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One is never enough: Is another successful product just what your company needs to grow?

By Don Debelak

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

How do you expand on success? For Graham Kjestrup, anentrepreneur in Stanton, California, the answer was inventing a newproduct. Kjestrup's company, National Sign DisplayManufacturers Inc., produces signs that real estate agents canplace in the lawns of homes for sale. In 1999, the company hadgrown to $3.4 million in sales and was selling its products throughabout 10,000 sign stores nationwide. Sounds like a picture ofsuccess-especially with sales increasing 10 to 15 percent peryear-but after 13 years in business, Kjestrup wanted the company togrow even faster. Says the 38-year-old, "There was a cap onjust how big the company could grow from the real estatemarket."

Kjestrup decided that the fastest way to boost business would beto invent a new product. So in 1999, he developed the SandScrew, acorkscrew-type piece of lightweight steel that screws into anyground surface and holds beach umbrellas, volleyball poles and flagpoles. The product had great market-research results, and best ofall, Kjestrup could produce it using his existing equipment.

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