Expanding your business: What you need to know
Whilst some small businesses are highly profitable as they are, there are others that simply cannot help but expand. As with most things in business, growth can be a double-edged sword: if the process is managed effectively, profitability can soar, but if not, the results can be disastrous. That’s why it’s imperative to do thorough research and planning beforehand.
Whilst some small businesses are highly profitable as they are, there are others that simply cannot help but expand. As with most things in business, growth can be a double-edged sword: if the process is managed effectively, profitability can soar, but if not, the results can be disastrous. That’s why it’s imperative to do thorough research and planning beforehand. The most important thing is to answer this question honestly: “Am I in the position to expand my business?” Timing is everything so choosing the right time to expand your business is crucial. Sometimes you just have to take the leap but biting off more than you can chew can end up being to your business’s detriment, so be 100% sure it’s the right move for you. Here are some suggestions for how you can grow once you’ve made the decision to expand.
Open a new location
Nothing says expansion quite like setting up shop somewhere else. Deciding to open up a new store or office is a big move and involves lots of time, effort and finances, so it’s a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you’re satisfied with how successful your current locations are and you feel that others will be able to run without you being present for the most part, then by all means, expand away. If you’re hesitant though, then maybe hold fire on expanding in this way for the moment.
Another option: If you’re not ready to open in a new location for now, why not consider franchising? Your franchisees will take on the risk of setting up the new spot, however, you’ll still have to manage all the franchises overall, so again time and effort are things to take into account.
Staying competitive within your specific industry is key if your business is going to thrive. In some instances, diversification is the answer to maintaining your competitive edge. This basically means introducing a new product or service with the intention of getting people to spend more and at the same time, increase customer loyalty. It’s often a good idea to introduce a related product/service, one that perhaps is seen as complementary to those already on offer. If customers are already satisfied with what you bring to the table, chances are they’ll also be interested in other similar products/services you present.
Helpful hint: You can even consider offering a related product that isn’t your own but works well next to your other ones (and from which you can make a nice profit).
Dip those toes in other markets
This can include venturing into another country, area or potential target market. You will of course be entering unknown territory, so it’s vital you do plenty of research so that you are prepared for becoming acquainted with a new sphere. You have to fully grasp the wants and needs of the new space and the people within in it because having this understanding will allow you to spot a gap in the market and hopefully fill it successfully. It can be scary and overwhelming entering a new market, but with solid knowledge, you’re bound to get the results you desire.
Shift to online
The web offers a cost-effective way of diversifying as well as a very wide reach, something that is guaranteed to yield an increase in interest and profitability. By introducing online deliveries, for example, you automatically open your customers up to a more convenient and enjoyable shopping experience. If you deliver internationally, this will also mean that geography won’t be as big a hindrance as before, opening your business up to an entirely new group of customers. With all things digital reigning supreme in almost every aspect of life, why not use it to your business’s advantage and allow it to assist you in your expansion?
Joining forces with another complementary business can also be an excellent way to accelerate growth. Combining both your skills and experience can result in a powerhouse of a business that will ultimately raise awareness around both of your brands and hopefully reach many more potential customers – it’s really a win-win situation. You just have to be 100% sure that the business you’re choosing to get in bed with is the right one and that the alliance will benefit you both.
As with most things in business, choosing to expand comes with its hazards but as long as you manage your risks, do your research and put your faith in the right people, your small business is bound to go from small player to big player. Now all you have to do is spot those opportunities and be ready to pounce when the time is right.
Sage One wants to help your business throughout its expansion. Find the product that works for you and go from strength to strength with Sage One by your side.
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