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Diversify Your Business

April 14, 2008 By: Ruthanne Terrero Travel Agent

I had to laugh when I saw this
headline on the business newswires recently: “Publisher Bloomsbury sees
life after Harry Potter.” Talk about riding the wave; since their debut
in 1997, hundreds of millions of copies of the eight Harry Potter books have
been sold, reaping bountiful profits for its publishers and deserving author, J.K.

As we all know, however, the Harry
Potter tale has concluded and life must go on without anticipation of the next
title in the series. But what does a business owner do when he or she has
enjoyed a home-run product whose boom has run its course?

You might be in a similar
position. Perhaps you have a short list of clients whose travel could keep you
going 24 hours a day. There might be one individual in particular who is your
prime source of income. This is your A-lister, the person for whom you stop
everything when his phone call or e-mail arrives.

If this sounds like you, it’s time
to proof your business so you don’t suffer a hard fall if clients steer their
business away from you for some unimaginable reason.

After all, clients are consumers,
and consumers are changing their preferences all the time, due to external
factors, and emotional influences as well. Take a look at what auto
manufacturers are enduring with the slowdown in demand for full-size SUVs.
First, the dramatic increase in the price of gas took its toll on the sale of
these fuel-guzzling behemoths, now it’s the slowing economy. I suspect it’s
also the result of a “greener” consumer, who is now demonstrating a desire for
smaller, more efficient vehicles. While Detroit
can certainly produce these easily enough, it’s the large sports-utility models
that pull in higher profit margins. As a result, Ford’s marketing chief, Jim
, is calling the current scenario "a very challenging external
environment, reflecting a seismic shift in consumer preferences."

My message here is that it’s smart
to diversify. While you can ride the wave of a very lucrative client, be
certain at the same time that you’re propping up your business with other
revenue sources so you’re not left high and dry if the scenario changes.

The above-mentioned publisher, Bloomsbury, reports that it has a new roster
of titles waiting in the wings, which is expected to keep its income levels
healthy (including a new Margaret Atwood novel, which I can’t wait to
read). These books may not grab all of the attention and establish themselves
as the runaway blockbusters that the Harry Potter portfolio proved to be, but
they’ll keep profits growing.

So beef up your roster list with
sure and steady climbers. Who knows, you may be cultivating tomorrow’s star

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