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Branching Out

For faster growth, take what you do best to a whole new level.

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This story appears in the February 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

In his last book, Profit from the core: growth Strategy in an Era of Turbulence (HBS Press), management consultant Chris Zook advised entrepreneurs to squeeze every atom of growth from their core businesses before diversifying into new markets. Now, in Beyond the Core: Expand Your Market Without Abandoning Your Roots (HBS Press, $29.95), Zook shows what to do when your core simply isn't growing fast enough to keep you afloat.

The basic play here is the "adjacency move"-going into areas away from but still related to your core business, such as new product lines or distribution channels. As described by Zook, adjacency moves are less risky than outright diversification. And because they leverage your existing competitive strengths, profits are likely to be higher as well.

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