How’s business doing? The answer to that question could lead to another one – good or bad. So, for the sake of positivity, let’s concede that business is doing great, which generates this question: “When are you expanding?”
A light bulb pops up over your head. That is a great question. When are you going to expand the company? You’re doing well, you’re making a handsome profit, and you could go global. But should you? Well, if you do, then there are plenty of ways to do it.
Here are different ideas on how to expand your business:
1. Sell New Products
Is it time to move on from your current line of products? Have you exhausted sales with this suite of items? Well, perhaps you need to start selling new products. While this can be difficult to do, you can put new goods up for sale. But rather than putting your pedal to the medal, you need to start small.
Think of the giant food-service companies that experiment with new products. For instance, a lot of these fast-food establishments will test out a new product in certain markets to see what the consumer feedback is for a limited time. Instead of rolling out the new burger, coffee, or sandwich nationwide, businesses will find out what a group of 1,500 think about it.
You can do the same thing. Whether it is an Austrian economics Christmas sweater or a unique blend of tea, your brand can either sell them for a period of time or pick market locations (Biloxi, Mississippi or North Bay, Ontario). Put simply, see what works and you will be able to expand your business.
2. Enter Foreign Markets
Do you think you have untapped potential in Belgium, Hong Kong, or South Africa? If so, then you should enter foreign markets and determine if you can conquer that market, too. It can be an expensive gamble to make, though if you are an online outfit then it is a lot more affordable to make that giant leap from the Great White North to the Land of the Rising Sun.
In fact, the hardest part about transitioning to markets outside of your home country is the red tape. You will need to comply with local tax codes and regulations, submit documents to other tax-collecting bodies, and meet with bureaucrats who could make or break your expansion.
3. Penetrate Existing Clientele
One of the hardest things in business is selling to new customers. This is why companies revert back to their existing customers and sell more products to them.
Since these shoppers have already constructed a report with your brand, then they are more likely to trust you then some new mom and pop shop that opened up across the street a couple of weeks ago. Therefore, rather than try to nab new clients, you might want to concentrate on your current base.
4. Participate in Trade Shows
A great thing about trade shows is that it can be a great way to attract new customers and satisfy old ones. Trade shows lure consumers who are already interested in the kind of product or service that you specialize in, so you don’t need to do anything fancy with your marketing.
The difficult part is, according to many experts, is picking trade shows that suit your product or service.
Like expanding into foreign markets, franchising is a costly gamble that may or may not allow you to hit jackpot. It is hard and you need a lot of confidence in your brand to offer franchising opportunities.
So, if you have a system that will duplicate your current success, then you should most certainly consider franchising. However, franchising might require some legal guidance and you should visit a business lawyer for help.
6. Launch a Loyalty Rewards Program
How do you know if your business is doing well? If most of your customers are repeat patrons. So, why not reward your present crop of shoppers and entice new ones to patronize your business? You can with a loyalty rewards program. It seems like every business has its own rewards program, but that’s because it works.
If a customer is buying 10 cups of coffee in a week, then he or she should be rewarded for such dedication with a free coffee, a free treat, a discount, or some other type of promotion. If other consumers see this brand loyalty and rewards then they are more likely to hop on the bandwagon.
7. Engage Your Customers
A specialty coffee or a unique t-shirt – customers have learned about your unique brand and are actively seeking you out. Rather than you taking the product to them, shoppers are looking for you through Google searches, social media engagement, referrals, and the list goes on. This is a problem that most companies wish they had.
8. Be Prepared for Sudden Growth
Suddenly, like a bolt of lightning, your industry is taking off and is the hottest thing since sliced bread. After years of being a docile niche of the economy, your industry is attracting billions in investments, generating global media attention, and luring some of the biggest names on the planet. As a result, your private enterprise is becoming immensely popular. The public is turning to you.
At the same time, the huge influx of customers might be too much to handle for your company. Your manpower, office size, infrastructure, and every other factor of your business indicate that you can’t handle the incredible volume. What does this mean? Two things: You can just maintain the status quo and leave money on the table or you can take advantage of the opportunity and grow your company. It is entirely up to you.
9. Buy Another Business
Finally, why not absorb the competition? Yes, this is risky, it could backfire, and the synergy might lead to new problems. On the other hand, buying your rival could be what takes your company to the next level with a whole new slate of opportunities, from products to customers to locations.
In today’s volatile global economy, it can be difficult to do business. Whether is the international trade conflict or political turmoil that could change the tax code or federal regulations book, there are many elements that could dissuade you from either opening a business or expanding your operations.
You should not be afraid to take that giant leap. If you have examined all the angles, combed through the numbers, and concluded that you have the dollars and cents to expand, then you do it. Now!