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Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

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Expanding Your Business into New Markets

 

There are a few telltale signs that your business is ready for the next level. Expanding into new markets will supplement your business and provide profit, reach, and impact. You shouldn’t take expansion lightly because you can’t sacrifice your current operations.

So how do you know if your business is ready? Here are some clues:

  • You have steady and loyal customers who find you, instead of the other way around.
  • You exceed your business goals both qualitatively and quantitatively with measurable statistics to prove it.
  • You have a reliable team with key players who understand your vision and are ready for a challenge.[A1] 

If you’re ready to make the move to new markets, there are some strategies you can implement to help you.

 

The Impact on Your Current Business

You can’t abandon your existing operations for the sake of expansion. You want to supplement your business and grow it, not replace it. The best way to make sure you keep your operations intact is to analyze the full impact of expansion on all aspects of your current business.

 

Map out ways your expansion will impact your business, how your team members will have to split their time, how you will implement additional resources, and how you will handle increased demands on your leadership.

 

Your Expansion Route

You have several options when it comes to expanding your business. You can offer new products or services, open a new location, or enter a different market using a separate but equally strong skill set.

 

While expanding to a new target audience is one of the easiest ways to expand, diversifying your offering might be the safest long-term bet, as well as the most lucrative.

 

You can always offer your product or services to a new demographic, but expanding your product line or service offering reduces your exposure to a sudden downturn in your industry. At the same time, it allows you to increase sales within your existing loyal customers.

 

If you keep your new product or service in the family of what you currently offer, it makes for a smoother transition and gives you credibility based on what your customers already know you do well.

 

Moving to a new location could involve expanding your online presence or offering mobile services, neither of which are dependent on location and have minimal overhead costs. There’s a lot to think about, and both of these expansion techniques could be implemented very poorly if you’re not careful.

 

New vertical markets may also give you a fair amount of success, especially if the two markets complement each other. For instance, a fitness coach could offer her own line of fitness clothing, or a restaurant owner could provide his own brand of cookware.

 

Alignment

Your new business model should align with the old to drive results. You create value for your business by operating consistently across the board no matter what industry you’re in or what product or service you offer.

 

Your business goals, objectives, and values shouldn't have to change to enable your expansion. You can always change the way you operate to fit the mold of the new market, but you shouldn’t have to rewrite your core business values.

 

Make sure you can satisfy each market with your current resources, that you find similarities in the needs of each customer, and that you can leverage your existing technology, market research, or distribution channels so that you find overlap and make a smooth transition.

 

Taking the Leap

If you think you’re ready to expand, take a step back. Gather data on the market you want to enter by defining it, and validating it. Understand the demographics and psychographics of your target audience as well as the problem you’re solving.

 

Game Plan

Decide how you’re going to position yourself in the market by knowing who you are and what you’re offering. Believe in it yourself, and you’ll have an easier time convincing others of its value.

 

Execute your plan based on a roadmap and a number of goals related to quantitative performance indicators like revenue or number of daily sales. Once you’ve entered the market, don’t stop.

 

Expanding your business in a single step requires available cash flow, but will almost always give better results than piecemeal expansion. If you don’t have the capital you need on hand, consider a loan from a bank or, for faster approval and more flexible options, alternative lending site like https://www.quickloansdirect.com/fast-business-loans/.

 

Providing excellent customer service is the best way to make sure that once you enter a market, you increase market share and outdo your competitors in every way. Map out your customer’s journey, so you know what they experience every step of the way, and then improve.

 

While moving and expanding a business can be overwhelming, but it’s exciting, and using these strategies and taking it one step at a time will get you where you need to be.

 [A1]Moved to end of article to match client brief.

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