Market potential is just one of the barometers for determining whether a business is ready for expansion. It predicts your niche industry’s likelihood of either enjoying growth or suffering a setback.
If it’s the former, it’s in your best interest to ride the swell of opportunity. Otherwise, your competitors will, and you might lose what could be a big chunk of the profit pie.
However, you can’t scale your business without doing your homework. That applies even if your market is poised to balloon. Remember, for the move to be effective, it must implement highly calculated strategies, such as the following.
Before you built a business from scratch, you wrote a business plan which you presented to investors. That took adequate research to complete. So, this is nothing new for you. However, when it comes to growth plans, the kind of research you need to do will be more specific: market research.
The primary concern market research needs to answer is this: What are your target audience’s pain points? How can you address customer challenges and turn them into business opportunities? If answered precisely, these questions will lead you in the right direction. They will tell you how to go about expanding your business.
2. Get Organized
A business owner worth their salt knows the importance of organization. And that covers two aspects: time and record.
As for time, you must be on top of short- and long-term goals. Create an accurate and practical schedule outlining when you want to see results. Communicate your organization’s objectives to its team members effectively, and stay at the helm of projects without regressing to micromanagement. A good leader knows how to delegate.
The second aspect of organization is recordkeeping. Whether you DIY the job or hire a professional, make sure all relevant files and documents are in order and easily accessible. That way, you won’t be in the dark in terms of where your business stands, finance and compliance-wise.
3. Hire the Right People
Here, you have two options. Either you hire onsite employees or pursue outsourcing. Regardless, you’re on the right track so long as you pick the right people. So, how might you discern which applicants are worth hiring?
For starters, conduct thorough interviews. Allot enough time to get to know an applicant’s values and priorities. See whether they are passionate about the industry you’re in. Gauge their potential loyalty by asking about their future plans and so on.
4. Know Your Customers
Whenever you think of expanding your business, you don’t envision giving up your existing customers for new ones. Instead, you want to command a new market segment on top of what’s already yours.
Here, it’s crucial to relearn what your existing target audience is all about. They might have changed over the years, and you must discover ways to evolve together.
As for the market segment you wish to expand to, go back to the drawing board and begin from scratch. Get to know their pain points and how you could solve them. These apply to both B2C and B2B businesses.
5. Design a Sales Funnel
A sales funnel refers to a customer’s journey with your brand. It begins the moment they learn you exist and culminates in them purchasing your product or service. At least, that’s the ideal.
However, not all customers go through the entire length of a sales funnel. Some would abandon the journey halfway, others earlier.
An immersive and reliable sales funnel is what you’re gunning for. That’s crucial for expanding to a new market segment whose trust you have yet to gain.
6. Study Your Competitors
Think of your competitors as your estranged twins raised by adoptive parents. They share similarities with you, but since they were nurtured in a different environment, they have their own unique vibe. They have specific strengths and weaknesses. That’s where they become indispensable to your growth.
Look at what your competitors are doing right, then do it better. Pinpoint your competitors’ shortcomings and create solutions that apply to your operations. This is not plagiarism. It’s a legit aspect of market research, which competitive businesses do regularly.
7. Be Adaptable
If there’s one thing the pandemic has taught businesspeople around the globe, it’s the importance of adaptability. You cannot be in business if you’re the kind who’s set in your ways, refusing to budge even if circumstances demand you to.
For instance, consider how COVID-19 led many businesses to embrace e-commerce. Upon the suspension of face-to-face transactions to prioritize public safety, companies had no choice but to look elsewhere, which, in this case, is the digital space. That has proven to be a blessing in disguise, given e-commerce’s sustained growth in recent years and its promising outlook in the coming decades.
8. Build a Robust Online Presence
Nowadays, social media platforms empower businesses to connect with existing customers and reach new ones. You have all the reasons to maximize this opportunity. Otherwise, you’ll lag behind the race because, chances are, your competitors are already doing it.
Consider Facebook marketing. This affordable investment will allow you to be seen and heard by a large audience. If you want to get more specific, you can tailor-fit your social media marketing approach, too. For example, are you targeting the Gen Z crowd? Head on to TikTok because that’s where they’re at.
When it comes to financing your business, different sources are at your disposal. However, no matter where you procure funds, it’s crucial to safeguard your assets. That’s a basic entrepreneurial trait you need to learn. And it means knowing when to strike in terms of growth plans.
On top of market potential, you could explore other indicators to ascertain if you’re ready to expand. One of the most obvious is elevated customer demand. If your current operation can no longer sustain customers’ clamor for your products or services, it’s high time to scale up.
Another hint is a steady cash flow. That means your finances are in order, which translates to your business being in tip-top shape. Take all these into account, alongside the strategies mentioned above, and soon you’ll be ready to level up your entrepreneurial game.
Maisy Linnette is an aspiring freelance writer and editor. With a passion for storytelling and a keen eye for detail, Maisy has made it her mission to help businesses and individuals bring their words to life. When she’s not working on a project, you can find Maisy exploring the outdoors, trying out new kitchen recipes, or curling up with a good book. She is a creative, dedicated, and hardworking individual who always looks for new opportunities to grow and learn.