If you survived startup and built successful businesses, you may be wondering how to take the next step and expand your business beyond its current status. There are numerous possibilities, 10 of which is outlined here. Choosing the proper strategy for your business will depend on the type of business you own, your available resources, time and sweat equity you’re willing to invest all over again. If you’re ready to enhance, we are ready to help.
1. Open another location
Physical expansion can be a best growth answer with a careful research, planning and number-planning. Before pursuing it, you must first make sure you are maintaining a consistent bottom-line profit and that you’ve shown steady growth over the past few years. Look at the trends, both economic and consumer, for indications on your company’s staying power. You have to make sure your administrative systems and management team are extraordinary for you’ll need them to get a new location up and running. Preparing a complete business plan for a new location is advisable as well as determining where and how you will obtain financing. And of course, choose your location based on what is best for your business and not your wallet.
2. Offer your business as a franchise or business opportunity
Franchising is a good vehicle for expansion when you want an operating system that would allow ownership on the part of your staff operating locations in markets outside your home territory. When people like you invested interest in your work, you enjoy it more, bringing more to the table and are more successful overall. Franchising is a perfect system to accomplish those goals.
Find a good franchise attorney as well as a mentor who’s been through the franchise process to learn the do’s and don’ts of franchising. You need to be open to growing and expanding your vision but at the same time, be a strong leader who knows how to keep the key vision in focus at all times.
3. License your product
This can be an effective, low-cost growth medium, particularly if you have a service product or branded product. You can receive upfront monies and royalties from the continued sales or use of your software, name brand, etc.-if it’s successful. Licensing also minimizes your risk and is low cost in comparison to the price of starting your own company to produce and sell your brand or product.
To find a licensing partner, start by researching companies that provide products or services similar to yours but before you set up a meeting or contact any company, find a competent attorney who specializes in intellectual property rights. This is the best way to minimize the risk of losing control of your service or product.
4. Form an alliance
Aligning yourself with a similar type of business can be a powerful way to expand quickly. Through this your company can gain access to another company’s knowledge or resources that can help enhance your business as well as enhancing theirs. There also have been other similar alliances you can formed with other trainers and Web sites who can sell your products for a commission.
Look at the big picture: If you want to keep all the money to yourself, you’re really shooting yourself in the foot. You need to align with other businesses that already have lists of prospective customers. It’s the fastest way to success.
Diversification is a corporate strategy to enter into a new market or industry in which the business doesn’t currently operate, while also creating a new product for that new market. Diversifying is an excellent growth strategy, as it allows you to have multiple streams of income that can often fill seasonal voids and, of course, increase sales and profit margins.
Once you begun to establish a loyal wholesale customer base and achieve some retail brand recognition, you can then broaden your product base with product or service extensions. It also broadens your target audience and increases your presence in the marketplace, giving you the credibility to approach much larger retailers.
Several ideas for diversifying your product or service line includes the following: Sell complementary products or services; teach adult education or other types of classes; import or export yours or others’ products; or become a paid speaker or columnist.
6. Target other markets
Your current market is serving you well. Are there others? It’s good to know your target market and focus marketing your products or services to these people but to be able to expand and have growth, you need to tap other markets as well. Baby boomers, elderly, teens, tweens, let your imagination take you where you need to be. Then take your product to the markets that need it.
7. Develop New Products
One of the best way for your business to grow is to continue innovating the products or services you sell. Invest in research and development. Offering new items to your customers will arouse curiosity that can lead to purchase. Innovation, being updated and being knowledgeable about the new trends and technologies will give you an edge to your competitors, thus, getting larger pools of customers.
8. Merge with or acquire another business
Acquisitions are a way to overcome barriers to organic growth, or growth from your existing assets. In other words, if your existing business isn’t growing, buying or acquiring another business is a common strategy to grow and benefit through increase cash flow, higher business value, greater ability to attract capital, and increase your customer base. Always note these four keys to success: Customer retention, staff retention, media technologies, and focus
9. Expand globally
You don’t need to acquire another business to expand globally. You just need to prime your offering for an international market. This will increase your market share that will allow your business to realize sustained growth.
You’ll also need a foreign distributor who’ll carry an inventory of your product and resell it in their domestic markets. Get in touch with international chambers, associations and embassies. You can also meet different investors in events like trade shows, networking events and conferences. These are some good places to find foreign distributors for your business.
10. Expand to the Internet
There will be only two kinds of businesses: those with an Internet presence, and those with no business at all. This might be overstating the case, but an effective Website is becoming an integral part of business today.
Landing your Website in search engine results is key-more than 80 percent of traffic comes via search engines. There are now more than 4 billion Web pages and traffic on the Internet doubles every 100 days, thus, making your Web site visible is vital. Design and programming are also important, but it is your content that will draw a visitor into your site and get them to stay. Putting together a content strategy based on user behavior, measuring and tracking visitor click streams, and writing the content based on research keywords will get you excellent search results and meet the needs of your visitors.