In 2008 when the economy made a sudden and dramatic downturn many companies, including TKO Graphix, had too many eggs in one basket. For us it was one segment of the market, the trucking industry, for others it was one or two large customers they depended on. Many businesses didn’t survive. We were lucky. We learned our lesson.
2014 was a Banner year, yet…
Last year we improved our gross sales volume by more than 30% and 2015 has started strong, but someday it may slow down and if it does we’ll be ready. Our plan? More eggs and more baskets to carry them in.
Since 2008 TKO has added TKO Signs, and TKO Marketing Solutions to our family of businesses. We now offer our customers graphics, signs, marketing, and promotional products; our family of companies compliment each other. For example, it’s not unusual to add a new customer to TKO Signs that becomes a TKO Graphix customer or a TKO Marketing Solutions customer who orders a sign. What about your organization? What other products or services would serve your clients and help them solve problems?
At one time, most of our business came from the trucking industry. It continues to be our largest market, but it’s not all we do. We’ve reached out to other industries through social media, networking, and traditional lead generation. Here are a few strategies we’ve successfully used to expand our market.
Use social media to appeal to a wider demographic. At TKO, we blog about more than a dozen topics. We not only share information about our products but also on subjects any business may appreciate, such as leadership, marketing, and social media. In this way, we’ve been introduced to businesses we may never have met had we only shared about our products. We continue this same strategy on social media sharing topics other than what we market, from the latest in HR to working a trade show and everything between.
Look for out-of-the-box networking opportunities. Don’t limit networking to one industry. Go outside your comfort zone. Attend industry events where you’d like to gain a foothold. Go to trade shows, seminars, and shows. Given the opportunity, offer to speak to industry associations, for example, this fun video Branding Your Business the TKO Way, was produced for a presentation, by our staff, to an HVAC association.
Form alliances with other businesses. Look for win-win opportunities with businesses within and outside of your industry. For example, one of our sales consultants Jason Scheurer has used his 17 years of research and development experience in print to assist print shops all over the Midwest. They, in turn, send him clients outside of their niche or capabilities. Identify other businesses that market to the same demographic and offer to help them.
Diversify or Die
Diversification of your products and demographics isn’t a marketing plan. It’s not a luxury; it’s a survival mechanism. If all your eggs are in one basket sooner or later the bottom will fall out. And when it does you better be ready to scramble up an omelet. Could your business survive the loss of a major client or industry?