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What Are Your Growing Possibilities?
Every business needs to grow according to its long-term vision. If you don't grow, your competitors will and your business will die out. Not every CEO wants national or international presence. Whatever your objectives, you need to develop your strategy for growth.
The possibilities are boundless. Each industry presents different options. This e-zine looks at the best path to take your business to its next level. You have four basic options:
- Sell more existing products to existing markets
- Sell new products to existing markets
- Sell more existing products to new markets
- Sell new products to new markets
As you ponder these options, what questions do you need to ask before deciding on your strategy for growth?
- What are you willing to invest? What finances are available to put toward growth. How risk adverse are you? What human resources do you have and will you need to hire to implement your plan?
- Talk to your customers and prospects. What do they want and are they willing to buy it from you? If they trust buying ABC from you, will they consider buying XYZ?
- What initiatives are your competitors taking to grow their businesses? What opportunities and trends is your industry predicting? What is hot and how ready is your market for it?
- If geographic expansion is an option, which locations present the most promise? If you plan to offer your product on the opposite coast, will it be as desirable there; will the message have to be altered? Selling internationally presents other challenges such cultural issues, buying patterns and varying tastes.
- What are the distribution options available: selling online, sales channels, independent reps, direct sales force? Which options make the most sense for your business?
- How ready are you to make the necessary changes to grow your business? Are you willing to let go of some control and delegate? Do you have the necessary management and leadership to support changes? Are you willing to adjust your role in the company and to grow personally, as your business evolves?
The answers to those questions will help you decide your strategy. Consider the simplest steps to take and test your options.
Let's look at more specific ideas to help you grow:
- Hire more staff to get wider coverage and serve more people or businesses
- Merge with or acquire another company that can increase your offerings. Businesses often use this method to expand geographically or to add more products or services.
- Develop partnerships and alliances which can expand product offerings and provide access to new prospects
- Invest more in marketing to get greater exposure and wider reach
- Expand your sales force and involve all employees in the sales process
- Don't forget your existing customers; you can sell them more products and services. It costs much less to sell existing customers than find new ones.
- Bring in outside resources who will ask the right questions and give you objective advice
- Get your employees to buy into your goals. Though not everyone will be in 100 percent agreement, employees need to be motivated to move forward.
If your business doesn't progress, it will grow stale. It is never easy but if you analyze your situation, develop a strategy and have the right people to execute it; you will be on the right path.
The next issue of Growing Possibilities is focused on managing growth. Stay tuned.