6 Strategies for Quickly Expanding Your Business
If you’re like most small business owners, you spent the first few years of your company’s life focused on ensuring it could survive.
As you transition out of survival mode, though, you’re likely to move into another phase – growth mode. Learning more about expanding your business, though, isn’t always an easy prospect.
There’s plenty of advice out there, but understanding what might work and what might not is difficult because every company is unique. However, these proven strategies are specific options you’ll want to consider as you work to expand your company.
- Focus on the Customers You Have Right NowWhen many companies begin to think about growth, they start to focus on new customers. That’s a mistake. Instead of that focus, you should think about the customers you already have. A 2010 Lee Resources study found that attracting new customers is more expensive. In fact, the survey’s results found that it could cost five times more to get a new customer than to keep one you have. A Marketing Metrics study paints an additional piece of the picture. You have a 60 – 70 percent higher likelihood of selling to an existing customer. With a new prospect, that percentage decreases to as low as five percent. These statistics point to one key expansion tactic – pay attention to the customers you already have. They’re more likely to purchase from you or do business with you again if they’ve had a positive interaction in the past. Look to your CRM software to effectively manage your current customers and work with them in the future.
- Keep Your Costs LowGrowth happens when you’re increasing your bottom line numbers. If you have to increase your costs to increase the number of customers you’re serving, you’re not going to create any substantial growth, just additional work for everyone in the company. The goal here is to have enough left to reinvest in your company or add to your profits. That’s not to say that with growth, your costs won’t increase at all.As you work toward growth, think about those costs. If you can cut costs without seriously impacting your customer service or your employee satisfaction rates, do what you can to make that happen, as you’ll be able to give your company the money it needs to move forward in a stable manner.
- Revisit or Reinvent Your Sales FunnelIf you don’t already have a sales funnel or you haven’t considered yours in some time, you may be making a serious mistake when it comes to growing your company. A Demand Gen Report found that 95% of customers will choose a company that offers them the content and assistance necessary to support their process at each stage of buying. That kind of power comes from only one place – a sales funnel. Your sales funnel does more than support your customers, though.It can also help automate various processes in your business, which may help you cut costs. If you already have a sales funnel in place, be sure you revisit it to ensure it works for your current business situation. If you are just initially creating your sales funnel, spend some time at the conceptualization stage. It requires quite a bit of front-end work, but it’s well worth it for your company in the long run.
- Consider Adding New Products or ServicesThis is a fairly common strategy for those looking to expand their businesses, and while it seems pretty standard, it’s more complicated than you might imagine. You need to understand your customers before you move forward with this method of business expansion. Knowing exactly who they are, what they might want from you, and a potential price point is key.If that price point isn’t profitable for you, moving forward with this strategy may not make sense. If you’re interested in exploring this option, invest in thorough market research before you commit any resources to it. Find out from current customers what they think about your new ideas, then start crunching numbers. Look closely at manufacturing and delivery costs and how much profit this could bring for your company.
- Consider Other LocationsWhile you don’t necessarily have to add real estate to your company assets with this strategy, you might want to expand your services and products to other geographic locations. The idea is to reach out to other customers who may not be in your neighborhood, and that may involve a second location, but it could also involve an e-commerce addition to your company. As with the expansion of your products and services, this can be quite costly, so you’ll want to carefully research this option. Ensure you have enough market demand to justify expansion.
- Use Trade ShowsMany companies roll their eyes when it comes to trade shows, but they really can be quite valuable when you’re working on a business expansion. Trade shows can draw people interested in your industry directly to you, and that means a chance to market to a relatively large group of individuals.More than that, though, it allows you to tap into one-on-one interactions, which may help increase the number of connections you make. Additionally, you may create valuable networking connections, which could establish your company’s credentials on a much larger scale.
Understanding how to grow a small business into a large company can be difficult, particularly if you’re tackling the task independently. At AMB Performance, we can help you learn more about growing your business, managing that growth, and moving forward. To learn more about our coaching options and other services, please contact us today.