WISDOM IN A TRAFFIC JAM: Adding a Second Business

By on July 3, 2012
July Wisdom
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Dear Angella,
I have a successful clothing line and am thinking about starting a second complementary business. I would like to add a jewelry line. How do I roll this new business out without taking away from my first business? – Tessa

Dear Tessa,
First I would like to congratulate you on deciding that your two businesses should be complementary. All too often I see people start numerous businesses that have nothing in common. Have you heard the phrase, “Jack of all trades, Master of none”? A big misconception in the business world is that, the more businesses you have, the better off you are. This belief is far from the truth. When you have multiple businesses that don’t compliment, you look like a “master of none.”

The good news is that your clients from your first business will most likely be clients for your complementary business. What could be better? You have a client base you can to tap into. You already have their attention and their trust. Now start telling them about this new venture of yours. When they call or stop in to make a purchase be sure to tell them about the new service or product you have to offer. If you have a newsletter, that’s a great place in which to feature this new product. Send your current clients a postcard with some of your new items. Use the data base you have accumulated over the years from your first business to help educate your clients on the second one.

People often love convenience. Is there a way you can put these two businesses together to offer people one-stop shopping? Perhaps you can put some looks together with your jewelry complementing your clothing line. We are visual people — we often need to see it up close. Once we see it, 9 out of 10 times we buy it. Why do you think Wegmans puts all those yummy candies in the register aisles? They know we are impulse buyers — we see it, we buy it.

Offer a promotion. If they buy one product, you will give them a discount or a free product from the new business. Once they try this new business line they will be back for more. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, just enough to let people see what you are offering. We see it all the time in department stores, they give samples away of their new perfume, or face cream. We get the coupon in the mail to try the new Dunkin Donuts coffee, and what do we often do? We go and try it. We purchase the donut we know and love, and we get to try the new coffee. What you get for your coupon is another satisfied customer buying both products.

As you meet new, potential clients, you need to decide which of the two businesses you will mention. You do not want to leave them with the impression you are the master of none. Will one of your two businesses interest them more? That is the one you lead with. You can always mention that you have started a second complementary business once you have their attention.

It will not be as hard to start this second business as it was to start the first. Use the lessons you learned from the first one, along with the contacts you have already made. If you stay focused, in time you will be a multi-business mogul. You are on the right track, now keep going.

Do you have a question for Angella? Send it to Angella@wisdominatrafficjam.com or check out her two complementing businesses at www.midnightjanitorial.com or www.onestoprochester.com

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