Justworks Product SVP on Product Expansion (Part 3)
Now that we’ve covered reasons to avoid product expansion decisions, it’s time to flip to the positives! Clearly, there’s always a lot of excitement that comes with bringing something new into the world. However, it’s important to think critically about these decisions and carefully evaluate the reasons for moving forward. Remember that you shouldn’t expand just because someone suggests it or you see your competitors in the news. Ultimately, you have to be in a position to advance your core business forward by expanding your reach.
Your core product is maturing.
When the core of your business is cruising, there’s no better time to expand its reach by introducing new features. However, before you proceed – it’s important to actually verify that your product is mature. For example, there are many instances in which product expansion occurs – only to be quickly retracted when companies insist that the core product needs to be protected. As a result, you need to build a plan around monitoring your core product’s maturity with target dates for when it’s time to think about product expansion.
You have unique leverage.
From distribution and customer access to intellectual property or core tech, your product needs to hold unique attributes. Without that special “something-something,” product expansion will rarely work out. Ultimately, your core product’s reputation or leadership position is the catalyst to build instant credibility for your new product or service.
Product expansion fits your long-term strategy and goals.
When your team is ready to expand your product offering, this is a perfect opportunity to evaluate where you want to take your business. Specifically, your team needs to hone in on your company’s mission and think about what success looks like 10-15 years down the road. For example, this is where you think critically about your product focus and who you’re trying to reach. From your specific customer (target market, audience size, etc.) to the features you’re delivering, it’s all about narrowing your focus to drive results. In the end, you’ll find that new doors will open and old doors will close. That said, it’s a critical exercise that will only enhance your long-term success.
You have product or customer gaps.
If your core product isn’t delivering everything your customers want, then it’s time to expand! Specifically, this isn’t a one-off request that comes from an influencer. Instead, it’s a universal enhancement that satisfies general customer needs and keeps your product one step ahead of the competition. Ultimately, this satisfies your long-term business goals to maintain your company’s viability. Furthermore, it provides customers with a short-term commitment to address issues with urgency.
About the speaker
Camilla Velasquez is SVP of Product and Marketing Strategy at Justworks - providing an all-in-one HR and Benefits product for SMBs. Camilla came to Justworks from Etsy, where she was Director of Product, Payments Products & Multi-Channel Sales. Prior to Etsy, she was a Director of New Product Development at American Express and held roles in business development. Camilla is a graduate of Cornell University and lives in Brooklyn, NY.