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5 ideas to grow your business

Grow BusinessReaching the growth phase in your company’s history can be both thrilling and terrifying. While you dream of growth and expansion, you must first put your game face on, and then determine the right growth strategies to take your business to the next level. These possibilities can help point the way.

1. Open another location. Physical expansion may not be the best choice for every business, but it can boost your presence and foot traffic, not to mention build new revenue.

Tip: Make sure you’re maintaining a consistent bottom-line profit with your current location. Be sure your administrative systems and management team are extraordinary, because you’re going to need them to get a new spot up and running. Choose your location, location, location (because it’s key) based on what’s best for your business, not your wallet. Consider brand image, the local labor market, competition and safety. Understanding laws and regulations imposed on businesses in a particular location is essential as you look to grow your business too. Tap into your local SBA office or state resources to uncover any government-funded economic incentives or demographic data.

2. Target other markets. If your current market is serving you well, are there others? Baby boomers, seniors, teens, tweens—let your imagination take you where you need to be, then take your product or service to the markets that need it.

Tip: It’s important to understand your current customer demographics and why they buy your products and services. One of the best things you can do to really “know” your customers is to profile them in a database or customer relationship management (CRM) tool. Profiling your customers and analyzing their purchase history will help you uncover what products and services are more profitable and why—and help your efforts as you add other markets.  

3. Add e-commerce to your website. If you’re not open 24/7/365, with e-commerce you can be. The potential of reaching a new or expanded audience and attracting new revenue depends on many factors.

Tip: Decide if you want to build an entire e-commerce store or just complement your in-store sales with online sales. Depending on your needs or the complexity of your product lines, you can add online ordering or a shopping cart to your current site with third-party or out- of-the-box solutions that require minimal programming — and budget. Tap into your local interactive marketing association and network for options fit for your business.  

4. Merge with or acquire another business. Mergers can help you expand your market share, fill a gap and become more competitive.

Tip: First, consider investigating companies that are similar to yours or have offerings complementary to yours. Then, consider the benefits of combining forces. Be sure and think about the “why” if you plan to acquire another company. Once you have an answer, careful planning is key for smooth success.

5. Let your employees do the talking. The best growth strategies can come from those in the trenches and on the front lines. Connect with your employees to understand unique insights they may have.

Tip: Instead of telling them what to do, start asking questions. You may be delighted about what you uncover. Start the conversations by asking:

  • How could we improve things around here?
  • Anything keep you up at night about this business or your job?
  • If you were in my shoes and could make all the decisions, what would you do and why?
  • What are you hearing our customers say about things we’re doing well or not doing at all?
  • What one thing can we do better for you?   

There are so many possibilities to grow your business. Choosing the right ones depend on the size and type of business you own, your available resources and how much money, time, sweat equity and guts you’re willing to invest. Depending on your situation, equipment leasing can be a cost-effective way to acquire vehicles and other equipment, plus take advantage of potential tax benefits you can use right away to improve your cash flow and finances. You may find SBA financing, a flexible term loan or commercial real estate financing a good fit to make opportunities possible.

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The information contained herein may not represent the views and opinions of California Bank & Trust, a division of ZB, N.A. or its affiliates. It is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice.
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