A business goes through a phase where you have to think of diversification and exploring new horizons. This includes expanding to new fields and opening up new branches or stores. However, you should gear up on a host of valuable scaling information before you attempt that.
In this piece, we’re going to discuss the prerequisites and recommendations for expanding your business the right way. Michael Ross, the business development director of the digital marketing firm HillTopBazaar, lends some valuable insights on how businesses can best tackle their expansion pains.
1. Doing Your Research and Competitor Analysis
Any expansion is only as good as the research. Research directly influences the execution.
Learn as much about the new field or place as possible.
Analyze your competitors who have already expanded into new avenues.
Check relevant industries and find out their problems.
Always document the potential problems that your business might face in the new field or place.
Think of the marketing and sales strategy before you step into a new realm.
2. Consider the Three Pillars of Your Business
“There are three key pillars to your business: customers, employees, and vendors,” says Ross. Consequently, you need to devise a strategy for each of them before diversifying or expanding into a new vertical.
The customers: Do market research on the new demographics to answer a few questions. Are there enough people to make it worth the time and money? Why will these customers buy from you over the existing competition?
The employees: Deciding on an efficient team to lead the diversification or expansion is critical. Additionally, staff recruitment should follow the norms of the new skills required.
The vendors: Crosscheck the capabilities of your vendors. Can they handle the expansion? If yes, then how? If existing vendors can suffice, this can save you the trouble of getting new ones when you expand.
3. Having a Digital Marketing Strategy
“Having a clear digital marketing strategy will allow you to stay cost-effective in your advertising and overall marketing when you scale up”, Ross adds. Indeed, the digital marketing firm HillTopBazaar has given a hand to many businesses that were in the process of scaling up. A good digital campaign, Ross maintains, should focus on the right balance between awareness and excitement.
A good digital marketing strategy allows a business to target the right people. Lead generation, online advertising, website SEO, and email marketing are the most important digital marketing techniques to follow when expanding. Let’s get down to the basics of why.
Lead generation is the method leveraged to generate thousands of potential leads that are then either manually processed or communicated with in bulk. Conditioning the leads you receive after a lead generation or advertising campaign is easier. Leads can and will make or break your expansion into a vertical or place.
The internet has changed the way we spend our free time, the way we interact with businesses, and the way we consume content. But which one is better between online and offline advertising for an expanding business? Should you stick to one? To some extent, you can say that it depends on what you intend to achieve and where your target customer is.
Let’s see why digital marketing and online advertising are better than traditional advertising. Assume your target customer is the 9-to-5 employee struggling with their wardrobe. Now, your clothing brand can be advertised on a billboard placed smartly on a highway that sees a lot of traffic back and forth between a major city and a suburb – typically, where a large section of the workforce comes from.
Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? Maybe your expansion into that city or suburb will see a lot of footfalls, after all! In almost every case, however, online advertising outperforms traditional advertising. There are several reasons why – such as the world becoming increasingly internet-friendly. It’s truly the age of digital brands. Even brick-and-mortar businesses and storefronts are going online, providing deliveries, and working in limited at-office capacities.
The bottom line? As an expanding business, you cannot go out into the wild without a proper digital marketing strategy. That. together with careful planning and assessment, should be the base of any planned expansion.