Entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes, from all different walks of life. No matter what kind of business you own, success is probably one of the primary goals on your mind. Whether your business is a brand new baby or you’ve done this a few times before, expanding your business is a natural part of growing in your career.
Each business is unique, and you’ll likely need to devise specific plans and strategies that work best with your business’s identity and functions. But regardless of the form that your business takes, there are definitely ways to learn so you can grow in your career and so your business can reach new heights and new customers.
Whether your goal is for your business to grow in terms of physical size, marketing reach, personnel or profit margin, there are a few things you should know about when you begin the process of expansion. From the market research and contract reviews to the overall brand recognition you can build, there are so many moving parts to being an entrepreneur.
Really, running a business is a learning experience, and learning real techniques to grow can come as a result of practice. If you’re looking to practice, expand and grow, here are a few things you should know.
1. Doing Market Research
Market research is something that can help any business grow, whether you have a physical storefront, an online business or a firm with a slightly more nebulous product.
Ideally, you should conduct market research when you’re first starting out in your business, but it can be equally as important to continue with ongoing research throughout the years. You can conduct market research using techniques like running focus groups, conducting interviews and diving into marketing segmentation research.
2. Utilize Customer Management Systems
Customer management systems are great ways to track transactions and keep watch on purchasing patterns. While the type of customer management system will likely depend on the kind of business you’re running, there are plenty to choose from including cloud-based systems and more accounting-focused ones.
Customer management systems essentially keep track of customers both for their convenience and for yours.
3. Employ More Advanced Organizational Techniques
An expanding business will likely have more moving parts all the way down the chain, and that can often be a shock to all parts of the business. One of the best ways to handle this shift is to employ organizational techniques before the fact so you can prepare.
For example, instituting more uniform training programs, tracking vehicle and service history for fleets, increasing your safety protocol and cutting out unnecessary processes are all a part of helping a business function properly as it grows.
4. Develop a Positive Company Culture
What does having loyal employees who enjoy their work experience and get along well have to do with growing as a company? Well, pretty much everything.
When your employees enjoy their work experience, they’re much more likely to produce high-quality work for your company, which can help you grow. Plus, companies with a strong and positive culture tend to have more longevity with their employees, and having people who stick around can be a key to efficient work output.
5. Build Brand Recognition
Brand recognition is an important part of growth, especially if you have a more product or service-based business that directly faces the public. When people know your brand, they’re much more likely to turn to it when they need something you can provide.
There are a number of ways you can build brand recognition in your business, and most of them have to do with marketing and advertising. Have you ever seen a business with a logo or a tagline that’s so familiar you just can’t get it out of your head? Or a brand with an image so strong that it almost has a personality? That’s what you want to go for in your marketing.
6. Forming Strategic Partnerships
Another great way to grow in your business is to form partnerships and relationships with other businesses that can help you grow in terms of product, outreach and even recognizability.
While the exact business partnerships that would be most beneficial for you to form are specific to your business, your industry, market gaps you’re looking to fill and the competition you’re facing in your area, looking for a few strategic partnerships can help you expand in ways you may not have originally thought possible.
7. Leverage Global Platforms
If your business sells products, particularly on an international level, you may want to consider using global platforms to expand your e-commerce reach. Platforms such as Amazon are great ways to do this, as they’re widely available to the general public and promote visibility for your products.
If you own a smaller or more unconventional business, there are likely other international platforms you can use — such as AirBnb or Upwork for more experience or service-oriented businesses. When your business is more accessible to people all over the world, the international platform you use can help it spread like wildfire!
8. Consider a Franchise Model
If you notice that your business is growing especially fast, you may want to consider the franchise model as you expand into new avenues. Whether you have a brick-and-mortar store or a restaurant where you serve up your favorite dishes, opening new locations and going for a franchise model can be a great way to expand your business.
This is effectively multiplying the size of your business, which can be a lot in the moment, but as different locations can learn to function independently, it can become both easier and more lucrative over time.
9. Don’t Alienate Existing Customers
One of the biggest parts of growing in your business is keeping the existing customers that have loyally supported you from the beginning.
While growth can be exciting and a bit overwhelming, make sure you keep your sights set on the original dream you had for your business and the customers who have stuck by that vision from the start. Those are the customers who will likely be consistent patrons of your business for years to come.
Expanding Your Business
There’s a lot to learn about expanding your business, and you can use a variety of techniques to make your expansion run as smoothly as possible. Each business is unique, and that includes yours! Whether you have a business centred on experiences, food, product or services, there are ways to bring it to so many more people, one step at a time. How do you plan to start expanding your business?