The life of an entrepreneur or SME owner is simply non-stop. Getting an operation up and running can often feel like a huge success in itself, but once you are in that position thoughts may very quickly turn to how you can refine your offering.

After all, having a quality service or product is all well and good, but ultimately, if you’re working in a crowded marketplace, will that be enough to stand out? Variety could hold the key to your business success.

The spice of life

It might sound like just a well-worn cliché, but there is undoubtedly truth behind it. Whether you’re eating out or doing a weekly shop, we all appreciate having choice and the ability to tailor things to suit our needs, interests or requirements.

The same is, of course, also true in business. If you’re offering a specific product or service, have you considered the scope to develop new offerings, which either offer a different approach or are tailored to another audience?

Great examples

This idea is already in action across a range of sectors. The online casino world offers an excellent first example. The Paddy Power website, for instance, offers a number of versions of roulette (https://games.paddypower.com/c/roulette), all featuring a different take on the much-loved game. They could stick to just traditional roulette, but variety not only retains customers who might tire of the ‘same old’, it has the potential to draw in new customers, too.

What about online streaming? A service like Now TV (https://www.nowtv.com/tv-passes) lets people choose between different sports, film and TV packages and offers flexibility in terms of the length of such deals and the devices you use to watch.

A similar approach is taken in financial services, with products like home insurance. It has become very common for insurers to offer a range of policies, as well as the opportunity for consumers to add or ‘bolt on’ specific services, tailoring their package.

Clear benefits

Variety ultimately allows consumers to benefit from different experiences, suited to their needs. Furthermore, offering choice and flexibility may also be ideal to keep consumers engaged with your business.

A study by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, the University of California and Stanford University also highlighted another benefit of choice. While previous studies have suggested that a large amount of choice can make consumers feel overwhelmed, this research actually found that in such situations consumers rely on “accessible justifications” when making a decision. Put simply, it is thought that people make more justifiable – and reasonable – decisions when a range of options are open to them.

New possibilities

Starting a new venture can be tough and even once you’re up and running, you should be thinking about the future. While there are many approaches you can take to developing a business, allow some time to consider the choices you are offering consumers and whether you could do more in this area.

Not only could it help to keep your existing consumers happy, but it could also attract new ones and help you stand out from your rivals.