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Grow Your Business

small-business-growthAs a business expands, so do its needs. If your organization has witnessed steady success, you may be ready to take the next step and expand your business beyond its current status. Choosing the proper options for your business will depend on the type of business you’re in, your available resources, and how much money, time and assets you’re willing to invest. If you’re ready to grow, consider these 10 tips from the U.S. Small Business Administration:

  1. Open another location, expand ecommerce efforts. This is often the first way business owners approach growth. If you feel confident that your current business location is under control, you may consider expanding by opening a new location. But approach this decision with caution and care; physical expansion isn’t always the best answer without research, planning, and consulting. Consumer’s buying habits are changing, more and more individuals are opting to purchase goods online. In addition to contemplating a secondary location, give equal consideration to simply strengthening and expanding your ecommerce presence.
  2. Offer your business as a franchise or commercial 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.
  3. License your product. If you offer a service product or branding product, licensing can be an effective, low-cost option for growth. In comparison to the price of starting your own company to produce and sell your product, licensing is a much more cost-effective alternative. Partnering with an established business with operations already in place is also far less risky than starting from scratch. To find a licensing partner, start by researching companies that provide products or services similar to yours.
  4. Form an alliance. Aligning yourself with a similar type of business can be a powerful way to expand quickly.
  5. Diversify. 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 complementary products or services
    • Teach adult education or other types of classes
    • Import or export yours or others’ products
    • Become a paid speaker or columnist
  6. Target other markets. Your current market is serving you well. Are there others? Most likely! Use your imagination to determine what other markets could use your product.
  7. Win a government contract. One of the best ways to grow your business is to win business from the government. Work with your local SBA to determine the types of contracts available to you. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the SBA also have a ‘Business Matchmaking Program’ designed to match entrepreneurs with buyers. Winning the government’s business involves a fair amount of paperwork and it can be a grueling process, but it could be worth it; once you secure a government bid, you’re generally not subject to the level of competition of the external marketplaces.
  8. Merge with or acquire another business. Investigate companies that are similar to yours, or that have offerings that are complementary to yours.You could benefit from combining forces, or acquiring the company.
  9. Expand globally. To do this, you’ll need a foreign distributor who can carry your product and resell it in their domestic markets. Begin by searching within your city/state for a foreign company with a U.S. representative. Trade groups, foreign chambers of commerce within the United States, and branches of the American chambers of commerce in foreign nations are also great places to find distributors to work with.
  10. Increase your presence on the web. If your business or product is successful enough that you are considering expanding, it is most likely that you already have a robust digital presence, but it can always be stronger. Having a solid internet presence generates leads as well as excites and motivates your existing client base. In addition to a user-friendly, mobile-ready website, take advantage of internet marketing order to maximize your exposure.

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