With a quilting business, especially a quilt shop, you will need to regularly expand your product offerings if you want to stay ahead of the competition. Doing so not only means coming up with ideas for new product ideas that will enhance your business, but also putting in the research needed to introduce only those quilting products that further the strategic direction of your quilting business.
In order to research new quilting products that will positively impact your bottom line, you'll first need to consider what products will fit into your quilting business' vision. You'll likely need to brainstorm with a pen and some paper. Just write down whatever comes into your mind. Ultimately, you'll want to have a list of several new quilting products you can potentially add to your product lineup.
Once you've compiled a list of potential quilting products, then you need to start researching them to determine whether or not they will fit the strategic aim of your quilting business. For instance, just because a particular product is popular doesn't necessarily mean you should be selling it. In determining what quilting products to sell, you must stick to your vision.
Researching new products in the context of the quilting industry starts out with determining whether or not the new product you are considering is already being sold at competing quilting businesses. If a competitor nearby is offering a product you are considering, you might want to evaluate if your geographic boundaries can support two businesses selling the same quilting items.
New product research for the quilting industry also means considering all of the important aspects of the products in question. You'll want to consider the target market for the product, how much the product will likely cost, how much of the product you'll likely stock at any one time, how many sales you think you can make off of the product over a given time and more.
Quite simply, you'll want to ensure that the new quilting products you are considering will be worthwhile additions to you product line.
You can actually do much of your research online. With all of the resources available on the Internet, you can find plenty of information dealing with various complementary quilting items. In the process of doing so, you may even come across a few ideas you had not even considered. Other ways to conduct research on new quilting products involve going down to a library and asking about what resources may be available to aid you in your research.
You should also consult your customers. If, for instance, you've considered new quilting products and have researched them, the next step is to ask your customers what they think about the quilting products you have in mind. Ultimately, it will be the customers who will determine whether or not the products you've introduced will help to drain your resources or to boost your quilting business. So take the time to consult with them.
In the final analysis, you must periodically consider adding new products to your quilting business. The very survival of your quilt shop depends on your being innovative and taking chances. And if you do your research, you'll likely be successful and boost your business.
Chuck Smith is the owner of QuiltingBusiness.com, the web's only site dedicated to helping you make money with your quilting. Visit QuiltingBusiness.com today to sign up for the FREE email mini-course: “7 Unique Ways to Make Money with Your Quilting.”
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