So: You’ve been in business for a year. You hired your first employee to help with production and product management, but you’re looking to expand into a larger market. What do you do? Expanding your business is the most important step toward product and service longevity; you now have the experience and industry knowledge to really
Unfortunately, when it comes to business expansion tips, most blogs offer only inspirational messages: “Keep your eye on the prize,” or, “passion is contagious.” Sure, those things are true, but there are some tasks you can complete to really crystalize your business’s place within the market. They are listed below.
- Penetrate your existing market. Apparently, enough people are interested in the product or service you offer to keep your business around. Brainstorm ways to attract new customers. Consider asking for referrals, or set up a sales incentive program for your employees. Start a customer rewards program, or distribute free sample items or services.
- Improve your product. Promote new uses or small changes made to your products. You will entice your loyal customers and attract new sales. Additionally, consider diversifying your existing products. If you offer a photography service, consider selling frames and prints. If you own a ski shop, start selling mountain bikes.
- Extend your market reach. The biggest part of expanding your business it to make your product or service more widely available. This might mean opening another location. This could mean moving your online store to a brick-and-mortar boutique. This may mean partnering with other small businesses on collaborations, or to potentially co-promote. Think about new ways to reach a larger group of potential customers.
- Contain your costs. Yes, your business might be thriving, but you should keep one eye on the future and the other on your checkbook. Extending your market means increasing production, which incurs additional cost. Be honest with yourself about the likelihood of this expansion.