We’re all very excited to start 2017 off with a second version in this book series of Successful Women in Business. Miriam Dervan’s chapter “Innovation and Diversification in Business Growth” has been chosen as the sample chapter for Successful Women In Business Coral Edition.
Here’s Miriam sharing some words of wisdom with us:
“Innovation and Diversification in Business Growth”
When I sat down on my first day as an entrepreneur, I couldn’t begin to predict the journey I was about to embark on. I did, however, know two things: mdevents was going to fill an important role in clinical trials, and growth would be at the centre of its story.
Ambitious as I was at that point, I couldn’t have imagined 14 years later I’d be the CEO of several limited companies, all under the mdgroup umbrella.
A combination of ambition, innovation and keeping a keen eye on gaps in the market has allowed me to take my life science-specific event management company and develop a diverse yet coherent range of high-quality business services, trusted in both the pharmaceutical and corporate fields.
Diversification can be an unnerving concept for new entrepreneurs, as it is easy to see it as a sudden leap – a process in which a company breaks into an entirely new market, and builds a new product from the ground up.
In my experience, it can be far less daunting and more rewarding to look at diversification as an opportunity for innovation, taking the added value that your business offers and giving it room to grow into a complementary venture of its own.
That’s not to say diversification is ever entirely without risks – but so too is keeping all your eggs in one basket, and depending entirely on a single industry. If you’ve entered the business arena with growth as your goal, finding innovative ways to develop your products and services into multiple markets can offer you a measure of stability in the long run.
Consider the classic and constantly developing analogy of home entertainment – while high street video rental brands such as Blockbuster have not survived the changing tide of digital entertainment, Netflix took a risk early on by branching out from their original subscription DVD rental service to an online streaming service that is now all but synonymous with the act of watching TV and movies.
This is just one example of how an innovative company can cross the dangerous waters of a saturated and, in this case unstable, market to find uncharted territory, ideal for your brand to grow as a distinct and unique entity.
Broadening your company’s horizons may also lead to opportunities you had never previously considered, giving you the freedom to pursue products and services you are passionate about with the strength of an established brand behind you.
Innovation Comes In Many Forms
Of course, your experience will vary significantly depending on the nature of your business and your goals for growth. Whatever it is you’re offering, however, your diversification strategy will need to depend on meticulous market research and feedback from your current clients. That way you can confidently move into a new industry or market, knowing there’s genuine demand for these new aspects of your brand.
Expanding your business horizons doesn’t need to be as big as forming an entire sister company, however. It can be as simple as adapting your product for a different segment of your target audience. For example, if you offer a high-end product, consider whether there’s a market for an entry-level version, relying on the trust built by your original product to appeal to a new market.
If you offer an online service, consider creating an app in response to the increasing demand for mobile services. It could be, like Netflix, your new product becomes so popular your initial offering gets left behind.
On the other hand, you could find yourself diversifying through related products and services. Once your clients have invested in your product or service, what do they need next? What would it cost you to offer them that next step as well?
For example, when we found that a lot of our pharmaceutical clients were requesting translation services for highly technical medical documents, we knew a separate, dedicated translation service would be a valuable asset for mdgroup. mdtranslation now delivers compliant translations in over 100 languages to clients around the globe.
Speaking of globalisation, diversifying your business doesn’t have to mean creating a new offering from scratch – it could be as natural as taking a product or service that’s at the top of its game in a regional market and adjusting it to appeal in a global arena.
Depending on your business’s current market position and the level of risk you’re willing to take, the options are unlimited when it comes to taking the leap. In order to land on both feet, however, you’ll need to have a good feel for not only your current market, but those surrounding it.
To find out more about Miriam’s journey pick up your copy of Successful Women in Business Coral Edition today by – Clicking Here
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