Taking Your Business Forward
Once you’ve got your business established and you’re achieving modest profits, you may find that you have reached something of a plateau. Many business owners experience this problem: they have put so much into actually setting up that they haven’t spent much time implementing a forward-thinking strategy. If this is the case with you, then now is the time to start thinking about the future and how to expand rather than remain static. Here are just some of the methods you can use to start driving your business forward:
- Diversify: One of the most logical ways to take your business to the next level is to increase the range of products you offer or even branch out into a new sector. Offering complementary products or services is a good way to start, so if you sell clothes, for example, you could maybe branch out into accessories or a personal shopping service.
- Set Up New Branches: You could also expand in terms of location. If, for example, you have one shop and you’re doing well in the local area it might be an idea to set up a branch in another town or county. The great thing about this strategy for moving forward is that you can carry it on indefinitely until eventually you can cover the entire country or maybe even expand abroad as well. Remember though that if you expand abroad you will probably also need to find foreign distributors and suppliers. You will need to take your time choosing these to make sure they are reliable and offer competitive prices.
- Acquisitions: If you’d like to branch out into an entirely new sector and expand your outreach but don’t want to build the necessary expertise from scratch in-house, why not consider making a strategic acquisition? Integrating another company under your own umbrella can be a very positive step forward – providing of course that you choose carefully and check out their background thoroughly beforehand.
- Expand Online: The Internet offers countless opportunities for growth. If you market yourself in the right way online you can turn rapidly from a regional to a global supplier. Hire an online marketing consultant, as they will be able to boost your search engine rankings to draw in the kinds of customers you are trying to target. They will also show you how to present your company in the best way on your website and how to use techniques such as social media, email marketing and blogging to increase your client base.
- Attend Exhibitions: It’s well worth trying to attend a few trade fairs or exhibitions over the course of the year as these are great networking opportunities. Think about the kinds of business connections you would like to make and then choose the events you will attend based upon the kinds of companies or clientele who will be there. To make the most of these opportunities you should make your booths stand out by investing in some good quality exhibitions stands, banners, posters and brochures. Think about your objectives beforehand and set up meetings in advance with people who may be able to help you achieve these.
- Form An Alliance: If you don’t have the means to acquire another business or set up a new branch then another option is to form an alliance with another company. This could be a local business with activities that complement your own and the alliance will work through each of you recommending the other or perhaps even teaming up during local trade fairs. This is a good option for small companies without much ready capital as it won’t cost anything but has the potential to grow your customer base considerably.
- Boost Your PR: Lastly, another way to take your business to another level is simply to draw more attention to it by launching a PR campaign. Consider holding an event to showcase a new product or celebrate an anniversary, for example, and then send out press releases and talk to the local media about it. Your Internet marketing will come in useful here because you can use Facebook and Twitter to publicise the event.
But don’t just stop at one event: you should begin expanding your mailing list and sending out regular newsletters detailing product launches, events or significant achievements. These will serve as a regular reminder that you company is out there and thriving. It is hard for any company to move forward without some form of marketing and PR strategy in place.