How to Scale Your Business Without Creating a Zillion Offerings

So you want to scale your business, eh?

The first thing we often think of when it comes to scaling a business is creating new offerings, products, and services to appeal to every possible need or desire our audience could have. Ever been to a website whose services page looks like Offeringpalooza? (Or the cracker aisle at my local Jewel Osco?) Yeah, you know what I’m talking ’bout.

Not only does this lead to product paralysis — so many options that people don’t know what to choose and become paralyzed by indecision instead — in most cases, a menu of overstuffed offerings is like a neon sign that reads, “Mediocre Stuff Sold Here.” Hawking too many wares does the opposite of feeding every desire your audience could have. It makes people doubt your expertise and the quality of each individual item you’ve got on offer. And, as I discuss in this episode of Awkward Marketing, it’s expensive, too!

This is the case for horizontal scaling.

There are two ways to scale your business — vertically and horizontally.

  • Vertical scaling: creating new and different products and services 
  • Horizontal scaling: marketing existing products and services in new and different ways 

Horizontal scaling is like vertical scaling’s shy little sister (who no one knows is a secret genius). While vertical scaling gets all the attention, horizontal scaling is hiding the goods behind her pigtails and glasses.

Because vertical scaling is so popular, we often turn to it first, but in the end, it’s horizontal scaling that saves the day. How? She saves us money while making us money. 

If you take one thing away from this episode of Awkward Marketing, may it be this; you don’t need a zillion and one offerings to scale your business. You can take one incredible offering and market it in a zillion different ways.

Rachael Kay Albers

Rachael Kay Albers is a creative director, business comedian, and brand strategist gone wild. She writes and performs about branding, pop culture, tech, and identity. When she’s not muckraking about marketing, Rachael runs RKA ink, a reinvention studio and branding agency for businesses that burn the rulebook. She's also on Instagram a lot.