Before deciding to expand the business, you must conduct an assessment to see if it is time to grow. First, you must have regular customers. This means that your services or products are of good quality. But do not expand immediately as soon as more people begin buying from you. You must first observe if the increase in orders is consistent or temporary. Next, take a look at your net income (gross income minus expenses) and check for consistent growth. Growing profit is an essential marker for business expansion.
Lastly, see if the customers are asking for more. Keep track of customer requests so that you can see if there is a trend. This will guide you on where investments should be made. For example, you’re a bookseller who specializes in philosophy books and classics. The novels of Charles Dickens and Jane Austen, along with the books of Simone de Beauvoir and Michel Foucault, are flying off the shelves, but a lot of your regulars keep looking for books written by Haruki Murakami, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Gabriel García Márquez. If that’s the case, maybe it’s time for you to venture into contemporary fiction and Nobel Prize Winners’ works as well.
Now that you know the signs to watch out for, here are a few tips that will help you kick-start the journey to business growth.
If the business model can be effectively replicated by new owners, then building a franchise might work for you. Begin by seeking the advice of a competent franchise consultant.
Be careful with selecting franchisees. Aside from capital, make sure that they have the experience to back it up, a solid grasp of the industry, and the drive to succeed. Interview the candidates well. You must also pick the right spot for your branches. Here are some guidelines:
- Recognition. Conquer areas where your brand is already known.
- Proximity. The first satellite branches should be near the original location but far enough so as not to affect the main store’s sales. This will make it easier to deliver goods from one place to another. It should also be accessible by train or plane so that you can visit from time to time.
- Target market. Go where your customers are. For example, a cafe may be located near offices and universities because people go there to work.
Use the popularity of social media to your advantage. Do not spread yourself too thin, though. Just focus on one or two platforms that work for your brand. The platform that will match your needs will largely depend on the products or services you offer. Keep in mind that each social media platform requires a specific type of content.
- TikTok. This newbie is the next big thing. Use #HashtagChallenges to engage with potential customers. People go to this platform to escape ads, so the campaign must exude an anti-marketing vibe for it to succeed. As such, raw, unedited videos thrive here.
- Twitter. This is perfect for time-sensitive information. Known for its limited word count, GIFs reign supreme on Twitter. A brief description paired with an engaging GIF will be a smash hit. If used properly, a standalone GIF can be powerful as well.
- Instagram. Get noticed in the land of pretty photos by posting visually arresting product photos and inspirational quotes with a colorful background.
Similarity is the basis of growth via diversification. Think about related products or services that your target market and your current pool of customers will like. For instance, a cafe might consider selling pastries and tumblers aside from coffee and tea. Or a bookstore might consider selling pens and bookmarks aside from books.
There may be no secret formula for success, but there are methods that have been proven to work. To make it, you must continuously learn. Take a look at case studies, and, most importantly, learn from the successes and mistakes of established brands.