There is a plethora of information online and in books on how to expand your small business yet ultimately, there are only three ways that matter.
“Business Opportunities Are Like Buses; There’s Always Another One Coming.” Richard Branson
Wise words maybe, or merely the general truth?
Whatever your thoughts on Branson’s quote there is no doubt that if there is a business opportunity then following the three points below will ensure your small business will expand.
1# Increase the number of customers
Businesses thrive on sales revenue, and to increase revenue, they need to grow their customer base. When searching to increase sales ask yourself:
- Who needs the service or product/ I’m selling?
- Does my product meet customer needs and provide additional value?
- How much do customers spend to obtain that need?
- How do I reach these customers, how many of them are there?
Asking (and hopefully answering) these questions truthfully will require a degree of market research. Before you think about offering any product or service, you will need to conduct some market research. It will educate you about what you require to effectively sell something to reach customers and the best ways to do it.
Carefully consider how this expansion can be met if successful.
- Can you manage the orders and demand?
- Can you ensure customer satisfaction every time with the resources you have?
- Can you process payments how customers wish to? Either through card payments or Paypal?
- Do you have financial resources to manage the growing demands of a business?
Increasing the number of customers is not as simple as selling more products or services. It requires investments in marketing, managing several bank accounts to meet global demand, borrow a loan to purchase/create new products plus thorough business and market analysis.
2# Upsell or obtain repeat customers
The easiest way of growing your small business is to ensure that you are easy to do business with time and time again. Once a customer has done business with you, they already trust your brand, so don’t let them down and they will return to you.
Making your business accessible to do business with is excellent to obtain repeat customers, and in the process build customer loyalty. An obvious way to secure repeat customers is to provide additional customer value.
Assuming your services or products are comparable or superior to your competitors, you can win over them and obtain market share if you provide that little extra that others don’t.
To be able to compete with more significant enterprises you should ensure your business can offer the following:
- Quick answers to telephone calls and emails
- Premium customer service
- Follow-up on meetings and follow-through on what you are offering
- Accurate and transparent billing
Whilst these may seem obvious, many businesses fail because they do not adequately do any of the above. Ever wondered how many companies you no longer buy from because they were a nightmare to do business with?
If you are to add value to the customer relationship consistently, you need to fully understand how your customers interpret, define, and quantify the amount they receive from your products and services.
3# Projects with other businesses
You can also grow your business through projects and partnership. If you wish to expand your business fast, you could consider a franchise. Although it can be time-consuming and you might need the help of a solicitor, if done right, franchising could increase your profitability.
Franchising is one way to boost your sales and path your way into newer markets. Collaboration with other companies can become unexpectedly beneficial for both parties, and a short-term project could eventually lead to a long an efficient partnership.
Co-branding does not only work for similar type businesses some examples of hugely successful business collaborations in the world include Nike & Apple, GoPro & RedBull, Uber & Spotify and many others that offer completely different services and products but manage to combine their passion.
Expanding a small business can be intimidating and exciting at the same time. There’s a lot to focus on, starting with business analysis and choosing a strategy that is suitable for your business. If you need help, contact your advisors and listen to other opinions. Think back to the time you started your business first place and keep your vision in mind to achieve the best outcome.