Ways to Expand Your Business
Once you have determined that there are compelling reasons to expand your business, the next consideration is how to go about expanding. This follow-up article will discuss and explore seven different and important ways to accomplish exactly that.
- Deepen relationships with existing customers
- Find new customers
- Maximize your online presence
- Expand into new markets
- Expand into new distribution channels
- Develop a new product or service
Each point is covered in greater detail below.
Customer retention is very important for net growth and is less expensive than acquisition. One all-encompassing way to deepen relationships with your existing customers is to invest in customer relationship management practices and tools. Customer relationship management (CRM) software is specifically designed to capture customer data and is invaluable when focusing on ways to expand customer loyalty, and in turn, your business. CRM software is a dynamic means to target your best customers with discounts, incentives, and other special offers, like loyalty programs. Another practice to solidify customer relationships is by conducting surveys, taking action to mitigate customer pain points or improve the customer experience, and communicating those changes to your customer base.
Direct marketing to generate leads and initiating exclusive offers reserved for new customers are effective ways to expand your business. Joining local business organizations, such as the local Chamber of Commerce, can provide opportunities to network, offer seminars, or participate in events, to get the attention of new customers.
Posting sales and specials everywhere your business has a social media presence, like Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Instagram, is one effective way to expand your business. Regularly posting a blog is another great way to expand your business by establishing your website as a source for valuable content. To maximize the value of your blog, brainstorm a list of keywords that people may search for to find your content, then try to incorporate those keywords into your blog posts. Doing so may help improve your site’s search engine optimization (SEO) and make it easier for people to find your site online. Be sure to incorporate keywords intentionally, but organically. Keyword stuffing, or using the same phrases over and over, is a negative ranking factor and will hurt your website’s SEO.
Before trying to expand your current footprint, it’s important to understand your market share and ask yourself if you have saturated your market. If so, you may want to optimize ecommerce and sell your products to different regions online, open another location, or both. Yet another option is to partner with another business to license and deliver through that other business. Such a licensing deal may allow both businesses to profit while transferring some risk to your new partner.
Other options include offering exclusive and long-term sales to the public sector. Within the private sector, selling through another supply chain, like wholesale, could be a viable option. Finding new ways to reach new customers and sell to new markets can open several revenue-generating possibilities.
This option might seem aggressive, but it might be the choice that makes the most sense and could offer the largest return on investment. Establishing new partnerships by acquisition or merger with a competitor comes with an existing customer list, among other assets, though the customer list is usually considered to be the most prized asset. Is purchasing a franchise the next logical step?
The economy and broad cultural trends dictate the need for new products or services. Being attuned to economic shortages or shifting trends may help a creative, forward-thinking business owner fill a gap in consumer needs just as it arises. Capitalizing on relationships with existing customers, engaging new customers, and keeping up with responses to your social media initiatives will provide feedback and insight into what new products or services are needed.
In today’s global market, opportunities for entrepreneurs and those with small businesses are many and varied. If expanding to another location is an option for your business, please click here to review expansion guidelines and requirements from the SBA.
For more information about expanding your business, please reach out to a Cambridge Savings Bank business banker today.