Starting a small business can be an extremely challenging thing to undertake. Growing a customer base, finding reliable suppliers and generating the perfect marketing campaign are all things that should be considered. However, once your small business has gained some success and become financially stable, what’s next? If you’re looking to expand your small business there are so many approaches you can take to step your business up a notch without breaking the bank. Whether you work with a local business or spend some time curating the perfect ecommerce site to expand your market reach, expanding your business doesn’t have to feel like a daunting task. Take a look at our six ways of expanding your small business:
- Partner with a local business
Working with local businesses is a great marketing move for all companies involved, no matter their size or experience. You are all able to use each others’ customer base to expand your own audiences and you can all contribute to the campaign or event that you are collaborating on to lower costs for everyone but still offer customers a premium experience.
- Launch an ecommerce site
A great way to cater to a wider market is through the running of an ecommerce site. This will allow customers from further afield to access your products, and increase your market reach and sale potential. You’ll need to invest in marketing and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) campaigns to target online audiences accurately, but this can be well worth the financial cost if done well. Ecommerce sites can open up your business to a whole new market. If you are not feeling up to the task of creating a whole new website from scratch and paying for domain names etc., why not make a site on a major ecommerce website such as Amazon or eBay.
- Offer takeaway
If you’re looking for a low-cost way to expand your offerings to your local market and increase sales amongst your community, consider offering off premise sales. Offering takeaway products isn’t just an option for retailers such as bakeries and cafes, but bars and restaurants can offer takeaway food, to-go cocktails and drinks packages too. If you’re a bar, how about offering “make it yourself” cocktail packages where you offer customers pre-made cocktails that they simply add some ice to and pout in a glass. This is sure to impress friends and family and be a hit for locals hosting dinner parties and looking to leave an impression!
- Expand your offerings
If you’re dominating the market in your area with a specific product or service, why not expand your offerings? Loyal customers may begin to buy from you rather than competitors, and it can be a great way to expand a business organically. Remember that you’ll need to allow time and a budget to start planning, supplying and marketing any new products or services, but if you’ve got the budget and some patience this is one of the best ways for a business to grow and begin to reach a new market which they may not have otherwise had access to.
- Start a customer loyalty program
One of the most important things for any company, particularly small businesses, is a loyal customer base. Customers that will repeatedly return to your company for your products or services are more likely to recommend you to friends and family, and can also provide a regular and reliable source of income. A great way to generate more loyal customers is through the introduction of a customer loyalty scheme. Whether you offer loyalty cards for customers to fill out from each visit to your store or you set up a VIP scheme which offers repeat customers discounts and exclusive offers, a loyalty program is one of the most reliable ways to generate repeat customers.
- Start a social media campaign
If you want to attract new customers to your brand, why not start up an engaging social media presence. A good social media campaign should be able to attract customers from all over and really expand your market reach. Make sure to spread your campaign across several different social media platforms as most have different areas of reach. For example, TikTok is the place to be if you’re looking to appeal to a Gen Z audience, whereas if you’re looking to target millennials and boomers then Facebook is where you should go. To reduce costs, take a look at ways you can recycle content across a variety of social media platforms to make sure that you are reaching as wide an audience as possible.
Try out any of these six ways to expand your small business without breaking the bank and see how your brand could flourish. Whether it’s a killer social media campaign or simply offering a takeaway option to your customers, expanding your business has never been easier.
Ella Woodward is an entrepreneur who has built a career as a freelance writer and building a business from her skill with words and understanding of the needs of corporate readers.