Growing your business is one of the most challenging situations you will face as an entrepreneur. In order to successfully grow your business, you will have to accurately gauge your current performance as well as your limitations. Attempting to expand operations too quickly has historically sunk innumerable, otherwise perfectly good, businesses.
If, however, you grow your business the right way, you will find that when the time comes you are in the strong position necessary to embark upon some serious expansion. Below are some words of advice from experienced entrepreneurs on how you can effectively grow your business.
Expand Your Business by Opening in Another Location
This is usually the ultimate goal when a business expands upon a rapid growth program. Opening in another location means you will gain access to entirely new markets and clientele. This can have a number of knock on effects for your business, for example, reaching new demographics means that awareness of your company and brand begins to spread in areas that were previously out of reach. This can drive a sustained rise in sales and sometimes tapping into a new market is enough to fund your next expansion venture.
As well as increasing the physical reach of your brand, opening in a new location makes you more resistant to unforeseeable events. If your whole business is tied up in a single location then, should anything happen to that building, you could find yourself without a source of income. Multiple locations mean your brand can continue to operate during such times.
Diversify Your Products and Services
Diversifying means broadening your range. Just as opening in a new physical location will give you access to new markets by virtue of geography, diversifying the range of products and services you offer can give you access to new markets by making your offerings relevant to markets who previously wouldn’t have had any interest in your business. Diversifying also gives your existing customers more to choose from and more reasons to spread the word about your business.
Study the Competition
This is a vital consideration for businesses at all times, regardless of expansion plans. If you don’t have a firm understanding of what your competition is doing then you will naturally find it much harder to compete with them effectively. In this day and age of tech, it’s very easy to track the online presence of your competition. Tools like semrush.com, mention.com and unmetric.com will help you measure the efforts of your completion. Conversely, securing as good an understanding as you can as to how your competition is behaving will allow you to efficiently target your own efforts into countering threats to your bottom line as they emerge.
Among the pieces of information of most interest to you are: what demographics your competition is appealing to and whether these demographics overlap with your own customer base, and how the competition is allocating its marketing resources. It is valuable to know what markets your rivals are attempting to penetrate as well as how successful they’ve been.
Track Your Results
All of your efforts will be for nothing if you don’t know how successful they are. Even the very best entrepreneurs rarely hit on perfect strategies every time, so it is important to know when it is useful to analyze and assess the effectiveness of your own work.
There are a number of different strategies you can use to analyze your performance and to draw up appropriate plans of action in response. In order to do this, you will need to identify exactly what variables you need to measure in order to make an assessment as to how successful you have been, as well as determining the best way to measure them.
There are two forms of data collection; passive, and active. Passive data collection means that data is collected automatically and with no specific action required on the part of either the collector or the source of data. By contrast, active data collection requires both the consent and the knowledge of the person or people supplying the data. Consequently, sources of active data collection know that they are being measured or observed in some way and this can lead to something referred to as observer bias. For this reason, passive data collection techniques are generally preferred, these are also usually easier to gather and, providing they are gathered properly, are generally more accurate and representative of real world situations.
Once you have gathered the necessary data, then begins the complex process of interpreting it in order to make it useful. The science of performing these analyses is that of data analytics. Data analytics is a relatively new branch of mathematics and a sub branch of statistical analysis. It is algorithm-based, meaning that, because the mathematical processes required are so complex they are prohibitively difficult for a human to perform. Therefore, powerful computers are needed to take, what are often very large, data sets and analyze them in order to identify patterns and relationships between different variables. There are now companies who can perform this service for you.
Promote Your Business Online
A professional online offering is essential for any business hoping to compete in the modern landscape and the internet represents, by a considerable margin, the greatest potential in terms of the number of people you can reach. You should prioritize online forms of marketing above all others. This is particularly true for smaller businesses which, according to an infographic researched and designed by Elena, content specialist at Keen, account for around 28 million of all the businesses operating in the United States.
Offer Your Business for Franchising
If you believe that you have a winning formula for success in your field, you might want to consider franchising. Franchising means that you will essentially sell the essence of your business to interested buyers who will operate their own outlets according to your formula. Offering your business for franchising is an excellent way to make money while you expand; every franchise you sell will pay a periodic fee to you in order to keep using your set up.
Growing your business the right way is important in order to ensure that you can sustain and maintain the benefits.