Last Updated on November 23, 2023 by Asfa Rasheed
Small businesses are the lifeblood of the American economy. They create employment, foster innovation, and promote development.
According to a study published by the Small Business Administration (SBA) in 2019, small firms contribute at least 44% to the US economy. Therefore, to keep the economy strong, small businesses need to thrive.
Many small businesses are struggling to grow. In some cases, this is simply a result of a lack of resources or limited marketing opportunities.
However, in many cases, the root of the problem is a lack of creativity and innovation. Business owners can get caught in a rut, using the same methods repeatedly without any real success.
If you’re looking for ways to expand your small business, the following are some innovative ideas to get you started.
Table of Contents
When to Expand?
Before a small business can start taking measures and implementing strategies, it must understand when is the right time to take the risk and expand.
Expanding a company at the wrong time can bring more problems than benefits. Businesses should only grow when they have a solid foundation, a clear plan, and the resources to support growth.
Specific vital indicators will help determine if a company is ready to make that next step.
- A loyal customer base
- Increased demand
- Growing revenue
- A team of dedicated employees
While all these factors play a vital role, the most important thing is having the right team. Without a team of dedicated and passionate employees, it will be complicated to expand a small business successfully.
For instance, a company struggling with accounting might want to expand by hiring an in-house accountant with at least a BBA in accounting so they can take care of the company’s finances full-time.
Similarly, a company that delivers products might want to include professionals with an MBA in marketing and sales to help them increase their customer base and grow revenue.
How to Expand a Business?
Expanding a business means bigger risks but also more significant potential rewards. To minimize the risks associated with expansion, companies should have a clear plan and well-defined goals.
There are many ways to expand a small business. Here are some of the most common:
1. Increase Your Offerings:
The more you offer, the more likely you will attract new customers and grow your business. For example, if you’re a small retailer, you might want to start carrying new products that complement your existing inventory.
If you’re a service-based business, you might want to add new services or package existing ones together to create new offerings.
For example, a small accounting firm might want to add bookkeeping or tax preparation services. Or, a web design company might want to start offering SEO services.
The jinx is that if you try to be everything to everyone, you’ll be nothing to no one. So, it’s important to choose new offerings wisely and make sure they fit in with your existing business model.
2. Reach a New Audience:
You must be familiar with the term ‘saturation’ regarding markets. It means that there are no more potential customers in your current market.
How can you determine if your market is saturated?
There are a few key indicators:
- You’re struggling to attract new customers
- Your customer acquisition costs are rising
- You’re starting to see more competition
If you find yourself in this situation, it might be time to start looking for new markets.
The first step is to identify your ideal customer. Once you know your target customer, you can start thinking about the best way to reach them.
Are they active on social media? Do they read certain publications? Where do they like to hang out online and offline?
Answering these questions will help you develop a marketing strategy to reach your new audience.
3. Invest in a Website:
It shouldn’t surprise that nearly 54% of Americans shop on their mobile phones. If you don’t have a mobile-friendly website, you’re missing out on many potential businesses.
You need a website that looks good on all devices, but you also need one that’s easy to use and packed with relevant information.
According to studies, a poorly designed website will cost you 38% of your customer base.
If you’re wondering what a brilliant website includes, here are some key features:
A straightforward and easy-to-use navigation
- High-quality images
- Engaging and well-written content
- An easy way to contact you
4. Focus on Your Content:
Content marketing can produce dramatic results IF done rightly! Small businesses may not have enough resources to create content, so focusing on quality over quantity is essential.
However, one piece of content each day is better than nothing, and it all adds up over time.
Here are some ideas for content that small businesses can create:
It is just the tip of the iceberg. If you get creative, there are endless possibilities for the types of content you can create.
Remember that your goal should be to provide value to and engage your audience. If you can do that, you’ll be well on your way to expanding your small business.
5. Consider Franchising:
A small business may also expand by franchising. Franchising is when a business owner licenses their brand, operating system, and trademarks to another party.
The franchisee then pays the franchisor a fee to open and operate a franchise location.
Franchising can be an excellent way to grow your business quickly and with minimal risk., suggests Matt Frauenshuh, a Chief Executive Officer of Minneapolis-based Fourteen Foods. Matt Frauenshuh joined his family`s Dairy Queen franchises in 2006 when the group comprised only seven stores across the country. For the next 15 years, he would expand their holdings to 240 franchises and become the largest Dairy Queen franchise in the world.
The company got its start in the Dairy Queen system in 2002 when it opened one of the 5,900+ unit chain’s first upscale Grill & Chill Restaurants. He started as an assistant manager and worked his way up. As of March 2011, Fourteen Foods owns and operates 120 DQs in seven states and has over 4,000 employees. Fourteen Foods operates on 14 core values that are focused on faith and family and speak about what Frauenshuh personally believes in.
It’s also a great way to get your brand in front of new people without doing all the work yourself.
If you’re interested in franchising, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
First, you need to make sure your business is doing well and is profitable. You also need to have a detailed franchise operation manual that outlines everything from your branding to your marketing strategy.
Finally, it would help if you found the right franchisees. The ideal franchisee is someone who shares your values and is passionate about your brand.
The Bottom Line:
The crux of the matter is this – to expand your small business, you need to get creative. Your customer is waiting to make a purchase or to acquire your services – it’s your job to reach them.
The tips we mentioned above are only a snapshot of what’s out there. If you put in the time and effort, you’ll be sure to find an expansion strategy that works for your small business. It could be anything from starting a blog to franchising your business. The sky’s the limit! So, what are you waiting for? Start expanding your small business today. Who knows where it will take you tomorrow.
Read More: 5 Ways to Expand Your Company in 2022