You’ve put in the time to get your business off the ground and now you’re up and running. You have a product or service that’s selling well, team support to keep everyone happy and a proven income model.
Congratulations! You’ve overcome the biggest obstacle to business sustainability.
Surviving the startup phase is often the toughest obstacle. If you’ve made it through that, you’re ready to take the next logical step on the road to sustainability: growth.
There are many ways to expand your business, so read on to discover the next step that will be right for you.
Open another location. While this method isn’t a sure thing and should be carefully considered, proper planning and research can significantly increase your chance of raising your growth potential.
Consider franchising. Franchising is an excellent way to expand your business without having to put the same amount of time, money, and sweat equity you did when you first started. Franchising isn’t for everyone, though. You need a clean-running internal operating system (think scalability) and clear leadership vision to make franchising successful. Plus, franchises must follow very specific rules around disclosure and sale to franchisees. Contact us for support.
Begin licensing. Licensing can be a low-risk and low-cost way for service or branded product-based businesses to grow. But don’t jump in without consulting with a skilled creative business lawyer. Intellectual property rights are the key here; you have to protect your interests diligently in order to grow—and not compromise—your business. We can help.
Gain allies. Alliances can be mutually beneficial—if you are smart about whom you approach. Find someone in the industry that already has an impressive client base. And don’t be turned off by the prospect of paying commissions. Dramatically growing your clientele doesn’t happen overnight, but it can happen a lot quicker if you tap into that of another industry leader. Remember to document all of your agreements with allies, and don’t simply rely on handshake deals that could turn allies into enemies down the road.
Diversify. Diversification can increase your income streams and counteract slow periods in your fiscal year. It can also help you to reach a larger audience and increase your market presence, something that can work to your advantage when attracting major retailer allies.
Infiltrate new markets. Think outside your market. Are there other markets you can reach? Take your service or product where it hasn’t gone before—just make sure you are going into a market where there’s demand.
Welcome the government as your newest customer. Government contracts are hard to win—they take planning, patience, and compliance—but the U.S. government is the largest consumer in the world. And, once you secure a government bid, future submissions won’t be such a process.
Join forces. Merge with or acquire another business, so you can appropriate its client-base and resources.
Expand online. The internet can be your biggest ally in your path to growth. Tap into the unlimited exposure available online where your potential customers number in the millions. With so much potential for success comes potential for failure, too. You need to be targeted and strategic, or you will be lost in a sea of competitors. And, of course comply with all FTC rules and regulations. We can help here too.
Go global. You’ll need to expand online before you tackle this step, but when you do, you realize the immense potential of being a global brand. Two things are key here: make sure your marketing is culturally aware, and find a trusted international distributor. Nail these, and global expansion will be the last frontier for your business.
The key to smart business growth is planning. If you are ready to take the next step toward sustainable business growth, begin by sitting down with us as your Creative Business Lawyer®. We are here to help you face the many challenges of owning and growing a business. We are experienced in helping small business owners grow their business through calculated legal and financial moves. If you’re ready to get smart about growing your business, we can help you implement a robust legal, insurance, financial and tax system that will streamline business operations and minimize risks while you grow.