When you’ve been in the industry long enough to establish a name, a loyal following, and profit that’s trending upwards, the next best thing to do is to expand the business into a new market. And why not? Expanding can be an effective way to leverage your business growth into, well, more growth. But like most things that involve a lot of money and put the future of other people on the line, it’s easier said than done.
Expanding is almost always a good option, that’s why oftentimes, decision-makers are faced with the question “When” and not with “Will I?”
The golden rule is: Don’t make the mistake of attempting to grow too soon, but wait until you have a period of significant success behind you to support the fact that your business model works. Add this with some simple market research and due diligence and you’ll be able to ascertain whether there is enough demand to justify expansion.
So how do you know it’s the right time to expand? You have to answer this question:Do I have a realistic market advantage in the new market?
Now, if that is fairly easy to answer, the next question isn’t: How will I sustain that advantage?
Tough, right? But that’s why you’re here, so let me help you out. Remember that we’re not after fast growth; we’re looking at a steady, sustainable one, and it is easier to achieve in an environment where you don’t have much to stray off much from your existing business model. Here are the proven strategies that should help you succeed in the big leap. Thank me later.
- Attract new customers through increased investment in promotion and advertising.
- Sell more to new customers by leveraging on your relationship and credibility with your old customers. This may involve working harder to build relationships and taking on more sales staff. Can your current clients provide you with referrals into new markets? There is no better business than referral-based businesses. Here’s how to make build tremendous credibility and make clients refer you.
- Expand existing sales channels, or create new ones. This might include, for example, developing an online sales channel. Are there certain social media platforms that you can use to attract new leads? Try them out.
According to an article on hbr.org, we found that companies in our database that expanded domestically typically had an average ROA of +1% after five years, rising to +2.4% after 10 years, with 53% exceeding 3%.
- Introducing new products or services to your marketplace can give you an instant edge – providing you have researched your market thoroughly and have a clear product strategy.
Related: SMART Calling: What’s the Edge?
- Introduce new technology to your business. Better equipment can increase your capacity and has the potential to free up staff time if used efficiently.
- Review compensation for sales people in the new market. Do you need a new sales team entirely to go after the market? You need your best hunters at work, not your best farmers.
Kenichi Ohmae, a prominent globalization expert indicated in his Book ‘Going Global says “When people make over $20,000 annual income, consumers purchasing habits, spending patterns are the same all over the world.” See more: www.nmoa.org
- Create partnerships with other businesses. Sharing resources and expertise with another business will enable you both to flourish without overstretching yourselves. It also opens the door to public sector contracts.
- Are there worthwhile events that you have to take advantage of in the new market? Each one matters especially because you’re still trying to make a name for yourself. Here are examples for unconventional event marketing campaigns that totally worked.
Of course, it always helps to prepare for all kinds of surprises, whether they are pleasant or discouraging. Think ahead about all possible scenarios and create contingency plans. Keep an open mind and be ready to adapt to any situation that might arise. Like I always say to myself whenever I have a new endeavor, “hope for the best, prepare for the worst.”
Here are some of our successful client stories as they expand their business across borders:
- Callbox Delivers Intelligent Solutions to Speed Up Market Access
- Australian Software Vendor Taps Callbox to Fast-track Sales in Asia-Pacific
- Callbox: Bridge to Global Market for Improved Code Review Tool
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