Expand, grow, upscale, make bigger… Whatever you call it, we know what we mean, your business is cruising, it’s healthy but it’s looking kind of… puny?
Your small business is making gains, making money and making a splash, so now is the time to brainstorm a few expansion ideas to claim your spot at the top of the pile.
1) SEO and marketing
SEO has become something of a ‘necessary evil’ in the highly competitive online arena. Assuming you have a solid web presence – and that really should be a reasonable assumption in 2018 – you need to make your assets work for you, you need your web page and social content to be highly visible and searchable or you may as well not exist. Sit down with an agency to work out an SEO plan to boost your search rankings, start a Google Adwords campaign to catch leads in the search stage, put some money behind social posts to drive interaction and most importantly, create original content such as blogs, eBooks and infographics.
2) Purchase a customer base
This can really work if you have a very comparable business to one that is closing down. I know a guy that runs an organic fruit and veggie delivery service, he heard a local competitor was packing up shop. Instead of buying the business from him, as he already had his own brand and suppliers, he simply bought the customer list so he could poach the customers over to his brand. By supplying a like-for-like service, his business grew 70% in a single week.
This is a broad topic but you can undoubtedly make small gains here, in some cases you can make gargantuan gains. Free yourself from thankless tasks to focus efforts on your core business. First you need to look at your sales and marketing processes, streamlining at the least and fully automating at best.
To get your focus back on revenue growth, try to automate:
- Social posting
- Lead capture
- Email responses and EDM drip campaigns
- CRM functions etc…
4) Grow your range
Grow your range and grow your business. Do what you do, but do more of it! Don’t fall into the trap of more is better though, new products or services simply for the sake of it is bound to create problems. Make sure the market wants it, make sure you can support the offering and try to make it a natural complimentary fit to your existing products so you can cross sell and co-promote in the same markets.
5) Reduce your range
Perhaps throwing more products on the pile is not the answer to your particular business though. Your issue may be the opposite. You may have a fractured focus, your marketing and sales efforts may be spread too thin and your product and service offering may be too broad. Think about simplifying your product offering down to its best selling core, then focus all of your efforts into a renewed, simple message and a straightforward pitch, with all of your grunt behind it.
6) Think about franchising
You need to have a really solid business model for this as well as a bulletproof and thorough system of operation. Importantly you need a solid set of books to attract investors and the resources necessary to support a chain model. Relatively simple business that can be duplicated without losing quality will do well here.
7) Buy out another business
If you have some capital and a lot of grit you can achieve massive leaps in growth by acquiring a sister business that will integrate well with your products or services. Key to success is retaining the brightest staff and retaining the current customer base.
8) Find new markets
If you are doing well on the home front, have a peek at the global market. You don’t need to acquire another business to expand globally. You just need to prime your offering for an international market. Do your research into global shipping and e-sales if your business suits, which would be ideal in this globalised age, or perhaps look into a foreign distributor who’ll carry an inventory of your product and resell it in their domestic markets.