Friday, July 3, 2015

Easy expansions

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     to help you better manage your small business.

     Expanding your business can be easier than you might think. It can boil down to choosing one or more of the paths open to you already.

     Example: Sue is a massage therapist. She concentrates on Swedish massage. When she added hot stone massage and other types of massage, Sue expanded her appeal in the marketplace.

     Example: John runs a pet supply store. His customers are people looking for pet foods, supplies, and supplements. He decided to add installation of in-ground dog fences. It proved to be a lucrative expansion for John's operation. 

     Example: Alicia is a chiropractor. When she noticed that her clients also were interested in healthy eating, she made arrangements with a nutritionist to give talks and hand out information every Friday. This attracted new clients, so she added nutrition to her business.

     Example: Joline has an acupuncture practice. To get the word out, she added a community acupuncture room--for $20, people came to the room, lay down and got a brief acupuncture session. It was a popular addition to her business for stressed out people. Some of these people became regular clients for more extensive acupuncture. Just as important, it attracted the attention of doctors who referred clients.

     Example: Bob runs a small garden center. When he set up a special website to sell native plants, he attracted new customers to his garden center and he expanded his business by selling on the web. He also brought in specialists (partnering with local landscapers) to hold free demonstrations on designing landscapes, building walkways and fire pits. All this expanded Bob's garden center.

     Example: Linda is a caterer. She specialized in catering events for clients--parties for individuals and small corporate events. She expanded by partnering with businesses that offered tents, dance floors, tables and chairs, etc. Suddenly Linda was addressing the marketplace in a new and bigger way. 

     Example: Chris runs a frame shop. He handles primarily corporate clients and walk-ins. To expand, he made arrangements with artists to display their works in his place and on his website. Decorators began calling and he worked with them on their projects. It was an area of the marketplace that he had not previously handled.

     Every business has expansion opportunities readily available to them. It's a matter of seeing what best fits with your long term plans.

     Opportunities are around every corner. Keep abreast of the market. What are people looking for? How do they find you? Are you using social media to reach out and draw new clients/customers to you?

     Never jump into an expansion of your business without some serious thought. Know ahead of time how it will affect your business. Before you take the plunge, make certain that it fits with your overall business plan.