Most people have no other option than to start as a ‘small business,’ but that doesn’t mean that the business has to stay there. While the reality of the economy means it’s unlikely that you’ll ever be as big as Google or Apple and the rest, if you’re a business owner, then ambition should be the name of your game. If you’ve established yourself, then it might be time to start thinking about expansion. But how can you do this? Below, we take a look at five tried and tested routes to making your business bigger tomorrow than it is today.
Leverage Your Existing Customers
You would be forgiven for thinking that the first aspect of expansion is to find new customers. In fact, before you go hunting for new clients, you should be tapping your existing customers to help fuel the growth. The reason is simple: it costs a lot less to target people who already know and like your brand than it is to go and sell your vision to new people. How do you do this? By adding more products and services to your business; that’s the first form your growth should take.
Your Marketing Options
It’s the 21st century, and that means that you’re going to be reliant on one major technique for the bulk of your growth: your marketing campaigns. When it comes to expansion, think in terms of “relaunch.” This might mean rebranding your website and social media pages. It’ll definitely mean thinking about your campaigns and trying to reach new markets that you haven’t yet explored. Essentially, all of your business success will come down to your marketing; if people don’t know that you’re out there, then they can’t give you any business. Be aggressive!
Funding the Growth
Of course, your expansion isn’t going to be free. You’re going to have to divert significant portions of revenue into growth. The key is to make sure that other aspects of your business don’t suffer. This might mean finding different sources of funding if your cash flow is low. One clever way to do this is by releasing some of the money that you already “have”; it’s called factoring invoices. If you’re asking ‘what is factoring invoices?’, then we’ll explain: it’s the process of selling your unpaid invoices to another company. You don’t have to wait for customers to finally pay up, and you have the money in your account you need for growth.
Diversify Your Goods and Services
Unless you’ve stumbled upon a magical business formula, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to see significant growth if you’re only offering everything you offered when you first launched. Have a think of new goods and services you can offer; not all will be successful, but the ones that are will propel you to the next level.
Look for New Locations
Finally, have a look towards new locations, just make sure you’re conducting your market research before you sign a lease on a building. Launching in new territories is a big sign of growth; if it’s possible, do it!