All startup owners start their ventures with the grand dream of scaling up. Unfortunately, many flounder before it even becomes an option. For those that have made it through the first year in a good position, it’s time to start thinking about expansion. With the potential to break into brand new markets and increase a consumer base by a grand scale, expansion should always be something that you have in mind throughout the early days of your startup. The challenge is knowing just where to start. It can be a risk to tackle expansion without the right strategy, but the more that you plan and research, the more likely that your expansion plans will be successful. Here’s what you need to know.
Research the Markets
There’s little point in spending money on expanding to a new market if the consumers there don’t want or need your products. While you could be the brand that creates that need, you’ll be more likely to see success if you know that there are people in that new market that want what you sell. Start with basic cultural research and then carry out real-world market research. If there is no need for your current product output, then consider diversifying your range so that it is more appealing to those new markets.
Set The Right Pace
Scaling up is always good news unless you’re not ready for it. If you expand too quickly, then you will encounter problems before you’re ready to solve them. Supply chains need to be organized, ground-level team members need to be in place, and you need to maintain a high level of customer service at all times throughout your growth. If you make the mistake of expanding too quickly or too soon then your startup runs the risk of being overwhelmed. Maintaining the right pace is critical.
Gather Available Resources
Before you launch your expansion strategy, make sure that you have the financial resources to make it work. It will be very frustrating (and dangerous) to expand to new markets without being able to keep up with the costs. If you’re confident about establishing a foothold and it’s backed up by research, then outside funding should be an option. Look at lenders like biz2credit.com, and you could get approval for a small business loan that makes it easier to expand more comfortably, without the risks of overreaching.
Invest in Your Marketing
Expansion means getting your name out there as much as possible. Marketing can be a vast and increasingly challenging business subject, so it’s important that you know what you’re doing. If marketing isn’t your forte, then use your available budget to outsource that marketing to professionals. This will give you access to experience and skillsets that could make all of the difference when it comes to building brand awareness in markets that might never have heard of you or your product before.
While technology has made it easier than ever to expand into new markets, there remain risks. Take your time to ensure that you are ready for dramatic growth and your startup will be much safer.