6 Golden Rules For Small Business Expansion

A business might start off in a dorm room or the basement of a house, but it doesn’t want to stay there forever. It wants to grow and expand until it becomes one of the market leaders and turns over billions. After all, if Zuckerberg and Facebook can do it, why can’t anyone else? You can do it, but the trick is to take one step at a time. When you expand past your limits, that’s when you end up like all of the other failures. In simple terms, the firm becomes another statistic.

The good news is that it is possible to avoid becoming a statistic if you understand the basics. Once you have the basics and put them into practice, you can then begin to dream bigger. So, with that in mind, here are the six golden rules that will make all the difference. Are you ready? Good, let’s go!

Market Research

Before any company can pull the trigger and decide they are going to expand, they have to test the water. Far too many firms have made the decision without consulting the data, and they have failed as a result. Because you don’t want to be like them, you have to treat the process differently. That means, for starters, that you have to conduct customer research. Directing customer research means asking particular demographics whether the products interest them. It also means asking the locals in the areas you wish to target what they think of the products and services. If the feedback is positive, it is clear that you have a customer base that will fuel the expansion.

Split The Market

Even if the feedback isn’t great, it doesn’t mean that the dream is over. The simple fact is that a lot of companies appeal to the wrong crowd, and it plays into the hands of their rivals. Take Pepsi as the ultimate example. Pepsi used to go toe to toe with Coca-Cola, a soft drink that was popular with people of all ages and generations. For obvious reasons, they didn’t make much of an impression until the split the market. As soon as they targeted the younger and became the ‘hip’ drink, they got results. You need to do the same, which is to say you need to find a niche. Once you have that, you will have your very own corner of the market.

Target The Audience

Figuring out which demographics are the most likely to help you expand isn’t enough. It is a start, but it’s only a start. The key is to single out customers and hit them with your advertising campaign. Only when they come into contact with your message will they start to notice what you offer. And, that will peak their curiosity enough to get them in-store or online. Okay, so every company targets its audience –what’s new here? The difference is localising the audience. At the moment, the customer base is only relevant to the areas where you do the most business. But, as you grow, you will need to diversify into different regions and locations. And, that means adapting the message because every area is unique. Unfortunately, what works in one area won’t work in another.

Move Offices

There is no way that a business can expand without an excellent base as the HQ says a lot about the firm. Plus, it is also a means of advertising. When people look at your offices, they will make a judgement, and that judgement will affect their shopping patterns. New customers that see an old building on the edge of town will think you are a chancer that is looking to hit the big time. A modern building in the CBD, though, screams you’re a big player in the industry. There are plenty of ways to secure a good location, but you want to start with a lease. A commercial business lease is the best way to secure a property because it is quick and doesn’t involve breaking the bank. After all, buildings don’t come cheap. You can even sublet if the owner is on board. It goes without saying, but it’s imperative to go through the agreement with a fine toothcomb. In fact, have a professional look at it, and then get a second opinion just to be sure.

Enhance The Brand

Regarding expansion, it’s essential to have a reliable brand that consumers recognise. Then, they will be able to relate to the firm, and they will trust the company. When they trust the company, they not only buy goods, but they do it on a consistent basis. Lots of businesses think they have to get technical to hit this target, but the simplest methods are the best. A logo, for instance, is a game changer. When you think of a logo, what comes to mind? The Nike swoosh or the McDonald’s M? Well, customers think in the same way. They assume that only the biggest firms have logos, so they look favourably on any company with a logo. In their minds, it means they must deserve it because of their business know-how. In reality, a graphic designer will create a custom logo for a small fee. A logo not only plays with the customer’s mind, but it doesn’t cost a fortune which is a win-win.

Find More Cash

Sorry to burst your bubble, but business expansion isn’t cheap. Indeed, it is one of the most expensive projects in the industry. Still, you shouldn’t let this put you off because a firm has to speculate to accumulate in the long-term. What you should do is make sure you have the cash before you go live. The worst thing a business can do is realise they don’t have the funds midway through and call off the expansion. It causes way more harm than good, and it can bring the firm to its knees. Instead, get a small bank loan or partner with another company and pool your resources. Whatever you do, don’t attempt it on a budget.

If you use these tips, the expansion should go to plan. Good luck.

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