Written by: Katie Conroy
When many people think about business expansion, they think of opening multiple stores and franchises across the globe and becoming a top dawg in the industry. While that is certainly how expansion works for some companies, most businesses grow in incremental steps. In fact, if you try to expand too quickly, it can significantly harm your company if not bring it to the ground.
It’s crucial to consider the risks and make smart decisions when expanding to a new market. Below, Small Small Business shares some practical insights into how your company can do just that!
Define Your Value
First of all, you must have a clear understanding of your company’s value before you try to enter new markets and take other steps towards significant growth. What sets your business apart from competitors?
You must know precisely why customers choose you (or should choose you) and the products or services you offer. You also need to consider why job candidates could benefit from working for your organization. Once you have defined your value proposition, you are ready for the next step.
Create Customer Profiles
Every business must have at least one ideal customer. If you try to cater to everyone everywhere, especially when expanding, it will be very difficult to maintain momentum and build a healthy customer base.
Some of your customers will probably stick with you when you start adding new products or services. But if you are expanding to a new location, it’s essential to know your target audience to stimulate growth and get new customers.
Depending on where your company’s new location is, you might define potential customers by entirely different demographic data, and if you are a B2B business, you may use different firmographic data. Take time to create a customer profile that includes all relevant information that can direct your marketing and sales strategies. And try to create several profiles if you have the resources.
Modify Your Business Plan
Expanding to a new market comes with a lot of unknowns, which can be scary for entrepreneurs. But the thing is, you’ve already started a business, so don’t forget the challenges you overcame to get where you are now.
With that said, you will need to get back to the drawing board and modify your business plan and adjust your strategy. Your business will face a different government, economy, and culture in the new market that can impact your performance. By researching and learning everything you can about the new market, you can create an effective, localized business plan and strategy that falls in line with your overall organizational strategy.
Revisit Your Marketing Strategy
You may have an outstanding following in your current location, but when you are expanding to a new area — or even just adding a new product or service — you must determine how to get your name out there to new customers. You must demonstrate what your product or service can do for people who don’t know about your business.
Utilize every marketing strategy and platform at your disposal, including content marketing, email marketing, local event marketing, social media marketing, and more. When promoting your brand on social media, you will need to combine quality written content with high-resolution photos. Often, this will require you to resize photos so that they display well on your social media pages. Look to an online picture resizer to quickly edit images and upload them across your accounts.
Assess Your Financial Readiness
One of the most common mistakes entrepreneurs make when expanding their businesses is that they take the leap before they are ready. It’s critical to have the financial stability necessary to sustain an expansion. If your business is not financially sound enough, take any necessary steps to improve its standing.
Diligently research corporate procedures and policies in the new area to confirm that you can abide by them while sustaining healthy growth. Many business owners benefit from hiring professionals to handle their taxes, accounting, and payroll. And if you assume some or all of those responsibilities, you at least need to use top-notch online software to automate menial tasks and boost efficiency.
Moreover, make sure you establish realistic financial goals for the company expansion so that you know how to strategize every aspect of your business to generate revenue as soon as possible.
Hire Passionate, Capable People
Much of your expansion success will depend on the people you hire. The right job candidates will be genuinely inspired and driven by your company’s value proposition. And of course, they will have the necessary skills (or at least most of them) to fulfill their roles sufficiently.
Even so, hiring someone who is truly passionate about your company’s mission and values is the most critical factor; as long as a candidate can quickly learn what they need to, it’s okay if they don’t come to the job fully ready to fulfill their responsibilities.
Remember that your employees will be customers’ first touchpoint with your business, and your team must provide a memorable experience as you undergo the expansion and seek growth. Along with using the right job boards, consider hiring a recruiting partner who understands your new market’s labor landscape and can help you attract top talent.
So, you determine it’s time for your company to expand to a new market. Following the tips above will get you off to a strong start. But keep researching other ways that you can position your business for a successful expansion and long-term growth. Most importantly, remember what you have accomplished up to this point whenever you start to second guess yourself or your team!
Would you like to read more helpful content or learn about our small business resources? Visit SmallSmallBusiness.com today!
About the author:
Katie Conroy is the creator of Advice Mine. She enjoys writing about lifestyle topics and created the website to share advice she has learned through experience, education, and research.