5 Ways to Expand Your Small Business

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Business growth Posted on August 01, 2017

5 ways to expand your small business

Your business is growing and you want to channel that growth into expansion. Discover five ways to expand your small business.

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In 2016, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills estimated that the total UK business population grew by 2% since 2015. Compared to 2000, this figure is 59%.

With SMEs accounting for 99% of the businesses in every main industry sector, that growth speaks volumes for the drive and determination of the UK’s small and medium-sized business owners to grow and expand their businesses, even in difficult economic landscapes.

Yours is one of those growing businesses and you want to channel that growth into stable expansion. So how do you go about it?

Expanding your business is exciting step, but it is also challenging. Here are five of the best ways to expand your small business in a manageable and sustainable way.

5 ways to expand your small business

1. Open a new location

One of the most obvious ways of increasing your business is to open a new location. If you’re running a shop or restaurant, this can simply be a matter of buying premises in another town and staffing them. But is it really that straightforward?

Such expansion isn’t always the best thing for a business, so think carefully about what you’re doing.

  • Is the reason for your success down to a locational factor relating to your current business, and will it transfer to another place?

  • Do you have a skilled member of staff who makes your business what it is, but can’t be in two places at once?

  • And can your existing business survive for at least part of the time without you?

2. Diversify your product

Diversification is one of the best growth strategies around and it can take many forms. For example, if you manufacture plastic clothes pegs you might be able to diversify into plastic curtain hooks without going far beyond your expertise. Similar products can be easy to produce and open up new areas of business.

However, there are other ways of diversifying. The opportunities are boundless and offer huge potential to increase your influence and earning power.

  • Consider offering training courses on the products you sell.

  • Market complementary products made by somebody else, or get paid to write about your product or service in a periodical.

  • You could even do something completely unrelated that you happen to be equally good at.

3. Expand on the web

The internet has been a massive benefit for small businesses. For specialist retailers in particular, it gives the opportunity to reach a wider customer base whilst maintaining a smaller shop floor area. You can supply the whole country from a small shop in a small town.

It’s not just geographical reach that can be increased with an online shop. What’s often forgotten is the hectic lives your customers lead – the internet allows them to buy their goods at their convenience, without the need to get to you during business hours.

4. Look to new markets

This can either be through selling your product to a different type of customer or selling it in a new area, even a different country. With a reduced value currency, exporting can be a profitable business and there’s rarely been a better time to investigate the possibilities.

If you can find a foreign distributor, so much the better. That way, you can let them deal with supply and marketing in the target country, whilst you concern yourself with delivering the product only as far as them.

The main thing is to understand your new market. After all, it may not work in the way you’re used to and you may have to adapt to different needs, but it can be a rewarding experience.

5. Collaborate in services

When running a small business, it’s common to end up taking on workloads beyond your capacities. One alternative is collaboration with people in a similar position.

Find other small businesses that offer services that complement yours and consider teaming up with them.

Maybe you can sell their product as a package alongside yours.

Alternatively make joint arrangements and provide a one-stop shop.

Suppose you sell French wine and someone else sells French cheese? Why not deliver your products together using the same vehicle?

Cover each other’s absences and arrange mutual events. You’ll both grow through supporting each other.

How do you expand your business?

  • Open a new location
  • Diversify your product
  • Expand on the web
  • Look to new markets
  • Collaborate in services

Whatever your plans for growing your business, Clark Howes can help with our specialist business growth expertise. So get in touch with us, and find all the help and advice you need on any of the growth strategies you choose to pursue.

If you need support with expanding your business in profitable, sustainable directions, we can help. Find out more.