Congratulations, you have successfully started a business! You have endured the bumpy roads that accompany your new business journey. Starting a business, and being profitable, is only half the battle. You may now want to grow your business into new markets, but how do you know when the right time to expand is? Some good indicators to look for are returning customers, a high product/service demand, and a steady profit. Be sure to also keep an eye out on the market. If it is growing, odds are you should too, in order to heed off the competition.
However, business expansion comes with a whole new set of difficulties and hurdles to overcome. It may turn out to be a slow process if you’re not fully ready, and that is why we have compiled a list of ways to expedite your business’s growth.
Before you decide to expand your business, you need to know where you stand financially. Pay attention to the cash flow – what is being expensed, what are the net sales etc. You should use this time to reorganize your business finances and plan ahead for the future. Use this information to create a budget, as well as to foresee any and all costs of your business expansion.
Pro Tip: Once you’ve expanded your business, check-in regularly with your accountants (ie. not just during tax season) to ensure you are constantly aware of your business’ financial status (and not blindsided if you’ve spent too much at the end of the year). If you check back on a consistent basis, you can more confidently make any financial adjustments you may need.
2. Cut Costs
When deciding to expand your business, you should examine all of the current and projected spend to see what is and isn’t absolutely essential for growth. For example, if you have been using two software applications because together they do one job, try to find a new service that bundles the features you’re looking for. Or try sourcing materials from a new supplier for a fraction of the cost. If a service is indispensable to your business, always compare costs with their competitors. Just be careful not to sacrifice quality for a low price – it won’t do you any favours for business growth.
a. Don’t get so swept up in the logistics of business expansion that you forget to maintain a social presence. Online engagement, business promotions, and contests are a great way to get your customers involved and excited for the new location or service.
Pro-tip: Try using a split test to see which marketing strategy has a better outcome. A/B split testing examines which controlled marketing strategy generates more traffic. For example, when posting on social media, which day produced more engagement, or which email subject line is more likely to get a higher click rate?
b. Use Google Analytics and other data collection tools to pinpoint who is using your product/service. The data collected from these resources can be used to guide future business decisions depending on who your target audience is.
4. Launch new products/services
A great way to expedite business growth is to appeal to your existing customers. Try launching or recommending new products every few months, as well as offering semi-frequent discounts and promotions to keep their attention and loyalty.
Caution: Don’t get caught up in trying to gain new customers that you forget about your current ones. Long-term customers can do more for your business growth then one-time buyers.
5. Ask for assistance
Need help getting your product/service circulated? Try affiliate marketing! How it works: another company advertises your product/service on their website and when somebody purchases your services through the ad from their website, they get the commission. Pro-tip: try affiliate marketing on websites that compliment your product, blogs, or companies with a high traffic rate.
Overall, there are many different strategies you could use when expanding your business. However, one of the biggest pieces of advice that we have to offer is to make sure you plan ahead. According to Investopedia, one of the main reasons small businesses fail is poor business planning. In order to succeed, your business plan should include a description of your business, your team employment status and how many people you wish to employ, competition (i.e. threats), and cash flow. In accordance with most situations, planning ahead is extremely beneficial and will prove to be most valuable for your business in the long run.
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