If you look on the Twittersphere and on other company websites and blogs, there are a lot of companies doing lots of new and different things. Commendable really, putting your faith in something new and trying it out. But while many have tried to widen their product portfolio to bring in as much new business as possible during the last few tough years, I fear that there may be some over-diversification going on.

If you were to create a list of new products that had been released then it would be as long as your arm, and I do see some installation companies trying to sell a very high proportion of them. Whilst we have all be advised to diversify, I think that it can be overdone and a disproportionate amount of time and effort placed on these new products chasing new business. Whilst new business must always be found, I feel that sticking to the bread a butter stuff that you know you’re good at will always been the main bread winner for your business.

Most recently I have been noticing a lot of PVCu installers and manufacturers trying to get into the aluminium business. I can see why, with all the reports of aluminium making a bit of a comeback. But the risk is by putting so much effort into getting into aluminium, the PVC side of the business is at risk if it’s not managed properly. If you have been in business over 30 years on the back of PVC, you know that PVC is working for you and should remain the core part of your business.

New products have to be gradually worked into a portfolio and the company has to be well educated on the product, it’s options and what advantages over other products it brings. I hear a lot from customers who say other salesmen are trying to sell them new products that they don’t really know anything about. That’s not very professional and it’s certainly not going to win orders. Too many new products can overwhelm a company and it’s sales staff. It’s something we need to avoid.

If I was running an installations business, my own personal view would be to stick to what we’re good at and what we know. By all means we can innovate as a company and bring in variants of similar products that we already sell and know. But I think it would be a big risk if we were to suddenly plough a lot of time, effort and showroom space into a brand new products and push it, when our local consumer bases knows us for what we’ve been selling previously over the last few decades.

Anyway, I hope I made that point clearly enough for you all to understand! Leave me a comment with your thoughts!