Congratulations if you’ve been fortunate enough to survive the startup stages of your business! You’ve made it further than a lot of other business owners ever will. But what comes next? There are several different ways to grow your business and take things to the next level.
1. Form a Key Partnership
Businesses are constantly partnering with one another in ways that are mutually beneficial. Just think of Apple and IBM, Spotify and Starbucks, UNICEF and Target — the list goes on.
One means of rapid expansion is to find a key partnership that serves as a symbiotic relationship to both parties. Hint: It doesn’t necessarily have to be with a company in your same industry.
2. Try a New Marketing Strategy
The great thing about marketing is the endless number of possibilities and combinations. Try experimenting with a new marketing medium if you’re looking to reel in a larger portion of your demographic.
Here are some of the top digital marketing trends for 2017, according to Smart Insights:
- Content marketing
- Mobile marketing
- Conversion rate optimization
- Online PR
3. Open a Second Location
Is your brick-and-mortar business swamped with customers day in and day out? Is it getting congested to the point where it’s hurting the customer experience?
If so, you should definitely consider opening a second location. Of course this requires an investment and will come with some intrinsic growing pains. But the payoff can be huge. Just be sure that you have a definite means of getting financing and carefully consider the optimal locale.
4. Add a New Product/Service
If you’ve had good results with your existing product or service, you may want to take a stab at offering another. This could complement something that’s already popular or could strike out in an entirely new direction. The important thing is that it genuinely fulfills the needs of your built-in demographic.
Be sure to perform plenty of market research to gauge receptiveness and develop a plan for raising awareness. For more on a successful launch, consult this resource from Kissmetrics.
5. Franchise Your Business
Do you have a system in place that’s successful and replicable? If so, there’s always the possibility of franchising it. When done correctly, this can be extremely lucrative because you’ll A) earn an ongoing royalty and B) build even more brand equity.
The only issue is that you need to ensure that you protect your intellectual property and choose franchisees that will be assets, not liabilities. This post from Forbes will give you a rundown on the basics involved with franchising if you’re interested in going this route.
6. Go International
In some cases, partnering with a foreign distributor makes sense. If your product/service has flourished domestically, why not take it to a global market? Just look for potential business partners out of the country. LinkedIn is a great resource for this.
Growth is the goal of most business owners. Experimenting with one or a combination of these ideas can be your ticket to expansion without the growing pains.