Limiting and Perfecting Your Product and Service Mix

Limit your product and service mix as to not scare your customers.  We know we’re not alone in this feeling, have you ever walked into a store and get overwhelmed?  You’ve just walked into big-box store, and you get stopped in your tracks by the sheer size of the place and all of the stuff for sale.

After you stop and just stand there, the second reaction is to turn around and simply walk out the door.  That’s the flight or survival instinct that kicks in. 

That feeling of being whelmed happens to your customers too if you overwhelm them with your products or services!

How Many Services or Products Should You Really Offer?

Welcome to the fourth installment of our How to Launch a Startup series.  Be sure to check out all the other segments and if this is the first segment, you’re seeing feel free to start at the beginning by clicking on the links below.

A. Startup Vision, Mission, Goals & Objectives
B. Development & Structure
C. Market Analysis
D. Product & Service Offering
E. Competitive Environment
F. Strategic Planning
G. Marketing & Sales Planning
H. Organization Structure & Management
I. Operations Planning
J. Risk Analysis & Contingency Planning
K. Financial Plan

Over the years we have designed and implemented different branding strategies in all kinds of small businesses and brands.  And, through these experiences we’ve identified some pretty clear patterns exhibited by successful startups. We’ve also have identified the characteristics of failed ventures.

One of the patters to failure may sound counter-intuitive, in that, one may assume the more products or services you offer, there will be something for everyone.  However, we’ve found that this method simply overwhelms you customer and they get confused and may run away.  With that in mind, our Team has developed targeted questions about your products and services, which ever entrepreneur should be able to answer.

The following are a series of 11 questions that will help you understand and strengthen your product and service offerings.  This list of questions isn’t the end of your discussion, instead, it should trigger more discussions and even more questions. The time you spend now could make the difference between success and failure.

Questions to Help Limit your Product or Service Mix:
honing your products and services
  1. Describe your products and/or services.
  2. How will your products and/or services to be positioned in the marketplace?
  3. Provide an evaluation of your products and/or services.
  4. Who is your target market and target customer?
  5. What are the characteristics of the consumer? (Examples include age, gender, location, education, region).
  6. What are the wants and needs of the consumer?
  7. Describe your buying and selling process.
  8. What products and/or services do you plan to develop and launch in the future?
  9. Describe your research and development activities.
  10. What are your production requirements and operational processes?
  11. What quality assurance measure will you have in place?

Our team would love to hear what questions your team developed while working through this list.  What has helped you over the years to limit your products and services.  If you care to share, post your thoughts below and we can continue this conversation and perhaps we’ll be able to help more entrepreneurs out there.

2 thoughts on “Limiting and Perfecting Your Product and Service Mix”

    • Wow, thanks for the comment. We did this series a while ago and looking back it was a really exciting, interesting, and helpful series for people starting a business. I can’t tell you how many times when we’re conducting a company naming project and we ask people what their target market is and they don’t know or have no idea what we’re even talking about.

      Briefly, your Target Market, is the segment of the population that you are focusing on as your primary customer. Most people say that they’re open to selling to anyone, that’s great, but as Lincoln said, if you try to be everything to everyone, you end up being nothing to anybody. You need to segment one portion of the population and go for them, and that’s your target market.

      Thanks for your comment and you can check out more tips for an entrepreneur on this page as well.

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