The U.S. is home to about 28 million small businesses, all of which are fighting for the chance to grow and improve. In 2011, at the height of the recession, nearly half of all small business owners were financing their companies with personal credit, 63% were taking out small business loans just for cash flow, and 800,000 were approved for loans, compared to 600,000 who were denied. It was a difficult environment for small businesses and startups.
Now, however, with the economy on the upswing, small business expansion is becoming more and more common. Small business expansion loans are more popular than ever. Taking on a small business expansion can be scary, but it’s certainly doable. If you’re getting ready to take a chance on expanding your small business, take a look at these tips first. Small business expansion is nothing to trifle with.
- Have a financial plan. It should include a marketing plan, a sales plan, a product plan, and an operation plan. That way, you can accurately conduct assessments of your profits and losses and make better decisions in the future. What are you going to do and when are you going to do it? Answer that question before you expand.
- Diversify. If you really have an understanding of what your clients want and need, you can expand by adding a new product or service. The key is to make sure your diversification addresses the needs of your existing clients.
- Enter new marketplaces. If you’re a commercial landscaper, think about branching out into the residential field. Wealthy homeowners aren’t looking for commercial landscapers to remodel their homes. Find out where the money is, and find a way to meet the needs of those clients. Is there a huge market for hardscaping in an upscale neighborhood? Look for a way in.
- Create an alliance. If a potential partner has a client base you could benefit from, and you have something new and profitable to bring to the table, it might be wise to combine and offer one-stop shopping. Identify your strengths and weaknesses as well as those of your competitors, and find away to fill in each other’s gaps.
- Take advantage of social media. Post events, new product offerings, sales, specials, and anything new or different. You’ll be in a better position to grow if you’ve got a foothold in the public eye. Get busy on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. It might even be worth hiring a professional to take care of it for you.
Small business expansion can take a variety of forms, and it can really be fruitful if you do it right. How can your business grow? References.by