The reach of your small business operations is what dictates demand for your products/services. In short, the farther your reach stretches, the higher the potential sales and revenues you could be printing out on a quarterly basis. Expanding reach, however, can be a delicate process of balancing multiplied responsibilities with limited resources. Venturing out could prove detrimental to your current operations as it spreads your resources too thin. To help you navigate these murky waters, here are five tips on how to expand your reach:
Open Up New Stores
The most apparent way of extending your market reach is to open up stores in new areas. In fact, many successful companies start off with one or two locations and then using the revenues generated from those first two locations to open new locations. The cycle goes on until your business grows to heights equaling that of McDonald's. If a store is too big of a financial responsibility to take on, you can start with a kiosk, which is significantly cheaper and easier to manage.
Create a Website
Another must-do in today's digitally driven business world is creating a website. No company can hope to compete at an international level without at least a basic website. Think of your site as your own virtual store where you can post new business updates, announce new product lines or service features, and essentially boost brand awareness to a much wider audience. Anyone who has a computer and internet connection around the world can see your website's content. And considering that abount 3.2 billion people use the web, according to a 2015 report by the International Telecommunication Union, a dedicated business website is a powerful tool for reach expansion.
Create a Blog
Supplementing your website with a blog can make it even more potent in reaching new audiences in new locations. It's easier said than done for most entrepreneurs who have neither time nor the writing prowess to consistently create engaging content. To make it easier to maintain and justify keeping a blog, think of it as a written log of all possible questions that your audience throws at you all the time. Think of it as a FAQ page that saves you time by directing clients to an all-in-one resource that answers any gray areas they have about the business and its products/services.
Ask For Reviews
Put your small business up on review sites, such as Yelp and Foursquare, to gain more public attention. Reviews are the bread and butter of today's businesses, especially small to midsized ones. Coca-Cola and other billion-dollar giants don't really need reviews for their products to get advertised and bought. On the other hand, smaller businesses with more localized operations will need to gain the trust of the public, and that's where reviews come in. Anytime a person shops for your product on your own website or through Amazon or eBay, most of them will first check how many reviews you have and the percentage of positive reviews over negative ones. Expand on the number of reviews you have by adding a star rating system and a comment box at the end of the checkout process.
Promote on Social Media
As mentioned earlier, half of the world's population is online. A huge chunk of that 3.2 billion is on social media. Sites, like Facebook and Instagram, dominate today's mainstream entertainment. Your small business can benefit a great deal if you're also on social media. Create an official page for your business and start posting helpful and engaging content with backlinks that redirect to your website or blog. Not only is social media a great channel for expanding your reach, it also lends itself as a fantastic opportunity to know your audience better.
Don't Underestimate Traditional Marketing Channels
Carlos De Santos of EDDM USPS claims that traditional marketing channels including door-to-door and direct mail marketing remain an effective way to get people to know about a business. Supplement your digital marketing efforts with traditional marketing materials including flyers and brochures, event tickets, door hangers, and banners.
Continuous expansion should be the primary goal for any business, regardless of size or industry. Follow the six tips above to keep your business moving and expanding to new territories.