As a small business owner, there may come a time when you feel the need to grow and expand your business.
Here are 7 effective small business expansion tips to grow your business beyond its current status.
1. Open another location
What comes to mind first for many entrepreneurs who are considering expansion is to open a second location.
Small business speaker, writer and consultant Frances McGuckin says â€œPhysical expansion isn’t always the best growth answer without careful research, planning and number-planning.”
Before opening a new location, you nee to ensure that you’re maintaining a consistent bottom-line profit and that you’ve shown steady growth over the past few years.
It’s also important to choose your location based on what’s best for your business, not your wallet.
2. Collaborate with a complementary business
This is a great way to pair the skills and experience of your business with another complementary business that has a similar customer audience to yours.
By collaborating and combining your strengths, you can create awareness of your brand with customers that fall under your target market, but might never have heard of your business before.
3. Franchise your business
Franchising is a pathway to rapid growth for anyone with a proven business model.
By franchising your small business, you’ll be taking on the risk of setting up in a different location, so you need to make sure you have a business model that can work in multiple locations.
Also, look at the trends, both economic and consumer, for indications on your company’s staying power.
4. License your product
This can be an effective, low-cost growth medium, especially if you have a service product or branded product.
Licensing also minimises your risk and is low cost compared to the price of starting your own company to create and sell your brand or product.
Some entrepreneurs have made successful businesses from licensing things such as designs, games and software, leaving them more time to come up with new products.
5. Venture into new markets
Whether it’s a new location, new country or completely different customer market, one thing remains constant — you must do your research first!
Don’t presume that these markets will behave the same as customers in your existing markets.
Do your research, understand the new market and what their wants and needs are and then develop a relevant product or service that satisfies these.
6. Tap into new channels
The best example of how a new sales and delivery channel can transform a small business is the Internet.
A huge amount of small businesses have reinvented themselves by taking advantage of online opportunities.
From opening online stores to service providers who are able to reach larger targeted audiences by marketing themselves online — the opportunities are endless.
7. Engage with your existing customers
Alternatively to seeking new markets you can penetrate deeper into your existing customer base.
Here you’ll need to conduct a market segmentation analysis to identify the customer groups that are more likely to purchase your product or service. You can then focus your sales and marketing strategies on these segments.
Equipped with this information, you can better allocate your sales and marketing spend.
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