Friday, May 29, 2015

Expand and grow

     Free daily tips, information, advice and ideas
     to help you better manage your small business.

     Expanding your business takes time, planning and moving forward one step at a time. Expanding means taking on related markets.

     Example: Linda is a chiropractor who decided she wanted to head in the direction of becoming a wellness center. She spent several months talking with holistic practitioners, investigating the market possibilities, looking at space availability, and gradually homing in on a business plan. Today, Linda is well underway. Her new wellness center is attracting clients looking for all sorts of treatments--Reiki, massage, acupuncture, yoga, nutritional guidance, and other interests. She provides space for various experts to meet and treat clients. These people pay her a simple fee, or, for longer term experts, they rent space from her. There is a reception room providing informational displays and video. The new center has attracted community attention, and her chiropractic practice has attracted many new clients. 

     Example: Mary is a potter. She has a studio that is open to the public. She loved to experiment with glazes and she developed specialty products that attracted attention and sales. To expand, she decided to offer classes to groups and to individuals. In addition, she decided to hold events once each month--bringing in other artists (jewelers, fiber artists, and others). The events were successful and brought in more people interested in classes for her pottery and glazes. Mary also wrote a short how-to book which she offers on Amazon--people who attend her classes also buy the book.

     Example: Jon is a landscaper. He cuts grass, trims shrubbery, helps homeowners put plant material in the yard, and builds walkways and small seating areas. He parks his truck and trailer behind his own house, and his garage is full of equipment and materials. He has a small office inside his home--a converted bedroom. Jon's wife reminded him that he had to get the business out of the house, out of the garage and out of the yard. Looking around, Jon found a small garden center owned by an elderly man who was willing to enter into a lease-purchase agreement, selling the place to Jon. After carefully projecting the numbers, Jon jumped at the chance. The elderly man was looking for an income for his declining years, so they agreed to a payout that Jon could afford over the next 15 years. If Jon defaulted, the elderly man could repossess the place and sell it again. Today, Jon has expanded his landscaping services into a full-blown garden center that attracts more customers, expanding his business.

     To expand your business, get creative. You already have a base operation. It's up to you to home in on what can work for you. 

     Expansions are not to be taken lightly. When you think you've found a way to grow, do the numbers. That means knowing the market.