As we get closer to the end of 2017 and start thinking of our goals for the new year, you are probably thinking about how to grow and expand your business in 2018. It is always good to have a plan from day one so you don’t lose the momentum that the start of a new year generally brings.

With all the changes in the political and the economic landscape right now, you might be feeling cautiously optimistic or really worried, but either way you need to focus on concrete steps you can take to expand your business.

Here are some steps you can start working on right now:

Sell More Products to Current Customers

The easiest way to grow your business is to get more business from your current customer base. Get them to come in more and to buy more of your current range of products and services.

To do this will require some market research so you can identify which segments of your current customer base you want to focus on. Look for those segments who offer you the highest potential profitability. For example, if you want to bring in more vegan customers to your restaurant, you should promote your vegan dishes more strongly.

Offer More Products and Services

If you are looking for more customers, especially those of different demographics and of different interests, then expanding your offering of products and services is a smart step to take. This will take some market research though.

First to get your current customers to come in more, you need to survey them to see what extra products and services they would like. Be frank. Ask them what it would take to get them in the door more.

For new customers, think about who you want to target and what they would be attracted to. For example, if you are trying to be a more family-oriented business, then figure out how you can make things easier for parents and how you can be more kid-friendly.

Next you need to take an honest look at your financial picture to see if you have the resources to create these new products or offer these new services. Do as much market research you can before sinking any time or money into any new development.

Expand to a New Location

If you truly believe that you have grown your current location as best as you can you may want to consider opening up a new location for your business.

First though, there are a lot of different factors that go into whether or not it is a sound business decision to open up a second location so you need to think about it carefully.

Your business may be doing well, but is it doing well enough to support the opening of a second location? That is the most important question to ask. The growth markers you should be looking for include more customers than your location can handle, a really strong cash flow and you are consistently running out of inventory or don’t have enough staff or space to handle the amount of business you have coming in the door.

If this is what you are experiencing, then it is probably a good time to consider opening up a new location. If business is good, but you still have the space to grow more where you are, then you might want to wait to expand.

In addition, you want the second location to help grow your business not hurt it so you need to make sure you have enough resources to have two successful locations. Make sure you have stable leadership and strong money flow in the first location before you start focusing all your energy into a new location. You don’t want the first location to be hurt in any way.

Consider Online Sales

If you like the idea of expanding your business, but feeling a little apprehensive about having another brick and mortar location to have to take care of, then online sales can be a smart strategy to expand your business. Consider if opening up an online store makes sense. This is a great way to increase revenue without having to build more physical space. You can use online advertising and search engine optimization (SEO) technique to reach more potential customers who would prefer shopping online versus visiting your physical location.

Are You in the Market to Buy Another Company?

Another way to expand your business is to acquire another company. Buying a new company is the quickest way to grow, but you need to be sure that it is the right move to make. Do as much research up front as possible so you know that the company will be an asset and not a hindrance. If the new company comes with a lot of debt and is not performing well, unless you have a solid plan for turning things around, it will probably hurt not help the company.

Create a Strong Advertising and Marketing Campaign

If you want to reach new potential customers and/or get the word out about new things you are doing, then a strong advertising and marketing campaign is the way to do it. With the right visuals and right distribution your brand will become very well-known which in and of itself will increase your business.

Hire a Business Consultant to Help You

Hiring a company like MBB Management to help you grow can be really beneficial. Their experienced consultants can help you identify the best ways to expand your business and guide you step by step through the process to make sure you are doing it in the right manner.

The bottom line is that whatever you decide to do, you want to make an informed decision so you are less likely to make mistakes that will cause your business to ultimately fail. The more research and more time spent preparing and strategizing before you spend any time or money, the better off your chances will be to have a smooth expansion.

For more information on expanding your business, contact MBB Management today.