When a business is doing well, it is often tempting to leave things well alone on the basis that if it isn’t broke, why make changes. But this is somewhat short-sighted and many businesses will benefit from expanding in order to grow. So how can you tell when the time is right to embark on a business expansion programme and what the best way to go about it is?
Build Your Customer Base
There are lots of different ways to expand a profitable business but the most obvious one is to build your customer base. Firstly, look at ways to keep your existing customer base happy, perhaps by offering new products and services. Secondly, look into ways of finding new customers.
Look for New Customers
Customers are the bread and butter of most businesses. Whether you sell engine parts or accountancy services, without customers your business will soon go downhill. There is only so far you can go with existing customers and no matter how well you market your products and services, there will come a time when you need to start looking for fresh meat.
One way of growing a business and attracting new customers is to take a sideways leap into a related industry. For example, say you valet cars for a living, if you start buying and selling cars, your customer base will be expand and you can market your services to both sets of customers. Expanding into a new sector is a great way to grow a business and if you subsequently decide to sell the business at a later date, it will be worth a lot more attractive to prospective buyers.
Open in a New Location
Another way of expanding an already successful business is to open a branch office in a new location. This approach is not for everyone, but if there is scope for reaching a whole new customer base in another geographical location, it might be worth considering. One option that works for many businesses is to open a virtual office in a new location, to test the water so to speak. Regus in Dubai has worked for a lot of smaller businesses hoping to gain a foothold in the lucrative Arab Emirates marketplace, but this is just an example – you may decide to go the whole hog and open a full branch office in a different region or country.
Do Your Research
No two businesses are the same, so before you take the decision to expand your business, make sure the business will benefit. There needs to be a significant cost advantage to make expansion a viable proposition. You also need to be confident that existing customers will not desert you in their droves if you expand the business in the search for a new customer base. It is also worth remembering that growing a business can be stressful, which doesn’t suit everyone.
There are lots of decisions to be made before embarking on a business expansion strategy, but if you time your expansion right and plan for every eventuality, it could make your business a lot stronger.