For those small business owners who survived the startup phase and are now ready to grow your business, there are numerous possibilities. Keep in mind, growing your business will depend on what business you are in and how much money, time and sweat equity you’re willing to invest all over again. Here are four ways to kick start growth in your small business.
When thinking about how to grow your business first, consider opening a new location, franchising your business, look for markets overseas by expand globally, and make sure you are taking part the biggest market in the world by expanding on the internet.
Open another location. Your first option for growth is to open an additional location. Now, this can be really tricky. You need to look at the economic environment and trends for indications that theirs is enough business to support an additional location. Make sure your operations, banking an processes are all in order. It will be important to have a strong management team to send into the new location. One of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make is determining how you will finance your expansion. Choose your new location carefully. Don’t let you wallet drive your decision making or you could end up in the poor house.
Turn your business into a franchise. I recently interviewed Dina Dywer Owens, Former Chair of the International Franchise Association (IFA) and she suggests anyone interested in turning their business into a franchise, check out the free resources at the IFA’s website www.franchise.org. and hire a professional franchise consultant to help. Now if you are really interested in this growth strategy, you must streamline all your internal systems and marketing processes first. Then, start networking within the franchise community, become a member of the IFA and find a good franchise attorney as well as a mentor who’s been through the franchise process. Here’s more information about how to be successful in a franchise business.
Expand globally. If you are an internet business, you may already have clientele from across the world, but there are many programs and services that will help sell products overseas markets including China, India, South America and across Europe specifically. Check out my recent interview with former under secretary of international trade Frank Lavin on How to Export to China. In most cases to export outside of the US, you’ll need a foreign distributor who’ll carry an inventory of your product and resell it in their domestic markets. Trade groups and foreign chambers of commerce in the U.S., are good places to find distributors. Also check out the government’s website businessusa.gov which is a great resource for small businesses looking to export outside the US.
Expand on the Internet. Are You Googleable? In many business circles, if you can’t be found on the internet you do not exist. Make sure that you have a useful website that tells people how to hire you within 3 seconds of arrival onto your home page. Think of your website as the front door to your business. Be sure that you use an e-commerce solution such as shopify.com or bigcommerce.com that also has the ability to mirror your online store on your facebook fan page. An online store will bring you customers that your brick and mortar business could never reach.
Do you want more great ideas for business growth? Sign up for my Free Webinar March 29th 1-2pm ET on How to Better Communicate With Your Target Customers http://bit.ly/wPX0SV
For more tips on how start or grow your small business subscribe to Melinda Emerson’s blog http://www.succeedasyourownboss.com.
Melinda F. Emerson, known to many as SmallBizLady is one of America’s leading small business experts. As a seasoned entrepreneur, professional speaker, and small business coach, she
develops audio, video and written content to fulfill her mission to end small business failure. As CEO of MFE Consulting LLC, Melinda educates entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies on subjects including small business start-up, business development and social media marketing. Forbes Magazine recently named her one of the Top 20 women for entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter. She hosts #SmallBizChat Wednesdays on Twitter 8-9pm ET for emerging entrepreneurs. She also publishes a resource blog www.succeedasyourownboss.com Melinda is also the author of the national bestseller Become Your Own Boss in 12 months; A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business That Works. (Adams Media 2010)