Expand Your Target Market
If you are running a business, there’s no doubt that your goals are focused towards growth or expansion.When you first began your business, perhaps you have picked your niche and focused all your marketing techniques there. Now that you plan on expanding your business, it’s important to analyze your current customer base and see if there is any particular group that is actively buying your larger ticket items. Or perhaps there is a common need they all have that you can accommodate them by providing.
In 1997 we opened our doors to small businesses and helped them by providing financing for their equipment. For many years that is ALL we did. But we found a lot of our clients would ask us about finding other sources of financing for things like inventory, salary, and even production cost. As our clients grew, so did we, and we expanded our services to help accommodate them. Now looking back I can’t believe that our original business plan didn’t include all the many services we now provide. Our vision back then, was a little to narrow.
Don’t get me wrong, you can’t be everything, to everyone. But if your service can be easily expanded or you can partner with companies that can work with your clients and provide them with the services they need. Then its in your best interest and the best interest of your clients to do so. This will add value to your relationship with your client.
How To Come Up With New Ideas
How can you find ideas for expansion? I like to notate things our clients say to me or ask me if I know a good company for…. Then at our monthly board meeting I go over the ideas I think may add value to our company and to our current client base. We also hold quarterly brainstorming meetings. Consider brainstorming or using mind mapping software ( here’ sa link to some free mind mapping software) to help you brainstorm ideas.
Of course, conducting market research is a crucial step in your preparation. You can do this with phone surveys, or like a lot of companies you can use the internet! Survey Monkey.com has a paid and free service for you to create surveys you can run on your website. You need to know which group or groups need the products and services you offer. You need to know demographic details about them so you can choose an appropriate advertising technique to reach out to your new target market.
Five Ways To Expand Your Market
- Introduce a New Product or Service – Another way to expand a business is to offer a new product or service that complements the present products and services you offer. Doing so will give you the opportunity to boost your sales and acquire a larger customer base.
- Be Affiliated With Other Merchants – You can also expand your market by joining forces with other merchants. You may choose a merchant that offers a product or service complementary to your business. By combining marketing forces, both of your businesses can enjoy the benefits.
- Seek New Business Partners or Investors – Expanding a business involves expenses so you may consider finding a partner who can give you the financial assistance you need. You may also seek out private investors who are willing to fund your growing business.
- Look into new ways to reach your clients – If you aren’t currently using a social media then you should look into hiring a social media marketing firm to help you tap into that HUGE market. Does your website collect email information on your clients? Are you sending out weekly , bi – monthly, or monthly newsletters? Look into ways that you can not only reach new clients, but keep in touch with old ones!
- Make Sure You Have Adequate Working Capital – It is generally easier for a growing business or an established business to acquire a business loan from banks or lending companies. This is especially true if you have been able to build a solid business credit historyIf you’re going to apply for a loan, be sure to check out your options carefully and to spend time evaluating each potential lender. Create a budget plan to be sure that your funds will be utilized wisely in growing your business and that not a cent will be wasted.
Irish Taylor is a business loan consultant with Startup Business Loans and has been providing consumers and business owners with startup business financing since 1992. For years she has helped people with credit and loan problems especially pertaining to business start up, SBA loans and Unsecured loans.