5 Pro Tips for Diversifying Services

The healthiest and longest lasting businesses in any industry often share a common strategy—diversification. Offering clients more than a single product or service not only increases the number of revenue streams, it insulates a business against changes in consumer trends, market oversaturation, and new innovations that replace or reduce demand for current inventory.

The key to successful diversification is finding harmony between what you are presently offering and complementary products and services that can be added on or upsold to your client base. Choosing the right opportunities can make your business stronger and more profitable. Here are some tips from our pros to help you choose the best ways to diversify your events business.

1. Focus on add-ons that complement your services and products.

“Diversifying services can be as simple as offering add-ons,” says Kylie Carlson of the International Academy of Wedding and Event Planning. “You can evaluate your services or products to see what more you might be able to offer a customer.” She continues, “If you are an event planner with a stockpile of linens and decor items, consider leveraging these, as additional rentals they can add to their planning contract.” 

Ensure that when you diversify into other areas, they cohesively extend the reach of your current offerings. Photo courtesy Passionate Photography – http://www.passionate.pt/

2. Extend your services to make your designs cohesive.

“If you have a specialty focusing on design,” says Bron Hansboro of The Flower Guy Bron, “it could be beneficial to diversify and offer other design elements such as linens, chairs, florals, draping, and lighting as an extension of your service to guarantee a cohesive design.” Instead of pulling together bits and pieces from multiple sources, ensure continuity by offering everything in-house.

3. When you need ideas, consult past clients.

If you need help determining a direction, Kevin Dennis of Wedding IQ suggests tapping your past clients for ideas that might help you determine what you can add to your business to enhance your current offerings. “They can be a wealth of knowledge and inspiration,” says Dennis. “Send them an email or sit down with them and ask them what other products or services that they might have considered purchasing from you,” he continues. “You might be surprised by their answers and how they can lead you to a new venture.” 

4. Beware “unrelated diversification.”

Carlson warns against unrelated diversification—that is, “a business adding products or services that don’t fit naturally within the scheme of what they are already offering.” Make sure that you only expand into areas that fall under your expertise, and that are a comfortable extension of what you already do well.

5. Connect your new offerings to your current line.

Dennis agrees and encourages business owners to “Find a natural connection between your current services and your new offerings. Don’t overreach into areas that aren’t in your wheelhouse,” he warns.

All of our experts are united in agreement that diversifying your services can lead to more successful and profitable event businesses when executed responsibly and sensibly. How might expansion via add-ons and upgrades improve your events business?

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Meghan Ely

President, OFD Consulting, Richmond, VA

Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast. 

Photo: Melody Smith Portraits