Academy of Wedding and Event Planning. With six online campuses globally, the International Academy of Wedding and Event Planning boasts an internationally recognized accreditation program that brings professional training to wedding planners, event planners, event designers and wedding stylists.
Business diversification comes in all shapes and sizes and it can be very tempting to run headlong into adding products or services to your portfolio as a way of gaining extra revenue. To be really successful in diversification you need a strategic plan, not unlike the business plan you created when launching your business.
So, what is diversification and how can you implement it into your wedding business? Take a look below to find out more:
When a business adds to its existing range of products and service offerings, it’s known as related diversification. When I started my business, I initially only launched in Australia- a market that I was very familiar with. We covered trends, ideas and websites that were specific to the region and we had a lot of success. A few years later, I decided to expand into the UK market, another region that I was familiar with. The product and methods were exactly the same and, by tweaking the course material a bit to better fit the region, it was another great success. Since then, we have expanded into four other international regions.
Unrelated diversification is when a business adds products or services that don’t fit naturally within the scheme of what they are already offering. A few years ago, I invested in and owned a system called ProVenue that helped with streamlining our training practices in the wedding market. I saw the potential to further its capabilities and ended up opening an entirely new product line in the hospitality industry, selling it to restaurants, hotels, and any other type of venue that had staff in need of training.
For me, both my related and unrelated business diversification ventures have worked, but the important thing to remember here is that I had a strategy and I completed some extensive research before doing anything.
How Do You Diversify?
There are lots of ways to diversify your business, and some will fit your style better than others. Here are some ideas you can easily look at using:
- Add-On: Look at the services or products you already have and see if you can tweak any of them. If you’re a luxury full-service wedding planner, why not look at starting another division for the DIY Bride or On the Day only?
- Create Related Services: If you’re a rental company that works mainly with planners and designers, think about putting together a few looks that you could hire out to those who can’t afford the luxury of working with a planner or who are more DIY.
- Sell Online: Do you offer a product or service that could be adapted to allow you to sell it online? Perhaps offering online consultations, or creating a collection that could be sold online.
- Open Another Branch: Is there another area where you could offer your product or service or could you expand your geographic region?
There are many benefits to diversification and it is certainly a great way to keep the wolves from the door when the main area of your business is quiet. I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” In the technology driven world we live in, things are changing constantly, so relying on just one product or service could be risky.