Setting up a new business is a busy time, and one when you learn a lot, particularly from your mistakes. But eventually it’s time to admit that your business is set up, and it’s time to start thinking about expanding. Expanding your business is a big task, especially if you’re running it on your own. It can be expensive and take you a very long to get your business to a position that you’re happy with. Business expansion can be expensive and time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. You can build your business’s reputation without spending too much time and money. Using several methods you can expand your business in no time.
Marketing is key to the expansion of your business. But all business people know that big marketing campaigns need big budgets. Instead of spending millions on advertising, make sure your business uses available internet channels. Much marketing on the internet is free and even paid advertising can be inexpensive if you’re careful with it. You should have a website whether your business is an online business or not. You can use networking sites such as LinkedIn and social media websites too. When you sign up for social media sites, make sure you choose ones appropriate to your brand. There are also several types of paid advertising you could take advantage of. These include anything from GoogleAds to promotional blog posts.
If you don’t currently sell any of your products online, consider doing so. Moving some of your business online is a great way to reach many more potential customers immediately. If you can conduct some of your business online, you can grow your business quickly by offering your products or services to people all over the world.
One of the highest expenses in trying to grow your business is hiring staff. Just the process of looking for new employees can be a costly endeavor. But as your business grows, you can’t manage everything on your own. What’s more, your business might not look particularly impressive if it’s obviously run by just one or two people. The internet and other communications technology can once again step in here. It can help you to expand your team without taking on permanent staff. You can use virtual assistants to do anything from manage your emails and take your calls to writing blog posts and creating marketing materials.
As well as using virtual staff, you can also use virtual buildings. If you want your business to look like it has a professional address, when perhaps you might be running it from home or elsewhere, virtual offices can help. You can use their address as your business address to give your business the impression of being more established. Both virtual staff and virtual offices help to expand your business. They create the illusion of a more established company. Customers and clients are more likely to trust your business if they think you have a bigger and better reputation.
Like virtual offices and staff, some storage solutions can provide you with a cheaper way of expanding your business. It’s becoming popular to run an online business from self-storage units, for example. If you have an online business that sells goods and you want to expand your stock, there’s no need to hire expensive warehouse space. One or even several storage units can work out much cheaper than hiring warehouse space specifically targeted toward business storage. In fact, many self-storage businesses tailor their services toward businesses. You can do your posting and packaging of your products at your storage space. And there’s no need to worry about your garage overflowing with unsold stock.
Another storage solution worth considering is shipping containers. If you already have business premises, hiring a shipping container could be cheaper and more convenient than renting outside storage space.
Networking and Collaborating
Networking with other business people and businesses is hugely important if you want your business to go anywhere. You can’t exist in a vacuum, so you need to put yourself out there and connect with others. You can do this both online and in the “real world”. Use networking websites like LinkedIn online, as well as social media sites. Twitter can be a great place to network with other business people. You should also join business organizations and attend events to meet people in person. Meeting people online can lead to good business relationships. But it’s not quite the same as being able to meet others in person regularly. Networking events are particularly good for forming relationships with other local businesses.
When you’re beginning to get to know other people and their businesses, it’s time to capitalize on your business relationships. Work with other businesses to promote each other, creating mutually beneficial deals. Perhaps someone who signs up to your newsletter will get 10% off at another local business. Collaborate with businesses that are complementary to yours, with similar target audiences. You can trade links if your businesses are internet based, or do ad swaps, advertising each other for free.
If you’re ready to start moving onto something that costs a bit more money, you need to secure some funding. There are lots of ways to find the funding you need, and different methods will work for different businesses. It can be difficult securing funding from angel investors and the like. Many businesses are turning toward crowd funding. If you already have a loyal customer base, asking them to contribute to your expansion in return for a special gift is a great idea. People can be extremely willing to help out when someone has an idea that they can get behind. But remember that if you set up a crowd funding page, you will need to promote it. You can’t just create your page and let it sit there. But if you talk about it on your social media pages and in your newsletter and blog, your customers will sit up and pay attention.