One of the greatest misconceptions in the business world is the idea that growth and expansion are one and the same thing. In a way, it is easy to understand where all of this confusion comes from, seeing as how the expansion is conditioned by growth in both revenue and workload. Still, while growth is something that happens as a result of your previous actions, expansion is a course you must actively pursue. In other words, expanding your business takes a lot of active effort and is highly unlikely to happen spontaneously. Here are five tips that could help you out.
1. Expand your reach
The first thing you need to do in order to effectively expand your marketing is look for a way to increase your reach. Think about it this way – how many potential customers are you losing due to your product/service being inaccessible to some people? There are several ways to fix this problem, from opening stores in new locations to increasing the reach of your delivery system. In some cases, opening an e-store can be as efficient, especially if you don’t already have one. As it happens, about 50 percent of all small businesses lack a website, which means that thinking in this direction might be an optimal course of action for you to take.
2. Start networking
One of the best ways to improve the standing of your business in your industry’s community is to start networking. Go to major events, participate in trade shows and use these opportunities to mingle with people. Exchange numbers, emails and social media contacts and stay in touch. A lot of people believe that this isn’t quite effective, due to the fact that most of these people are your direct competitors but this isn’t always so. Even some of the most successful ones might become so overburdened that they might start rejecting work. It is easy to see how, due to your good relationship, they might redirect some of them your way.
3. Expansion requires resources
Opening new stores, networking, hiring new people and purchasing new equipment all require resources you may not have. For this reason, you need to find a way to secure these extra funds and there are several ways for you to do so. If your business is still in the startup stage, you might be able to fund it with your day-job or by selling an asset you own (car, rental property, jewelry). On the other hand, it is more likely than not that you will have to apply for a loan. Here, the major choice is whether to go with corporate loans or opt for low rate personal loans. This, however, mostly depends on your current situation and the amount you need to borrow.
4. Groom people for leadership positions
The next big mistake new entrepreneurs make is trying to do everything on their own. Sure, while you have several people in your employ, you might be able to pull off this level of micro-management but what will happen when your company starts expanding? What happens when you need to share some of your administrative duties with someone else, yet no one in your employ is prepared or trained for this kind of responsibility? The best way to avoid this is to start grooming your employees to take leadership positions in the future.
5. Change your marketing strategy
In the early stages of your company, marketing yourself as a local business might be incredibly efficient. Not only does it bring you more recognition in your local community but it also helps you elevate levels of trust early on. Nonetheless, once you start expanding, you might need to change your general marketing strategy or at least alter it to keep up with all these new directions your company is going in.
Adhering to the above-listed five principles will not only increase the probability of your company’s growth but also make your expansion quite effortless. While it may be true that 9 out of 10 startups fail within the first five years, you need to lay a foundation for your business as if it will one day become a major conglomerate. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should overinvest or make unrealistic promises to your clients and investors. You see, failure is something that everyone takes some time to consider but you should also be prepared for a scenario in which everything runs in your favor.
Emma Miller is a Sydney based writer with a degree in marketing. Interested in digital marketing, social media, start-ups and latest trends. She’s a contributor at BizzMark Blog.