Congratulations, you’ve been successful as a business and now you’re thinking about how you can be even more successful! Growing a business from the beginning with just an idea is extremely difficult, and you’ve achieved it. Now, you’re ready to grow it even more, and make an already great idea an even better one. Use these ten tips to help expand and grow beyond what you could have ever expected.
- Add a location
One of the more obvious ways to grow a business is to simply add a location. If your current location is performing well, and you’re looking for continual growth, you might be ready to open a new location. One of the best ways to determine if you are really ready is to find out if your store is understaffed and if your products are selling too quickly to be replaced in time. You might also want to survey your customers to find out where they’re coming from, and if a new store in their area is something that would benefit them.
When you’re building a new location, make sure you take into account things like the design and accessibility of the store. For example, if your current store has a stylish office design, you’ll want to stay along these design lines for continuity. Find out who your customers are and what kind of accessibility they need, as in car parks nearby or in a neighborhood versus a busy city block.
- Online business sales
If you haven’t set up your website for online sales, this could be a great time. Online sales are continuously on the rise, and the risk is less than if you were to try and open a new location. Depending on your skills or talent, this could be something you do yourself, or more likely, something you’ll hire out to a website designer.
For the business side, you’ll need to think about pricing, shipping, reordering, and other important decisions. If you’ve never sold products online before, you might want to consider taking a business development course that specialises in these skills before you jump into it. You’ll find other useful advice for setting up your website, here.
- Consider a franchise
If your business is something you believe could be replicated in all kinds of locations, and you’ve proven popularity and sales already, you might be ready to consider franchising your business. Franchising involves a method of selling your business to a third party to operate with your business name and offerings, but under their control. You would be paid a fee for their use of your business name and system. Take a look at this article if you want additional information on franchising.
- Couple up with other companies
One easy way to grow is to look for like minded business owners or similar products and consider joining up. For example, if you’re a store selling kitchen appliances, and there’s a store selling kitchenware and dishes, these products would potentially sell even better if put together. Customers tend to gravitate towards one-stop shop stores, and you can create this experience by a merge like this.
- Complementary products
Just as merging with a complementary business is lucrative, so is offering complementary products. When customers buy one item, but see an item that could add value, they’re more likely to purchase both. For example, if you’re selling printers, you should also sell printer cartridges next to the printers. You’ll find many benefits to complementary products once you start thinking about how they work together.
Even if you’re offering services, like a modern office fitout service, you can still offer products as part of your service package. In this example, consider selling office furniture and perhaps even office supplies if it makes sense for your customer base.
- Educate yourself and employees
Just because you’ve been successful with your business doesn’t mean that you know everything. On the contrary, everyone can always benefit from learning. Before you decide to take a leap into a second store or selling off franchises, educate yourself with business management workshops and courses. Things like growing your sales skills, or learning how to better manage finances will all apply to your growing business.
- Expand your market
Expanding your market is a great way to start bringing in new types of people to your store. Your product probably already sells to specific demographic of people, and you’ve hopefully already utilised your demographic as much as you can. Your next step will be to try and bring in a new demographic with your marketing. For example, if you currently sell mostly to young adults, start thinking about how you can market to young families with children.
- Grow your current market
If you haven’t completely exhausted your current market, this can be an easy way to grow. Consider asking for referrals from current customers to do this. You could offer incentives for each referral to get them motivated.
Networking is another easy way to get your name and brand out there. Consider going to trade shows, workshops, or even classes like a Wellington health and safety class or expo. The connections you make and relationships you create will help spread the word about your product or service.
- Go global
Going global is not for the faint of heart, and certainly not for a brand new company that’s still identifying their customer base. One of the best ways to test the global market outside your own bubble is to offer international shipping and to try and reel in an overseas market to your online shopping store. You’ll need to know how to set a price for other countries buying your goods, and decide what kind of shipping you can afford to do. You’ll also need to identify the need for your product in countries before deciding to market to them. This list of additional tips will help you if you’re thinking about taking this big step.
No matter what your stage of business is, attempting to grow it comes with a fair share of risks and rewards. Always make sure you assess your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats before moving forward, and perhaps in no time, you’ll be going global.