Being a business owner and a true entrepreneur if you have no plans for expansion or growth. With the economic climate as it is, it might be tricky to know what the best way to expand is, especially in an economy that is a little lackluster. For small business owners, you need a plan in place so that you have something to work towards. If not, where is the business really going?
Once you’ve set a plan, how do you get it into place? Here are some strategies that small business owners could consider to help with business growth and expansion. When you operate your business well, it will be much easier to take it to the next level.
Increase Your Product or Service Range
It makes sense that to expand, you need to have a wider product range or offer more services, depending on your business. Expanding can be trickier than you might think. The first step is finding a demand for the products that you want to roll out and if people would buy them. What kind of price points are you considering? How many units would you need to sell to start seeing profit? Rolling out new products or services can be a fairly long-winded process, involving lots of market research and testing. After all, you don’t want to create something that there isn’t a need for or that no one would want to buy.
You can speak to existing customers and get a trial group to test a new product or hear your ideas. Just make sure that you listen, take on board what they are saying, and be flexible. You can’t only take your opinion into account when planning a business; you need to listen to consumers.
Sell More To Current Customers
If it doesn’t seem like you can do more in terms of products or service range, then the other side of the point above is to get your current customers (as well as new ones) to buy more from you. Looking at who your customers are and what is most popular at the moment can help you to hone your marketing and sales to your current customers.
You can start by dividing your customers into groups or segments, by their age or gender, location and number of previous sales. When you know who is doing what and how much they are spending, it will help you be able to offer incentives for them It will also help you know how best to market your products or services.
If your business is based at home, or you have an office that isn’t conducive to the business needs and employee needs, then it could be time to expand physically. Looking for a larger office space, or extending the one that you already have can be a good way to take your business to the next level. Having your team under one roof could help you work more effectively. Hire out to the right people to do the job, like builders, architects, a level 2 electrician, plasterer, and interior designer. Then you can be safe in the knowledge that you have an office suitable for welcoming clients and employees.
In the day and age that we live in, it’s simpler than ever to have an international business. With technology and communications, there are many ways to talk to suppliers abroad, as well as connect with contractors who could help you take your business global. The thought of going international shouldn’t put you off – it can be really exciting.
It may take a few visits to the area to get a feel for the market. Will your products sell? Who are the competitors in that country? It is by no means a quick fix but can really make a difference in the grand scheme of things. It is worthwhile to consider how this kind of business could work for you and if going global will help your business and profits to soar.
If you’re not quite ready to go global, then what you could be thinking about instead is expanding where you are. If you have a retail store, for example, can you grow and create more where you are? So take time to see if a new retail space could be a good step for expansion.
Target New Customers
While having a loyal customer base is important for your business, it is really important to make sure that you are targeting your business to attract new customers, too. To start with, you are likely to be thinking of a target customer and thinking about your marketing in that way. Using social media ads can be a good way to reach your target market and make yourself visible to a certain demographic.
Think About New Delivery and Sales Channels
How businesses run has changed dramatically over the past twenty years and even in the past ten years. From the growth of the internet to the growth of social media, it has switched up how we do things. It means people can sell things all around the world and increase their loyal customers and fans that way. It is easy to show a ‘behind the scenes’ view of the business, too, which can help customers learn about you and trust you. Retail stores have been able to grow with the rise of different sales channels as they can now sell things online and deliver all over. Be sure to look at the different channels that are available to you to reach your customers.
Have you ever thought about working on your website’s SEO (search engine optimization) so that you rank highly when potential customers search online for things related to your business? This can help you reach new customers, especially if your site has a blog and answers to their questions.
Buy Another Business
This isn’t to say that you’ll end up with Facebook status where a company like that owns other mediums like Instagram and WhatsApp, but if you already have an established business, then acquiring another business can help you expand your business overall. If the business is already quite similar to yours, or is a competitor, it can help your business grow to no end. It can lead to the other business’ customers coming to you and can quite literally double your customer base in a short amount of time.
A business acquisition is going to be a long process, however. So you need to make sure that you’re looking for the best business to buy and the best business for your money. Can it help your business to grow or will it take too long to get the money back from acquiring it in the first place? Take your time to figure it all out and do the sums before you think about expanding in this way. You should research the new company’s finances and their sales history.
What kind of profit margins do they have, and what are their plans for expanding their product or service range? What is the strength of their management team? Are they stellar employees that you could work with if there is an acquisition? What kind of contacts do they already have in place with clients and suppliers? Are these good contracts to have or would it be better to do it all in house? So many questions to ask, but it is important to ask them. Expanding by buying another business can be good for many businesses, but it doesn’t always work for other businesses.
All in all, it is important to note that the state of the economy doesn’t have to be the controlling factor in how your business does or doesn’t expand. Could one of these strategies work and help to expand your business and profit?