If you've survived the startup stage and your business is now well established, you may be thinking of ways to expand.
What can you do to help your business grow? There are many ways. Choosing which one is right for you depends on the type of business and the amount of money, time and resources you're willing to invest all. If you're ready to grow, take a look at these tips.
This is often the first way business owners approach growth. If you feel confident that your current business location is under control, consider expanding by opening a new location.
Offer your business as a franchise or business opportunity. Franchising your business will allow for growth without requiring you to manage the new location. This will help to maximize the time you spend improving your business in other ways, too.
This can be an effective, low-cost growth medium, particularly if you have a service product or branded product. Licensing also minimizes your risk and is low cost in comparison to the price of starting your own company to produce and sell your brand or product. To find a licensing partner, start by researching companies that provide products or services similar to yours.
Aligning yourself with a similar type of business can be a powerful way to expand quickly.
Diversifying is an excellent strategy for growth, because it allows you to have multiple streams of income that can often fill seasonal voids and, of course, increase sales and profit margins. One way is to sell complementary products or services. Here are a few of the most common ways to diversify:
Your current domestic market is serving you well. Are there others? Probably. Use your imagination to determine what other markets could use your product. Think statewide, regionally or nationally.
One of the best ways to grow your business is to win business from the government. Work with your local SBA and Small Business Development Center to help you determine the types of contracts available to you.
Two is always bigger than one. Investigate companies that are similar to yours, or that have offerings that are complementary to yours, and consider the benefits of combining forces or acquiring the company.
We're talking exports to foreign customers in foreign countries here. You don't just dive into foreign sales. There's much to learn, but small companies do it all the time. The Minnesota Trade Office you assess your export potential and get export ready.
Is your company's website ready for online sales? Make sure. Then learn to use it and other digital to market yourself.
Consultants at our Small Business Assistance Office can help you understand more about how to grow your business. And our network of Small Business Development Centers has experts located in nine main regional offices and several satellite centers statewide.
Our publication A Guide to Starting a Business in Minnesota provide a deeper look at this and other issues.