Are things going well with your start-up? Of the thousands of businesses founded every year, only a small percentage make it through the challenging business climate to establish themselves as going concerns. In fact, over 90 percent of businesses will fail within their first three years of operations.
Small business is the backbone of developed and emerging economies throughout the world. However, only the most resilient and talented entrepreneurs will be able to found companies that can successfully navigate the business environment.
If your company is beginning to find some stability in the marketplace, then it’s time to consider the options you have available to expand your firm. Growing your business into a profitable and sustainable company will take even more dedication and discipline than was required of you in the start-up phase.
Take a look through these five ideas for growth and choose one that you feel will work with your business model.
#1 Replicate Your Success in Another Market
Does your product test well in other demographics that you could be exploiting? Do some research into your analytics to discover other markets that you might be overlooking.
#2 Increase Online Activity
Are you using your online presence to its full potential? Apart from traditional SEO tactics like link building with authority sites, you should be focusing your attention on your social platforms as well. Do you have an extensive social media marketing plan?
If not, it’s time to sit down with some online marketing consultants to develop a comprehensive online marketing strategy that can create communities around your brand and product. Leverage the reach of influencers in your niche and partner with them to endorse and recommend your products.
Increasing your online marketing activities is one of the most cost-effective ways of growing your company and catching the attention of your target market.
#3 Discuss a Licensing Deal
Do you have clients that want to offer your IP to their customers? Discuss a licensing deal for software or applications that you own. Licensees will pay you licensing fees and royalties on any sales they make of your product or technology. You can white label your tech and license it to corporates as well.
#4 Buyout Your Competition
If you have a robust industry competitor or partner that you feel could strengthen areas of your business that are weak, then buy them out. Speak to a private equity firm about raising funding to purchase your competitor’s business and then absorb the systems and people from the competitor into your own business.
#5 Expand Your Global Footprint
Do you think that your brand has potential in the global marketplace? Expand your reach to another country, or start a relationship with an international trade consultancy that can assist you in identifying opportunities in foreign markets where your brand and products are testing well.
The Plan Matters
Your business plan should include your growth strategy. Review your previous plan for the start-up phase and make any alterations to your projected forecasts and financials that you think are necessary. Keeping your business plan updated is important if you want to find funding for your growth ideas.
Funding for Your Expansion
Take your business plan to a reputable financial services provider that specializes in small business lending. A Microlender will be willing to take the risk associated with lending to firms with no credit history, or a poor credit score. Most start-ups do not apply for finance while they are forming their identity in the early years. Therefore; they will not have a credit score that will be sufficient to secure a loan with a large banking institution.
Run the loan terms past your accountant and your lawyer and make sure that you have the free cash flow available to pay back the monthly loan amount. Never sign a loan agreement if you are not confident in your ability to repay the capital plus the interest. Defaulting on your loan could end up with your company failing, so be responsible with your debt.
Growth comes from executing your strategy consistently and taking note of what is working and what isn’t. Adjust your approach with the feedback you receive and keep tweaking your plan until you receive the results you want.