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Launching a new service into an existing market

So you have done one of two things. You have come up with an ingenious service that your clients have never seen before. It’s a brilliant scheme, profitable and you have a great passion for the idea.

Or, you have been keeping a close watch on your competitors and they are shouting about their new added value service, something that you also want to offer but you didn’t move as quickly as they did.  But you want a piece of the pie and you want to offer the market something similar.

Either way, for you to take this new service offering to market, it will be a new challenge to your business.  So, who is going to ultimately pay you to deliver this service?  Who is the core, ideal customer?  Your business may have the capability and skills to deliver, but it is the old adage – is there the demand?

As a small business, often there is not a huge budget to educate an entire market place on the advantages of your product, so is it not easier to either go for a key group of core clients that will quickly understand the return on your product or to attract clients that are already well versed on the advantages of your new service and just need converting to your offering, away from the competition?

This means targeting the marketing to that core group.  Do not concern yourself, just for the moment, about global domination; just work on the core group.  That group are going to give you the feedback you need to develop the service to the best it can be (if you listen carefully).  They will tell you if the service meets their needs.  Their initial objections will result in you building a robust benefits statement and give you the information you need to refine your service offering to make sure the rest of market receives the ‘product’ well.

And most importantly, they will let you know if you are ‘different enough’.  If you look and sound just like your competition, then the most we can hope for is to deal on price.  And then we are in a price war and run the risk of devaluing both the service and the marketplace.  Not a good look on any market!

But there is the question of the price; how do you truly know that you are competitive?  Service pricing is so much more difficult than product pricing.  You can at least call for the price of a product. Check the value from a sticker of the sales shelf or at the very worst, backward engineer the materials and labour to get a ball park.  But none of that is possible in the services arena.   So who sets the price?  We are back with the client again.  Only they know what value you are going to bring them.  Each client will have an ‘opportunity cost’ associated with using your newly positioned service.  Each client may very well dictate a different price.  The value may be in the time you save them – that’s an easy one to value.  You may be saving staff costs – a more emotive subject.  Or you may well be giving them a competitive edge they can’t get anywhere else.  Only by, once again, listening to the core group, will the pricing plans evolve.

If your new service is saving time and money, then there is a intrinsic value but if there is a value adding element to what you have to offer, you may be entering into the golden zone of ‘prestige pricing’.  This is the area where the client’s eyes light up and they see their own business being enhanced into extra profits or market share by them converting to your service.  Suddenly, your pricing policy is a lot more flexible.

With all of this invaluable information coming into the business, you have the opportunity to refine and change until the service offering is pitched and packaged in such a way, it becomes market ready.

When it comes to launching a new service into an existing marketing, listening to the market demand can be the key. 

For more help with launching a new service into an existing market, or any other aspect of growing your business, take a look at the Growth Service here.

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