If you already have a business and things seem to be running pretty smooth, then maybe you are ready for the next step in your business growth, but you aren’t quite sure what that is going to be.
While there are many different ways to grow your business, the list of 10 outlined below will give you a start or some ideas to think about. Choosing the proper one for your business to focus on next will depend on the type of business you own, your available resources, and how much effort, energy, money, and time you are willing to invest at this stage of your business.
If you have decided that you are ready to take that next step and grow your business, then take a look at these 10 possible ways to do so:
- Expand on the Internet. If you don’t have a significant online presence yet, then this is by far the best and likely the cheapest place to expand and grow your business. Very often, customers discover a business through an online search engine. Be sure that your business has an online presence in order to maximize your exposure.
- Open a new location. This is a strategy most often thought of in retail, but also works well for service businesses and B2B operations. It is often the first way business owners approach growth. If you feel confident that your current business location is under control, consider expanding by opening a new location.
- Target other markets. Your current market is serving you well. What other markets could use the same products and services? Brainstorm and use your imagination to determine what other markets could use your products and services.
- Form an alliance. Aligning yourself with a company that has the same customers, but isn’t a direct competitor can be a powerful way to expand quickly. Another business with a complementary suite of products and services where you can both benefits from each other’s customers.
- Diversify into other Products and Services. This is an excellent strategy for growth, because it allows you to have multiple streams of income that can often fill seasonal voids and, of course, increase sales and profit margins. Here are a few of the most common ways to diversify:
- Sell someone else’s complementary products or services
- Teach online courses, adult education or other types of classes
- Export your products
- Import other’ products
- Become a paid speaker or columnist
- License your products. This can be an effective, low-cost growth avenue, particularly if you have a service product or branded product. Licensing also minimizes your risk and is low cost in comparison to the price of starting your own company to produce and sell your brand or product. To find a licensing partner, start by researching companies that provide products or services similar to yours.
- Expand to a new country. If you are a manufacturer, then to do this, you’ll need a foreign distributor who can carry your product and resell it in their domestic markets. You can locate foreign distributors by scouring your city or state for a foreign company with a U.S. representative. If you are primarily a service business, you will just need to start marketing in your new location and open offices as necessary.
- Offer your business as a franchise or business opportunity. Franchising your business will allow for growth without requiring you to manage the new location. This will help to maximize the time you spend improving your business in other ways, too.
- Merge with or acquire another business. The single bigger company will have more offerings to the market, and likely be more efficient at delivering them than either of you alone. Investigate companies that are similar to yours, or that have offerings that are complementary to yours, and consider the benefits of combining forces or acquiring the company.
- Win a government contract. One of the best ways to grow your business is to win business from the government. The issue is that typically governments contracts are awarded based on lowest bidder, so you will be competing mostly on price, so you have to decide if you want to play that game.
This list was enhanced from a similar list published on the Small Business Administration site sba.gov.
What are you planning for your business growth? I’d love to hear if it is one of these 10, or something else, so please post a comment below, and please post to Twitter and Like on Facebook so your friends can benefit as well.
Have A Prosperous Day!