Business expert Gene Marks explains how to target a new audience without forgetting your "bread and butter."
The question comes up about either changing your product line or expanding your product line, or going after a new market. And that happens to me in my business all the time. I will be selling a certain type of software and then I think, you know what, this, this might be an interesting opportunity to sell, you know, another type of software into this – a completely new, or more expensive type of software to another audience. It might be that you’re in the business of selling clothing and you’re targeting teenagers, but now you actually have like a new line that you’d like to target to, you know, an older generation of people as well. So the question is, how do you do that? How do you do it the right way? So, the first thing that you do, and this is what I’ve learned the hard way, is you never forget your core customers – your bread and butter. Because it’s your core customers that are paying for your research and developing and your marketing to develop the next level of customers. Who I’m selling to today and, you know, this year, these are not going to be the same customers or products I think that I’ll be selling 10 or 15 years from now. This is – just things change. If you’re in the clothing business, you’re in the retail business, or you’re in some type of a specialty, your customers today may not be, and probably won’t be the same customers, or they will probably not be buying the same products that you’re offering 10 or 15 years from now. So you should always be thinking about that next product line, but what you gotta do is, you have to first focus and make sure that you’re taking care of your core customers. They’re the ones that are generating the cash for you so that you could start taking in marketing in another area as well. Sometimes those product lines are connected. Sometimes they’re not. They can be completely separate. You might be selling cowboy boots and then you wanna sell ballerina shoes. That’s okay. As long as the cowboy boots business is generating enough income for you that you can take what you’ve learned selling those boots and then start going after a second market and have the funds to be able to pay for that. But never ignore that cowboy boots business until you know that the ballerina shoes are hitting a certain level of profitability.