While small business statistics can be abysmal in some cases, there are stories of those small businesses that do succeed. There are small businesses in this country that not only succeed but manage to flourish and consequently expand in monumental ways. Usually, when a small business hits a certain mark of success, for instance, their operations are running smoothly, they have sufficient cash flow, and they’ve built a viable customer base, they often will eye potential business expansion. The key is to do so in a strategic way that will ultimately lead to even greater success. Business expansion undertaken haphazardly can be disastrous and result in the demise of an otherwise promising company. Below are what we have identified as the five keys to successful business expansion.
Don’t neglect your existing customers
Often, when looking to expand, a business will also look to reach more people, newer audiences and thus build upon their current customer base. One fatal mistake that they do make however is to ignore their existing customers. Remember, your customers are what got you to this point. Your customer base has enabled you to thus far thrive and consequently be able to even consider business expansion. Not ignoring your current customers means tailoring marketing messages to them specifically. It also means introducing products that might actually help them. Versus going out and finding new customers, by focusing on your current ones you could potentially double your business in some respects.
Increase your marketing efforts
If you are undertaking business expansion, then your marketing needs to match your company‘s overall objectives. That is to say, a growing business needs a growing marketing strategy. This is really just common sense. Not only are you going to want to allocate more money to marketing and advertising, but you may even want to consider hiring a dedicated marketing person. Particularly if you can find someone who is adept at social media and contact marketing, this can certainly help your expansion efforts and put you on the course that you need to be on.
Revisit your distribution channels
One thing that you definitely want to do in the context of business expansion is to expand horizontally. This will almost always entail increasing the different ways that you sell your products as well as the various channels that you use. So, for example, if the bulk of your sales are currently coming from a brick-and-mortar location, then you are definitely going to want to consider adding an online component. E-commerce is everything now. Having a robust digital footprint is imperative in any type of business expansion. This will not only help you solidify your brand even more, but by increasing the channels through which you swell, you certainly stand to boost your bottom line.
Think about business expansion abroad
The good thing is the world is getting increasingly smaller in some ways. This means that even as a small business, you have the capability to go international. This will entail expanding your business abroad. How exactly do you accomplish this? You could work with new partners in order to give you a greater reach into international markets. The important thing is to study the international market that you are attempting to penetrate. Understand something about local laws and cultures. Don’t go into international expansion without being thoroughly prepared.
Don’t hesitate to hire more personnel
One mistake that many businesses make in terms of business expansion is that they don’t hire the team that they need. They shortchange themselves in terms of getting the right personnel in place. You can’t do it all on your own. If you’ve managed up to this point with yourself and a couple of others, that’s great. But this mentality won’t cut it by moving forward and trying to expand your business. You need to have employees on board. You need to have talented people who understand your business and what it needs to be successful.
First Union Lending is Here to Help with Your Business Expansion
We offer a variety of loan programs for all size businesses across the US. We’ve worked with retail companies, manufacturers, wholesalers, hospitality-based businesses, you name it. Our job is to help you thrive and ultimately grow. Yes, we want to see your business expand. Offering short-term loans, merchant cash advances, and SBA loans, among other financing types, we have a solution to fit your business specifically. Call today and let’s get started.