If you’re here, you probably feel like your business has made it through the first few difficult hurdles and is finally making some profits. You’re ready to grow your business. If you’re ready to expand, congratulations! You’ve made it far in the journey of small business.
There are plenty of ways to expand your small business, and we’ve collected some here. Just know that with each of these ideas, you need to conduct market research. You likely completed some of this research already when you created your business plan, but each of these expansion ideas requires a one step further, now that you’ve got your feet under you.
Learn more about some options to expand your small business.
Offer New Products and Services
One way to expand your business is to provide new products or services. However, the key here is to offer something adjacent to what you’re already selling. We’re not saying you can’t decide to sell something completely different, but it will definitely make things more difficult. You’ve already done the hard work of establishing a customer base and know where your business fits in the market, so you might as well use your prior experience and knowledge to expand your current offerings.
For example, a boutique clothing shop could also provide alterations or a stationary store might decide to offer paid card-making workshops. Think about what else your target consumers might need that already compliments your offerings. Instead of going elsewhere, clients could use your company in multiple ways.
Utilize a Bigger or Better Building
If you’re looking to expand your business, sometimes the answer is expanding or changing your physical space. This might mean adding onto your existing building or transitioning into a new space so you can include additional customers, employees, and/or products.
Don’t underestimate the importance of the space in which you do business. Renovating your space to make it more effective can help streamline your workflow or make your products and displays more enticing. Knock out a wall, add a back storeroom, construct built-in shelving.
Finding a better building fit for your business could also mean moving your operations to a new geographic area or opening a new location altogether. A new geographic location can help expand your business’ reach to attract new customers. If your business is located in the Indianapolis area and you need help with site selection, the Build Fund can assist you.
Hire the Help You Need
Sometimes hiring new staff members feels like a catch-22: You need help to do more work, but you need the revenue of more work to hire more staff. As long as you’re smart about it, hiring more employees can grow your business operations by allowing you to use your time more wisely and delegating incidental tasks to team members. That’s not to mention how it could relieve some of the stress you’re under as a business owner trying to take on all aspects of your operations. There are always going to be roles that you can’t fully invest yourself in, with complete confidence and focus, while also running the business.
Whether it’s an accountant, a marketer, a front-of-house employee, hiring someone with the expertise you need can make things easier on yourself, allowing you more time to cultivate leads or nurture the ones you already have to bring more revenue in the door.
Purchase New Equipment
Another way to expand your business is to purchase equipment that increases your production capacity. Adding more or better equipment to your operation can either add to the amount of product you can create and sell or allow for more clients to utilize your services.
For example, procuring more fermenters or receiving tanks for a distillery increases the amount of sellable products. And acquiring more commercial-grade exercise equipment could allow for more fitness gym clients to work out at a time.
It may seem incredibly simple: more products or clients equals more revenue. However, as with all expansion, it isn’t magically going to happen. Be prepared to take on everything that more equipment entails, such as more staff, a bigger space, more maintenance, or streamlined operational efficiency.
Acquire Other Businesses
Depending on your expansion strategy, acquiring another business could give you the most bang for your buck. Though there will likely be some extra upfront costs, such as building renovations and hiring staff, most-likely, the payoff could be worth it. If a coffee shop buys a different coffee shop across town, they could potentially double their revenue overnight, expand their reach, and increase brand awareness.
However you decide to expand your small business, you may find yourself needing to use more than one of these options. More staff might mean a bigger office or adding equipment might mean hiring staff to run them.
Some of these expansion ideas can be fairly expensive, individually, and combining them, even more so. You may think about how debt financing could benefit your business. Most companies use a combination of debt and equity financing to grow their business. While there are benefits and drawbacks to each type, debt financing gives your business flexibility and fewer restrictions.
If you’re looking to expand your Indianapolis-area business, the Build Fund, operated by Renew Indianapolis, may be able to connect you to flexible, affordable, and responsible funding options for your business. Start the process now!