The gruelling work of starting up a business is now complete; you’ve done your initial research, found investors to fuel your launch, and built a clientele of frequent visitors to keep your profits steady. You have made your mark in the business world--you’ve arrived!
Or have you? Have you considered how far you want to take your business? Have you set goals for yourself concerning creating real financial freedom? Are there aspects of owning a company that you haven’t yet mastered, and you wish to take your profits to the next level?
At some point, every business owner has to decide what the level of comfort is with any success achieved, which begs that answer to the next question:
“How Far Do I Want To Go With This Business?”
There are some tried and true steps that you can take as a business owner to grow and expand your business to ensure that you survive the market long term. Here are some action steps you must consider if you want to build your business the right way.
Open A New Location Businesses that have one successful physical location and duplicable systems of operation are likely to be successful in opening multiple locations. Take it slow and steady, and make sure that each branch you choose to open can operate efficiently, and that you are not putting a strain on your time and resources by spreading yourself too thin.
Offer Your Business To Others As A Franchise Opportunity Similar in structure to opening a new location is franchising or passing the torch to someone else. Doing so offers you a chance to put your systems to the test, it also gives other entrepreneurs the opportunity for ownership and expansion themselves. Be sure to protect yourself, your assets, and any other involved parties with legal counsel along the way; you want to make sure that purchases or business failures of others can’t come back to haunt you.
Find Licensing For Your Products And Services Licensing your products and services opens the door to additional income opportunities, especially with repeat business and sale of licensing for software, for instance. Permitting a product or service lowers your operating costs and provides upfront revenue for people looking to use your systems. Find a reputable attorney that specialises in retaining rights to intellectual property; you will want to protect what you’ve worked hard to create.
Form A Partnership Many small business owners expand their capabilities by partnering with other entrepreneurs whose products and services enhance or complement their own. Promoting your wares while assisting your partner in increasing his revenue will ensure that you both benefit from the alliance.
Diversify; Offer New Expansions And Complementary Products Offering several different products, seasonal goodies, and other services that enhance existing products is one way to produce multiple streams of income. Not only does it keep your existing clientele coming back for more, but it might also even target an entirely different audience that was previously untapped. The more products and services you offer, the more substantial an audience you have the potential to reach.
Target Several Different Audiences If your niche is nutritional supplements designed for young children, you might want to consider developing a line of products that cater to adults. Creating consumable lines of product that people can use throughout their lifetime will keep them coming back for more of what you offer.
Go After Big Government Sounds risky, right? Have you ever considered going after a big government contract? Securing a government contract for your products and services can be one beneficial way to take your business to the next level. The Fed already has systems in place for promotion and application of products and services; this is one way to partner with them and go national with your business. Keep in mind that there may be a lengthy application process, and it is customary for several bids to be considered. Government contracts, however, have an upside -- they are unlikely to be challenged for quite some time.
Expand To The Global Marketplace Creating a strong presence here at home will naturally evolve into a more global endeavor if you remain consistent and look for opportunities to tap other markets. Having a strong online presence will assist you in breaking down physical barriers as well.
Create A Strong Web Presence To Capture A Larger Audience Bill Gates once stated that the future of business consisted of businesses who “1) had a strong internet presence, and 2) those who had no business at all”. The world of business is always changing, and it is no longer acceptable to merely do business from a physical storefront. With the vast scope of the internet before you, it is wise to consult with professionals who have "been there and done" that concerning creating a strong presence on the internet. If customers cannot find you, they cannot do business with you. It is essential that you market yourself correctly to place yourself head and shoulders above your competition.
Look At Solutions Rather Than Challenges Having a positive mindset when navigating the waters of expansion is critical to your success. If you focus on your problems, limitations, and challenges, you will get more of the same. However, if you choose to look for opportunities to rise above and become more significant than your limitations, you will overcome them. When asked by his peers why he didn’t quit after unsuccessfully trying almost 1000 times to make a light bulb, Thomas Edison responded by saying, “I didn’t fail. I just discovered 999 ways NOT to make a light bulb”.
That is the mindset required to succeed and expand in small business. Your road ahead is to be filled with challenges, curveballs, and puzzles you will need to figure out to carve out your unique niche in the marketplace. Stay focused, remain positive, and do not give up. You deserve the chance to make your dreams a reality!