With an eye on your overall mission, it is time to position your company as a "platform" rather than just a purveyor of goods and/or services.
It is super easy for folks in business - especially in the retail space - to come to see their companies merely as vessels of "stuff". Ones that only exist to do one thing or another, right? “We sell product B”. Or, “We make product A”.
This view is understandable. Believe me when I tell you that when you are grinding hard to make your business “work”, being single-minded and laser-focused (full-time) on what it is that your organization’s core competency is can be just the attitude needed to make your firm a success story.
Vis-à-vis generating (ample) annual revenue, positive cash flow, and even (maybe) turning a nice little (pre-tax) profit.
I must say - at this juncture - I am not a big believer in side hustles, side gigs, whatever you want to call it.
Wait, before you get mad at me, hear me out. I can see/understand trying to parlay a side gig into a full-time business as opposed to working a side gig in perpetuity while you spend most of your time on your full-time job. Even that, I think not all businesses can be started as a side gig.
I am sure you know how frustrating it is to work (full-time) with someone who is simply side-hustling whatever it is you are working on. And I am sure you want your startup Co-founder to be working some other job while you dedicate your 100% attention to the new company, right?
I just think if you are going to do something, then do it. But that is just my opinion. That little unsolicited rant aside, I think that once you have nailed down the fundamentals of your business, got the right product/service mix, right team, effective marketing channels, adequate funding, and all that?
It is time to start thinking about your business as a “platform” rather than a pipeline. Let me explain:
Use it or lose it
Your organization has various assets that you have accumulated as a consequence of your day-to-day business operations. You have spent thousands - even hundreds of thousands of dollars to acquire customers, develop intellectual property, and other aspects of your company’s infrastructure.
Looking at your organization as a "platform" to launch various products and services - no matter how unrelated said services may seem at first- can be just the right strategy to help grow your business in many interesting and profitable directions while making (good) use of all your resources.
Food and books go together
Amazon's Acquisition Of Whole Foods made a lot of sense since there are many overlaps between both organizations’ customers/audiences even though both businesses may not seem related.
Plus, the online retail giant gained access to a treasure trove of intel collected by the high-end grocer over many years. Data, Amazon needed to grow their own online grocery business as well as to establish their own grocery locations.
Start with a mission
That being said, there are many ways to contemplate rebranding and rethinking your identity/brand from that of a provider of specific products and/or services to that of a platform. One that serves as a launchpad for many. Start with your mission statement. I recommend creating one if you are without one.
Starbucks, for example, is on a mission “to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time”
Amazon wants “to be Earth's most customer-centric company.”
As you can see, both these multi-faceted organizations, try to stay true to their core values as they look for various diverse ways to provide more services, products, and solutions to their customers and audiences.
A simple, but value-driven mission statement will give you a Bird's-eye view of the full potential of your company.