You’ve also probably seen those scary statistics about businesses failing, especially the fact that 90% of startups fail, or that 96% of businesses fail within 10 years – especially for financial reasons.
But there you are, you’ve survived startup, and you probably don’t have a reason to be afraid of business failure for financial reasons, and then now you need to expand.
I understand expansion can be a big deal, and growth is definitely scary on its own. In fact, growth has been the undoing of many businesses.
But according to business and marketing expert, Alberto Riehl, CEO of of DreamSource Consulting, growth doesn’t have to be a scary experience. Growing your company doesn’t have to translate to heading towards failure – as long as you do it the right way, are creative about it, and avoid as much risk as possible.
Here are 5 ways he recommends to expand your business quickly.
This could be the fastest route to growing and expanding your business.
Even though Riehl advises – and emphasizes on – due diligence, he insists that merging with or acquiring another business has the potentials of doubling your business overnight.
All you have to watch out for are things like the financial condition of the company, the strength of its management team, the size of its customer base, and then the potential of both businesses becoming stronger than you both currently are individually.
2. New Location
Even though business expansion shouldn’t necessarily mean opening up new locations, it’s still a good way to expand your business – and a valid sign of business growth.
"You can open up new locations in other areas of the country to reach more customers and, in effect, grow your customer base. It’s the easiest way to expand your business, as long as you’ve done the necessary market research," he said.
Riehl says you can also open up new branches or get a virtual mailbox in foreign countries to further reach an entirely different audience. And better still, if you have the required fund, open a branch in another country. First, travel to the country to see their business landscape and make initial plans. This first travel doesn’t have to be cost prohibitive; just leverage Amex gold card benefits or another high-reward credit card like it.
Crowdfunding (or crowdsourcing) is a very effective and creative way to expand your business. And it definitely has other benefits attached to it – like qualifying your idea (revealing whether it’s something people would buy). It's a potent financing tool that anyone who's taken some good BIWS courses would know.
It involves pitching your idea to a large group of people, especially on platforms created for it – like Kickstarter – while they contribute not just money, but also ideas, information, etc, that will make your idea a success.
"If your product enjoys some reasonable acceptance already, crowdfunding/sourcing is a great way to expand," Riehl advised.
Giving other people the right to use your brand and business model, though for a period of time, is a great way to expand your business.
According to Riehl, "franchising helps you expand your business without having to worry too much about capital, plus, you get the best talents to grow your brand with a great interest in its success."
If you really want to expand your business and make some nice royalties down the line – and don’t mind other people touching your business differently from how you usually would – then you should consider franchising.
5. The Internet
This might not seem to you as an expansion, but practically, it is.
The internet generally helps you break boundaries, starting a blog and having a website, for example, gives you the opportunity to offer your products or services to an audience larger than you’re currently dealing with. This also involves exploiting other internet platforms like social media, search engines, and email to promote your business.
"The internet will open you up to more leads and sales opportunities, and in essence, help expand your business, if you’re strategic about it," Riehl enthused.
No matter what the economic atmosphere says, you can always expand your businesses without limit: you only have to be creative about it. Trying some of the above 5 ways will surely help you see your business grow safely and help you avoid the failure that comes with rapid growth.