Guide to Growth – 5 Tips for Expanding Your Business into New Territory
There comes a time in the lifespan of every business when it must spread its wings and explore other revenue opportunities. But, expanding into new territories can feel like being the new kid at school.
You don’t know where to sit for lunch or who to talk to, you don’t know whether you’ll be welcomed or ostracized. Basically, growth can be scary and overwhelming. But, if done right, it can turn your business into a smashing success.
1. Get with the Times
Consider invading the digital space. After all, everybody and their grandmother is on the internet these days. You can use online marketing to engage with multitudes of people without ever leaving your office.
You can spark conversation about your products or services through customer reviews. You can rally clients like football supporters and give them a virtual fan club.
Marketing your business online gives it relevance in today’s market and gives the impression that your business is at the cutting edge of the industry.
Also, consider using serviced and virtual offices instead of leasing or buying property in a new territory.
2. Playing Anthropologist
When going international, it’s always a good idea to do your research about the location you’re expanding into. When taking your business into China, for example, something as simple as color can determine whether you thrive or take a dive.
Knowing that red is a lucky color and white an unlucky one can save you a lot of trouble. It’s very important to learn about the country’s taboos and local customs as much as possible.
3. Market Research
Evaluate your current location to figure out what aspects of your business could carry over onto the new location. That template you’ve been using, apply it to a second location and see if it works there. If it does, go ahead and take it on the international stage.
What’s the return on investment for companies like yours in that territory? What does the market share look like? How popular is your type of product or service in the region?
Knowing the terrain you’re eyeing is crucial, and business statistics are readily available from government agencies and industry organizations.
4. Squad Goals
A machine is only as good as the cogs within it. Make sure you bring the right people on board. They should know what they’re doing and have passion for their work. You need to have people you can delegate tasks to in case you can’t be at the rudder.
It’s advantageous for you to enlist staff that is familiar with the area you’re expanding into. If you’re stretching into a new country with a foreign language, find salespeople that speak the local language.
Find people that can relate to those you’re trying to turn into your clientele and people who have experience in your industry.
5. Go All In
Don’t just “give it a shot.” You need to be sure that expanding is what you want and need to do. You don’t want to disappoint your target market by showing a total lack of commitment or inability to deliver.
Work with your staff to come up with creative ways to engage potential clients. Expansion isn’t for everyone, but governments are always trying to support small and medium enterprises. In fact, these days it’s possible to make a fortune from a market as small as a village.
If your business is ready for expansion, then follow these tips religiously and before you know it, your humble organization will transform into a multinational corporation.
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