How to Successfully Expand Your Business
When you first started your business, you likely did a lot of research to help you get your company off the ground. This preparation probably included some market research, speaking to advisers, discussing your plans and ideas with other successful people who have businesses of their own and maybe even doing some online research into your particular niche. With luck, you’ve now gone past the initial phase of your business and are looking forward to the future. However, what do you need to do to take the next step? How can you expand your business in a way that won’t jeopardize what you’ve already built?
Open a New Outlet
For many business owners, opening a new outlet is often the most popular route to take. If they have found success in one town, for example, they may decide to open a new outlet in another hoping that the same success will transfer across. However, this isn’t always the case. What may be successful in one location may not be in another. With online businesses, the idea of opening another outlet might not be on the cards, but they may decide to open their first outlet to try and cater for those people who don’t shop online. In the current climate, retail is becoming increasingly volatile with many stores closing and reverting to online sales only. The critical thing to remember if you do decide to open a new store is that you need to have enough funding in place so that you don’t need to rely on profits from the second store to keep your business afloat.
Offer as a Franchise
If you like the idea of having other stores but don’t have the capital or the ability to run multiple locations, then the best solution for you could be to offer your company as a franchise. The idea of a franchise is that you sell the template of your company to someone else who will then run it as a business themselves. They will provide the funding for the company and run it on a day-to-day basis, all you need to do is ensure that it is matching the methods of your company. Many large corporations such as McDonald’s have made a great success of franchising by offering their business all over the world. Even though these additional stores will be franchises, you still need to ensure that you are choosing business owners that will maintain the integrity of your company’s reputation.
If you are an online business or if you’re not keen on adding more stores, then you could simply try to increase your production. There could be logistical problems to solve in these situations such as finding larger premises, hiring more staff and buying more machinery. You would also need to learn more about securing the funding you would need for such an expansion, but there are many companies out there that would consider your circumstances. Along with expanding your physical property, you would also need to increase your marketing so that you reach more potential customers; this would then hopefully lead to an increase in sales.
Form an Alliance
If your company is growing steadily but perhaps not at the speed you need for an expansion of your own, then another option could be to form an alliance with another similar company. In the circumstances, you would usually try to find a business that would sell products complementary to your own. These companies are generally in a similar situation to yours and would see it an alliance in the same way that you would. It could be that you form a partnership with a store who would then sell your products as part of their own range. Alternatively, if you’re both online businesses, you could sell each other’s products on your websites. The advantages of such an alliance are the sharing of marketing, crossover of the customer base, and the sharing of profits.
Diversifying your business is an excellent way to grow and fill gaps in the year when you don’t get much in the form of sales. Essentially, it means developing new products or services that are linked to but not the same as the products you are already selling. The good thing about diversification is that you can tempt your existing customers with different products and encourage new customers to your company who may not be interested in your current products. For example, there are many professional bloggers who, once they have made a career from their own blog, will then launch a new strategy to teach others how to become successful bloggers. By diversifying in this way, you are staying relevant and adding additional revenue streams to your company.
Targeting Other Markets
Even if you’re successful within your own market, it doesn’t mean you can’t look at other areas to expand your reach and attract new customers. In many cases, this is a good idea if you find that your own market is becoming flooded by similar companies. By finding other markets that also have customers you need, you are giving yourself more opportunity to make sales. The additional benefit is that these markets may not yet be targeted by your competitors.
If your business at this point has been either local or mainly national then another way you can expand is to look to the global markets. There are a number of hurdles you need to overcome to break into the worldwide market. However, once you are there, you have a lot more opportunity to gain new customers and sales. Some of the things you need to consider are how you will ship globally, adapting your website to multiple languages, and being able to cope with the drastic increase in production.
There are many ways that you can expand your business, and the one you choose depends on your own personal situation and how far you want to go at this time. However, with planning and determination, there is no reason why you can’t continue your success on a grander scale.