Starting a business is relatively easy. It’s growing a business that’s hard. Here are 10 ideas others have used to take their emerging businesses to the next level.
- Add a location. This obviously depends on the type of business, but if there is demand for what you do in other areas, consider expanding to another area of the city, state or country where you can serve more customers with the proven business model you have spent years perfecting.
- Leverage the Internet. Nearly every business can use the power of the Internet somehow. If you are selling products and services, your website is a 24/7 store. If your business model does not support selling via a website, then use your website as an intranet for your customers and employees.
- Consider vertical integration. If you are a manufacturer, get control of your supply chain, including raw materials and other goods and services for which you are paying someone else now. If you are a distributor, think about how you can leverage your position in the value chain in both directions. Should you form an alliance with two or three key suppliers and two or three key sales outlets and streamline your business model?
- Think about franchising or licensing. Many emerging businesses have a proven business model that can be replicated. Consider selling licenses, and help others get started in your industry. There are many different models, so check with your B2B CFO® professional to consider which one might be best for you.
- Expand your product and service offerings. Get to know your best customers, and work with them to expand your offerings. What are they buying from others that they could buy from you?
- “Productize” a service or process. Do you brand your service offerings and give them a name? Have you created some proprietary processes that you can sell to your customers or even others in your industry?
- Leverage your empty trucks or other unused capacity. Never run an empty truck or a partially filled line. Always find a way to fill the truck going both ways.
- Expand internationally. It’s easier than you think, and there are many resources available to help you move into foreign markets.
- Form an alliance or partnership. Merge with or acquire others in your industry. Look for economies of scale, key employees, facilities and customers that would complement your existing business.
- Target a government or corporate contract. Dealing with large corporations and the government brings its own set of challenges, but if you land a couple of long-term contracts, it takes the pressure off your selling efforts.
At B2B CFO®, we understand the complexities of emerging businesses and have the tools and experience to help you grow your business to the next level.