You’ve had the idea. You’ve received the capital and resources to make that idea into a reality. You’ve started the business and hired the employees and have provided the service or product for a while now. You’re at the point when you’re established in the small business world. You’ve got a foundation. Your roots are strong in the ground and now it’s time to grow, to branch out. Expansion. It’s the word that every small business owner strives for. Whether that means it’s time to hire, time to move, to add to the product or service line, it means you can officially call yourself a success. But just like when you started out, growing requires a plan. It requires a list of things you need to do to make sure the branches you extend are as strong as your roots. Below are some tips to help you expand smartly and successfully.
Do your market research homework – again
In order to put together a comprehensive business plan, you most likely did quite a bit of market research. Who are your local and chain competitors? Who is their target audience? It’s time to do that kind of market research again. This will help you reevaluate your efforts moving forward. Do you have new competitors? Is there a gap in the gender, ages of audiences not being reached that provides potential for your expansion?
Find a marketing partner
After reviewing the data, make some decisions, and hand those decisions over to a marketing partner that makes sense for your goals. Expansion costs money and you want every dollar spent to be of value to your target audience. Hiring a marketing partner allows you to have the expertise of someone who knows how, where, and when to use your marketing budget to give you the best outcome.
Crunch the numbers and call for help
It’s important to analyze your current and projected financial situation as you grow. There’s the expense of hiring, maintenance, new equipment, etc. Predict as much as you can. Financial surprises are not a small business owner’s friend. Seek out assistance with SBA and alternate lenders like Arkansas Capital. These people are passionate about helping you grow because success for you means success for them.
Let’s say you make the best locally-sourced shampoo and you’ve done so well, you’re ready to expand. Making more of that same product is great. It’s growth, but not necessarily sustainable growth. Consider partnering with the best locally-sourced conditioner producer. It you make food, partner with some local popular music venues. If you have a fashion retail store, partner with a jewelry maker. Add a service or product that complements what you already have and brings that fresh, new, exciting – and convenient – feel to your small business.
Keep in touch with tech
There’s almost nothing worse than having a brand new exciting service or product coupled with an outdated digital look. If your website isn’t responsive on mobile technology, or your look feels dated or stale, you’ve lost a staggering amount of potential new clients. You can’t be the first in your industry to provide a new service or product but the last in your industry to catch on to new technology that makes things engaging and convenient for your clients.
If you have a successful expansion story, we’d love to feature it! Send in your stories on our Facebook page.