At some point, every successful business is going have a question on their minds: should we expand and how do we start? Although the benefits of expanding are numerous and littered with dollar signs, you should not expand lightly. Any conscious growth on your part needs to be done with an eye on your resources and employees because, as great as growth is, too much may wreck what you’ve spent so much time building and developing.

That said, look into expanding your company! Expanding helps you stay relevant to your client base, increase your competitiveness in a tough market, and build up your resources. This week, we here at One Website Please are sharing with you our top five ways to expand your business.

Expand physically. The more places you are, the more customers you can reach. This is obvious, but we’re sharing this because there are a number of ways you can expand physically that may not be obvious. You can, 1, open a new location locally or globally, 2, turn your company into a franchise, 3, form an alliance with a similar business, and 4, buy or merge with another business. The outcome of any one of these involve the opportunity to not only increase your resources, but also reach out to customers you wouldn’t have originally. However, there is risk with this. You’ll want to make sure you have the stability and finances for these kinds of moves before taking them on.

Invest in marketing. It should go without saying that, if no one knows about you, you’re not going to grow as a business. Whether your company is big or small, you need to invest in marketing–and you will need to invest. Some marketing will require a hefty fraction of your budget (like print, radio, and TV ads) while others require less. Even if you’re comfortable with word of mouth advertising only, you still should invest time in a website, social media, and some content marketing, especially if you want to expand.

Diversify your product. While there is something to be said about maintaining your expertise in your field and avoiding being too much of a “generalist” company, diversifying what you can give to your clients will help your expand your business. For example, we here at One Website Please generally focus on web development projects. However, we’ve also diversified, adding services such as SEO And Social Media, Maintenance And Support, Brand Advocacy, and Video Services. This has allowed us to both gain and keep clients over the long run.

Use new technology. There are a lot of business-orientated apps, programs, and software that can help you expand your business. For example, we heavily use Asana, a project management system, and Harvest, a time tracker, to help us with our day-to-day work. They help take the guesswork out of figuring out what needs to be done and who is doing it, which allows us to pour more energy into our business. Other technologies you should look into include planning software, accounting tools, and time management applications.

Use old technology smarter. If you have multiple business email accounts, set up email forwarding so they all go to one email you check regularly. Use your pre-existing website for weekly deals and marketing to your client base. Sync up your business accounts to your phone to help you manage your business quickly and on the go, no matter where you are at. Work off your computer? Great! Get multiple monitors. If you have internet but no WiFi, upgrade! These might be small things, but they will help you better manage your work. Look at the tools you use for your business and try to identify ways to make them work smarter and better for your business.

If you want to learn more about staying competitive, check out our sources here:

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/70660
https://www.sba.gov/content/using-technology-stay-competitive
http://smallbusiness.chron.com/five-strategic-ways-grow-business-16728.html

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