THE BLOG
08/19/2016 09:42 am ET | Updated Aug 19, 2016

Effective Ways Businesses Can Reach Larger Markets

The ability to grow your company by expanding to new markets can help determine the longevity of your company. Successful companies have the ability to grow and attract new customers which helps to sustain its growth. The opposite is true for those companies that do not have the ability to reach larger markets. Their growth is limited and before long, many of them fail. The question then is how does one prevent a company from hitting that proverbial wall? After surviving the ups and downs of the initial startup stage, the next natural stage for your business is growing past its own parameters. While implementing a growth strategy for new markets can sometimes be difficult, it can be an effective exercise for your company. Here are a few ways you can help your business to reach larger markets.
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Diversify - A great way for your business to find new customers is through diversification. A business that is open to multiple streams of income allows itself to not only compete more, but to also attract customers to whom the business did not originally cater. Diversification can also help business owners fill seasonal voids when profits are lower. For this reason diversification is an often-used tool as business owners attempt to grow and expand their brands. Methods of diversification include selling complementary products and services, hosting classes that can help edify potential users about your product or service or becoming a paid speaker or columnist. For example, if your business is a writing service, you can diversify by also providing translation services to your company's portfolio. By doing so, you expose your business to a whole new set of customers who were in the past were not in need of your primary offering.

Opening a New Location - While opening a new location may not always be the best idea, it can be a valuable step in growing your business. However, opening a new location is not a decision to be taken lightly as there are a number of factors to consider. Choosing the wrong location, the wrong time or a poor strategy can have a devastating effect on your new location and your business as a whole. Opening a new location requires careful research and planning and even then, expanding physical location isn't always the answer. When deciding whether or not this is the right step for you, you must consider a few factors such as how well is your business currently performing, the possibility of your company remaining competitive and the ability of your management team to support the new location through its rocky period.

Franchising - One of the more common ways that business owners find larger markets is by allowing interested parties to open franchises. Sometimes business owners may discover that banks are unwilling to lend money for further expansion of their businesses if the owner is already operating a couple businesses. For this reason, many business owners turn to franchising. Franchising is a great way to get ahead of the competitive curve while spending less of your own time and capital to do so. It is also a great way to mitigate the risk to you and your own business. Franchising allows you to focus on your own business while still growing into new markets. It is the new franchisee who is ultimately responsible for hiring, firing leases and a host of other responsibilities. Of course, franchising is not for everyone. Therefore, before embarking on a franchising quest, business owners must first ask themselves a few questions such as will potential franchisees find your concept saleable and does their passion match yours? Also, can the concept be duplicated without an excessive need for training? If the answers to these questions are yes, franchising may be worth looking into.

Merging or Acquiring Other Businesses - Having your business merge with another company or alternately, acquiring that business, has a number of tangible benefits. It allows you to obtain already-trained staff whose knowledge and skills your business can harness. You can also use that business to offer a number of complimentary products and services that can help to bring attention to your own business. In this way, you can choose to sell products and services side by side that help to benefit each business. Merging can also help your business to have access to valuable assets that were previously unavailable to it such as software and distribution channels. These assets are sometimes more expensive to build than buy and for this reason, merging and acquisition makes a lot of sense. Of course, merging can also help you to access a wider customer base thereby increasing your market share. Lastly, you can also help to reduce your overhead by combining marketing budgets and the ability to purchase in even greater bulk, thereby reducing costs.

Expand to the Internet - Gone are the days when a simple brick and mortar presence was all you needed to succeed in the world of business. Today's customers have odd working and shopping hours. Customers want the ability to leisurely peruse products at home, comparing features and prices before making their final decisions. Your business simply won't survive without an online presence. Customers do not only find online shopping helpful, but absolutely critical to their shopping needs. However, having an online presence isn't everything. Your online presence must first be discoverable in search rankings. The site must also be easy to peruse and provide a comfortable buying experience. This involves studying how users chance upon your site as well as tracking their behavior when they arrive.      Developing an online presence means that your business can attract customers outside of your city and even country.

Growing a business can be a bumpy road littered with numerous obstructions. At times it may become discouraging and it may seem that the odds are stacked against you. However, business owners shouldn't aim for a growth explosion, but rather for steady, sustainable growth. Reaching new markets can be rewarding, however you should keep in mind that growth should not be detrimental to the future of your business.

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