Portfolios: What they are & why you need them

Portfolios: What they are & why you need them

Businesses are birthed from ideas that grow into proposals and are ventured upon by individuals who choose to execute and go. They must pursue customers and contracts, market their ideas and expertise, and keep accurate records of all they earn. The pursuits, marketing, and recording keeping must continue even after the business evolves. A portfolio, a collection of work, products, or skills, is the best way to keep track of all. Like artists and writers accumulate a collection of their work, businesses should do the same. A portfolio is another way to track success, predict growth, encourage your teams, and maintain relatability. 

Product Portfolio

A product portfolio is a compilation of offerings for a company or brand. For example, Google’s extensive portfolio would include its software catalog (map, calendar, Google meet) and hardware (Pixel phone, watch, Chromebook). This type of portfolio provides a clear view for investors and stockholders. WallStreetMojo states, An effective portfolio will have the right number of products exhibiting an inclination towards business strategy.  

Product portfolios provide vision. Taking the time to list everything your company or brand offers helps guide your decision-making. You can restructure or even rebrand based on what works or is insufficient to the providence of your goals. As shared on Investopedia, Products that contribute the most income are generally the most important for short-term financial analysis, and alterations to these flagship elements of the portfolio impact performance more substantially. Making wise decisions about your company starts with applying the correct tools for success. 

Customer Portfolio

Your avatar is your ideal customer, those you target and hope to engage with through your brand. A customer portfolio is the collection of clients you have earned through your business. You do not exist without clients or customers. From solopreneurs to Fortune 500’s, customers define how the company speaks in the marketplace. Using a customer portfolio improves your customer experience and your customer service practices. 

Creating a customer portfolio helps determine trends, concentration,  and the allocation of resources. For example, a food or beverage company would include grocery/convenience stores, amusement parks, stadiums, and arenas.  Study.com provides the components to include in your portfolio: 

  • The name of the company
  • Associates and points of contact
  • Industry and domain
  • Goods and services associated with the company and its customers
  • Billing information and average revenue
  • Type of relationship with the customer
  • Potential opportunities for cross-sells and upsells
  • Any other pertinent detail related to the client, company, or industry

A thoughtful examination of this type of portfolio will help with marketing efforts, determining staffing needs, and quarterly projections. 

Market Portfolio

As you continue this deep-dive analysis of your company, a market portfolio provides the financial status of investments, assets, commodities, stocks, bonds, cash, and its equivalents. Money management can be overwhelming for any individual or organization. Investopedia advises, You may choose to hold and manage your portfolio yourself, or you may allow a money manager, financial advisor, or another finance professional to manage your portfolio. 

There is conflicting evidence that a marketing portfolio is necessary. Dedicated research and trusted advice are needed to determine if your organization is ready for a market portfolio. However, diversifying funds is a wise financial strategy, personally and professionally. 

Bottom line: portfolios and their management provide insight. They provide a plan and a path to how your business is performing and how it can grow in its market. Strategic alignment of products offered, customers obtained, and financial procedures help determine how the brand is interpreted in the marketplace. 

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