Did you know that half of the small businesses out there will survive the first 5 years and only one third of them will survive the 10 year mark?
One of the main reasons that stand behind this is not seizing the opportunity to grow and adapt. And it is understandable why business owners avoid such an endeavor. Growing your business in the current state of the market brings a lot of risks. You will be dealing with oversaturated and volatile markets on a global scale along with very harsh competition. This is why it is of utmost importance to approach business growth with enough time, energy and dedication.
At one point in time, every small business owner decides to take this course of action. Fortunately for us many of those business owners have succeeded and shared tips and advice on how they pulled it off. With a lot of planning, research and capital anything is possible.
Without further ado let’s go through some of the tips that will help you expand your business and ensure business growth.
Extensive Market Research
This is the most important step on your road to successfully growing your business. How successful you are will be determined by how well your products and/or services meet the needs and expectations of your customers. Being successful in your local area with a specific population doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be performing well in other geographic areas. Sometimes adjusting only the design of your packaging or your delivery methods for a different market can mean the difference between success or complete failure.
This way you will avoid steering your business in the wrong direction and you will be able to use this valuable data to create a good marketing strategy and make adjustments to your business plan. The idea is to set clear goals that will allow you to build strategies that can be easily implemented. For growing your business, you will need to have a penetration goal. And this one you can’t set without previously knowing exactly where your business stands.
Crucial things to keep your focus on are: 1) check whether there is a strong demand for your products and/or services in the area you want to expand to; 2) be ready to change and adapt to a shifting market in order to meet the needs of customers; 3) stick with specific and measurable goals so that you can always check your financial standing.
Plan Your Budget
The financial aspect of business growth also has to be planned down to every detail. There are two possible situations that small businesses can find themselves in before deciding to expand. When they have enough accumulated capital or when they see a perfect opportunity for expanding, but they don’t have the necessary financial means to go for this opportunity.
In both cases adding a detailed financial plan to your business plan is crucial. Also, contingency plans should not be forgotten in both cases. You will have to do some research and discover how much the new offices, employees, marketing, products and employees will cost you. How long will you be able to financially support expanding without having to rely on income?
In case there is an opportunity that you would like to pursue but you don’t have capital for, you should consider small business loan programs. You should always check the rates of the loan along with the down payment percentages and amortizing fixed rate options. Also check year index reset options on first deed of trust. Finding a good bank as a partner is very important when you are planning to expand.
By now, you might have figured that every piece of a successful expansion puzzle is as important as any other, and your marketing plan is not any different. It should be developed beforehand. As you start spending a substantial amount of time and money, your marketing plan will ensure that you spend your resources wisely and appropriately. And make sure that the marketing plan is developed along with your business expansion plans. This way you will make sure that it perfectly follows your expansion schedules.
A good marketing strategy should be able to help you achieve your expansion goals within a specific timeframe. Thanks to the rapid developments in this industry, there are a lot of quality resources to be found online that could help you with this. We live in an era of digital marketing with more than 3 billion active internet users, so, for a start your focus should be on reaching your target market via the internet. It can be a very efficient way and in the same time it doesn’t have to require big investments.
Make sure that your marketing campaign covers all major social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Engaging prospects on social media is a great way to attract more customers and work on your customer relations.
If your small business doesn’t have an official website, this might be a good time to get one. For starters it would be nice to optimize for search engines with a focus on local SEO optimization. This is very important, as it will rank your business higher in local customer search inquires.
Branding is Everything
Successful branding leads to sustainable growth. Why? Because we live in the era of exceptional customer experience. That’s why creating a positive experience, memories and emotions for your customers should always be your main objective, especially during and after the expansion. The studies have shown that customers don’t have a problem with switching products and/or services until they find an experience that they enjoy the most.
Successful branding will make your customers form an inseparable emotional attachment to your product. In order to form this bond, you will have to focus on a small part of the market and try to meet customers’ needs in a unique and efficient manner. This is where most of the small businesses fail, because they try to meet everyone’s needs. Make sure that all of your employees understand the brand image and message in order to smoothly go through this process.
Look for Partners
Penetrating a market segment alone can be very difficult for a small business. This is why we have witnessed many successful partnerships in the past. This is also the practice of big corporations. You can start by doing some research on your competition in order to identify ones that seem open to forming a partnership.
With joint forces it will be much easier to penetrate the market, and on the top of that, you will be sharing the risks of such an endeavor. Having a partner when you are expanding can also cut down your expenses. Make sure to construct your partnership contract so that both of the partners have to invest same capital and share revenue accordingly.
Don’t Ignore the New Technologies
Rapid developments in this field resulted in many solutions that could be implemented to ensure a steadier business growth. Of course, you don’t need to implement all of the “cool” ones. Identify the ones that are right for your business. For instance, live chat software might be a perfect solution for your online store. It will help you generate more leads and increase conversion rates overall.
Bear in mind that things are going very fast with technology. Sometimes implementing a solution too late can have a serious impact on your success rates.
Don’t Refrain from Investing in Yourself
Investing in your business and your employees is one of the best ways to ensure business growth. Especially in the early stages of your business when the profit can be very low. Saving money and spending it on making your services and/or products attractive will lead to more customers. Also, make sure to organize team building events right from the start. Building your company’s culture right from the start will be very helpful in later stages of branding and marketing strategies.
Be ready to Switch Direction
One of the characteristics that successful small business have is the ability to quickly adapt. Markets are very volatile and the changes can be very sudden. Your business’s ability to quickly switch direction in response to these changes is the key to business growth.
This agile approach should not be directed only towards your products and/or services but also towards your business as a whole. Once you have created such a business approach, it won’t be a problem for you to quickly adopt and test one of the opportunities presented. This will provide you with experience that can be used for better predictions of how other opportunities can be seized.
As you can see, there are a lot of factors that have a great impact on expanding your business. Keep in mind that there is no need to speed things up. Take your time to plan as long as you want. This way you will make sure to cover your grounds and be ready to address any predicaments related to business growth. If this topic interests you, feel free to go online and expand your knowledge by reading many articles that explain business growth hacks in detail.