The goal of most small business owners is to grow their business. Hopefully, increased revenues will help ease cash flow problems and in the end, improve profits. Other advantages of growing business may include the chance to bring in more qualified employees, acquiring more customers and improving credit scores.
How to achieve business growth through product or service expansion
Of course, certain core businesses may appear hard to grow. They may rely upon seasonal work or a limited customer base. In this case, business owners might consider expanding their products or services. This type of expansion can broaden the customer base and allow companies to bring in revenues during times when they may have experienced slow periods before.
Of course, every business owner may find different ways to expand their offerings. The best solutions may depend upon the nature of the core business, location and the expertise of the owner and employees. Some ideas might only work if the owner has capital to invest in new machines or supplies.
These ideas are meant to spark some creative thinking to find good solutions that will work for each unique company:
Expand service areas
Companies that provide services to homes or other businesses may find that their hometown or neighborhood has a limited customer base. There are contracting companies that have become entirely dependent upon on large customer.
Expanding to nearby locations is one of the most common ways that local businesses grow into regional businesses. This also allows the company to add some more geographic areas to a business website, directories, and social pages to show up in more local searches.
The business owner might need to factor additional travel time and fuel costs into pricing. Of course, it’s possible to schedule visits outside of the original service area for maximum efficiency. In time, the business owner may even decide to add more physical locations to help them meet demand more efficiently.
Seasonal business owners may want to focus on expanding services in order to improve revenues during their slow periods. Most small business owners have to work to manage cash flow, and this task is much tougher when revenues are only high for a few months but operational costs last all year. Other companies may depend upon contract work to increase revenue. These businesses may find that they can improve income by offering more kinds of services or even some products to customers. This expansion helps them get new customers and sell more to the customers that they already have.
These are some ways to expand services both offline and online:
- For instance, some tax accountants may experience peak revenues during the first quarter of the year. Instead of just preparing taxes, these professionals might expand into tax planning for other small businesses. One good way to promote this kind of service online could be through holding webinars with tax tips for small businesses or even individuals. Some tax preparers might also produce books or videos for sale to help startups and small businesses manage tax planning better.
- Small motels or bed-and-breakfasts may be located by attractions that draw crowds in the summer, but few people after school starts in the fall. Some of these plucky entrepreneurs have learned to keep business flowing by offering holiday specials for getaways. Others have opened their facilities up to host seminars or workshops for organizations.
- One local company started out by offering garage door repairs in their town and surrounding area. The owner realized that he had expertise in sourcing high-quality tools and products. He kept his local business website to attract repair customers, but he also added an online store to sell products to the DIY crowd all over the country. He promoted this online store by creating some how-to videos. These videos helped people decide if they would prefer to order supplies or would be better off calling for repairs too. Either way, people who viewed the videos would be likely to think of this company first.
When to consider online or offline business expansion
Of course, increased revenues don’t always lead to higher profits. Costs must be considered too. It might be wise to test new offerings on a small scale before making a large investment. Also, expanded offerings tend to perform best when they naturally relate to the core business. The business owner is likely to have the knowledge and maybe even the customer base to make the new venture a success.